Carolina Journal Print Edition

Volume 12, Number 8 – August 2003

• In the just-passed budget, the legislature authorized the state to purchase what once was its only two significant private prisons from the property trust company that owns them. The budget provisions signaled that the state plans to get out of privatization and will operate prisons itself for the foreseeable future. Page 1

• Halifax Community College President Ted Gasper used state government resources to raise money for the congressional campaign of U.S. Rep. Frank Ballance, according to the school’s meeting minutes. Page 4
• Former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, speaking at a John Locke Foundation luncheon July 8, said Democrats in the U.S. Senate are hijacking the nation’s courts. Page 5
• Gov. Mike Easley signed a $14.8 billion budget June 30, which was hailed by some observers as a compromise that protects public services and adequately funds the ever-increasing cost of public education. Other lawmakers, however, contended it continues the state’s pattern of fiscal irresponsibility. Page 5

• Fourth- and eighth-grade reading scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress were released in June, and Easley and other state officials celebrated the results at a press conference at Green Hope Elementary School in Raleigh. Page 7
• Karen Palasek writes that when the 2002 NAEP reading scores were released in late June, state education officials made an extraordinary effort to put a positive spin on the results. Page 7
• Students at two North Carolina elementary schools, which have a high percentage of children in the federal nutrition-assistance lunch program, have made extraordinary progress in academic achievement in recent years. Page 9

• The Supreme Court in June ruled on racial preferences in college admissions, and the decisions in Gratz v. Bollinger on preferences used by the University of Michigan, and Grutter v. Bollinger on preferences used by its Law School, brought little clarity to the issue. Page 12
• Jon Sanders writes that next to “diversity” a favorite euphemism at universities today is “critical thinking.” The usual occasions for its use, he says, are rather ironic — to stymie rather than stimulate critical thinking. Page 13

• A local taxpayer group is calling for a review of a controversial City of Wilson grant program that has distributed about $6 million in utility bill late fees to nonprofit cultural and social service groups during its 14-year history. Page 14
• For the first time in 14 years, the General Assembly has added to the number of the projects to be paid for through the Highway Trust Fund. Page 15
• The N.C. Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling that employment discrimination regulations adopted by the Orange County Human Relations Commission are unconstitutional. Page 16

• George Leef reviews the book Democracy By Decree: What Happens When Courts Run Government by Ross Sandler and David Schoenbrod. Page 18
• Reviews of the books Bush at War by Bob Woodward, and The Voluntary City: Choice, Community, and Civil Society, edited by David Beito, Peter Gordon, David G. Green, and Alexander Tabarrok. Page 19

• Richard Wagner writes that the anti-fat fanatics are bombarding Americans with a subliminal message: An individual — irresponsible slob that he is — no longer can be trusted to care for his own body. Page 20
• An editorial on emergency management services and how some counties use private providers while others rely on public-funded departments. Page 21
• George Leef wonders why universities worship race as the only factor to determine diversity. Instead, they should junk diversity and admit the brightest students. Page 21

• Jon Sanders offers a handy flowchart that helps the masses understand why UNC can’t afford to cut ANYTHING. Page 24