The late television comedian Jack Benny was known for his deadpan facial expressions and for being tight with money. On one show, he was approached by a robber, who pointed a gun at him and said, “Your money or your life.” A few seconds of silence lapsed, then the robber nervously said, “Well, which is it?” Benny, looked into the camera with his classic pose and responded, “Don’t rush me, I’m thinking.”

Saturday, April 04, 2020

I’m not sure whether COVID-19, first identified in Wuhan, China, in the U.S. qualifies as a true disaster. But let’s agree that it is and ask what are the appropriate steps to deal with it.

Friday, April 03, 2020

It’s the sacred right of all Americans to complain about their government — even if they do so in destructive and nonsensical ways.

The first of April marks the point of reference for the U.S. Census, the constitutionally mandated decennial count of all residents regardless of status. Census Day should not be misinterpreted as a deadline to respond, but rather should be taken as an opportunity to learn how informing the U.S. Census Bureau about the details of your household will benefit our state, your community and, most importantly, you and your family directly.

COVID-19 has changed our lives, our society and the world dramatically in a very short time, and likely in some ways that will be permanent. For some, these changes are an inconvenience. For others, they can be far more serious.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Over the past two weeks, Gov. Roy Cooper and local officials have imposed a regulatory regime of increasing severity on North Carolinians. Their stated goal is to slow the spread of COVID-19 so the number of cases requiring hospitalization won’t shoot far above the maximum capacity of hospitals and other health providers.

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The COVID-19 pandemic is altering many dimensions of our national life: economic, social, political. But it cannot be allowed to infect the health of our democracy or weaken the ability of every American to cast a ballot in November.

Editor’s note: Pediatricians David N. Collier K. Drew Baker wrote the following letter for youngsters to about the pandemic to promote understanding and acceptance of key measures for prevention and to reduce anxiety.

  • Updated

The line outside Costco wrapped from the front entrance down the entire length of the building. Only a few at a time were allowed inside to keep the store from overcrowding. This seemed ridiculous. Why would so many stand in a drizzling rain for so long? Was it because they heard Costco had toilet paper?

  • Updated

The precise course of the COVID-19 outbreak and its medical, social, and even political consequences are impossible to know at this writing. But there is at least one thing state lawmakers and other policymakers can take for granted: North Carolina’s economy is in recession.

  • Updated

As North Carolina and other states inch toward increasingly draconian measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are all weighing the potential costs of both underreaction and overreaction.

By invoking the Defense Production Act, which “authorizes the president to require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders and to allocate materials, services, and facilities to promote the national defense or to maximize domestic energy supplies,” U.S. President Donald Trump has declared himself America’s economic dictator.

Vidant Health and the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University are calling on all of eastern North Carolina to do their part to flatten the curve. We need to act quickly and definitively. When you watch what is happening in other communities and are scared about what you see, you should ask yourself a few questions: Will it hit my own community? Why can’t we stop this? What should we do? These are difficult questions, but the answers are clear.

There are many sorrows of this time of coronavirus, and one of them is political. On the first Tuesday we were really truly grappling with the pandemic as a country, one of our national leaders in defense of innocent human life lost his primary race. Rep. Dan Lipinski of Illinois is pretty much the pro-life Democrat, at least in Washington, D.C.

It’s an indisputable fact that the Democratic Party has moved left in recent years. Now, the party is about to choose a standard bearer in the person of former Vice President Joe Biden, and what has become clear is that Biden has not only shifted left with his party over the years, he has taken significant leftward steps in recent weeks.

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On Sunday, we watched our church worship service on YouTube, after Methodist Bishops in North Carolina told churches not to hold services for at least two weeks. I admit being surprised that watching from my favorite chair could be so meaningful.

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If you draw your information about current events only from politicians, news outlets, and social-media influencers that share your worldview, you will be poorly informed. If you act on that information, you and others may come to regret it.

I was at the supermarket Sunday and ran into a colleague who lives nearby. We were chatting — from a safe distance — about how the way we work has changed over the past week. Then a neighbor of mine, a longtime but not close acquaintance, walked up to say hello and extended his hand. Reflexively, I shook it.

Three big crises have hit America in the first 20 years of the 21st Century: Sept. 11, the 2008 financial crash and now the coronavirus-stock market crash. Each one has left us more divided and our politics more dysfunctional.

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Senator Bernie Sanders’ call for socialism has resonated among many Americans, particularly young Americans. They’ve fallen prey to the idea of a paradise here on Earth where things are free and there’s little want. But socialists never reveal what turns out to be their true agenda. Let’s look at the kind of statements they used to gain power. You’ll note that all of their slogans before gaining power bore little relation to the facts after they had power.

Joe Biden was sworn into the United States Senate on Jan. 3, 1973. He remained in the Senate until Jan. 15, 2009 — a span of 36 years. If history is any guide, that alone is a disqualifier in Biden’s quest for the White House.