Finding our way without a map

The helplessness is the thing that’s making all of us so uneasy. Like being pushed along by a wave that you know is big and that you know could hurt you, but in that second before it crashes it’s too late to do anything but ride it out. 

On main street, things won’t ever be the same

The world changed over the weekend, especially on main street. And it likely won’t ever again look the same as it did on Friday, not with the Covid-19 hell storm unleashing its fury.

A glut of information can paralyze voters

The phones we carry everywhere contain or have access to more information than the largest libraries in the world, many times more. It’s the same with our laptops, tablets, desktops or whatever digital device one prefers. All the collected knowledge of science, literature, mathematics and the arts that humans have amassed since the dawn of civilization is right there at our fingertips. 

Finding middle ground is a must

Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.

— Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of the United Kingdom

“Let me put a face on this for you.”

So uttered Natalie Henry Howell in a gut-wrenching presentation to Haywood County Commissioners and a roomful of Second Amendment Sanctuary supporters on Tuesday night, Jan. 21. 

Sixty snuck up and smacked me

I just turned the big 6-0. Sixty. What the hell?

I’ve been reading essays on reaching this point in life, and I don’t seem to be taking this as philosophically as some. Unlike others, I don’t think I’ll be posting up on a barstool or relaxing in an easy chair and waxing poetic regarding the wisdom attained over so many years, or professing to be at the stage of life where I am perfectly satisfied, confident and content in being the person I want to be and where my life is. That’s what so many essays on aging seem to prioritize.

Time to face reality regarding the Smokies

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park — for all its grandeur — is facing serious challenges, and it’s going to take those who cherish it the most to protect this acclaimed natural and cultural resource for future generations. If that means instituting entrance fees, then we’ll support taking the necessary steps to make that happen.

Trump overplays his hand with military

Under this commander-in-chief, war criminals are framed as heroes for political gains with his base while veterans who served with honor for decades are vilified. Of all of President Trump’s outrageous, disruptive behavior, it’s his un-military like actions toward our soldiers in uniform that roil me the most.

It’s all about the journey

It’s called Blue Ridge Motorcycling Magazine, and it’s become part of our family. Let me explain.

At almost 60 years old — damn, I can’t believe that’s true — odds are I’m beyond the midpoint of my life. That means I couldn’t realistically blame a mid-life crisis around three years ago when I became obsessed with buying a motorcycle. I had owned dirt bikes as a teenager and so knew how to ride. I wasn’t one of those old guys who was starting from scratch, figuring out the gears and the clutch and braking and starting on a hill and all the nuances of counter-steering and leaning into curves. Once upon a time all that was second-nature.

Can you put a value on what we provide?

Does the information we provide each week — information that we have been producing free for the last 20 years — have a value? I am asking that question of all of our readers.

At our inception in June 1999, we were not so unusual in the newspaper world. We decided to give the paper away, our revenue source being the advertisers who wanted to get their message to our readers. That remains a relatively common model in our business, and you can look around the world and around Western North Carolina and find other print media who do the same.

Wide-ranging coverage, spirited opinions

These days, too many Americans refuse to concede that a point-of-view other than their own has any validity. I’m afraid that the root of this problem is that too few are willing to put in the intellectual energy required to walk in someone else’s shoes. That requires reading, thinking, taking time for reflection, diving deep into issues rather than relying on Twitter and Facebook posts as the whole of one’s political philosophy. 

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