D.G. Martin

One on One: Riptide

Don’t let the riptide of angry politics pull you under What is the biggest challenge that we, as individuals, face in this time of angry, petty and deceptive politics that has infected our public life and seems to be pulling each of us under, sucking out of us every ounce of our humanity? It is as if we are in an angry and turbulent ocean.  The riptide is carrying us away from shore, and even as we fight with all our strength, it is still pulling us under. So it is with the riptide of politics of anger and...

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One on One: Treasurer Dale Folwell’s Quick Response

“I have just spent a couple of hours trying to negotiate the State Health Plan eligibility exercise and am still steaming about the difficulty I had following its directions. Others may have a better experience, but I kept thinking about others less well equipped and the time and frustration incurred by them,” I wrote to North Carolina Treasurer Dale Folwell. Among his other duties, Folwell is in charge of the North Carolina State Health Plan, which provides insurance to state employees and retirees like me, and to our dependents, for an additional premium. Last month he sent a letter...

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One on One: Thucydides and Charlie Soong

  During the past few days, the release of North Carolina native Graham Allison’s book, “Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?” and Allison’s visit to his home state focused attention on the United States’ relationship with China. According to Allison, founding dean of the Harvard University’s Kennedy School, history shows the likelihood of war between the two countries is great. During appearances last week at the Charlotte World Affairs Council in his hometown and at his Davidson College 1962 class reunion weekend, he explained why there is a great risk of war. His phrase, “the...

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One on One: John Grisham’s Growing Connection to North Carolina

John Grisham’s latest novel, “Camino Island,” hit the bookstore shelves on June 6. The book’s release marks a growing connection between our state and the bestselling author–more than 300 million in print at last count. Thus, it is an important moment for North Carolinians, some of whom are claiming Grisham as one of their own. They have some good arguments. For the first time in many years, he is going on a book tour to promote his book. Of the 11 scheduled stops, four are in North Carolina, twice as many as in any other state. Along the way...

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One on One: NC Writers vie for Southern Book Prizes

  On July 4, SIBA (Southern Independent Booksellers Association) will announce the winners of its Southern Book Prizes. North Carolina connected nominees include Lee Smith for “Dime Store,” John Hart for “Redemption Road,” Kristy Woodson Harvey for “Lies and Other Acts of Love,” Robert Morgan for “Chasing the North Star,” and Vivian Howard for “Deep Run Roots.” North Carolina Bookwatch featured these books recently. During June, UNC-TV will re-air those programs. Lee Smith’s memoir, coming after her 13 novels and numerous short stories, gives her many fans a chance to know her as well as her good friends do....

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One on One: North Carolina Democrats don’t need a Jeremy Corbyn

North Carolina Democrats don’t need a Jeremy Corbyn What can North Carolina Democrats learn from British politics? There are comparisons to be made between their party and the British Labour Party. Labour and North Carolina Democrats had similar experiences in 2010 when elections wiped out the legislative majorities each had enjoyed. In North Carolina, that election ended more than a century of Democratic control of the General Assembly, except for four years in the 1990s when Republicans controlled the House of Representatives. In Britain, Labour had been in power from 1997, when Tony Blair led the party to a...

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One on One: North Carolina Golf and Trump’s Russian Connections

Every North Carolina author would give his or her eyetooth to get a mention at the top of The New York Times’s lead editorial during the week the author’s new book is released. It happened to best-selling author Jim Dodson last Friday (May 12). His new book, “The Range Bucket List: The Golf Adventure of a Lifetime,” follows his life-long love of golf and an impressive list of popular and critically-acclaimed books, including “Final Rounds” and “A Golfer’s Life” (with Arnold Palmer). “Range Bucket List” is the Greensboro writer and magazine editor Dodson’s personal love affair with golf and...

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One on One: WWII Transformed North Carolina

What event in North Carolina’s modern history had the greatest impact in making our state what it is today? The creation of the Research Triangle Park? The development of a national banking and finance center in Charlotte? The Great Depression and Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s? The Civil Rights revolution? In his latest book, Julian Pleasants argues persuasively that World War II was that event. In “Home Front: North Carolina During World War II,” Pleasants shows how the state, while suffering great losses of service men and women in the conflict and disruptions on the home front,...

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One on One: Food, Fantasy, Fiction, and Politics

Food, fantasy, fiction and politics are my favorite topics. If you read my column regularly, you know these preferences and will not be surprised that the books I recommend for reading in May deal with these themes. First of all, “The Carolina Table: North Carolina Writers on Food,” edited by Randall Kenan, collects some of the best writing by North Carolina authors about their favorite foods and eating experiences. Lee Smith, Daniel Wallace, Marianne Gingher, Jill McCorkle, Jaki Shelton Green, Wayne Caldwell, Marcie Cohen Ferris, Michael McFee and Zelda Lockhart are some of the contributors. My favorite is Kenan...

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One on One: Dangers of the Blame Game

  Reactions to the so-called repeal of HB2 show one reason why Democrats are already in trouble for the 2018 and 2020 elections. They had hoped this year would be a time of unity to mobilize opposition to the “mis-administration” of the other party in Washington and the state legislature. Instead of strengthening their party and bringing it together for successfully ridding the state of much of the damage from HB2, the repeal has brought about more disappointment and disunity. Instead of unifying and celebrating the achievement of their party’s leader, Gov. Roy Cooper, Democrats have broken into angry factions....

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