When I was a boy, all I knew about the national anthem was that when they played it at high school football games, you were supposed to stand and put your right hand over your heart, even if you were playing in the game and were on the field warming up.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

With massive statewide confusion over schools reopening, sky-high unemployment rates, and hospital beds increasingly filled with COVID-19 patients, one thing that seems all too clear is that we are living through a uniquely fraught time. And we are going through it with nearly every one of our fellow human beings. The novel coronavirus has wreaked havoc in every corner of the world and touched every family.

Most people who call themselves Marxists know very little of Karl Marx’s life and have never read his three-volume “Das Kapital.” Volume I was published in 1867, the only volume published before Marx’s death in 1883. Volumes II and III were later edited and published in his name by his friend and collaborator Friedrich Engels. Most people who call themselves Marxist have only read his 1848 pamphlet “The Communist Manifesto,” which was written with Engels.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

To hobble the U.S. Postal Service under the guise of “treating it like a business” is to undermine public confidence in yet another vital American institution at exactly the time when confidence is most needed, as much of the nation prepares to vote by mail in the Nov. 3 election.

No American president until Donald Trump suggested the presidential election could be postponed, or that its outcome could be fraudulent. But he has no authority to delay the election, so why did he say it?

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Excluding people based on their race, sex or other characteristics doesn’t just keep those individuals from pursuing their dreams. And it doesn’t just violate moral principles of human dignity and equality. It does great harm to others.

When asked if he wanted to change the election date, which he can’t do, Trump walked this request back. Then Trump went on to say that he didn’t want a crooked election. I almost cracked my side laughing.

In Aurora climate change is not decades away. It is here, now, and it has flooded my church twice in the last decade. As a minister at St. Paul AME Zion Church and a former marine biologist, I see firsthand the effects of climate change on God’s human and marine creation. I also see the immediate need for resilient policies and institutions that will protect these people and places that I, and my Creator, care for so deeply.

There are three presidential debates scheduled before the Nov. 3 election. The first will be on Sept. 29 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. The second will be on Oct. 15 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida. And the third will be on Oct. 22 at Belmont University in Nashville.

If you watch regular TV, you see Joe Biden campaign ads, thoroughly produced in Hollywood style looking like a white version of Obama reading Democratic talking points that essentially mock President Trump and promise “Utopia” to all when and if he gets elected in November.

There’s a little uncertainty about the ceremony for renominating President Trump during the Republican National Convention in Charlotte later this month. On Saturday, a GOP spokeswoman said it would be conducted in private, without members of the press present. She cited the coronavirus as the reason.

Peter Hans officially became president of the UNC University System on Monday. One of his first official acts was to send a message to the employees of our state-supported universities. We thought it significant enough to share with you.

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As if the COVID crisis and economic recession weren’t bad enough, here’s some more bad news to process: homicide rates are spiking in many North Carolina communities.

We continue to struggle as a nation to craft an effective response to the COVID pandemic. We have consistently stumbled, bumbled and mismanaged our efforts.

I’m 85 years old and used to staying close to home, but not this way. There’s an enemy lurking out there that can’t be seen, only feared.

When baby boomers protested the ills of society in the 1960s, we didn’t trust anybody over 30. Now that we’re in our 60s and 70s, we don’t seem to trust anybody under 70.

There is very little new under the sun. The monument and statue destruction that we are witnessing has been witnessed in other times and other places. A tyrant’s first battlefield is to rewrite history. Most notable were the political purges of Joseph Stalin. The Soviet government erased figures from Soviet history by renaming cities — such as the Imperial capital of St. Petersburg to Petrograd and Leningrad and Stalingrad — and eradicating memories of czarist rule. Stalin’s historical revisions also included changing photographs and history books, thereby distorting children’s learning within educational establishments.

First, I do not like writing in this column because of being misunderstood or criticized for my opinion. I am just like 62 percent of Americans who do not voice their opinion for that very reason.