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.
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.
For-profit colleges can't get no respect, at least not from employers. Which suggests that maybe they should be getting less generous taxpayer subsidies, too.
I have always heard that home is where the heart is -- not always worded in that exact way, but it is definitely what was meant.
It is front page news all across the state and indeed nationwide -- a white policeman shot an unarmed black man in an incident at a filling station in Columbia. A dashboard camera in the police car captured much of what happen.
When I think back on the days of my youth, that time when I had the privilege of traveling on the NASCAR circuit, it would be hard to pick a lesson learned that was more important than another.
I couldn't be prouder of "Harry Potter" actress Emma Watson if she were my own daughter.
• My friend Waylon Fortenberry of Chesterfield County tells me that Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Palestine.
WASHINGTON -- Without prior knowledge or intent, I recently was inducted into a club I had no interest in joining, especially in light of the $200 initiation fee.
I really like Camden and Kershaw County. In the nine months I've lived and worked here I've met some wonderful friends, acquaintances, news sources and coworkers. Those who have lived here all their lives may not realize what a jewel they have here. I have lived and worked in several places over the years and I know the difference.
This week more than 800 movers and shakers from 10 Upstate counties gathered in Greenville. It was an amazing event because of (1) what they said, (2) what they did not say and (3) what it means for the rest of the state.
Betrothed women of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your husbands' names.
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