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.
Choosing a career in the media makes me a willing martyr. Although I am drawn to the glossy covers of magazines and daydream about seeing my 10-point byline in publications nationwide, making a living as a reporter means continuously living in my most vulnerable state.
A conservative Christian group has launched a boycott against "All-American Muslim." The TLC reality TV show about Muslim families in America fails to live down to the group's narrow-minded stereotypes. Their gripe, in my view, makes about as much sense as boycotting "The Cosby Show" because it doesn't mention black street gangs.
WASHINGTON -- Callista Gingrich has done something she might come to regret -- succumbed to the Twitter fairy and opened the door to unwelcome scrutiny.
WASHINGTON -- Oh, quelle gaffe.
If the Los Angeles Lakers need a shoulder to cry on after losing out on acquiring all-star guard Chris Paul, they may want to set up a long distance call with the Atlanta Hawks.
I completed my bachelor's degree the first week of August, so I was thrilled to snag a job at the Chronicle-Independent a little more than a week later.
Tax inversions. Double Irish with a Dutch sandwich. Spinning off tangible assets into real estate investment trusts. Son-of-BOSS shelters.
It has become somewhat of an art for me, that of studying Southern culture and deciphering what makes us different from others as well as downright peculiar among ourselves.
Our family has spent many a pleasant summer day with several families from the Dillon area and the experience is always enjoyable and the manner in which they address their friends, neighbors and kinfolk is like taking a step back in the "Old South." Everyone seems to have a prefix or you are a tourist just stopping by.
There is no longer any doubt that America still has a long way to go before it can say that it has grown beyond the prejudices and fear and tragic cycle of action and reaction when it comes to relations between blacks and whites.
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.
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