September 23, 2017

I’d like to offer you two models of human development.

The first is what you might call The Four Kinds of Happiness. The lowest kind of happiness is material pleasure, having nice food and clothing and a nice house. Then there is achievement, the pleasure we get from earned and recognized…


September 22, 2017

You may remember that in a column some few years ago I promised my wife I would not bring up the “H” word before hunting season actually begins. Well, this one is not my fault.

If only she had not said to me early Tuesday morning “Quick, look out the window; there is a turkey in…


September 21, 2017

I’m an awards-show geek who usually spends the morning after the Emmys or Oscars nattering about who was unjustly robbed, who was unwisely dressed and whether it’s a felony in Hollywood to consume more than 300 calories a meal, because it sure looks that way.

But that’s not my…


September 20, 2017

The decision to oust the incumbent mayor of North Carolina’s largest city came down to a margin of just 3,398 voters — 0.6 percent of the registered voters in Charlotte.

Pathetic voter turnout in municipal races is nothing new, and the 8.73 percent turnout for the Charlotte City Council…


September 19, 2017

America faces two serious national security threats today that look wildly different but have one core feature in common — they both have a low probability of happening, but, if they did happen, they could have devastating consequences for our whole country and the world.

One of these threats…


September 18, 2017

Wow, Donald Trump really is all over the place.

On Tuesday he had dinner with a few moderate Democrats and completely retooled his tax policy before dessert. This is the man who is having such a famous fling with the minority leaders, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, that they no longer need…


September 17, 2017

Now that North Carolinians can put “First in Freedom” on their license plates, again, it’s worth taking a moment to remember key moments in American history when people from our state played an outsized role in the fight for freedom — that is, for individual liberty, the…


September 16, 2017

Middle-class wage stagnation is the biggest economic fact driving American politics. Over the past many years, so the common argument goes, capitalism has developed structural flaws. Economic gains are not being shared fairly with the middle class. Wages have become decoupled from productivity.…


September 15, 2017

Last week Betsy DeVos, the secretary of education, announced that the Trump White House would be revising the Obama administration guidelines for how colleges and universities adjudicate accusations of sexual assault.

There were protests outside her speech and spittle-flecked rants on Twitter, but…


September 14, 2017

Is there anything we can learn from hurricanes, storms and floods?

People have been asking that question for thousands of years, and telling stories that try to make sense of natural disasters. These flood myths are remarkably similar to one another.

A researcher named John D. Morris collected more…

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