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Apocalypse isn’t now

Laurels to the fact that you’re still reading this. Contrary to various apocalyptic visions, the world did not end on Friday. In fact, the sun even made an appearance yesterday. That’s the good news. The bad news is that those of you who put off your Christmas shopping thinking Dec. 25 might never arrive are now in something of a bind — and guys, you know who you are. Looking for last-minute gift ideas? You can probably find some great deals on survivalist gear and meals-ready-to-eat. And who knows, given global jitters and congressionaal dithering over the upcoming “fiscal cliff,” a bunker mentality might still be advisable.

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Dart to the NRA’s proposal that armed officers be stationed in every school — not because it’s a bad idea but because the gun-rights group didn’t follow through with offers of help on a key component of any such proposal. If the NRA feels so strongly that this is a viable solution, then why not help pay for additional officers, as opposed to a volunteer force (which raises concerns about candidate screening and liability)? The NRA has lots of cash to spread around in order to keep gun-lobby friendly congressmen in office. Try this scenario on for size: A joint fund-raising venture in which the NRA, gun manufacturers and purveyors of violent video games and movies pledge that they’ll contribute a major chunk of the necessary backing to put additional resource officers in schools. Admittedly, this is about as likely to happen as the sun not rising tomorrow, but it would offer tangible proof these groups are motivated by something other than their own self-interest.

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Laurels to recent upbeat news on local and regional jobs creation, which includes the Gildan yarn plant with 200 jobs and hiring for the new Courtyard Marriott on East Innes Street. Meanwhile, Winston-Salem enjoyed some encouraging economic news, too, with the projected 500 jobs from the Herbalife project. These and other economic development stirrings are signs of a slowly improving state economy, as is last month’s slight drop in the N.C. unemployment rate. The November decline to 9.1 percent (from 9.3 percent in October) means far too many people still aren’t finding full-time jobs, but at least the trend is holding for now.

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