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A Word on Behalf of So-called “Fearful Constituents”

1 June 2016 North Carolina’s recently passed legislation referred to as HB2 has become quite a point of discussion and contention in America as well as elsewhere in the world.  Among other provisions the legislation, passed in March, prohibits people from using public restrooms not corresponding to their biological sex.  In a column headlined “HB2 […]

Attitude Determines Altitude

17 May 2016 There is a point to be made in this column.  Please, bear with me as I do some setting up before getting to that point. A couple of weeks ago I was working in the Fayetteville Community Garden and across the way a young man called out, “Hello, Mr. Merritt.”  As he […]

Sometimes You have to Slap Bullies

3 May 2016 The experiences of my life indicate that there are times when bullies must be slapped.  I am convinced that North Carolina is at such a point with regard to those who are bullying us. That bullying is underway in opposition to North Carolina’s recently passed House Bill 2.  Along with other issues, […]

An Encouraging Experience

5 April 2016 Anyone who reads my writings with frequency knows that I do a lot of lamenting over the condition of America.  I believe we are in a tremendous and dangerous decline when assessed by any standard that reflects common sense and adherence to sound moral values. If you have not read any of […]

The Demise of Reason: Transgender Access to Public Bathrooms

5 April 2016 In February 2016, Charlotte city leaders approved a measure that allows transgender individuals to use the public bathroom that matches their gender identity.  On 23 March, the North Carolina General Assembly, in special session, adopted legislation that prevents cities and counties from putting in place their own anti-discrimination policies.  The General Assembly’s […]

Fairness Matters…Even with Donald Trump

23 March 2016 I am approaching being fully convinced that treating all people fairly is not the strong-suit of most politicians, the media, or a good many American citizens.  This fact is demonstrated in the responses to conflicts between supporters and protesters at Donald Trump rallies.   Media reports are replete with charges that Trump creates […]

Maybe the Fat Lady is Preparing to Sing Over America

8 March 2016 Tremendous concern for the Country I love and appreciate weighs heavily on my mind.  More and more, I fear “Maybe the Fat Lady is preparing to sing over America.”  The “fat lady singing” is based on a supposed tale about a child sitting through an opera who asks a parent when it […]

Parks and Recreation Bond Referendum: Another Opportunity to Hinder Progress

23 February 2016 The Fayetteville City Council has agreed to place a parks and recreation bond referendum on the 15 March ballot. The $35 million made available by the bond would fund the following: 2 Senior Centers; Tennis Center; Sports Field Complex; 2 Skateboard Parks; Cape Fear River Park-Downtown Riverfront; Improvements to seven existing parks; […]

Cumberland County’s Sales Tax Distribution Squabble: An Example of What’s Wrong in America

9 February 2016 This column addresses a matter specific to Cumberland County, North Carolina which includes the city of Fayetteville. Even though the situation is specific to the city and county where I live, examination of what is happening shines a bright light on the dysfunctional and ineffective political conditions that are present across America. […]

America Needs Some Joe Coffers

20 January 2016 Hardly a day passes that I do not hear or read something about the need for discussion of race in America. In spite of all the talking, I see absolutely nothing productive happening regarding race discussions. I cringe to count the number of meetings I have attended where this topic came up […]

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