A threat from within

A threat from within

Throughout the years I’ve learned many things about government and the way it works. I’ve had a front-row seat to politics.I also studied ...

December 16th, 2015 |  


Does political correctness affect economy?

Does political correctness affect economy?

Just when you might have thought the politically correct among us finally had pulled out all of the stops, yet another example emerges. This time it d...

December 12th, 2015 |  


Yes, he’s a horse but not ‘just’ a horse

Yes, he’s a horse but not ‘just’ a horse

Of the 12 finalists for Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Year” award, only 11 are actual persons.The twelfth is a horse but no...

December 11th, 2015 |  


Personal freedoms and saving lives

Personal freedoms and saving lives

When I was really young, my dad told me something I didn’t quite understand, but over the years it has rung true time and time again.He said, &#...

December 10th, 2015 |  


Gun control, gun freedom can go together

Gun control, gun freedom can go together

Those of you who know me, or have read many of my columns, know I come from a fairly conservative family, and I have a politically and socially conser...

December 8th, 2015 |  


Pulling the plug on ‘paid patriotism’

Pulling the plug on ‘paid patriotism’

You can hardly watch any sporting event on television these days without some type of tribute to the military being included — maybe it’s ...

December 5th, 2015 |  


Lights can shine for a different reason

Lights can shine for a different reason

The world would have been better off if Wayne had lived. The level of kindness and generosity that he possessed is rare and the world is worse off wit...

December 4th, 2015 |  


Beware, be alert, be vigilant, be awake, be aware

Beware, be alert, be vigilant, be awake, be aware

There are many ways of saying it. Matthew, Mark and Luke agree that we should keep our eyes forward because Jesus will come again. Translators, of the...

December 4th, 2015 updated: December 4th, 2015. |  


Saving the holidays

Saving the holidays

“Ho, Ho, Ho,” said the fat man, and “Aren’t you going to eat some pie?” asked granny.Holiday cheer is in the air, and I&...

December 2nd, 2015 |  


Accept the good, and bad, of our history

Accept the good, and bad, of our history

George Orwell’s dreary view of the future, in which everyone must think only approved thoughts, where history is sanitized and rewritten to supp...

December 1st, 2015 |  


What was Thanksgiving No. 1 really like?

What was Thanksgiving No. 1 really like?

I would guess that most people observed Thanksgiving Day Thursday in the conventional manner — a big meal with family and friends gathered aroun...

November 28th, 2015 |  


A cure is at hand

A cure is at hand

When I first moved to the Yadkin Valley a dozen years ago, many things were different from my former home. Not least among them was that no one served...

November 27th, 2015 |  


Time for shoppers to put their foot down

Time for shoppers to put their foot down

The customer is always right.You’ve heard that, haven’t you. It’s supposed to be a staple of open commerce. If the customer doesn...

November 26th, 2015 updated: November 26th, 2015. |  


9,999 aren’t worth one American

Recently Gov. Pat McCrory sent a letter to the president basically saying “don’t send any Syrian refugees to our state.”I think McCr...

November 25th, 2015 |  


Cam Newton – a winner who’s a loser

Cam Newton – a winner who’s a loser

When can a winner still be a loser? It’s easy when your name is Cam Newton.Carolina Panthers supporters have reason to be happy this season, wit...

November 21st, 2015 |  


Just say thanks

Just say thanks

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of tu...

November 20th, 2015 |  


When a word isn’t a word

When a word isn’t a word

In the several months that I have been writing these columns, the indignity of advancing age has been a frequent topic but I like to think that I have...

November 20th, 2015 |  


Help Americans before taking in refugees

Help Americans before taking in refugees

Everywhere you turn lately is some information on either the Paris terrorist attacks or the influx of Syrian refugees.Public opinion has certainly tur...

November 18th, 2015 |  


Replay doesn’t get it right

Replay doesn’t get it right

Television has really become something around which the lives of some people revolve. People rush home at night to see their favorite reality shows, a...

November 18th, 2015 |  


Shopping locally is importantto town, and feels better, too

Shopping locally is importantto town, and feels better, too

Years ago when my children were still little, we lived in a tiny little town in north-central North Carolina, in a large, rambling, old house that was...

November 15th, 2015 |  


Just where is a smoker to go?

Just where is a smoker to go?

It’s often said that the more things change the more they stay the same, but this is certainly not true with smoking.You would be hard-pressed t...

November 14th, 2015 |  


A kerfuffle in a coffee cup

A kerfuffle in a coffee cup

Sometimes there’s a tempest in a teapot and then this week, there’s been a kerfuffle in a coffee cup.Who would ever have suspected a few d...

November 13th, 2015 updated: November 13th, 2015. |  


Time for Panther haters to eat crow

Time for Panther haters to eat crow

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!That was the kind of reaction that football fans and TV “experts” had this spring after the NFL Dra...

November 12th, 2015 |  


‘Freedom ain’t free’

‘Freedom ain’t free’

“Freedom — it ain’t free,” said a drill sergeant at Fort Benning, Georgia. After that, he explained that it was almost a stati...

November 11th, 2015 updated: November 11th, 2015. |  


Veterans too often treated badly

Veterans too often treated badly

I’ve been in this business for quite a few years, yet every once in a while a story comes along that just knocks the wind out of me.That happene...

November 8th, 2015 |  


New immigration law a good first step

New immigration law a good first step

At a time when certain government officials and others have established a trend in which illegal aliens increasingly are being rewarded for breaking t...

November 7th, 2015 updated: November 7th, 2015. |  


You don’t need a madeleine for Proust to change your life

You don’t need a madeleine for Proust to change your life

It was a Proustian moment. Instead of a madeleine dipped in tea, it was an Italian cream cake and the location was not belle époque Paris but Ant...

November 6th, 2015 |  


The least of these

The least of these

Matthew 25:40 “And the King will answer and say to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My ...

November 6th, 2015 |  


Reading isn’t much of an escape for some

Reading isn’t much of an escape for some

Today I’d like to talk a bit about fiction.No, not the stories that people think I make up for the newspaper, but rather the fiction books that ...

November 5th, 2015 |  


Can taxpayers get some of that?

Can taxpayers get some of that?

It’s the day after election day here in Mount Airy, and some candidates are crying in their beer while others are elated to have received the no...

November 4th, 2015 |  


Halloween is the best festive holiday

Halloween is the best festive holiday

The Academy Awards, Emmys and Grammys honor achievements in movies, television and music, and about every other week a country music awards show of so...

October 31st, 2015 |  


My love affair with bacon must end

My love affair with bacon must end

When I meet someone new and tell them I work for a newspaper, it’s not uncommon to hear something like, “I don’t like news. It’...

October 30th, 2015 |  


Mashing buttons, not potatoes

Mashing buttons, not potatoes

I’ve had to get used to a number of things since moving to North Carolina. It’s just a little different than what I was used to in Ohio.Of...

October 28th, 2015 |  


Halloween memories of having fun

Halloween memories of having fun

Halloween is just around the corner, and while I risk being labeled some sort of heretic pagan by some of my more conservative friends every time I sa...

October 25th, 2015 |  


Taking Facebook talk with a grain of salt

When the Founding Fathers established our system in the late 1700s and basic principles such as the right to free speech, I doubt any of them envision...

October 24th, 2015 |  


Objecting to a conscientious objector

Objecting to a conscientious objector

Last Tuesday evening I was laying in a hospital bed at the Veterans Affairs medical clinic in Salisbury. With little else to do I tuned into the Democ...

October 21st, 2015 |  


Debates are a waste of good air time

Debates are a waste of good air time

I am certainly a political junkie, but not to the point of being addicted to one of the major controlled substances of our election system nowadays: t...

October 17th, 2015 |  


Tucking in your shirt makes you happier and richer

Tucking in your shirt makes you happier and richer

Somewhere around the turn of the millennium, I decided it was hip not to tuck in my shirt. Been walking around ever since with shirt tail flapping, cu...

October 16th, 2015 |  


Playboy’s risque, err risky move

Playboy’s risque, err risky move

On Tuesday evening as I write this, a rumor that has been swirling for a couple of years finally was proved true.Playboy magazine will no longer featu...

October 15th, 2015 |  


Why can’t voters decide issues?

Why can’t voters decide issues?

Recently I wrote an article regarding a local woman who is lobbying against a dog tethering law in Surry County.Her cause seemed just enough, and her ...

October 14th, 2015 updated: October 14th, 2015. |  


Why don’t more city residents vote?

Why don’t more city residents vote?

Those who venture to downtown Mount Airy this weekend for the Autumn Leaves Festival no doubt will encounter mobs of people.Festival visitors will be ...

October 10th, 2015 |  


Being friends with God

Being friends with God

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Prov. 18:24 (KJV)Most fol...

October 9th, 2015 |  


Time to hurry up and get done, MLB

Time to hurry up and get done, MLB

There was a time when baseball was easily my favorite sport.I watched many games on a tiny 13” black-and-white TV in my bedroom because no one e...

October 8th, 2015 |  


Forgetting who the real boss is

Forgetting who the real boss is

As a public official I always found closed session, or “executive” session as we called it, a little bit annoying. I had to get up, go in ...

October 7th, 2015 updated: October 7th, 2015. |  


Planning for retirement when you are single

Planning for retirement when you are single

How does retirement planning differ for single people? At a glance, there would seem to be no difference in the retirement saving effort of an individ...

October 4th, 2015 |  


News flash: football possible in rain

News flash: football possible in rain

Over in Patrick County, Virginia, people still fondly recall the “Mud Bowl.”It was a high school football game played in the 1970s when th...

October 3rd, 2015 |  


Internet thieves steal your time

Internet thieves steal your time

Some days it is hard not to feel like the whole world is gunning for you. Like the old saying: It’s not paranoia if everyone really is out to ge...

October 1st, 2015 |  


Straight from the pen of rebels

Straight from the pen of rebels

Having received a quality public school education, I learned a little bit about the American Civil War in school. I learned a little bit more in an Am...

September 30th, 2015 |  


Astronomy teaches simple life lessons

Tonight, and maybe into the wee hours of Monday, we have a chance to witness a relatively rare occurrence — a blood moon and a super moon happen...

September 27th, 2015 updated: September 27th, 2015. |  


Life insurance with long term care riders

Life insurance with long term care riders

The price of long term care insurance is really going up. If you are a baby boomer and you have kept your eye on it for a few years, chances are you h...

September 27th, 2015 |