Displaying items by tag: opinion

On our way back from the coast on Saturday in bumper-to-bumper traffic just outside Charleston, I saw a billboard that not only made me laugh out loud, but also summed up this year’s election better than any political commentary I have heard or read. Some clever realtor put up a picture of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, with a banner that read, “Moving to Canada? We can help you sell your home.”

Amidst a raucous crowd of nearly 600 runners — and probably just as many spectators — a couple of Saturday nights ago at the start of a race at Highlands Brewing in Asheville, I noticed quite a few people with phones taking videos.

And before I could tell myself not to go there, before I could steel myself so as not to give in to the state of paranoia that I suspect many are feeling, my mind ran away to the cell phone video of the St. Paul shooting victim by his girlfriend, to the cell phone videos of the protestors fleeing for their lives in Dallas after a gunman opened up on police, to the flood of mass shootings and police assassinations, and then I was scanning the ground around me for unattended bags, found myself eyeing spectators for anyone who seemed out of place and not into the party-like atmosphere of the moment.

Until 18 days ago, the Bible had always been an afterthought in my spiritual journey. It was a book I viewed from a distance, unsure how to use it in a way that resonated with me. Even in adulthood when I first attempted a daily devotional, I would Google the suggested Bible verse instead of actually looking it up in the Bible.

op frTuition just got significantly cheaper at Western Carolina University, and as long as the legislature keeps its promises to fill in the gap, then this is a huge win for North Carolina families, our university and the region.

The North Carolina Promise Tuition Plan caps tuition at WCU, Elizabeth City State and Pembroke at $500 per semester. It doesn’t cap fees, meals and housing, but total cost for a year (two semesters) for those living on-campus at WCU will drop from $17,600 to $14,600.

law enforcementThere are people who believe that the reason black men seem to keep getting shot and killed by police officers is that they simply will not obey orders or “show respect” for authority. There are people who believe that this is a media-created problem, and not a race problem. There are people who believe that the Black Lives Matter movement is racist by definition, as if the implication in saying black lives matter in the first place is that no other lives matter, as if the suggestion that context matters, too, is just liberal hogwash.

NorthCarolinaLargeBy Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist

Most of Europe’s aristocracy didn’t think the infant United States would last a decade, and there were Americans who doubted it also. Yet here we are, 240 years after bidding an unaffectionate farewell to George III and his progeny. 

Those years have fulfilled the prophecy of a foreign observer, the Baron Hyde de Neuville, who wrote after the First Congress had adjourned in 1791:

op barbeeIn not every town do the children of doctors and lawyers go to the same schools as the children of teachers and mill workers, but in Haywood County, that’s the case. When I was teaching full-time in the classroom, I taught students whose parents owned boats and vacation homes, and I taught students who slept in a car and ate meals at The Open Door.

op frAs they say, the devil is in the details, and in this case the details are simply ridiculous.

A bill that has been sent to the N.C. Senate Finance Committee for consideration — Senate Bill 867 — is intended to keep children in our schools safe by requiring better background checks for potential teachers and spelling out specific crimes that would prevent them from being licensed. Among those are crimes one would expect — prostitution, homicide, misconduct in public office.

op coxBecause when she dresses like that, she is just asking for it. Because saying “no” is part of the game, not what she really means. Because she got me worked up, and that is on her. Because once you go so far, you just cannot stop. Because we were both drinking and things got a little out of hand. Because she shouldn’t have been here in the first place. Because boys will be boys. Because I’ve got my whole future in front of me.

 op fr“What really shaped me was doing all of those community programs and talks, where you could really make a connection with the people around you. It was about getting to interact with people and having them share their memories with you.”

— George Frizzell, retiring special collections librarian, Western Carolina University

Sounds so simple. George Frizzell likes to get out in Jackson County and talk to people, interact with them. That’s undoubtedly why some of the most famous writers of this region, people who celebrate Appalachian culture like Ron Rash and Charles Frazier, were eager to talk to our reporter about George when we did an article on him for last week’s paper (www.smokymountainnews.com/news/item/17833).

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