Why do Americans so often vote against their own economic interests? Because money isn't everything. Values matter, too, especially when your values tell you that cuts in government spending won't bring new pain to hard workers like you.
As the price of gasoline approaches $4 a gallon -- with many saying it will reach $5 -- I was thinking recently of a column I wrote a few years ago during a similar spike in prices.
Next year may go down as the year of the steroid user for Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame. Three players whose careers were given a proverbial black eye for using performance-enhancing drugs will be on 2013's ballot.
WASHINGTON -- Can civility be saved?
Just recently, I was talking with a group of local citizens when someone mentioned the new street lights. In the past three years, the City of Camden has received and utilized grants in excess of $3 million for several improvements. A combination of grant funds and some tax dollars has been spent to move many electrical lines underground:
A community member asked me recently why I place so much emphasis on the budget. The exact words were, "I think that's all you ever talk about." I guess I have to plead guilty to keeping the budget as a front burner issue. When I think about the discussions I have about our schools with parents, staff, students and community members, most of these discussions revolve around smaller class sizes, additional academic and extracurricular programs, competitive compensation, materials and supplies, technology and additional staff in areas such as nursing, maintenance, classroom assistants and clerical. All of these are areas ...
Is America in decline? No way, says President Obama, proudly speaking of our standing overseas. But some grim new reports on our educational gaps remind us that decline is like charity -- it begins at home.
It's no secret I love music. I was a radio announcer in an earlier life, after all. I love all kinds -- rock, jazz, pop, soundtracks -- just about anything.
WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney's recent losses to Rick Santorum in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota revealed a truism that Romney might want to study -- but not too much!
Doing the research for my column on voting statistics encouraged me not to be that person. You know -- that person who complains but doesn't do anything to help the cause. As I get older and gain more life experience, I find that it is really important to get interested in life, not on the surface but really dig deep into how the world is changing socially, culturally, fiscally.
As a fan of Stephen Colbert's satirical skills on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," I didn't know what to expect when he sat down to interview the daughter of Jeff Fort, one of Chicago's most notorious gang leaders since Al Capone.
I've come to the conclusion that women's friendships might be tighter than men's.
Talk radio's No. 1 blowhard Rush Limbaugh will soon have competition in his afternoon timeslot with former White House contender Mike Huckabee set to begin a new program over the air waves in April.
Many people believe what is necessary to gain a Ph.D. is superior intelligence. Such a belief is certainly a fallacy. What a person requires is two items: obstinacy and stupidity. As a person who has washed a rather large wooden house with a rag, water, and scouring powder; cut front and back yards, when yards really were yards, with a pair of scissors; and dressed a half a hog, chitterlings and all -- I know. These examples occurred in my youth, and, seemingly, I gathered only worn and blistered hands as my lessons. I did learn from an admonition from ...
WASHINGTON -- Most Americans can hardly believe we're having a national debate about birth control in the 21st century -- more than 50 years after The Pill became available and decades after condoms became as commonplace as, well, balloons.
WASHINGTON -- So unpopular is President Obama these days that the (D) following Democratic candidates' names might stand for Denial.
Growing up, I had a hand full of career goals. My parents signed me up for basketball in 3rd grade, which put the idea of playing for the WNBA in my head.
Ah, Prince, how we've missed you. Prince Rogers Nelson has finally "Kiss"-ed and made up with Warner Bros. Records, regaining control of his original catalog of music and put out not one, but two albums worth of new music on the same day.
It's a funny thing. That's what Mama used to say when something baffled her. Like Mama, I prefer that things make common sense. Otherwise, I'll ponder, figure, study, and try to decipher that funny thing until it's somewhat sensible.
In early September, I attended a meeting of superintendents in Greenville. A major area of discussion was the development of a workforce that would attract sustainable industry to South Carolina and how K-12 education fits into this puzzle. To underscore this discussion, the meeting included a tour of the BMW plant in Spartanburg. Wow! This facility absolutely reflects what a 21st century workplace looks like and what many of our students will need to be prepared to enter. I talk a lot about preparing students for their future and not our past. The BMW tour reminded me why this is ...
On Nov. 4, Kershaw County citizens will have the opportunity to vote on the Kershaw County School District facilities referendum. Because of legislation passed by the South Carolina General Assembly in 2014, voters will be able to decide whether or not a penny sales tax that would be collected for 15 years could be imposed in the county and used by the school district to fund the projects in the referendum.
I was in Boston recently and just down from our hotel, in the heart of the Back Bay, is the Berklee College of Music.
WASHINGTON -- Now, now, let's not panic.
I obviously enjoy sharing stories from my childhood and other eras of my life in this column. I've told you about the time my pony took me on a crazy ride through a shed with a low ceiling and the time I got "lost" at the New York World's Fair. This week I'm going to tell you about a very special place that was the scene of many of my happiest childhood memories.
Hollywood's most recent spate of pirate movies, the Pirates of the Caribbean series starring Johnny Depp, illustrates the age-old stereotype of "the pirate." Depp is the perfect swaggering pirate, his full head of dreadlocks wrapped in a cloth, waistcoat belted with heavy leather, on occasion an 18th century skirted frock coat and a tricorn hat. Pistols and swords in his belt within easy reach for a fight. Soft leather boots folded down at the top. Swashbuckling at its best. Depp embodies the definitive pirate style.
ASPEN, Colo. -- One of the challenges that advocates are discussing here at an anti-poverty conference in Aspen -- yes, I realize the irony -- is getting buy-in from the private sector. How do you convince companies that social spending and government "handouts" are good for the bottom line?
My taste in music is pretty diverse. I seriously listen to every genre. However, I do have my favorites as I am sure many people do, and I have found that my preference for some genres are restricted to certain decades.
Lately, I seem to be reminded of the old adage "tough times never last but tough people do." It has me wondering: do tough people simply outlast the tough times or is it that people actually become tough as a result of surviving adversities over and over? Perhaps the answer lies in what we find on the other side of those difficult times. Perchance on the other side of these really burdensome and painful moments in our lives lay tougher people. It does make sense. Trying and practicing to be tough over and over would have to deliver a positive ...
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