It's budget season at City Hall. This is the time of year that we review our previous budget and formulate a new one. I'm proud to say that our 2010-2011 numbers are projected to come in under budget, and our new budget will pass without requiring any tax increases.
Someone sent me an Internet video of two soldiers in Afghanistan demonstrating how to make coffee using a device called a heat pack. It was entertaining though the language was pretty salty, as soldiers' language can be.
What would America look like if the Tea Party movement ran it? You can get a good glimpse in Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's budget-balancing plan. Now, I wonder, will Democrats come up with a better plan? Or will they simply wait for Republicans to destroy themselves?
Can you think of only one word that accurately defines you?
NEW YORK -- So why do Republicans hate art, the elderly and children?
After having been involved in the political and governmental life in South Carolina since 1963, when I accepted a position on the staff of Gov. Donald Russell, I am still constantly amazed at how long awful ideas persist in our State.
A few weeks back, my wife showed me a newspaper article about a television ad running in North Carolina by a group called "NC Together." In it, the narrator touts the fact that North Carolina has a world class education system that has attracted business and industry to the state and advocates for not making deep cuts to educational and other resources in order to keep the North Carolina's business climate a competitive one. At the end of the ad, a picture of a "Welcome to South Carolina" sign is flashed and the narrator says, "There is another way ...
When President Clinton signed landmark welfare-reform legislation in 1996, he said it would "end welfare as we know it." Wrong verb. More accurately, it changed welfare as we know it.
Ronald Reagan was already in office by the time I turned 18 in 1983 and was eligible to vote. The next year, however, I cast my first vote for president: for Reagan to have a second term.
Conservatives express shock and horror over political correctness, which they roughly define as the Orwellian suppression of any frank discussion about issues that liberals hold dear. But conservatives practice their own PC, too. "Freedom fries," anyone?
Gosh, life is good, and it's the people around us who help make it so.
One evening last year when I pulled into my driveway, there was an unfamiliar car parked in front of my house and there was a man wearing a uniform, standing by the car. As I got closer, I recognized the uniform as a Richland County Sheriff's Department uniform. This officer identified himself to me and said that if I was elected sheriff, he and his partner would like to come work for me. He handed me an envelope containing their resumes.
"What if they gave a war and nobody came? So goes an old Vietnam War era bumper sticker. I've got an update in mind: What if they gave a war and nobody paid attention?
The more months and years I acquire in this here world, the more I realize how pointless it is to plan. Planning ruins things.
NEW YORK -- Whether the topic is Libya's rebels or Afghanistan's "reconciliation" with the Taliban, the pivotal question is, or should be: What about the women?
The laboratories of democracy are blowing up.
I have admitted in this column many times that I have become a "grumpy old man." Well, folks, here I go again. I often blame technology and the instant sharing of news and opinions on many of society's ills, and that's what I'm doing again today.
I have many colleagues who are of the turf persuasion and we have come to an understanding to agree to disagree. I think grass is a weed, they think a tree is a weed -- in nature the two aren't meant to meet. This is why only grass grows on the Great Plains and only trees grow in the forest. But since we aren't on the Plains or in the forest, we try and get plants to co-exist in arranged landscape designs we like to see.
Last week we spent a few minutes talking about being the best in the world in a particular field.
As the primary pundit at the "Harmony County Weekly Blister," I am frequently called upon to perform many tasks. So, besides winding up the cat and putting out the clock, I also write the advice to the lovelorn column entitled, "Ask the Stud Muffin."
I never played high school football. My glory days ended with the little league Lions and the gridiron of my youth is now a stand of depressingly mature pine trees across the old, worn foot bridge in Woodward Park. Like many, I now enjoy the pleasure of watching and cheering on younger generations and look forward to each new season as it plays out on our home field at Zemp Stadium. It is my opinion that we, as a community, should keep Zemp and prepare the old facility for the future.
WASHINGTON -- Lego's groundbreaking female-scientists set sold out almost immediately after it was released this month. But never fear, fans of feminist toys: A new Barbie doll, now in stock, is also shattering the plastic ceiling.
For the past couple of years, our district has designated one book for summer reading for secondary students. I've really liked this approach. It has generated a lot of enthusiasm and gotten entire families involved. This year's book, This I Believe II, is a collection of personal essays by a very diverse group of people, ranging from legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma to author Studs Terkel. The book got me to thinking; if I was to write an essay about what I believe about education, what would I say?
Let me begin with full disclosure: I was born in Greenville and even though my family moved away when I was 5 years old, I still consider Greenville my hometown. And, as with a first love, one's hometown will always be something special. So it is with me and Greenville.
Some missing something or the other required me to prowl through closets at Mama's house. That's when I found it. I pulled it out and smiled broadly, warmed by the memories it evoked.
I am man enough to admit that I have cried more than once since the news broke that Robin Williams had died by what local officials said was suicide.
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