North Carolina’s elected state auditor, Beth Wood, also released scathing findings of a yearlong audit of our state-run Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. The audit reported the ABC Commission wasted about $11 million in tax revenue through mismanagement and lazy oversight. Not surprisingly, the report triggered cries of “not me” and political finger-pointing, along with calls for privately owned and operated liquor stores.
Infuriating as the audit findings are, let’s not overreact.
“Spare the rod, spoil the child” is an oft-quoted modern justification for corporal punishment of children. Many believe the saying may be a corruption of a biblical verse found in the book of Proverbs, but whatever its origins, it is a virtual artifact in North Carolina’s public schools. With the Robeson County School Board’s vote of 6 to 5 earlier this month to ban the practice, only Graham of our 100 counties continues to sanction the “intentional infliction of physical pain upon the body of a student as a disciplinary measure.” Nineteen states continue schoolhouse corporal punishment, most of them in the South.
Several Up & Coming Weekly readers took me to task for a recent column entitled “Mysterious Melania,” in which I talked about other first ladies, quoted humorist Celia Rivenbark, and opined, “It cannot be easy being Mrs. Donald Trump.”
My take was particularly unpopular with one reader who emailed, “what a hit piece on our first lady ... as a wife, mother, grandmother, nurse ... I cannot believe Margaret Dickson would right (sic) such an appalling piece on a woman, much less the first lady of the United States.”
I thanked the reader for her response, and we agreed that we are all blessed to live in a nation where we can share our opinions freely and openly, whether we agree or not.
In that vein, a recent New York Times piece on our first lady entitled “Melania Trump, a Mysterious first lady, Weathers a Chaotic White House” provides a longer, more detailed look. Here is a link: www.ny-times.com/2018/08/17/us/politics/melania-trump-first-lady.html