Columns / Opinions
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I write this on the morning of Sept. 11. A mentor and friend came to my house for supper last night and shared his story of that infamous day 20 years ago. The Friday before the attack, he had … more
I was just about to head to the gym three Saturdays ago when I received an unwelcome — and unexpected — piece of news. “Your sister’s just tested positive for COVID,” my dad told me. … more
Among the many weaknesses in my life are too much tea (notice I didn’t say “iced” or “sweet,” since any other form is not tea), a tendency to stay too long at the table, and a healthy dose … more
During one of my recent early morning workouts at the local YMCA in Raleigh, I met an impressive young person. He is a senior at NCSU’s textile college. We talked about the textile industry and his … more
About this time in the legislative session — when the session runs interminably long and little is happening — the press corps, lobbyists, legislative staffers and even some lawmakers start a … more
When Julian Pleasants died on Sept. 7, North Carolina lost one of its most important academic and popular historians. Pleasants grew up in Southern Pines, graduated from Davidson College, and … more
Do the ends justify the means? This familiar question produces strong feelings precisely because its answer is necessarily complicated. Just about all of us admit to a scenario, such as the … more
I’m not sure if it was an ironic or suggestive decision by U.S. lawmakers, but most federal unemployment benefits expired on Labor Day. About 1 million North Carolinians, roughly one-fifth of … more
The other day at the playground, I happened to hear a child describe her lunch that day as a “pizza in the shape of a rectangle.” I caught her parent’s eyes and shared a smile. I remembered … more
My birthday present to myself last week was a book entitled “Four Thousand Weeks,” which addresses the absurdly, insultingly brief span of time — 80 years and some change — the average person … more
The calendar says Labor Day has come and gone and with it went what many folks refer to as the last weekend of summer. That, of course, doesn’t mean we’re through with hot summer weather. A … more
As nearly 9,000 Chatham children once again adjust to rising early, catching buses and re-entering classrooms, it is worth reminding ourselves of the value of Chatham County’s public schools. … more
Food delivery services Grubhub and DoorDash made headlines last week when the city of Chicago sued them for deceptive and harmful business practices. But for one Chathamite, the litigation only … more
Just when we thought things were getting better, could they go the other way and get worse? For most of the year we were optimistic about the economy. Growth was surging, jobs were being added and … more
My country’s war with Afghanistan has spanned my adult life. We invaded when I was in college and fought over the last 20 years. But honestly, America’s longest war did not receive much of my … more
It’s my go-to slide. I’ve shown it to all the classes I teach at Duke University. The slide is striking. It’s revealing. And now it’s out of date. The slide in question is based on a … more
No matter your age, I’m betting you remember those annual late-summer trips to Rose’s “dime” store (or a similar one) to purchase back-to-school supplies. Must-haves included a new three-ring … more
What should we say to each other about September 11, 2001, now that 20 years have gone by since the awful day and our troops are leaving Afghanistan? In searching for an answer, I found the column I … more
We’re now into a significant period of the year, having sort of eased into it on the calendar, but make no mistake: it’s here. I’m not speaking of “back-to-school.” And it’s not the … more
I tested positive for COVID-19. After 15 months of carefully avoiding the virus by limiting contact with large groups, wearing a mask and getting vaccinated, it finally got me. Following my … more
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