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Columnists

January 24, 2017

When Donald Trump was elected president, it felt to me like the most reckless thing our country had done in my lifetime. But like many Americans, I hoped for the best: He’ll grow into the job. He’ll surround himself with good people. The country could use a jolt of fresh thinking.…

People Friedman Pie

January 23, 2017

If you had set out to assess President Barack Obama’s legacy four years ago, when he won re-election convincingly over Mitt Romney, the assessment might have gone like this. On foreign policy, reasonably high marks: Osama bin Laden dead, disengagement from Iraq without disaster, no major wars…

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January 22, 2017

One of the best gifts I received this Christmas was a history book titled “The Country Church” in North Carolina. (Yes, I’m just that nerdy.) The author, a Duke University specialist in rural sociology, began with a brief overview of the state. Observing that the growth rate of…

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January 20, 2017

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Donald Trump: freak or geek?

Who better to answer that question than Judd Apatow, the executive producer of “Freaks and Geeks” and the comedian, producer, director and writer who has been in a spiral over the ascent of his fellow TV big shot and Twitter…

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January 18, 2017

The separation of powers principle should not be so vexing to state leaders.

It was, after all, clearly explained in middle school civics class. The legislature writes the laws. The executive implements the laws. The judiciary applies the laws when there are disputes between parties, either civil…

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January 17, 2017

And so it came to pass that in the winter of 2016 the world hit a tipping point that was revealed by the most unlikely collection of actors: Vladimir Putin, Jeff Bezos, Donald Trump, Mark Zuckerberg and the Macy’s department store. Who’d have thunk it?

And what was this tipping point?…

People Friedman Pie

January 15, 2017

Let me say this with as much tact and respect as I can muster: If you truly believe that the level of democracy in North Carolina is in any way comparable to the level of democracy in Cuba, then you are either 1) an ignoramus, 2) an unrepentant communist, or 3) a college professor.

An ignoramus…

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January 13, 2017

This column began last Friday. Weather forecasters were promising the first snowfall of winter right here in Rocky Mount.

I thought the occasion was perfect to begin the 14th year this column has been published in the Rocky Mount Telegram, although under different titles.

It began in 2003, and was…

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January 12, 2017

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will walk into the Oval Office and be stunned.

First, it will be a shock to work in an office decorated with images of men other than himself. Second, he is bound to be suffused with awe as he looks around at the Remington bronze bronco, the Rockwell…

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January 08, 2017

If North Carolina were to secede from the union and become an independent country – no, conspiracy theorists, I’m not actually proposing this as a reasonable response to recent political events – how would our education system rank among the other developed nations of the world?…

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