When I heard the state legislature was going into special session this week, I assumed that they would at least discuss adding two justices to the state Supreme Court. Republican Justice Bob Edmunds lost his reelection bid to Democrat Mike Morgan, so when the new court is seated it will have a four-to-three Democratic majority.

The Republican legislature has the power to expand the court to have a Republican majority, so I assumed they would. However, having talked to a number of legislators and listened to interviews with some of the leadership, it appears that isn’t even being considered at this point.

The legislature must have something up its sleeve because the leadership doesn’t want everything they do overturned by the court. The North Carolina legislature created this problem by not making the Supreme Court races partisan.


If you haven’t gotten out and walked around at night, away from city lights this week, you’ve missed the brightest part of this lunar cycle, but it’s still worth going out. The moon this week has been incredibly bright. My faithful companion and I have had a great time wandering around. She didn’t even complain when I started singing “Moon Shadow.”

On Dec. 13, the moon was full and it was a super moon, which occurs when the moon is closest to Earth in its orbit. It was not as bright as the full moon in November but was 30 percent brighter than a full moon when the moon is at the farthest point away from Earth on its orbit.

It’s not too late to enjoy it, but it won’t be quite as bright as it was.


I’m almost where I want to be with The New York Times subscription services. We left half-price deals behind and are now moving into the “pay us something and we will start delivering the paper to your house again” portion of the negotiations.

Newspapers can actually do this and make money because their advertising rates are based on paid circulation. As long as you pay something you get counted in the paid circulation category. But I want to move beyond that into the “they pay me” category. I haven’t gotten there yet, but I think they are softening and soon I may convince them to pay me for the privilege of throwing a newspaper in my driveway every day.


I don’t think it’s a surprise that the surgeon general is reporting that e-cigs may not be as good for you as an apple a day. But if the government cranks down the regulations and makes e-cigs more expensive and harder to buy, then smokers, particularly young people, are going to go back to regular cigarettes, which are much worse for them then e-cigs.

Sometimes it makes sense to consider the alternatives. It is not a reasonable alternative to assume that no one will use nicotine at all if e-cigs are made more difficult to obtain. Nicotine has been an immensely popular drug ever since it was discovered. It seems from a public health standpoint that cigarettes should be expensive and nicotine in e-cigs and other forms should be as cheap as possible.


Greensboro should launch some kind of protest against the protestors who claim oil and gas pipelines will ruin their communities. If oil and gas pipelines ruin communities then Greensboro has been ruined for decades because we have three major oil and gas pipelines that run right through the city.

Most people have no idea where those lines are, but we recently found out just how critical they are when they had to shut one of the lines down and we immediately had a gas shortage.

The truth about the lines seems to be that it’s a little messy and inconvenient getting them built, but once they are in place, most people don’t notice them anymore.


The shortest day of the year is next week and it can’t come soon enough for me. I don’t know how our friends and neighbors to the north, where the days are even shorter, survive. It does amaze me that this time of year, to get in a good walk before dark with my faithful companion, we have to leave the house by 3:15.