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It’s a funny thing when you try to reverse 30 or 40 years of public policy in a single year. Some people don’t like it.

So, they show up and unfurl banners in protest. They send out nasty emails. They write critical pieces that end up in newspapers.

Such is the life of the Republican majority in the North Carolina General Assembly. The policy shifts that they embarked upon this past year are nothing short of remarkable.


Colloquialisms come and go but the current usage of “sustainability” appears that it can, well – be sustained. The beauty of the term is that it is a one-word expression with its meaning clearly defined. Two local news stories relate to sustainability. Franklin’s Taste of Scotland (TOS) festival has come to an apparent end after a long run and the Macon County Planning Board looks like it’s going to implode.

There were 15 consecutive incarnations of the Scottish festival. M*A*S*H was a great TV series lasting 11 seasons, but, it too, completed its cycle. In either case, lack of perpetuity is hardly a sign of failure.



As of February 1, 2010, there were a reported 3.8 million words in the Federal tax code or over 800 times the verbiage of the US Constitution. And I thought Tolstoy’s War and Peace (600,000 word est.) was a tough read. Imagine trying to play a game that had rules as extensive as our tax laws and were changing all the time to boot. Let’s see, a bishop can move diagonally as many spaces as possible except on the second move of the game, if the opponent’s queen’s pawn has moved and if the game isn't being timed.

To comply with this gargantuan code, an estimated 6 billion man-hours are needed to process our Federal taxes. We could have every man, woman and child in the state of Arkansas working full time for this task. Their state motto of “The People Rule” could be altered to “The People Decipher the Rules.”


Teachers punished for defending public education

At 1:12am this past Thursday morning, the North Carolina General Assembly under the leadership of Speaker Thom Tillis made what may well be an unprecedented power move in the Old North State. I’ll let veteran Raleigh News & Observer political reporter Rob Christiansen tell it:

“I’ve watched every North Carolina legislature since 1977 and have seen some powerful political mandarins work their will, including Democrats Jimmy Green, Liston Ramsey, Jim Black and Marc Basnight.”


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