Rodrigo Dorfman, in a guest column on this page Tuesday, tossed out the g-word – gentrification -- and set off a minor round of debate on neighborhood discussion groups. Dorfman often does that. He’s outspoken, thoughtful and prone to poke at painful issues.
Why do we read books?
For entertainment, of course, first and foremost. But the best books also challenge us emotionally and intellectually to see the world in a different way, as it really is, or as it once was, as it could be, or, perhaps, as it will become.
An intriguing report from the U S. Census Bureau last week offered yet more support to drawing far more students into the fields of science, technology, engineering and math – the so-called STEM fields.
Gov. Pat McCrory’s admonition for people not to put on their “stupid hat” during Hurricane Arthur was easily understood, timely and right on target. It started us thinking where else we might be wearing “stupid hats.”
Just two pages into the book "Unbroken," its protagonist is in the water, hiding beneath the deteriorating life raft in which he has been drifting across the Pacific Ocean for almost a month. Overhead, Japanese bombers are circling back to strafe him a second time. And sharks are approaching from below.
“You see him and ask: ‘Why is the statue still here? What was it he actually stood for?’ This is the kind of debate that a public work of art makes possible. We won't change the way people think just by getting rid of a monument.”
The psychological explanation for what happened to Catherine Ferreira is neat and tidy and sounds like reason.
"The bystander effect," explains Psychology Today on its website, "occurs when the presence of others hinders an individual from intervening in an emergency situation."
Two 5-4 decisions last week on the final decision day of the Supreme Court's term dealt with issues that illustrate the legal consequences of political tactics by today's progressives. One case demonstrated how progressivism's achievement, the regulatory state, manufactures social strife, and can do so in ways politically useful to progressives. The other case arose from government coercion used to conscript unwilling citizens into funding the progressives' party.
As the Fourth of July, that most patriotic of American holidays, approached last week, Bill O’Reilly and Charles Krauthammer on Fox News ginned up the specter of a patriotism crisis in the country.
Relax. This is not a slippery slope.
So Justices Samuel Alito writing for the majority and Anthony Kennedy writing in concurrence, take pains to assure us in the wake of the Supreme Court's latest disastrous decision.
As often happens at the North Carolina General Assembly, the new fiscal year has begun with the House and Senate not yet finished with a budget-adjustment bill. Medicaid funding, teacher compensation and a few other issues continue to divide the two chambers.
Even when Supreme Court decisions are unanimous, the justices can be fiercely divided about fundamental matters, as was demonstrated by two 9-0 rulings last week.
“It turned out to be a hell-of-a book title.”
Tom Brokaw, former NBC News anchor and productive author, was talking, with his usual modesty, about “The Greatest Generation.”
Sen. Richard Russell called it a work of "manifold evils."
Sen. Barry Goldwater called it a "threat to the very essence" of America.
Rep. Howard Smith called it a "monstrous instrument of oppression."
It was the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Amanda Blackhorse, a Navajo who successfully moved a federal agency to withdraw trademark protections from the Washington Redskins because it considers the team's name derogatory, lives on a reservation where Navajos root for the Red Mesa High School Redskins. She opposes this name; the Native Americans who picked and retain it evidently do not.