It really was the best of times, but also the worst of times

I remember the day so clearly. I had just returned from a buddy golf trip to Seattle, and Nikki confirmed what we suspected before I left. While we were driving to a friend’s house to catch the Monday night football game after picking me up at Walker Field, Nikki told to me we were going to have a baby named Evan or Evin, depending if the baby was a boy or a girl.

Our child would be the namesake of his or her never-to-be-met uncles, Kurt and Karl. As many of you know, our daughter is named Evin. I can recall the excitement and fear vividly even today — partly because I never considered fatherhood much in my nearly 40 years of steady bachelorhood and partly because of the fact that like so many men, the idea of being a dad was absolutely terrifying. Especially if I had a daughter, something Nikki teased me about relentlessly as proof God has a sense of humor.

Craig Hall

Our excitement was still prevalent the next morning as Nikki and I prepared to come into the office at the Business Times. As we were finishing getting dressed, I did what I had done hundreds of times, which was to turn on the Weather Channel to see what the coming day would bring. The picture I first saw was one of the bluest skies I ever recalled seeing on TV, but that sky was clouded by the sight of the twin towers ablaze in New York City. The joy (and male-based fears) Nikki and I experienced the evening of Sept. 10 turned into a different kind of fear the morning of Sept. 11.

While I can’t say for sure exactly what happened for the next few hours, I do know it involved putting on a new pot of coffee and sitting transfixed on our bed while watching the scene unfold in New York in bits and pieces of frustratingly unconnected information. It also involved a few prayers, holding hands and asking just what kind of world is this we were about to bring a baby into?

As things have turned out, it has been a pretty good one. W have been blessed to live in a country where the hard work, faith and spirit of its people have found a way to recover from what was indeed the darkest day I’ve seen for America in my lifetime. That’s not to say that the United States has not faced its share of problems and issues since the birth of our oldest daughter — and even more troubles since the birth of our second daughter, Maya (Boy, God really turned up the funny on me, didn’t He?). Nikki and I and our little media empire have certainly had our fair share of troubles and challenges as well.

But as I said before, the people of this country have always found a way to work through even the darkest of times. You’ll notice I didn’t say the politicians. They tend to run around saying everything will be fine, much like our representative said at the Lion’s Club meeting I attended shortly after the terror attacks 10 years ago. While it was a nice presentation, my only thought at that time was, “How the hell would you know?”

Sadly, I was not nearly as outspoken or self-educated back then as I hope I truly am now, although many would be quick to state I’m much more of one of those than the other. September 11th was the beginning of my true post graduate studies. That is the study of just how bad our federal government is at doing just about everything it does. And that is simply because it spends most of its time — and our money — doing things the constitution explicitly forbids. And that is best summed up in trying to solve literally every problem, perceived or real, for every American, especially those that can guarantee the folks in Congress votes or money.

And what does all of the problem solving and money spending result in?

If you’re like most Americans, the answer is absolutely nothing unless you count a higher tax bill and being less secure as “something.” Perhaps that’s why I don’t have a lot of answers when people ask me for my solutions to so many of the nation’s problems. The answer to me is simple: STOP. Stop the spending, stop the political favoritism, stop the corporate cronyism, stop bailing out companies and countries, stop the vote buying, stop the Ponzi schemes you call government programs and stop ignoring the constitution you took an oath to protect and defend.

And by all means, start getting out of the way of, and start protecting the lives of the most important asset this country has: its people. Because like Sept. 11, Dec. 7, April 12, April 19, Oct. 24, Nov. 22 or any other dark day in the history of this country, one thing is certain. And that is the resilience of what it means to be an American will come to the forefront. With our faith in God and unwavering belief in freedom, the American people will prevail as they always have.

So before we debate in Washington, D.C. about another stimulus that won’t work or the next know-nothing committee is called to order, how about you set the American people free to do what they do best?

Craig Hall is owner and publisher of the Business Times. Reach him at 424-5133 or


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