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Beautiful Weed On Road to Beach

Traveling U.S. 220 through Richmond County these days, motorists can’t help noticing the tall flowers. Yellow flowering weeds by the hundreds of thousands grow along the roads and in untended fields.
Mullein. It looks like an ultra-skinny tobacco plant — five or six feet tall with a crown of yellow flowers on a spike.
Richmond County must be the world headquarters for mullein — a weed transplanted from Europe centuries ago when it was thought to have medicinal uses.
It grows here too, but not like it does in the sandy soils on the way to the beach. Last week we delivered our youngest to camp, and mullein was in full flower through Richmond County. The leaves are velvety. The flowering stem is brilliant yellow, and last week they thronged along the roads.
On our return, tractors with giant bat-wing mowers were ruining the view. Richmond County doesn’t celebrate its beautiful weed.

Arrests in Raleigh

It has become the thing to do: Go to Raleigh on Monday and get arrested.
It’s a point of pride — something of an honor to join in the Moral Monday protests against the Republican-controlled General Assembly that dares to cut government spending. This Monday, about 1,000 protesters showed up in a growing trend. More than 80 were arrested. It’s a Washington-comes-to-Raleigh fad. In Washington, movie stars and celebrities stage their arrests with public relations agents for maximum media exposure. North Carolinians are learning Washington ways.
Raleigh police are gentle. The protesters are loud, but they submit readily. They always carry enough cash to pay a fine — that supports government — and get home in time to watch the evening TV news about their protests.
Meanwhile, humble taxpayers stay home because …