Ask not for whom the web site tolls: From now on, it tolls without me

The time has come, the columnist said, to write of many things — of life and love and local topics…but not of politics and kings.

I’m done folks: Tired, bored and ready to move on. National politics no longer excites me. Washington is 300 miles away from my mountaintop retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia. It might as well be in another galaxy.

It’s time to move on. My focus nowadays is local news and issues. I write and shoot photos for my hometown newspaper. I publish a local news web site. I’ve got a biker blog and one devoted to photography. I’d rather write about problems with local school bus drivers than TARP and bailouts and the new dog at the White House.

In one way or another I’ve been involved with national news and politics for the past 40 plus years — either as a newspaperman or a political operative. This gig with Capitol Hill Blue began on October 1, 1994 — 14 years, six months and 13 days ago.

I’m sorry, but I no longer give a damn about what happens in Washington. I don’t care if they prosecute George W. Bush or not. I don’t care if Barack Obama breaks another campaign promise or not. I don’t care if Bill Clinton beds the entire Dallas Cowboy cheerleading squad.

I do care if my local county can find a way to improve the dirt roads that make up most of the byways of our area. I care whether or not the school system cracks down on bad bus drivers. I care about efforts to revitalize the downdown in our county’s only town (population: 434). I care about bluegrass music and decent weather so I can take my Harley Super Glide for a nice, long ride.

I care about spending more time with my wife, more time on my three-and-a-half acre front yard and the dozens of little projects that need to be done around the house. I care about getting my photo studio back in order so I can concentrate on shooting new images of life here in the mountains.

Capitol Hill Blue doesn’t need me. We have good columnists in Hal Brown, Rob Kezelis and Phil Hoskins.  We have reader bloggers and our ReaderRant discussion forum remains one of the best on the Internet because of the hard work of Skyhawk, Scoutgal and their talented group of moderators.

Capitol Hill Blue will continue, but it will continue without me…at least for the time being. I’m going to take a break. I’ve taken breaks before: Some short, some long. This one will probably be a long one. It may be permanent. At this point, I don’t know.

Thanks for the ride. It’s been quite a trip.


  1. griff

    “In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.” – Mark Twain

    I don’t accept my slavery, I choose to fight it with every ounce of my being. Ceding defeat is not in my nature nor is it in mine or my family’s best interest.

    Honestly I don’t see where my message suggests I waste my time, and since my time is about the only thing I have left to give, then I give it freely and without apology.

    If this light you suggest I trounce upon is the one that is lit by our new leadership, then it is one that burns by the same fuel of human suffering and degeneracy as the one we just abolished, albeit from a sweeter smelling but no less destructive fuel.

    Nice talking to you. Perhaps we can do it again.

  2. griff

    That’s similar to a stone plaque my wife gave me on our anniversary last year when we had some hard times – Never, Never, Never Give Up.

  3. Hoggy

    To hell with all this. When you’re done, you’re done. Grab your camera bag and get on the Hog and roll. Its too good for your soul not to. See you out there.


  4. Carl Nemo

    Hi Chick,

    I happen to enjoy griff’s constructive thought processes and to be quite honest I don’t recall you posting much, if anything useful to this site in the past two years.

    This thread was to allow people the opportunity to simply wish Doug Thompson farewell in hopefully a friendly, tasteful way, but for you to dredge up another site member’s name and then to disparage their commentary and contributions to the site is totally out of line. Believe it or not you’ve diminished yourself by such activity.

    Here’s a quote that might put some starch in your spine. It’s engraved on a brass bookmark that I’ve kept within my Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, a 1953 edition, the binding being held together by worn duct tape… : |

    Never, never, never quit… Winston Churchill

    Carl Nemo **==

  5. Chick

    Griff, I didn’t imply that you were incapable of good ideas and recommendations. Many people can do that, and you do it well. But, that isn’t the same as having accomplished solutions notched on your belt. In your case, it is more like chronic harping simply for the gratification of … what? Complaining? Without a trace of hope, or expectation of change, what keeps you going?

    Your message suggests it is a waste of time to seek the kind of government that we desire. You certainly have cause to feel that way. But if that is the result you anticipate, wait for, and are totally bound to, while trouncing upon those that have the audacity to light a candle in the darkness, what’s your endeavor?

    I think you have convinced me we are both slaves. The difference is that I’m finally willing to accept that which I can not change, and make the best of it. While you seem satisfied by fighting through howling discontent while at the same time professing that change ain’t ever gonna happen.

  6. griff

    Gee, I’m honored that you should single me out, especially considering we haven’t been graced with your presence in some time. Must be you’re so busy thinking up solutions yourself that it leaves very little time in which to actually login and give voice to them.

    I guess my advocating a return to sound money, fiscal restraint, Federal Reserve oversight or outright abolition, ending NAFTA and GATT, restoring economic soveriegnty, ending unnecessary imperialistic wars, unnecessary death and destruction, abolishing hedge funds, speculation, derivatives and other Wall Street scams, demanding accountability in Washington and a host of other things, can’t possibly be construed as offering solutions.

    I suppose just yesterday I suggested having armed security contingents on merchant ships as a way of combatting piracy was no solution either. I’m sure the government is hard at work right now dreaming up far more expensive and questionable solutions that we’ll have to foot the bill for, no doubt including the use of our already beleagured military.

    But you go on ahead and give up the fight, as you not only admitted to be doing yourself, but suggest is one of my flaws. Just lay there and take it like the obedient slave that you are.

  7. JudyB

    Doug…I wish you well in the time you are taking for yourself. I have hopes that something may spark your interest and you will post once in a while..but whatever you do..enjoy it.
    Thanks again for all you have done to make CHB a place to be heard..

    I am also bored with politics. I barely watch or read anything anymore that has to do with politics…seems the primary and the elections wore me into numbness.

  8. Chick

    #1 – Really don’t blame you!

    #2 – It’s a good decision. There really are more important things involving one’s personal short life that one can constructively administer.

    #3 – When all your words of opinion, conclusion, and wisdom end up changing nothing, why trudge on?

    #4 – Take Griff with you. He represents protest without solution, distressed crying without hope, critisicm without any realistic direction of significant change, and, perhaps, recognition that we are doomed, serving no useful purpose, and any efforts are and will be completely ineffective.

    I admire the intelligence of those that respond to your writings even more than I admire you, and I do actually admire you at times. Their collective reasoned judgments have convinced me that any serious attempt to expect any desire for governmental fullfillment are null, void, and totally naive.

    Apparently, we don’t vote for a result brought about by effort, but for a direction calculated to avoid complete dread.

    Physically, I thought I would fight with gusto. But you have all mentally convinced me that the fight is futile. So, I’ll join you Doug. Your group, along with many others, have convinced me that caring is a complete waste of time and energy.

    Take care of those you love.

    Ready on the right? Ready on the left? Ready on the firing line? Commence firing.

  9. griff

    So long for now Doug. I don’t blame you one bit for needing a break. Give ’em hell in Floyd.

  10. pondering_it_all

    Like everybody’s mother used to say: “Get your face out of that TV screen (or monitor in our case) and go outside to play. It’s beautiful out there today.”

    Spring is here, and it is lovely outside. Time to look up from the keyboard and enjoy the beauty.

    I’m sure you’ll be back, sooner or later. Thanks for giving us an online community, unlike any other.