Columns / Opinions
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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
A mentor and friend came to my house for supper the other night and shared his story of that infamous day 20 years ago. The Friday before the attack, he had visited New York City for the first time. … 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
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
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
Just over a year ago in this space, I wrote a slightly tongue-in-cheek column entitled, “The absolute last word on wearing a mask.” It was a humorous reflection on a just-completed trip I’d … more
High school is over and my college journey is about to begin. It fills me with sadness and with a lot of emotion at the same time. Knowing that I will no longer be going back to high school, that I … more
As a fully vaccinated person thinking about America’s COVID-19 crisis, I visualize standing on the shoreline, water rushing around my ankles back out to the sea. Yes, the water is … more
Mark Twain once said, “It’s difficult to make predictions, particularly about the future.” Economists like me often use the comment as an opening line in our public presentations. The reasons … more
In the movie “Forest Gump,” the Tom Hanks-portrayed main character says numerous times that he and his lady love Jenny go together “just like peas and carrots.” Now, not everybody likes … more
I remember those first few months of college my freshman year.  Everything was brand new — new location, new schedule and new friends. I felt awkward. It seemed like everyone had it … more
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