By Fred Black
  • Just the Facts

    June 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Do you remember the TV series Dragnet that featured Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday?  Many people associate the Los Angeles cop with his famous opening line, “My name is Friday, — I carry a badge.”  Others may associate him with the celebrated catchphrase, “Just the facts, ma’am.”  As much as it has been repeated, copied, […]

  • 4/4: A 44-Year Reflection

    April 4, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Today is 4/4 and 44 years ago, that date was one that is defining for a generation.  I’m sure that the classmates and friends I was with also remember it as if it were yesterday.  It was a Thursday evening, and I was in a student government meeting in the Student Center at Howard University […]

  • Morale

    March 22, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Morale is one of those terms you hear a lot, but it’s never exactly clear what some users mean when they use it.  We have all heard about organizations and individuals with good morale and bad morale, and we all seem to have a personal sense about what the word describes, but I think that […]

  • It’s "Political" Science!

    March 7, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Elections are big deals in political science and there’s nothing that political scientist love more than using elections to test their theories.  Thinking about this primary season that we are now in however, reminds me more of natural science.  I’ll leave the scientific explanations to my colleague Jeff Danner, but I can’t help but see […]

  • It's Embarrassing!

    January 13, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Boorish.  The word has several synonyms: rude, ill-mannered, impolite, coarse, rough, loutish, uncouth, crude, ignorant, base, and a few others that must be in the dictionary.  Why is it lately that we seem to have a spike in boorish behavior at sporting events?  Maybe I’ve been asleep during some Tar Heel events, but I just […]

  • It's Not a Day Off!

    January 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    The third Monday in January is the federal holiday honoring The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  President Ronald Reagan signed a bill, proposed by Representative Katie Hall of Indiana, creating a federal holiday to honor King on November 2, 1983.  The holiday was observed for the first time on January 20, 1986.  As it […]

  • Elections Have Consequences

    December 29, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    As we move into 2012, I’m betting that we will see several really significant examples of the old political truth, “elections have consequences.” Intuitively, we know that every election produces winners and losers, but it’s not the individual outcomes that I’m thinking about, but the cumulative impact of the elections. One example is when the […]

  • 'Tis the Season!

    December 15, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Yes, it ‘tis the season and watching harried people move about trying to do everything that they have on the list proves it, but it’s another season too. This is also recognition season and I’m glad that it is. One of the indicators of a vibrant community in my mind is a place that takes time out […]

  • Honoring Those Who Served and Sacrificed

    November 11, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    At 11 minutes after 11am on the 11the day of the 11th month of this year, 2011, I was sitting at the UNC Veterans Memorial adjacent to Memorial Hall. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ROTC programs joined together to present their annual Veterans Day tribute. The theme this year was “Honoring All Who […]

  • What Will You Elect To Do This Election?

    November 3, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Next Tuesday, November 8th is Election Day 2011. We have municipal offices on the ballot, the School Board, and a referendum to raise the sales and use tax by a quarter cent. Clearly, these are important decisions before us and our participation is important. But everyone just doesn’t participate. In the 2009 municipal elections, we had just under […]