"I think they're going too far with Ray Rice."
At the end of a two-day conference about World War I at UNC-Chapel Hill, I asked a leading military historian what approach he would recommend to the United States to deal with the challenge of ISIS.
Two letters long, it is arguably the most fruitless word in the English language, an evocation of paths not taken, possibilities foreclosed, regrets stacked high -- and it lies like a pall of smoke over President Barack Obama's Wednesday-night announcement that this country is returning to war, albeit with air strikes only, in a place we just left behind in 2011 after spending almost nine years, over a trillion dollars and 4,425 lives.
Tucking into a dish of Scottish haggis is not a task for the fainthearted. There are various haggis recipes, but basically it is sheep's pluck -- the heart, lungs and liver -- cooked together, then mixed with suet and oatmeal and boiled in a sheep's stomach, then served, sometimes drenched with Scotch. People who pour whisky on oatmeal are not shrinking violets. Remember this on Thursday when Scotland votes on independence from the United Kingdom.
More than a half-century ago, in 1953, when I was in kindergarten in far-away New York, a young aspiring comic and actor from what would later become the hometown of my youth and adolescence recorded his breakthrough record for Orville Campbell’s Colonial Records in Chapel Hill.
The headlines sounded great. 56 percent of our students passed their end-of-grade tests, compared to just 44 percent last year. A more thorough reading reveals the 11-point gain was a result of educators relaxing the scoring scale, making the tests easier to pass. It left us questioning whether we will ever know how well our students are performing.
This week was difficult. After postponing some significant expenditures during my first week of the challenge, I started week two spending over 70 percent of my budget in less than 24 hours. Consequently, I was forced to make deeper, more stringent sacrifices to ensure I stretched the remaining portion of my budget.
Apologies for the blunt language, but can we please cut the crap?
Meaning: Can we stop pretending we know something now that we didn't before about what Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice did to his then-fiancee in the elevator of that Atlantic City casino?
Since Barry Goldwater, accepting the Republicans' 1964 presidential nomination, said "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," Democrats have been decrying Republican "extremism." Actually, although there is abundant foolishness and unseemliness in American politics, real extremism -- measures or movements that menace the Constitution's architecture of ordered liberty -- is rare. This week, however, extremism stained the Senate.
First of all, a warning: I am a Democrat. You cannot trust a partisan commentator to give an objective report on a political contest such as a debate between candidates for the United States Senate.
OK, so about the hacking of certain actresses' computer files and the posting of nude photos found therein:
Can we be frank?
One day last week, headed to lunch at one of the new restaurants lining Blackwell Street across from American Tobacco, I parked in the deck next to the Durham Performing Arts Center. Stepping out onto the brick plaza between it and Diamond View II, Durham’s increasingly urban feel was evident.
When Republicans won their legislative majorities in 2010 and expanded them in 2012, they ran on a platform of fiscal conservatism and reform. They’ve largely delivered on it. Tax and regulatory burdens are lower. State spending growth has been restrained. Lawmakers have implemented major changes in transportation funding and education policy.
My daughters had an exchange about tween boys two years ago. My younger daughter was complaining about her fifth-grade class. My older daughter asked: “Are the boys still making [flatulence] noises with their armpits?” Apparently they were. “Well,” she reassured her sister, “they will stop that soon, and then school isn’t so bad.”
I have a question for my Republican friends.
Yes, that sounds like the setup for a smackdown, but though the question is pointed, it is also in earnest. I'd seriously like to know: