On the surface, it seems silly to devote a column to deconstructing a superhero movie, even a huge blockbuster like The Dark Knight Rises. What could be more frivolous, after all, than spending $10 to $20 bucks (popcorn and drink included) to see a summer flick?
In the wake of the Colorado catastrophe, in which a maniac shooter killed at least a dozen people in a theater showing the latest Batman movie, everyone seems to be calling for "commonsense" gun laws. Unfortunately it's hard to tell whose sense is common enough these days.
Have you ever smelled a dead whale?
$18 million. That's, reportedly, what it's going to take to get vocal-powerhouse Mariah Carey to sit on the beloved American Idol judging panel.
For nearly the last five decades, South Carolina has been represented in the U.S. senate by only four men. By all indications, however, that's set to be five by 2016. A reading of the political tea leaves shows that Sen. Jim DeMint will not be seeking reelection in the fall of 2016.
Herbert Cooke's father worked for the city of Camden. His job was to take care of the city streets. He used either the city's mules, horses or oxen and a bamboo apparatus to clean the brick streets. Nancy Ogburn and George Sandy can recall the brick streets around the old city hall which was located on Rutledge Street.
WASHINGTON -- When it comes to over-the-top politics, the Obama campaign has set a new standard with recent attempts to paint Mitt Romney as a felon.
From the time a person is born to the time he dies, he is attempting to measure up or satisfy someone else's whims. For example, as a child he attempts to please his parents or his friends. Later, the spectrum of those he must please expands to all in his social strata, work place, and home. The chore of measuring up never ceases.
The General Assembly met last week to consider Governor Haley's budget vetoes. Having originally decided to meet in September, the Legislature changed its plans because two of the budget vetoes wiped out two state agencies and other vetoes created uncertainties that needed to be resolved quickly, like funding of teacher pay raises before the start of the school year.
He called himself a "solutionist." It's not what's "right" or "left" that counts, he would say; it's what works.
Twenty years or so ago, I worked at a prominent Columbia-area talk radio station. I worked behind the scenes, pushing buttons and making sure commercials got played when they were supposed to. For a long stretch, I handled the midday shift, from about 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Back then, one of my jobs was airing Rush Limbaugh's titular talk show.
It's been two years since President Obama signed the Wall Street-reform bill that has come to be known as Dodd-Frank. So has it succeeded in creating "safer and more modern rules of the road for the financial industry," as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner claims?
I was walking through a gigantic American airport last week when I happened upon a plaque which stirred a memory of two stories from long ago. A bit of research on the Internet -- gosh, it's easy to find out things these days -- turned up the information below.
Official Olympic sponsors have uncorked their creative juices for advertising during the Olympic Games this summer. An expected 4 billion people are expected to watch the Olympics in London starting this month and advertising is already looking good.
Political speeches have applause lines and "boo" lines. Which reaction do you think Mitt Romney expected when he promised the 103rd convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People that, if elected president, he would get rid of "Obamacare?"
After I wrote a column last week detailing my secret dream of becoming a symphony conductor, my friend Waylon Fortenberry of Chesterfield County called me.
WASHINGTON -- When postal worker Doug Hughes -- otherwise known as the gyrocopter dude -- landed his gizmo on the West Lawn of the Capitol, he wasn't worried about being shot down, he says.
In what could be considered an extension of my column from last week, which was about the misuse and abuse of government programs such as "food stamps," EBT cards and welfare, I've been giving the matter a lot of thought on a broader scale.
It is often said South Carolina is a big small town where everyone knows everyone else. And if we don't know someone personally, then it's usually "I know who they are."
WASHINGTON -- Here we go. If you're a woman who might prefer someone other than Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States, you're a self-loathing, anti-woman traitor.
By now, everyone has weighed in on the various police transgressions all over the country.
Much has been made in the last few years about the disconnect between children and nature. Richard Louv popularized the issue in his best-selling book, Last Child in the Woods. While the trend isn't necessarily intentional, it cannot be ignored either. The awareness we are attached to something more is a key component to our continued existence upon Earth. Fortunately, I think the roots of this respect are already planted in the passions of the most perfect people, our children.
Who would have thought a goofy looking guy with bad teeth from Britain named John Oliver could make us laugh so hard about the insanity of American government excesses, healthcare bureaucracy and even something as seemingly boring as net neutrality?
To be honest, I was more than a mite worried. I was plenty worried. My husband, raised not in the South or in the country, wanted a chainsaw. The one farm accessory which has brought down many a man. From an early age, I was taught respect for that chewing, sawing, respect-for-no-man power tool.
I was extremely pleased earlier this year to be invited with school board Chairman Ron Blackmon to participate in the Kershaw County Council planning retreat. It was a very informative experience for both of us. At the retreat, I was asked to outline what I see as the school district's most critical challenges. I've since been asked by several other groups to do the same presentation, so I thought what I had to say might be of interest.
If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
WASHINGTON -- Americans, perhaps more than anyone, worship the future and resent the past.
I read with great interest last week news reports about a lawmaker in Missouri proposing tighter restrictions on what food products would be allowed to be purchased using an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. The EBT card is the modern-day equivalent of what is commonly called "food stamps," and is a government-provided program for people of lower income to acquire food. EBT cards have a benefit amount credited to them each month and at the store function the same as a debit or credit card.
Springtime in the South comes with a guarantee of two things: great clouds of pollen and azaleas in full bloom. Springtime in the golf world means it's finally time for the Masters. My husband, an avid, albeit average golfer, was glued to the television when the Masters was being played. It was nirvana for him when his spring break fell during Masters Week. He could watch it every minute it was on the air. Of course, he was watching and appreciating the game of golf. I, on the other hand, was gawking at the golf course at Augusta every ...
You think you're alone on the highway. You're sure of it -- not a soul in the rear view, not a glimmer on the horizon. Not even a billboard or bridge abutment.