Effective immediately, I’m suspending publication of this column and stepping away from the day-to-day operations of Capitol Hill Blue.

I’ve done this before only to come back after a brief break. This break will be much longer and probably permanent.

I need to devote more time to my community news web site, Blue Ridge Muse and my work as reporter and photographer for the newspaper in my hometown. In recent days, my involvement with Capitol Hill Blue has become an issue with both.

I’ve been doing this gig with Blue for 13 and a half years and, frankly, I’m tired. I’m growing increasingly weary with politics and with the strain of getting up in the wee hours of the morning and putting this web site together and then trying to keep it updated throughout the day. Blue is a volunteer operation. We don’t have a paid staff. We don’t make money. The money from ads pay for part of the operation and I make up the rest from personal resources, which are not unlimited.

But Blue is not a one man operation. We have three excellent columnists: Hal Brown, Rob Kezelis and Phil Hoskins. We have a great volunteers who manage our reader blogs and moderate ReaderRant, our discussion board. Our reader/bloggers provide a more varied voice for Blue than ever before.

Because of the hard work of these folks, Blue can go on without me and, given the lightning rod that I have become to some, perhaps it should.

My focus is shifting more and more towards community journalism. I’m working with several programs that focus on the growth of “hyperlocal” blogs and community web sites and I enjoy covering local government and courts for the local paper and shooting high school sports.

Amy and I moved to the mountains of Southwestern Virginia in 2004 to relax and enjoy life. I need to do more of that.

And I will.

Thank you for all your support this past 13-and-a-half years. Please continue to support Capitol Hill Blue as it moves in new directions. This web site is not about me. It’s about you and it will be what you make it.



    I know haw it feels. It was the same way at Normandy, Corregidor, and KhaySan.

  2. drcat

    You’ve done a great service creating and sustaining this web site. You deserve the time to do what you want and not feel pressured. I hope on days you are truly exasperated with our politics that we will be able to read your thoughts. The people in place do a terrific job, but we will still miss you. Enjoy your life in the Blue Ridge mountains with your family and community.

  3. Warren

    This is in your blood, Doug. My bet is that after a good rest you’ll eventually get bored and come back to it. In the meantime, thanks and have some fun.

  4. knockknock

    Thank you, Doug. I will miss you very much. But I’m pleased to hear that CHB will continue — not the same, but still good.

    You did a great job, one that was gratefully received five days a week.

    Awwwww phooey

  5. DGeffen

    I thank you Doug for all the enlightenment you have brought me and many others. Have a good well-deserved respite, and get back to us when you can.
    Appreciatively, DGeffen

  6. DejaVuAllOver

    You deserve a break, Doug, even if it proves to be a very long one. I know how it is; I’ve been a musician for a long time and sometimes the burnout gets so bad that you just wanna kick someone’s ass and it doesn’t even matter who! At that point, common sense and survival instinct demand that one should take a rest, for as long as needed. But your passions (obsessions?) never really leave, so my personal prediction is that you’ll be back, in some form, when the time is right.

    I’m gonna miss the bejesus outa you, though. I love your Rants, and I think the world needs a lot more like you who tell it like it is, “correctness’ be damned. So, Best Wishes, Good Luck, Happy Trails, and all else…… And, for whatever it’s not worth, I’ll do my small part to keep the Doug Thompson Doctrine alive and kicking, in your absence!

  7. Cobaltkid


    Truly sorry to learn of your decision to leave CHB. Please remember that your creation here is very remarkable and represents a great example of political discourse at it’s finest.

    Good luck in your future endeavors and don’t forget to drop by and give us some of your pithy comments.

  8. JudyB

    Thank you Doug for all you have done, you will be missed more than you’ll ever know. Go in health and enjoy whatever you do, You deserve it. My hopes are that you will find time to post here every once in a while and give us your slant on whats happening. My best to you and Amy!

    “Always know… you have made a difference”

  9. ekaton

    Ya gotta do what ya gotta do, Doug. We’re all behind you all the way. But, please do, from time to time write another RANT. You don’t have to handle and supervise daily operations to keep the column alive once every month or two. Follow the muse, follow the muse. Meanwhile I’ll follow the Blue Ridge one. Thanks for everything.

    Cordially and sincerely,

    — Kent Shaw

  10. Flapsaddle

    I am very sorry to see you go, Mr. Thompson, but I wish you the best in terms of health and satisfaction at the other tasks awaiting you.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  11. John Farley

    Doug, I have enjoyed your columns and will miss you. And of course I hope you’ll change your mind and return!
    -John Farley

  12. brcarthey

    Mr. Thompson,

    Though I rarely post comments, I read this website daily and look forward to each of your rants. I will continue to follow your work on BRM as you seem to have created a little brouhaha with your local phone company. Good luck with everything. I do hope that this goodbye from CHB is not permanent. Thank you for your hardwork.

    Blitz Carthey

    –If Descartes’ declaration, “I think, therefore I am,” were true, then this world should be a lot less crowded!

  13. Carl Nemo

    Good luck Doug on your new focus. I enjoy reading your Blue Ridge Muse and think you’ll do your community justice by devoting your energies and journalistic skills to that endeavor.

    Thanks for providing a public forum upon which everyday folks can express themselves. : )

    Carl Nemo **==

  14. JerZGirl

    It’s a well-deserved break, Doug. Burn-out can happen to anyone, even if they love what they’re doing passionately. Follow your heart and get the break you deserve. Just pop in a visit once in a while, OK?

    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” -Mark Twain

  15. AustinRanter

    Dear Doug,

    “To Thine Ownself Be True” – Bill W.

    You’ll be missed, and certainly never forgotten. Your door…the one that you created, won’t ever be closed to you. I’m sure that you’ll walk back through if and when you’re ready.



  16. Stratocaster

    The Blue is your way of maintainig you sanity, your way of venting, letting off steam. You’ll be gone until the nest time uou get pissed. Goodby. Enjoy youself. Expect you’ll be back in a day or two.

  17. Charlie Couser

    Thank you for a job well done, Doug!

    The very best luck to you in any venture to which you may aspire.

    Charlie Couser

  18. Stratocaster

    Everytime I threatened to run away as a kid, my mom would pack my bags for me. Can we help you pack?

  19. douin

    Doug, You will be sorely missed. There is no one that can take your place. CHB will not be the same without you…not by a long shot. Your forum is the first one that I felt like posting an opinion on…mainly because I agreed wholeheartedly with all of your views on all subjects. I doubt if I will feel the same without your Rants to get the dander up to the level of feeling compelled to respond. Many others feel exactly the same way. So please do not turn your back on what you have brought forth in this time of such need to hear the truth expressed.Do not forsake us in our time of need.