Making conversation: UNC System considers state of free expression on campus
A five-part series exploring free speech and free expression on college campuses wrapped up last week in the University of North Carolina Board of Governors’ Committee on University Governance with a report on the results of a survey examining how those issues play out on UNC campuses.
Are courthouse politics gumming up the system?
When I came back to The Smoky Mountain News after six months away from journalism, one of my first trips was to the Haywood County Courthouse.
Division runs deep over Biden’s domestic agenda
Since his election last November, President Joe Biden has spent a lot of time — and untold political capital — pursuing a sweeping domestic agenda.
Below the belt: Vulgarity, divisiveness push NC political discourse to a new low
North Carolina’s known as a purple state where fierce partisan divide is the norm, but after two high-profile politicians — one a former NC-11 candidate and the other the current lieutenant governor — prompted outrage with recent vulgarities, their respective parties are stuck in a tough spot and facing difficult decisions over how to respond.
Politicians pandering to American paranoia
By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist | Two heart-rending articles occupied the front page of the Florida newspaper that I was reading online two Sundays ago.
One told the stories of people who had survived the 9/11 attacks 20 years ago. The other followed a nurse through a 12-hour shift in a hospital’s intensive care ward for COVID-19 patients. Three had died the day before. More will this day. Most of her patients, including a 36-year-old mother of two, are not expected to live. An older woman codes seven times before her suffering ends. The one patient who is recovering is the only one in the ward who was vaccinated.
Just remember, this too shall pass
I recently saw a funny political sign that said, “Presidents are temporary, Grateful Dead is forever.” Did you know that less than one-percent of Americans can name every U.S. president? That being said, I bet anyone you stop on the street can name a musician or song that’s contributed something powerful to one’s life.
This must be the place: Sometimes the righteous win; most times, it’s a losing battle
Finishing up my second cup of coffee at Orchard in Waynesville, I gazed out the large bay window onto Depot Street. There’s the historic Haywood County Courthouse, a few vehicles parked on the hill. Snowflakes fluttered down from high above on this Friday morning.
A promise to keep on keepin’ on
How does one best express gratitude?
That thought kept coming up as I sat down to write a column for this week’s paper. After the rush of a holiday season that was so different, I found myself in our quiet mountain house on an unseasonably warm and sunny day pondering the year to come with more than a little excitement. This is going to be another memorable year, and I can’t wait to push forward.
I am trying to understand
By Steve Wall • Guest Columnist | On Sept. 10, 2020, Donald Trump greeted a cheering crowd in Freeland, Michigan, with these exact words: “We brought you a lot of car plants, Michigan! We brought you a LOT of car plants. You know that, right!”
This was greeted with excited cheers. So I have to wonder — did many of the people in the crowd realize there were no new car plants built in Michigan during the Trump administration? Were any aware that over 3,000 workers in the Michigan auto industry had lost their jobs since 2017?
Finding a way past the divide
Can we bridge the divide? That’s the most fundamental question facing us as Americans as we sort out the post-mortem of the 2020 election. Is there a way forward that will forge a common bond as Americans that will be more fundamental to our personal identity than political ideology?
It won’t happen easily. No, I feel certain that in the short term the landscape will be littered with the wreckage from retribution, pride, fear, ignorance, accusations, etc. A long election season is dragging on, and too many of the major players are too entrenched in their distrust of the other side.