Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Dr. Thomas Sowell has been both a friend and a colleague of mine for over a half-century. On Tuesday, he completed his 90th year of life, and I want to highlight some important features of that life. Sowell was born in Gastonia, North Carolina, in 1930. As part of the great black migration northward during the 1930s and ‘40s, he and his family moved to Harlem, New York. Sowell attended the prestigious Stuyvesant High School but dropped out. In 1951, he was drafted into the military and assigned to the U.S. Marine Corps where he became a photographer. Photography remains his hobby today.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Conventional wisdom has it that progressives champion urbanity and conservatives disdain it. There’s some truth to that. Progressives are far more likely than conservatives to prefer walkable, high-density communities over auto-dependent, detached-dwelling neighborhoods. Urban areas tend to vote heavily Democratic and rural areas Republican. Even in the more-competitive suburbs, those closest to downtowns tilt blue while outer-ring suburbs and exurbs are red.

The media often portrays the coronavirus pandemic as an urban problem. But the North Carolina counties with the highest COVID infection rates actually have more pigs and poultry than people. In these rural communities with large populations of poverty and people of color, there is a little-noticed COVID crisis.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

What do George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Ulysses S. Grant, Father Junipero Serra and Christopher Columbus have in common?

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Sunday, June 28, 2020

What do George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Ulysses S. Grant, Father Junipero Serra and Christopher Columbus have in common?

NBC News reports that President Donald Trump is “furious” over “underwhelming” attendance at his June 20 campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Only 6,200 of 19,000 seats ended up being filled. An optimistically pre-arranged overflow area went unused.

John Bolton, the former national security adviser, writes in his new book that President Trump makes decisions based on only one calculation: his own political self-interest.

Once again, a prominent leader in North Carolina is coming under intense criticism for responding to a “Black Lives Matter” inquiry with the “But All Lives Matter” retort. UNC-Wilmington Chancellor Jose Sartarelli, upon being requested to allow a “Black Lives Matter” painting to be placed on campus responded with the all-too-familiar “No. All lives matter.”

Friday, June 26, 2020

As soon as he heard the news that a mob had torn down statues on the grounds of North Carolina’s State Capitol on the evening of June 19, Gov. Roy Cooper realized his mistake. He had not been clear enough in instructing his aides, including Secretary of Public Safety Eric Hooks. He knew he’d have to take decisive action.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The solution to the problem of Confederate memorials is simple: Tear them down, all of them. If a few must be left standing for practical reasons -- the gigantic carvings on Stone Mountain outside Atlanta come to mind -- authorities should allow them to be appropriately defaced, like the graffiti-scrawled remnants of the Berlin Wall.

If those on the left are going to support Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals as a way to help Dreamers, they should at least take a moment to try to understand why - far from being a display of compassion - DACA is actually an act of cruelty.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Many whites are ashamed, saddened and feel guilty about our history of slavery, Jim Crow and gross racial discrimination. Many black people remain angry over the injustices of the past and what they see as injustices of the present. Both blacks and whites can benefit from a better appreciation of black history.

  • Updated

Race and religion have always shaped America’s politics. Race now dominates the 2020 debate, but religion will play a crucial role. It always does.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Stocks sold off June 7 amid investor worries that a “second wave” of coronavirus infections could cause countries and states that are reopening to lock down again. But headlines about a coronavirus resurgence in the U.S. are overblown so far, and the bigger threat is keeping the economy in a coma.

  • Updated

During the month of May, 38 states saw their unemployment rates drop as governments eased COVID-19 restrictions and allowed more businesses to open and individuals return to work.

  • Updated

Chief Justice John Roberts is the undisputed swing vote on the Supreme Court, following in the footsteps of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (except for her Bush v. Gore ruling, the most centrist swing vote) and Justice Anthony Kennedy (a less reliable swing vote).

Sunday, June 21, 2020

This weekend, President Trump planned to hold a campaign rally in Tulsa, with thousands of fervent supporters crammed inside a sports arena. The local paper, the Tulsa World, urged him not to come, saying it was the “wrong time” and the “wrong place” to stage an event that could cause a spike in COVID-19 cases. Bruce Dart, the city’s chief health officer, warned that the crowd could ignite a “perfect storm” of conditions to spread the virus.

Many of us here in eastern North Carolina know and love someone who has a chronic disease like hypertension or diabetes. These, and other chronic conditions, are all too prevalent in our communities, especially in older people.

Did Trump lose me or did I lose Trump? It’s almost a Dickensian question of conscience in today’s political environment. In my heart of hearts, I am a Republican. But that fact does not change this one: I do not agree with my president.

The necessary social distancing and “stay at home” precautions has “flattened the curve” and saved countless lives. The unfortunate side effect, however, has also been a massive slowdown in the economy. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports an estimated 12.4 percent drop in GDP for second quarter. That could work out to well over a $2.5 trillion national loss.