When John McCain wrapped up the Republican nomination four years ago, one person was reportedly at the top of his vice presidential list -- Sen. Joe Liebermann.
(Columnist Kathleen Parker is in vacation, In her absence, Ruth Marcus, a columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group, is featured today.)
If you pay attention to the news -- and if you're reading this community newspaper it's likely that you do -- you're probably aware that the federal government just rejected South Carolina's recently-passed "Voter ID" law, which would require voters to present photo identification before casting a ballot in an election.
When I was a little kid, I loved imagining what things would be like when I grew up. I've kept right on imagining through today, whether it be through fiction I've written or some of these columns of mine you've read in years past.
In response to a November 2011 column in which railroad artifacts were discussed and pictured, Eugene Carl Griggs of Lugoff called to say he enjoyed it very much. Gene is a retired former employee of the Seaboard Railway. Little did this columnist know our conversation would lead into some very interesting and little known areas of World War II history.
(Columnist Clarence Page is on vacation. In his absence, Robert Koehler, an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer, is featured today.)
Let's start with some good news:
Unless you've been holed up in a basement somewhere for the past few years -- if you seldom read a newspaper or watch a news broadcast on television -- you are aware of global warming and the catastrophic effects it could have upon our planet.
Even without knowing the intricate details of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), many have come across a teacher or two who says that their creativity and long-term effectiveness in the classroom has become limited since the implementation of NCLB. Consequently, it is honorable that the state of South Carolina has been motivated to submit a request for flexibility in NCLB requirements early next year and requests the input of the "community" of South Carolina.
Ah, a New Year.
(Columnist Kathleen Parker is on vacation. In her absence, Ruth Marcus, a columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group, is featured today.)
Only once since my foolish adolescence do I recall actually feeling fortunate to be a smoker, a truly insidious addiction that I have since kicked. It was the slightly chilly Washington evening on which I was joined during a smoke break at a friend's birthday party by Christopher Hitchens, one of the few people who can be called a journalist-intellectual without it sounding like a punch line.
Imagine a place where jobs are plentiful, and the housing market is thriving. A place where even low-playing service jobs come with signing bonuses and other benefits.
Last week, I named Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews as my 2011 Person of the Year. Inevitably, any thoughts of law enforcement bring me thoughts of crime. Sometimes reading crime reports can be the most enjoyable part of the day.
WASHINGTON -- The Republicans' final debate preceding the Iowa caucuses is suddenly uncompelling. There is nothing to do but write about Christopher Hitchens, whose death has made the world immeasurably less interesting.
I don't often get the chance, simply due to my work schedule, but every now and then I like to see what our sister paper in Bishopville, the Lee County Observer, has on its front page.
My people, as I have long said, were raised up on hard times in the Appalachian foothills. I don't know that I had a grandparent who ever saw the sum of $500 at one time or even held a $100 bill in hand.
I was browsing through a community newspaper recently -- not this one -- when I came across photos from the senior prom at a particular high school.
Trigger warning: This column will include discussion of ideas which may conflict with your own.
I am a musician, so I am, of course, also a big music fan. As far back as my memory can stretch, way before I ever learned to play an instrument, I loved to listen to music. Mostly it was on the radio, but my parents and older sister had a few record albums, too.
Nothing instills fear in the heart and soul of humans as does a snake. Since the beginning of recorded history, snakes have been a symbol of evil, treachery, poison, etc., and because of this perception, misinformation and folklore, most people hate snakes. Personally I have no problem with snakes; roaches and tarantulas are a different story, but a snake? No worries.
WASHINGTON -- You know we're off to the races when the first slip of the tongue by the presumed Republican presidential front-runner consumes the news for days and launches the primary race in earnest.
I have a picture -- probably my favorite of my parents -- which sits on my desk in my office at home. It was taken circa 1960, give or take a year or two, on the evening of the West Point Founder's Day ball.
More than 60 percent of us who live in South Carolina today were born here. As native South Carolinians, we grew up imbibing the history, heritage and myths of the South. And there is no stronger myth of the South than the myth of the Lost Cause, as beautifully and brilliantly portrayed by the 1939 romantic historical film epic, Gone With the Wind.
Last week, I revealed my birthday wish come true of traveling to New Orleans next month -- my No. 1 choice of cities to visit I've never been in before.
It was over Sunday dinner when my sister told me what I did not know. A childhood friend, the red-headed, freckle-faced girl with laughing eyes and the brightest sense of humor possible, was sitting vigil with her husband as death crept close.
One of the groups I meet with on a regular basis is Student Cabinet, which is made up of students from each of our three high schools. It's always interesting and informative for me to hear the insights, opinions and perspectives from this very formidable group of young people. They don't hold back on what they think, which is a good thing.
It is a rare occurrence, but occasionally in the world of professional sports an individual comes along who becomes the standard bearer for his particular field of competition.
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