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December 2004 archives

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Friday, December 31, 2004

On spanking: Let us hope this notion doesn’t cross the ocean

The English are retaining a smattering of common sense, at least for now, in one of those areas in which many of their European neighbors have decided not to. Parliament won’t make it illegal for parents to spank their children....

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Consolation? Other counties share problems like Wayne’s

Check out this headline: “Clay asks for ‘new era of cooperation’ between boards.” And this one: “Magistrates caught in limbo. Clerk, judge feud over nominations.” Sound familiar? Change the names where needed, and those same stories might appear in the...

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tsunami: U.S. response quick, generous

Thousands of people have been killed, many others are missing and damage is in the billions as a result of the tsunamis that struck Southeast Asia. A tsunami — a new word to many among us — results from an...

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Car rules: What’s carrion for one is carriage for another

Under new rules, a resident of Wayne County can’t have a car worth less than $100 if it is over five years old, has no license plate and a bumper is missing or a fender is dented. If he has...

Monday, December 27, 2004

Rumsfeld: What kind of person do we want for defense secretary?

There is something about Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s mien that makes him easy to dislike. Some people are like that — stern looking and hard to get to know, at least from a distance. In politics, that’s fatal. And Rumsfeld,...

Friday, December 24, 2004

‘Good tidings of great joy ...’

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,        Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,        Yet out of you shall come forth to Me        The One to be Ruler in Israel,        Whose goings forth are from of...

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Broaden the picture: More thoughts on eliminating ‘Christmas’ from the holiday

Efforts to pretend that Christmas is not a religious holiday have become so extreme that even the most devout Christians are losing their joyous spirit of the season. Maybe we all should lighten up, take a rest and come back...

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Don’t drift left: Republican Party should stay true to its principles

There must be a Democrat whispering into Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ear at night. The California governor told a German newspaper that the Republican Party in the United States should move “a little to the left” on social issues. Schwarzenegger himself is...

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Bio-diesel: An old idea is revived

When Rudolph Diesel of Germany designed his engine, he thought it might be something that farmers could fuel for themselves. The idea was to extract fuel from vegetables that the farmers raised. The fuel would then power the farmers’ equipment....

Monday, December 20, 2004

Wake up: How long must we rely on foreign oil?

OPEC agreed on Dec. 10 to reduce oil production “to stave off declines in world prices.” Energy ministers in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were quoted as expressing concerns over an oil glut and collapsing prices. Although the reductions are not...

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Missing link: State should reconnect rail line to Wilmington

A legislative committee will recommend that the railroad track between Wallace and Castle Hayne be reconnected. It is good advice. Restoration of the historic Goldsboro-to-Wilmington route could help stimulate the economy in eastern North Carolina. The committee, which met Wednesday...

Friday, December 17, 2004

Schools: Mr. Commissioner, meet Ms. Education Board Member

It’s said that we can pick our friends, but we can’t pick our families. Still, we need to get along with our families, especially if we live in the same household. Likewise, while we can pick our friends, members of...

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Welcome! An admired city manager is headed for Goldsboro

By all accounts, Goldsboro can anticipate with pleasant excitement the arrival next month of Joseph R. Huffman to be the city manager. Huffman was selected by the City Council on Tuesday to succeed Richard Slozak, who is retiring after 18...

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Sad decision: That’s enough, Pickering says, and he’ll step down

Charles Pickering has decided to end his career of public service rather than cause another fight in the Senate over his nomination as a judge. We are worse off for it. Pickering, you may recall, is a Mississippian who was...

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Armor: They should have what they need

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is a seasoned master at responding to questions. He’s famous for fielding the toughest questions or accusations from the most aggressive antagonists during his frequent press conferences. His answers often are humorous, sometimes biting. But...

Monday, December 13, 2004

Worthy cause — The Soup Kitchen: Year-round charity

Feeling moved by the Christmas spirit but at a loss as to how to express it? There are many opportunities, of course. And we are reminded of some of them — like the Empty Stocking Fund — almost daily. But...

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Merry ...er ...Xmas!: Why are parades held at this time of the year?

Like most cities, Denver, Colo., has a parade at the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. It’s good business to get people in a festive mood as they’re about to embark on spending sprees to buy presents. But in...

Friday, December 10, 2004

It takes a county...Grandparents say taxpayers are responsible for baby

Talk about shifting responsibility, take a look at this case from a batch of ridiculous lawsuits uncovered by the Center for International Freedom in Washington: Back in 2002, Adrian Howard and his girlfriend, Latonya Finney, were arrested on robbery charges...

Thursday, December 9, 2004

Approved killing: Dutch practice recalls the days of the Nazis

For nearly five years during World War II, the Netherlands endured brutal occupation by Nazi Germany. The Dutch people lived under harsh rule, and many were shipped off to death camps. You would think the Dutch would be among the...

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Aw, come on: Currituck County is being short-changed

Through efforts of Sen. Marc Basnight of Manteo and Rep. Bill Owens of Elizabeth City, the General Assembly approved a measure transferring Currituck County airport land to the county for $1. The 330 acres was a World War II...

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Pearl Harbor: Attack showed danger of being unprepared

It has been 63 years since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Not only do few witnesses survive, but the circumstances and preceding events have grown hazy over the years. That is unfortunate, because forgetting the lesson of Pearl...

Monday, December 6, 2004

The Sequoia: The elegant old presidential yacht

The U.S.S. Sequoia — the “President’s Yacht” — was built in 1925 and was used by 10 of our presidents. Older citizens may remember seeing newspaper pictures and newsreels showing President Frankin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill and other...

Sunday, December 5, 2004

News news: Will networks see the light and eschew liberal bias?

The days of the Big Three evening news shows on television are over. Time was, ABC, CBS and NBC had only one another to worry about. Competition between them was brisk because the ratings were important not just to the...

Friday, December 3, 2004

The presidency: Does ‘foreign-born’ ban need to be reviewed?

The Founding Fathers stipulated in the Constitution that presidents of the United States be native-born citizens. Today, there is a move afoot to drop the requirement and allow naturalized citizens to hold the nation’s highest office. One version of the...

Thursday, December 2, 2004

Stupid or devious? California children protected from Declaration of Independence

In this holiday season following a national election, it seems appropriate to reflect on the relationship of Providence and politics. There is indeed such a connection, since our country was founded on the premise that freedoms come from God and...

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Say what?: Sen. Kerry blames the media

In a recent appearance, Sen. John Kerry gave his analysis of why he lost the election for the presidency. He offered two reasons. The first: “My people did not get out the vote.” That must have been a disappointment...