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Halifax punts Banister boat landing project bid opening

Lakefest impresses ... again

For 39 years, people have flocked to Clarksville for Lakefest

Sandy Fork Hunt Club continues tradition

Top, members of the Sandy Fork Hunt Club preparing breakfast for the balloon pilots and others Saturday morning during Lakefest. Above, members of the original Sand Fork Hunt Club pose…

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Legion ends season with five wins


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Opinion

Striking a balance

After the week we’ve been through — with two fatal shootings of black men in Minnesota and Baton Rouge by white cops, followed by the assassination of five Dallas officers by a revenge-minded African-American gunman — the desire to recoil from the world and bury these dispiriting events without a full reckoning is understandable, and perhaps even the most human reaction of all.

The new heartland

After Hurricane Sandy decimated large swaths of the eastern seaboard last week, one would have needed a heart of stone not to feel for the people and communities caught in her wrath. Raised to enjoy the warm sands of Virginia and Carolina beaches, I never really figured the Jersey Shore had much going for it beyond the cheese appeal of its oceanside arcades. Boy was I wrong: No thanks to Sandy, we have just seen a piece of Americana swept out to sea. A similar sense of mourning and loss accompanies the destruction visited upon New York City’s inner and outer boroughs, Connecticut, Long Island and all the rest.

High stakes, clear choices: Endorsements by The Mecklenburg Sun and South Boston News & Record

Seemingly without exception, all presidential elections rank as the most important of a lifetime — until the next one. Still, the 2012 campaign does present a stark choice between two candidates who could hardly represent more divergent directions for America. One offers consistent, intelligent leadership animated by the belief that everyone deserves a fair shot and a level playing field — because the most prosperous societies are those that expand from the middle out and the bottom up. The other candidate rejects accepted facts and tested solutions in pursuit of an agenda that would benefit the few at the expense of the many.

Aiming for a new normal

Politics is rife with uphill battles and lost causes, but defeat can plant the seeds of future victories. Barry Goldwater was trounced in the 1964 presidential election, but his rise as the Republican Party standard bearer marked the onset of the GOP’s fateful turn to the hard right. Goldwater lost, but his brand of conservatism won out — and the GOP has been riding the same ideological hobbyhorse ever since.

Saying goodbye

People ask every so often why I don’t write about this topic or that — the answer is, this column runs long enough as it is, why make poor readers suffer further? — but some months ago someone did want to know why there hadn’t been any recent mentions of a familiar figure in this space, my first cousin not far enough removed, former Fifth District GOP chairman Tucker Watkins.

The sounds of silence

A quick Internet search this morning reveals considerable doubt about who first came up with the famous quotation: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”

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