(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.
Last year at this time, my column was about my own favorite school Christmas memories. Apparently, folks actually read it, because a number of people I encountered during the holidays last year shared their own with me. So this year, I asked staff and community members to share a favorite Christmas memory in the Kershaw County schools with me. Following are ones I received that I especially enjoyed:
Like him or not, there is no doubt Sheriff Jim Matthews has made an impact here in Kershaw County.
This Christmas story was first related to C-I readers many years ago by Max Ford. Its message remains clear during this holiday season.
Surrounded by the marvels of all the electronic capabilities among us today, I have put pen to paper to wish you a joyous holiday season. In the lifetime of our son, Edwards, we may see pen and paper become historic tools. So, while I can, I want to share a holiday message with each of you.
WASHINGTON -- Monica Lewinsky is trying to make lemonade out of 16-year-old lemons. Good for her, and good, ultimately, for us.
July 27 marked the beginning of the most stressful week of my life. It began with the surprising news of my aunt's passing, and on top of having to deal with that, I also had to get through my last week of two summer classes and do work for two other classes that would end the following week.
Ben Bradlee became editor of The Washington Post the year I was born, 1965. He stepped down when I was 26, in 1991, the year after I moved to the Midlands of South Carolina.
A friend of mine, long embroiled in upsets, distractions, problems and tribulations, called one day to announce happily that she was learning to "let things roll right off my back."
Ebola is scary. It has scared the bejesus out of us here in South Carolina, nationally and literally all over the world.
The issue of road funding -- or, to put it slightly differently, the question of how South Carolina should fix its broken road system -- is now a constant topic in politics and the media. A fair number of state lawmakers have therefore begun to advocate what politicians always advocate when they don't want to make tough decisions about the budget: raising taxes, specifically the fuel tax.
WASHINGTON -- If politicians preying upon your attentions this season fail to inspire, you might seek common cause with the beasts -- the four-legged variety rather than those running for office.
The wild world of sports seems these days to be filled with thugs and hooligans. I really don't mean to paint such a large group of people with such a wide brush, so I'll say there are plenty of athletes, the majority in fact, who are honest, decent citizens who abide by the accepted rules of humanity in all or most of what they do. But, like in most groups, it's the bad apples who get the most attention.
It's said that Bear Bryant, the legendary football coach at Alabama, once remarked, "Every man thinks he knows how to do two things perfectly: grill a steak and coach a football team."
Trees are fascinating biological wonders. From ancient bristle cone pines and towering redwoods out west to our widely diverse Southern forests, the life cycle of a tree provides us with year-round interest. One of the most intriguing and beautiful results of a tree's life cycle is autumn color.
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