By D.G. Martin D.G. Martin hosts “North Carolina Bookwatch,” which airs Sundays at noon and Thursdays at 5 p.m. on UNC-TV. For more information or to view prior programs visit unctv.org/ncbookwatch.
  • A Non-Lawyer On The Supreme Court?

    August 27, 2014 at 6:00 am

    President Obama plans to appoint National Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg to the United States Supreme Court. Not really, of course. Totenberg may know more than most lawyers about the Supreme Court from her experience as an award-winning legal affairs correspondent for NPR. But she is not a lawyer, and you have to be a lawyer […]

  • Remembering The Negro Leagues

    August 20, 2014 at 6:00 am

    “He is number 42,” I said. On a baseball outing with my daughter’s family the other night, I was trying to find the name of a player on the Durham Bulls baseball team while the Bulls were playing a doubleheader against the Buffalo Bison. The player list in the game program did not show a […]

  • The Most Important Thing The Legislature Did

    August 13, 2014 at 6:00 am

    The most important thing the legislature did this year is what it did not do. Adjourn. Instead of adjourning and closing down as is customary shortly after the state’s budget has been revised, the legislators resolved to stay in session indefinitely, coming back from time to time to respond to emergencies, to vote on various […]

  • Are Things That Bad?

    August 6, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Things are good! Sometimes, like the other day, I want to get up and shout it out. For instance, last week at a Rotary club meeting, Frank Hill, leader of The Institute for the Public Trust, was explaining his efforts to recruit and train public-spirited people to run for Congress and other political offices. In […]

  • Read Others’ Views, Then Decide For Yourself

    July 30, 2014 at 6:00 am

    “I don’t read the Washington Post. That is not where I get my ideas.” Many years ago, when there were still lots of conservatives voting in Democratic primaries, a congressional candidate pandered to conservatives by trashing a liberal newspaper. But he lost ground with other voters who thought he should keep up with congressional issues […]

  • Where Did All The New Voters Come From?

    July 23, 2014 at 6:00 am

    “Voters born elsewhere make up nearly half of N.C. electorate.” So begins the latest DataNet report from the UNC Program on Public Life, directed by former journalist Ferrel Guillory. So what? What difference does it make to us that almost half of North Carolina voters were born somewhere else? To begin to show the importance […]

  • Books: Our World As It Was, Is, Or Could Be

    July 16, 2014 at 6:00 am

    Why do we read books? For entertainment, of course, first and foremost. But the best books also challenge us emotionally and intellectually to see the world in a different way, as it really is, or as it once was, as it could be, or, perhaps, as it will become. Here are some summer reading ideas […]

  • Preserving The Monuments Of A Controversial Past

    July 9, 2014 at 6:00 am

    “You see him and ask: ‘Why is the statue still here? What was it he actually stood for?’ This is the kind of debate that a public work of art makes possible. We won’t change the way people think just by getting rid of a monument.” The mayor of one of Mecklenburg’s largest municipalities is […]

  • A Great Generation And A Great Book Title

    July 2, 2014 at 6:00 am

    “It turned out to be a hell of a book title.” Tom Brokaw, former NBC News anchor and productive author, was talking, with his usual modesty, about The Greatest Generation. It is the title of his 1998 best-selling book and the identification of the Americans who, after serving in World War II, came home to […]

  • “Saving Texas” And Forgetting About Scotland

    June 25, 2014 at 6:00 am

    How does Harry Potter feel about the hotly contested proposal to separate Scotland from the United Kingdom? Edinburgh-based author J.K. Rowling, who created Harry Potter, opposes the proposal. She donated one million pounds to an organization fighting the proposal, which comes to a vote this fall. She worries that Scottish universities would lose funding for […]

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