The first time I met my stepfather I threatened to beat him up. My brother and I were both in on it. I was looking for reasons not to like him, and as most people know, when ye seek, ye shall find.
“A lie can run around the world before the truth has its boots on.”
That’s one of the few quotes or sayings I can summon up at will. At some point it was etched into my memory. An internet search credits it to Terry Pratchett, a recently deceased but very popular British author of fantasy novels whom I have never read.
By Norman Hoffman • Guest Columnist
Some time ago a cartoon had Donald Trump’s press secretary and Kelly Ann Conway dressed as Burger King employees under a banner “Home of the Whopper” and Conway saying, “Do you want lies with that?” Lies seem to be the staple of the Trump administration.
In less than a week, I’ll spend Tuesday evening traipsing the streets of Waynesville watching two little boys knock on doors and end the night with bags full of sugary candy and gum. I’m a bit of a health nut and try to keep yucky ingredients and coloring out of my children’s diets, but on Halloween, I push my additive/preservative paranoia aside to be a spirited parent and embrace the evening’s wicked vibe.
Like placing a bandage over a deep wound and hoping it will just go away, opiate painkillers are prescribed to a growing number of Americans each year. Unfortunately, these medications do not address the true cause of the pain and often lead down a dark path.
By William Everett • Guest Columnist
Garret Woodward’s Opinion piece “After tragedy in Vegas, where to from here?” (Oct. 4-10) leads us to wider questions about the fragility and peril of our country’s public life. Not only are our fellow citizens dying in mass shootings. Our republic itself is under assault. The integrity of the public arenas that constitute the lifeblood of our republican order is imperiled by the threat and fear of violence, while the fog of lies and a flood of political dark money pollute the reasonable debate at the heart of republican self-governance. The failure of governance through informed and reasonable argument creates a vicious circle of violent speech and violent acts. The freedom of self-governance cannot survive under conditions of violence and the threat of violence. Our freedom as citizens rests not in our possession of guns but in our capacity to engage in a public life of reasonable debate about the common good. Throughout history the collapse of the public life underlying republican governance has created the conditions for despotism, tyranny, and dictatorship. Despots arise who campaign on collective fear and govern by personal greed.
There are very few decent photographs of me as a child. When I die, I feel sorry for the poor souls tasked with putting together the obligatory retrospective of my life told in a series of adorable old Polaroids and poignant family photos set to music, probably “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
Something newspaper editors never say: “I wish that fewer people responded to that piece in last week’s paper.”
Well, thanks to the nature of the online world that we currently live in, I’m going to buck tradition: I wish fewer people responded to that piece in last week’s paper.
Last night I read Harold and the Purple Crayon to my 5-year-old. He sat wide-eyed with an expression of intrigue as we learned about Harold drawing an imaginative world with his crayon.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a crayon or a pen or a pencil and create a world that’s easier or happier? It certainly would. But that’s not the way real life works.
I’ve never shot a gun.
Nope. Not once. I come from a family of gun owners. I’ve held plenty of guns. I’ve even attended a handful of gun shows. And I enjoyed learning about each one, the feeling of history and power within my fingers. But, I’ve never shot one. No interest, really. Honestly.