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February 2005 archives

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Monday, February 28, 2005

Reporting: Ruling could foster government secrecy

A ruling by a federal court last week calls to mind the notorious libel trial of Emile Zola, a case that nearly brought down the Republic of France. Zola was hauled into court in 1898 on libel charges for publishing...

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Summit: Discussion of schools may do some good, eventually

There’s going to be a Big Three Summit. This time it isn’t the Big Three world powers — as with Great Britain, the Soviet Union and the U.S.A. during World War II. But let’s hope it’s as friendly. This will...

Friday, February 25, 2005

Terri Schiavo: Finding certainties in a difficult case

Here are some of the facts in the case of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman whose husband wants to end her life by ordering doctors to remove her feeding tube: •Mrs. Schiavo had a heart attack due to a...

Thursday, February 24, 2005

State of the State: No new taxes, no lottery — do it with available money

Gov. Mike Easley was right about one thing Monday night. He noted in his speech to the Legislature that the state must do more to ensure a “sound, basic education” for children in poor counties. The courts have ordered it....

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Clipped comment: No training needed

A state representative in Cleveland County is toying with the idea of running for sheriff. If successful in such a bid, Rep. Debbie Clary would become the state’s first female sheriff. That doesn’t worry her a bit. She was quoted...

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Memories aflame: Let’s let our emotions cool before we make decisions

In mythology, the Phoenix is a beautiful bird that symbolizes rebirth. Its lifespan is 500 years or more, and only one lives at a time. As the end of its life approaches, it builds a nest of aromatic sticks and...

Monday, February 21, 2005

Medicare: Paying for discretionary medicine is a mistake

Medicare has decided to cover sexual-performance drugs in its new prescription drug program. That is a mistake. The cost of providing essential medicine through the Medicare program for the aged and Medicaid plan for the poor already threatens to carry...

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Hope: The story of a young killer

Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars a cage; Minds innocent and quiet take That for an hermitage; If I have freedom in my love, And in my soul am free, Angels alone that soar above Enjoy...

Friday, February 18, 2005

Reform. Look out! There’s that word again.

A couple of years ago, Congress weakened the right to free speech by passing the McCain-Feingold Act. The purpose was campaign “reform.” Reform. That’s one of the most misappropriated words in the language. When a politician tells you something needs...

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Beware: Ominous echoes from Germany

“Here, in 1945, genocide took place — just like it did in Hiroshima.” The place was Dresden, Germany. The speaker was Franz Schoenhuber, a former Nazi SS officer. On Feb.13 and 14, 1945, Dresden was, indeed, a place of horror....

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Secret deals: Business group practical but unwise on this matter

North Carolina’s newspapers and its chamber of commerce usually get along quite well together. The common concerns they share are innumerable. The chamber of commerce — or, rather, the organization officially called North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry —...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Go for it! Rewrite proposal on Currituck land

Gov. Mike Easley and his lawyer have prevailed in the Currituck airport issue. The citizens of Currituck County and the will of the General Assembly are the losers. For years, Currituck County has operated its airport on a 535-acre site...

Monday, February 14, 2005

Too little, too late: CNN’s comment on what its ex-news chief said won’t help

The CNN news chief, Eason Jordan, has done an about face. CNN now says that Jordan does not believe the U.S. military intentionally targets journalists in Iraq. The turnaround is too little too late. Jordan obviously made the statement as...

Saturday, February 12, 2005

What can preachers preach? Pa. law has them wondering

The Rev. Randy Steele’s telephone rang one morning in November. The caller identified himself as an FBI agent and wanted to know if Steele could meet with agents that afternoon. The minister had intended to spend the day with the...

Friday, February 11, 2005

Give it up: Republican shouldn’t try to disenfranchise voters

Despite his victory in the state Supreme Court, Republican Bill Fletcher should drop his challenge of the outcome of the Nov. 2 election for state superintendent of public instruction. True, the ruling was a good one. The court said that...

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Saving jobs: EDC should add a person to help existing businesses

Wayne County’s industry-hunting agency must be an industry-keeping agency as well. The Economic Development Commission should hire someone whose primary duties are attending to the needs of businesses that are already here. The importance of that was reiterated in discussions...

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Parole: Don't free this murderer — ever!

In October of 1984, a Wayne County jury found Garfield Noah Prevette guilty of first-degree murder and kidnapping. It had been proven that he had beaten, bound, sexually mutilated and killed 61-year-old Goldie Jones in her Goldsboro home. Ms. Jones...

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Question: If stock funds are OK for public workers, aren’t they OK for all?

The debate over President Bush’s Social Security program has become extraordinarily political and, like most political issues, extraordinarily murky. Bush’s political opponents have attacked the plan on every ground except one — that the president has something personal to gain...

Monday, February 7, 2005

Looking back: Perspective from the Internet

This sort of thing comes every day via e-mail. Ninety-nine point nine percent are not worth passing along. This one was in the other one-tenth of a percent. It went something like this: “Think about taxes. “Accounts Receivable Tax  “Building...

Sunday, February 6, 2005

Rights: Harebrained radicals can express opinions

Ward Churchill, an America-hating Cherokee, became a professor at the University of Colorado, coordinator of the university’s American Indian Studies and associate director of its Center for Studies of Ethnicity and Race in America. Pretty good for a fellow with...

Friday, February 4, 2005

Fling ’em, boys! Eastern ’cue aficionados may resort to hush puppies

Three insurgent legislators from Davidson County have thrown a bomb that could turn North Carolina into a firestorm of controversy. Davidson County is where Lexington is, and this truculent trio has introduced a bill that would make Lexington the home...

Thursday, February 3, 2005

Blame? The real enemy could be ourselves

“Only half of the students believe newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories.” “When told the exact text of the First Amendment, more than one in three high school students said it goes ‘too far’...

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Hallelujah!

Even those who oppose the U.S. intervention in Iraq must be touched by Sunday’s election. Despite months of barbarous attacks on Iraqi men, women and children, despite threats of death by the most brutal means, millions of courageous Iraqis went...

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Shock! Foreign policy brings liberal consternation

Quite a bit of shocked opposition has filled the air in the last week about President Bush’s foreign policy. It has come mostly from liberals during the Senate’s confirming of Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state. Earlier, Democrats reacted with...