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One on One

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Politics and barbeque - a North Carolina mixturePolitics and barbeque - a North Carolina mixture
[Mar. 21, 2005] Will the General Assembly pass a law making the Lexington Barbecue Festival the state's official barbecue festival? Probably not. But a bill introduced in our legislature recently would, if passed and signed by the Governor, do just that. The Davidson County legislators who introduced the bill claim that Lexington is already designated as the "Barbecue Capital of the World" and that the city's annual festival already draws more than 150,000 people. By D. G. Martin
Also: WCHL 1360 AM
Also: Our State Magazine
 
Introduce a bill and get your name in the paperIntroduce a bill and get your name in the paper
[Mar. 14, 2005] It is that time of year at the General Assembly building in Raleigh. It is "Introduce a Bill and Get Your Name in the Paper" season. With a total of 170 legislators and a very tight leadership group in charge most of the time, most legislators quickly learn that, as individuals, they cannot get much done. They have to build alliances and earn seats at tables in the small conference rooms where most of the important decisions are made. By D. G. Martin
Also: Our State Magazine
 
Selling North Carolina businesses on Muslim fundamentalismSelling North Carolina businesses on Muslim fundamentalism
[Mar. 7, 2005] "I am a fundamentalist Muslim." I thought this woman must have been joking. She was talking to a large group of North Carolina business leaders gathered in Cary to hear about the advantages of doing business in her country. Her name is Rafidah Aziz, the Minister of International Trade and Industry of the Southeast Asian, Muslim majority, country of Malaysia. By D. G. Martin
Also: Our State Magazine
 
Dealing with the elites - cultural and politicalDealing with the elites - cultural and political
[Feb. 28, 2005] Well, we finally did it. At least that is what I first thought when a friend pointed me to an article in last week's "The New Yorker." The article referred to "cultural elites" and then mentioned only three specific areas associated with such elites - "Hollywood, Washington, and Raleigh-Durham." By D. G. Martin
Also: Our State Magazine
 
John Edwards's new platformJohn Edwards's new platform
[Feb. 21, 2005] "The university ought not to be giving him a platform to run for President-and then paying him for it." A few people around Chapel Hill were registering this complaint about John Edwards' new part-time position at the UNC Law School. He is the first director of the law school's Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity. This job was created especially for him and pays $40,000 a year. By D. G. Martin
Also: WCHL 1360 AM
Also: Our State Magazine
 
Can the Democratic purists live with the Democratic pragmatistsCan the Democratic purists live with the Democratic pragmatists
[Feb. 14, 2005] The Democratic Party is in the news this week. Three news stories shed light on that political party's ongoing struggle to position itself to win elections and, at the same time, satisfy its core supporters that it hasn't "sold out." By D. G. Martin
Also: Habitat for Humanity
Also: Our State Magazine
 
A North Carolinian in charge at HabitatA North Carolinian in charge at Habitat
[Feb. 6, 2005] Last week, thousands of North Carolina volunteers for Habitat for Humanity were shocked to learn that its international board had dismissed its charismatic founder and long time leader, Millard Fuller. In this stressful time, Habitat is fortunate to have a North Carolinian to serve as its leader until a successor for Fuller is identified. Davidson resident Paul Leonard is Habitat's interim CEO, living temporarily and working at Habitat's headquarters in Americus, Georgia. By D. G. Martin
Also: Habitat for Humanity
Also: Our State Magazine
 
The lottery, tuition, and Robin HoodThe lottery, tuition, and Robin Hood
[Jan. 31, 2005] Maybe Robin Hood really was a hero. He robbed from the rich in order to give to the poor. At least that is the way the story goes. A Robin Hood theory of public finance is gaining a toehold in North Carolina governmental and public university finance. The new Robin Hood rule goes something like this: "If a good cause needs the money, it is okay to break faith with basic principles to get what is needed." By D. G. Martin
Also: Our State Magazine
 
Let's welcome the controversyLet's welcome the controversy
[Jan. 23, 2005] "This one is not going to be controversial like the others." My friend was talking about the new selection for UNC-Chapel Hill's next summer reading program, "Blood Done Sign My Name," by Tim Tyson. As a part of the program, the university asks all of its incoming students to read the same book during the summer before classes begin. Then during orientation, the students, led by faculty and staff, discuss the book and the issues it raises By D. G. Martin
Also: Our State Magazine
 
History and the eternal, ceaseless quest for truthHistory and the eternal, ceaseless quest for truth
[Jan. 17, 2005] A few months ago a favorite high school teacher, Myrtle Kiker, sent a message to me with a question. "What is the best history of North Carolina--one that I can recommend to a friend who wants to know more about her new state?" I have been thinking about how to answer her. Two books have to be on the list for her to consider. "North Carolina Through Four Centuries" by William Powell is the best recent, comprehensive, one-volume history of our state. Also, H.G. Jones's "North Carolina Illustrated" helps make history's lessons easier to understand by accompanying them with more than 1100 images. By D. G. Martin
Also: Our State Magazine
 
Remembering where our names come fromRemembering where our names come from
[Jan. 10, 2005] Go, Tar Heels, go! Twenty thousand basketball fans were shouting this cheer in the Smith Center in Chapel Hill last weekend. How many of them had any idea where the name came from? And, while UNC-Chapel Hill has appropriated the term for its athletic teams, the term properly applies to any North Carolinian. We are proudly the Tar Heel State, and every one of us is a Tar Heel-even those of us who didn't go to Carolina. By D. G. Martin
Also: Our State Magazine
 
Facing the tidal waves with courage - not despairFacing the tidal waves with courage - not despair
[Jan. 4, 2005] What if the recent earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean had happened 100 years earlier? This time 100 years ago folks living in North Carolina probably still wouldn't have known what had happened. Reports would be coming across the telegraph wires. Maybe the new wireless radio links would have been useful. But these scattered reports would have been confused and conflicting. Only gradually, would people here have known that something horrible had happened. By D. G. Martin
Also: Our State Magazine
 
Holding on to our churches - even when the Sunday sales begin at 6 a.m.Holding on to our churches - even when the Sunday sales begin at 6 a.m.
[Dec. 27, 2004] "Open Sunday for after Christmas sale--6am for early shoppers." Did you see that ad promoting the day-after-Christmas sales? I wonder if you reacted the same way I did--thinking that this is the last straw in the collapse of this religious holiday under the demands of commerce. By D. G. Martin
Also: North Carolina Atlas
Also: Our State Magazine
 
Saving Christmas -- from whom, for whom?Saving Christmas -- from whom, for whom?
[Dec. 20, 2004] North Carolina made the lead paragraph of the a Sunday "New York Times" article headlined "Does Christmas Need To Be Saved?" The "Times" shared with its New York and national readers a story that most of us down here had already read about. But here is what the article said, "A pastor in Raleigh, N.C., took out a full-page newspaper ad in November exhorting Christians to shop only at stores that included 'Merry Christmas' in their promotions." By D. G. Martin
 
At Christmas, what do we really believe?At Christmas, what do we really believe?
[Dec. 13, 2004] "It will really just be me. I will just be dressed up like Santa Claus for the party. But I won't be the real Santa. So you won't be afraid when I come downstairs to give out the presents, will you?" Maggie May and Sara Louise, my two-year old granddaughters, look up at me blankly, and then turn away. They are making no promises. In fact, I know that when I put on my costume they will be afraid to get close to me. By D. G. Martin

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