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Noted and passed - Dec. 23, 2013

Posted: December 20, 2013 8:41 a.m.
Updated: December 23, 2013 5:00 a.m.

• It’s sad to note that 2013 has been an “average” year when it comes to mass killings and victims in the United States. There have been 29 mass killings with a total of 147 victims, which is in line with other years since 2006. A few decades ago, nobody could have predicted such sobering figures; now, unfortunately, we Americans live with the threat of such violence on a daily basis.

• The late Sen. Sam Ervin of North Carolina was a self-described country lawyer, but he rose to head the Senate Watergate Committee during the turbulent Nixon years in Washington. Ervin was full of homespun humor and aphorisms. We recently saw a statue of him in his home town of Morganton, N.C., along with a few quotations. Among his pearls of wisdom: “If the good Lord had made us so that we could have hindsight in advance, a great many of our errors would be avoided.” We can only say amen to that.

• Whatever the cause of climate change -- and there are healthy debates going on about that on a regular basis -- one thing can’t be denied: the planet is heating up at an alarming rate. Worldwide, it was the warmest November on record, and so far this year, we are tied with 2002 as the fourth-warmest year on record. Last month was the 345th consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th-century average, and that’s a statistic that’s hard to argue with.

• We notice that conservative commentator Glenn Beck has called New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie “a fat nightmare.” Advancing the theory that the Republican Party should come up with an ideologically pure -- term that “losing” -- candidate for president, Beck decries everything Christie does. It’s just another example of pundits who make huge amounts of money appealing to their own bases. Beck’s far-right prattle makes him lots of money but is about as good for the country as Nancy Pelosi’s brand of ultra-left government.


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