In a sun-dappled square decorated with scores of entrants in the community's Halloween scarecrow contest, a balky sound system enables, if barely, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate to exhort a few hundred people, mostly supporters, to urge neighbors to vote to reduce Sen. Harry Reid to minority leader. The exhorter is David Perdue, a glutton for punishment who has been campaigning incessantly for 15 months and may be doing so for two more.
Who are North Carolina’s public intellectuals?
Over the years we have been blessed with influential and thoughtful people whose wise commentaries about the state’s concerns often moved public opinion.
The early morning paramilitary-style raids on citizens' homes were conducted by law enforcement officers, sometimes wearing bulletproof vests and lugging battering rams, pounding on doors and issuing threats. Spouses were separated as the police seized computers, including those of children still in pajamas. Clothes drawers, including the children's, were ransacked, cellphones were confiscated and the citizens were told it would be a crime to tell anyone of the raids.
When Argos Therapeutics president and CEO Jeff Abbey talked about his company’s decision to come to Durham last week, he offered this anecdote:
““(We knew) we made the right decision when we got the whole company together and told them we would be in Durham … and this cheer went up from all 90 people.”
Barack Obama lost Kentucky in 2012 by 23 points, yet the state remains closely divided about re-electing the man whose parliamentary skills uniquely qualify him to restrain Obama's executive overreach. So, Kentucky's Senate contest is a constitutional moment that will determine whether the separation of powers will be reasserted by a Congress revitalized by restoration of the Senate's dignity.
Howard Fuller was back in North Carolina last week promoting his new book, “No Struggle, No Progress: A Warrior’s Life from Black Power to Education Reform.”
One of the wonders of this political moment is feminist contentment about the infantilization of women in the name of progressive politics. Government, encouraging academic administrations to micromanage campus sexual interactions, now assumes that, absent a script, women cannot cope. And the Democrats' trope about the Republicans' "war on women" clearly assumes that women are civic illiterates.
I’ve met Michael Burbidge, the bishop of the Catholic diocese of Raleigh – which encompasses Durham – a couple of times. He regularly reaches out to media in his diocese. He’s personable, measured, eager to listen and clearly a caring individual.
In the homestretch of the Senate race between incumbent Kay Hagan and challenger Thom Tillis, the disclosure that Hagan’s family profited from the 2009 stimulus package she voted for has drawn a great deal of attention.
Wretched excess by government can be beneficial if it startles people into wholesome disgust and deepened distrust, and prompts judicial rebukes that enlarge freedom. So let's hope the Federal Communications Commission embraces the formal petition inciting it to deny licenses to broadcasters who use the word "Redskins" when reporting on the Washington Redskins.
What was the greatest political upset in North Carolina political history?
Old timers will tell you that it was Kerr Scott’s victory in the Democratic primary for governor in 1948. Scott, a dairy farmer from Alamance County, beat the favored candidate of the conservative wing of the party.
Last week, a federal judge told us what we already knew.
Namely, that police in Ferguson, Missouri, violated the rights of protesters demonstrating against the shooting death of Michael Brown.
Come Tuesday, the national pastime will be the subject of oral arguments in a portentous Supreme Court case. This pastime is not baseball but rent seeking -- the unseemly yet uninhibited scramble of private interests to bend government power for their benefit. If the court directs a judicial scowl at North Carolina's State Board of Dental Examiners, the court will thereby advance a basic liberty -- the right of Americans to earn a living without unreasonable government interference.
Monday, National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” aired a five-minute segment titled “Why You Should Start Taking Millennials Seriously.”
The next day, the U. S. Supreme Court vaulted same-sex marriage to the cusp of legality from coast to coast when it declined to review five appellate court rulings that bans on those marriages are unconstitutional.
Our topic du jour: the latest stunning milestone in the march toward gay equality.
No, the other stunning milestone.