D.G. Martin

One on One: Let’s Have A Parade

I love a parade. So, maybe I should be supportive of President Trump’s suggestion for a big military parade sometime later this year. The president’s idea has not gotten universal approval. Some argue that the money spent for a parade would be better used to beef up our defensive capability. On the other hand, parades have always been a part of the military experience. They serve a number of purposes, including armed forces’ public relations, acting as learning exercises for the troops, and providing an opportunity to build esprit de corps. President Trump seems to have in mind something...

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One on One: Home Cooking

This week my editors are letting me take a break from politics and books to write about my favorite topic: roadside eateries. I’m renewing my search for North Carolina home cooking, researching more small-time restaurant gems across the state. To celebrate, here are three gems along U.S. 421 between Sanford and Greensboro. Rufus’ Restaurant, Goldston “There is nothing as good as a Rufus Burger,” one of the southern Chatham County locals told me recently. “You can get one at Rufus’ Restaurant right up the road in Goldston.” Visiting Goldston – population 300 – is a trip back in time, and...

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One on One: Good Leaders, and Bad Ones

We need good local leaders now more than ever. We need them in our local schools, businesses and churches. We need them in responsible government positions, both in our state and at the highest national level. So, what is good leadership? How do you find it? How do you develop it? How do you deal with the consequences of bad leadership? I was thinking of these questions the other day when I stumbled into a meeting sponsored by Chapel Hill’s Friends of Downtown organization that had invited Dr. Gerald Bell to make a presentation. Bell may be best known...

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One on One: Resolutions

Here is a New Year’s resolution you should have made: “During the upcoming Black History Month I will read at least one book that helps me better understand the challenges African-American people have faced and are facing.” Luckily, it is not too late. February is almost here. Assuming you accept this challenge, let me suggest you consider several North Carolina-related books I have read recently. I will tell you a little about each one, hoping to give you reasons to make a choice. Whichever one you select could open doors to a greater understanding of the black experience and...

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One on One: Re-imagined

Sometimes fiction is a better teacher than history books or newspaper columns, and a powerful new novel set in Pinewood, North Carolina — a fictional modern foothills town — proves the point. “No One Is Coming to Save Us” by North Carolina native and Lehigh University associate professor Stephanie Powell Watts has been cast as a re-imagining of “The Great Gatsby” in a new setting. But its great strength is a rich portrayal of an extended African-American family. Family members deal with the town’s economic decline as its furniture manufacturing base fades away. The legacy of segregation and racism complicates...

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One on One: The Best Step is a Step Back

If Charles Robert Jenkins were still around, we could ask him about how to best deal with North Korea. Jenkins, in case you don’t remember, was the soldier from Rich Square, North Carolina, who spent 40 years in that country after deserting across the border while serving in the U.S. Army in South Korea. Before he died last month, he told Los Angeles Times writer Jonathan Kaiman the lesson he learned from his time there. “I don’t put nothing past North Korea. North Korea could to do anything. North Korea don’t care.” “Ain’t nobody live good in North Korea....

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One on One: We Need Another Monument

We need another monument. Maybe, instead of taking down monuments to our past, we should be building new ones. No, I am not suggesting that we fill the courthouse squares with more images of Confederate soldiers. However, I am thinking of a need for different monuments to remind us that we cannot run from our history or pretend that it does not exist, monuments that make us better for the future by showing mistakes of our predecessors, especially the horrible ones we wish had not existed. Recent news reports reminded us that Germans and American southerners have something in...

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One on One: Asking for a Bitcoin This Year?

Are you hoping that someone will give you a Bitcoin for Christmas this year? Or do you think it might be a perfect gift for you to give to someone else? It is, you think, a gift that would keep on giving. With its price rising every day, you may not be wrong. But, back when I was growing up, there was another miracle gift. It seemed to grow in value each day, and had potential to be the perfect gift that would only go up in price and make everybody rich. Back then, it was chinchillas. Much like...

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One on One: Good Books for the Folks You Forgot

You forgot somebody, didn’t you? Somebody who is expecting a present from you? Now, remembering this person, you have no idea what to give. Here are some thoughts for last-minute gifts drawn from my recent reading. At the top of your list of books for your friends who are public policy or history nerds should be two North Carolina authors whose books recently made the list of The New York Times’s 100 Notable Books of 2017. Charlotte native Graham Allison’s “Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?” puts the dangers in the U.S.-China dynamic relationship in understandable...

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One on One: Learning from Alabama

What could we North Carolinians learn about ourselves when we sort out the results of the December 12 Alabama special U. S. Senate election? Nothing, you say. We are not like Alabama. They are Deep South. We are mid-South. They are mired in their George Wallace ”Stuck in the mud” tradition while we North Carolinians have thrived in our Terry Sanford ”New South” progressive tradition. Not so fast. Remember when those traditions clashed in 1972? Wallace and Sanford faced each other in the Democratic presidential primary in North Carolina. Wallace beat Sanford by more than 100,000 votes, effectively ending...

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