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Clearing the desk…clearing the mind

With Labor Day behind us, meaning autumn is just around the corner, the time has come to sweep my desk clean of its summer clutter and prepare for a new season.

With that in mind, here are a few news/sports items worth sharing:

What do US State Department worker Bryan Pagliano, the ball boy for the New England Patriots, and the UNC-Chapel Hill women’s basketball program have in common?

All have or will take the fall for wrongdoings committed by others who are far up the proverbial food chain.

Pagliano will surely be added to that list after his boss, Hillary Rodham Clinton, said over the weekend that her family paid a State Department employee to maintain the private email server she used while Secretary of State.

Meanwhile, Pagliano informed a committee within the U.S. House of Representatives that is investigating Clinton’s use of the email server that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if called to testify.

So, here’s what will happen. Bryan will take the fall; receive a light sentence that he’ll serve out at one of those “country club” prisons; he will be pardoned for his sins by the next President; and then author a “tell-all” book from which he’ll profit millions.

Ain’t life grand?

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How is it every time a football game announcer mentions a historic fact, then moments later that bit of history is magically erased?

As I watched the closing minutes of Saturday’s BYU at Nebraska football game, it was mentioned that the Huskers hadn’t lost a season opening contest since 1985. Number 30 in-a-row seemed clinched as BYU, trailing by a point, was down to its last play and a back-up quarterback under center. However, the back-up tosses a 42-yard hail mary touchdown pass as time expires and the Cougars put an end to the nation’s longest opening day win streak.

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Here’s another football thought: Do the Chowan Hawks “own” Fayetteville State, or what? For the second straight season, Chowan stunned the heavily-favored Broncos in the season opener.

As I was looking at the stat sheet from the game, it felt like a scene from the sports comedy film – “Major League.” In that flick there are several scenes where blue collar workers in Cleveland, all fans of the hapless Indians, are shown wondering out loud about the identity of the players. Their line was always the same….“Who are these guys?”

I was wondering the same thing as I studied the names in Chowan’s scoring summary. Whoever they are, those Hawks flew high in the season opener, beating FSU, 41-31.

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As Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis sits in jail for contempt of court after refusing to carry out the constitutional duties of her office (failing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples), it makes me wonder if we need to build more jails to house other elected officials who, for years, have forgotten about the oath they took to serve in public office.

And for those of you just hearing about the Davis ordeal, it needs to be pointed out that on Friday morning, an assistant clerk in Rowan County did issue a marriage license to two men, who were denied on six previous occasions by Davis.

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I was going to close this column on why I feel the world is going to h e double sticks faster than a toupee in a hurricane, until a young teenager in Texas proved to me that not all young people have lost their sense of direction.

A little over one week after the execution style slaying of a law enforcement officer in Texas while he was fueling his car, Harris County (Texas) Deputy Constable Tommi Jones Kelley was doing the exact same thing….at night, in a driving rain. She had to feel a bit uncomfortable, considering what had occurred earlier in her state.

However, Mckinley Zoellner came up to the officer and asked, “Ma’am, do you mind if I stand here behind you while you get your gas?” When Kelley asked why, the teen responded, “To make sure you stay safe.”

Thanks, Mckinley, for making me believe once again that there is hope for our young people.

Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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