Opinion: Columnists

Oct. 06, 2014 @ 11:22 PM

Mountain music: Where it came from, where it’s going

As the International Bluegrass Music Association’s five-day “World of Bluegrass Festival” wound down in Raleigh a few days ago, some people were still asking where did bluegrass music come from, anyway?

North Carolinians have a quick and certain answer: It came out of the hills and hollows of our Appalachian region.

And where did that mountain music come from?


Oct. 05, 2014 @ 11:54 AM

A Bell-ringer in New Jersey

Every 36 years, it seems Jeff Bell disturbs New Jersey's political order. In 1978, as a 34-year-old apostle of supply-side economics and a harbinger of the Reagan Revolution, he stunned the keepers of the conventional wisdom by defeating a four-term senator, Clifford Case, in the Republican primary. Bell, a Columbia University graduate who fought in Vietnam, lost to Bill Bradley in the 1978 general election, but in 1982 he went to Washington to help implement President Reagan's economic policies that produced five quarters of above 7 percent growth and six years averaging 4.6 percent.


Oct. 04, 2014 @ 01:25 PM

Thoughts on conservation, traffic, sense of place

I suspect no one wants to know what I did on vacation, but indulge me a few precautionary, perhaps even pessimistic, thoughts.


Oct. 04, 2014 @ 12:25 PM

A new case for congressional term limits

"The legislative department is everywhere ... drawing all power into its impetuous vortex."

-- James Madison, Federalist 48

Unfortunately, Congress' vortex now spins the other way, throwing off powers that the executive scoops up.


Oct. 04, 2014 @ 08:20 AM

A groundhog tale from Green Street

There are two shops on 9th Street in Durham featuring different messages about our dear city.  One has a t-shirt in the window that says “Durham, It’s Not For Everyone.”  Another features a t-shirt that says “Durham, It’s For Everyone.”

I love both stores, but I like the second t-shirt better.


Oct. 01, 2014 @ 12:13 PM

Battle royal shaping up in Iowa

The Machine Shed restaurant, where the waitresses wear bib overalls and suggest a cinnamon roll the size of a loaf of bread as a breakfast appetizer, sells a root beer called Dang!, bandages made to look like bacon strips, and signs that proclaim "I love you more than bacon." For Joni Ernst, however, the apposite sign reads "No one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side."


Sep. 30, 2014 @ 01:43 PM

A more interesting Senate race, in fiction

While you are watching U.S. Senate campaign television ads, occasionally interrupted by brief segments of programming, do you ever wonder what goes on inside the candidates’ campaign organizations?


Sep. 29, 2014 @ 10:15 AM

'A tale of two countries' -- Jefferson County's assault on U.S. history

This is a tale of two countries.

The first country was built on a radical new promise of human equality and a guarantee of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 


Sep. 27, 2014 @ 01:11 PM

Ashley: Vacation reflections on bunkered air travel

I fly a lot less these days than I have, and for that I am mostly grateful.


Sep. 26, 2014 @ 10:59 AM

Pitts: Emma Watson looking for a few good men

With apologies to the United States Marines, Emma Watson is looking for a few good men.

 

Sep. 24, 2014 @ 09:37 PM

Will: High stakes in Kansas

Tacked to the wall of Greg Orman's campaign office is a print of a John Steuart Curry painting, "Tragic Prelude," that hangs in the capitol in Topeka. It depicts John Brown of Osawatomie, 39 miles south of here, as what he was, a deranged product of "bleeding Kansas," the Civil War's overture. Today, Orman, who is as calm as Brown was crazed, is emblematic of fascinating Kansas.

 

Sep. 23, 2014 @ 09:50 AM

Martin: How Scotland connected N.C. to the modern world

Did North Carolinians have a stake in the outcome of last week's referendum in Scotland?
Maybe not the same kind of stake the residents of Scotland had, but our ties to that land are so close, so important, and so contemporary that perhaps we should have been entitled to vote on the question of its independence from the United Kingdom.


Sep. 22, 2014 @ 12:33 PM

Pitts: What is and is not child abuse

My mother was a child abuser. I was, too. In fact, growing up, pretty much every parent I knew abused their kids.

Or so many of Adrian Peterson's critics would have you believe. Peterson, a star of the Minnesota Vikings, was arrested recently for child abuse after hitting his 4-year-old son with a switch. 


Sep. 22, 2014 @ 01:00 AM

Under Tillis, North Carolina raised school spending

Just before Labor Day, the publicly available polls of likely voters had incumbent U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan roughly tied with Republican challenger Thom Tillis. Since Labor Day, the polling average has shifted about three points in Hagan’s direction.


Sep. 20, 2014 @ 11:23 PM

Obama needs Congress to approve this war

The United States last declared war many wars ago, on June 5, 1942, when, to clarify legal ambiguities during a world conflagration, it declared war on Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. Today's issue is not whether to declare war but only whether the president should even seek congressional authorization for the protracted use of force against the Islamic State.