What Can Be Done?, by Diane Jettinghoff (July 5)

I recently read “The Miserable People” by John Pavlovitz.  He gave me a good insight into the people who support Trump, but it also concerned me because Pavlovitz exposed the aggression & anger of his followers. Then I heard Trump speak on Friday night, July 3rd. ...

Spare the Rod, by Penny Smith (July 1)

I’ve been mulling over what it is in the American psyche that makes us so angry and so prone to turn that anger into violence. One of my touchstones for understanding the United States is Mark Twain’s The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn. Pap, Huck’s father, is too often...

Protests in Sylva, by Zac Wyatt (June 21)

The People of Sylva had their voices heard on Saturday, June 13th. Hundreds of citizens gathered in downtown Sylva to show their support for more regulation to prevent the abuse of power by law enforcement. They also called for more transparency of police departments....

A Tale Of Two Rallies, by Penny Smith. (June 21)

Charles Dickens’ novel title, A Tale of Two Cities, is one of the most borrowed phrases of all time. Yet, on June 20, 2020, I kept coming back to it. On that date the Poor People’s Campaign substituted a virtual three-hour affair for the in-person event they had...

Trump and “Nasty”, by Penny Smith – May 19

Our current President appears to have a decided affection for adjectives: “Sleepy” Joe, “Mini” Mike, “Lyin’” Ted, “Fat” Jerry. There’s even a Wikipedia site dedicated to them (check out “List of Nicknames used by Donald Trump”). However, his range of adjectives is...

Cal Cunningham Rising, by Penny Smith – May 19

I don’t know if you’re noticing it, too, but the Cal Cunningham name is showing up more and more in the news. That’s true for both print and social media. What’s even more interesting is that it’s true for both state and national news. Cunningham, in case you’ve been...

What I’m Reading, by Penny Smith – May 14

Amanda Marcotte, Troll Nation: How the Right Became Trump-Worshipping Monsters. New York, 2018. Hot Books is an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, a newish and ambitious independent firm located in New York. Its goal is to provide a forum for short, in-your-face...

LOOKITING, by Penny Smith

I was an early and persistent fan of Charles Shultz’s “Peanuts” comic strip. I named the first dog I independently owned, a beagle my parents gifted me one Christmas, P’Nuts. He went through graduate school with me and survived the move to North Carolina only to fall...

Arrogance of Power, by Penny Smith – April 30

Power looks, to use a favorite Trump word, “nasty” when it’s arrogant.  The Mayo Clinic currently has a requirement that everyone who enters and works there or is a patient must wear a mask. Our Vice President decided he didn’t need to do that – the only person...

Numbers Game, by Penny Smith – April 30

Have you noted how many magazines now have short sections devoted to statistics, some mundane, some simply gobsmacking? Harper’s Magazine’s monthly Index is probably the best known of the lists, but I’ve found that more and more of the magazines I read have a column...

How Crazy Must It Get?, by Penny Smith – April 30

I started my routine morning round of the news today (April 25) and discovered a Guardian article about the Trump Administration’s decision not to participate in a global initiative to “accelerate cooperation on a coronavirus vaccine and to share research, treatment...

Can You Believe It? Penny Smith – April 19

REOPEN NC is a Facebook Group created on April 7. As of the morning of April 18 it had received nearly 3,000 likes and claimed 33,521 members. I first encountered it while reading The Daily Beast online. According to their group description, they: “are residents...

Coal Miners’ Daughters by Penny Smith – 12/4/2019

What is it about some coal miners daughters that occasionally yields such admirable flintiness?  I confess to developing a fondness in my early 20s, while living in Texas, for classic C&W music. It was probably motivated by an affinity for Willie Nelson, longneck...

What I’m Reading: Mark Bowden “General Chaos”, by Penny Smith

The Atlantic (November, 2019); 42-49 Mark Bowen’s article is subtitled: “What Top Military Officers Really Think about Trump.” He divides his critique into five categories, each of which should make you shiver a tad. First, President Trump “disdains expertise.” We...

Thom Tillis Watch: 10/10/2019, by Penny Smith

From the US Congressman Thom Tillis Twitter Feed: “It’s easy to sleep knowing that Justice Brett Kavanaugh serves on our Supreme Court, upholding our Constitution and protecting our values.” Yes, indeed, I sleep better knowing the man who, as an adolescent, bragged...

Thom Tillis Watch: 10/9/2019, by Penny Smith

According to US Congressman Thom Tillis, Impeachment is “a waste of resources.” Lawmakers need to focus on our economy rather than shift “resources away from what I don’t believe rises to the level of any kind of impeachment inquiry or impeachment.”  One very...