Amy Chua's not so tough. The Yale law professor's new memoir, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," has touched a raw national nerve with its descriptions of her tough "Chinese way" of parenting, a way that shows all of the warmth and charm of a Marine Corps drill instructor.
The two ladies were dressed in a manner which would allow them to attend either a football game or a funeral.
I ended up at lunch recently with Wife Nancy and a few of her friends. I'm still trying to figure out how they found time to take a bite between the non-stop chatter. Words were flying faster than shotgun pellets at a turkey shoot.
WASHINGTON -- Discretionary spending, the part of the federal budget that is not on autopilot and is subject to annual appropriations, generally constitutes less than 40 percent of federal spending. Take out defense spending and that share drops to well under 20 percent. So if your goal is to slash government spending and your approach is to go after discretionary spending without touching the military, it will require punishing, drastic cuts to make any serious dent in the deficit.
In my column last week, I said that it's not enough to simply honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his birthday. We should make a conscious effort to also recognize the nameless, faceless and countless numbers of Americans who fought beside King for racial equality.
At this midpoint of his first term, it is too early to say what President Barack Obama's legacy will be. We don't even know whether he will get a second term. But we're beginning to see more clearly the outlines of what that legacy might be: In a contentious age of left-versus-right, he's a center-left pragmatist -- and he's beginning to make it pay off.
WASHINGTON -- I come from a family where the "joke," if you came home with a 97 on a math test, was to ask what happened to the other three points. The punch line, if you scored 100, was to ask whether there was any extra credit.
NEW YORK -- As a longtime champion of greater civility in public discourse and one who has led the charge for dialed-back rhetoric, may I respectfully take most of it back?
What inspires you? It's an important question -- one that can tell you a lot about yourself.
I recently posted a blog entry in the C-I website's Community section about the music I was listening to during the winter season. I followed that up with a "Note" connected to my personal Facebook page about music from the 1980s I've downloaded to or copied from my collection in recent years.
With the passage of Act 81 of 2009, the General Assembly took an important step to confront the antiquated and faulty tax structure that has been cobbled together over the decades, and that is now breaking down in the modern economy. The legislature created the South Carolina Taxation Realignment Commission to conduct a "thorough assessment of the State's current tax structure to determine its 'adequacy, fairness, and efficiency' and to ensure that our State remains an 'optimum competitor in its efforts to attract business and individuals to locate, live, work, and invest' in South Carolina."
CBS anchor Katie Couric startled some listeners when she suggested a Muslim "Cosby Show," but the idea has merit. It's hard for us to be afraid of the people we see on TV sitcoms every week.
As we move into a new year, I'm proud to reflect back on 2010 as a successful year for the City of Camden despite great and obvious challenges.
I've never been forced to sit in the back of the bus.
We tend to respond in one of two ways to the news that a deranged gunman has fatally shot a group of people with an extraordinarily lethal weapon. Some people are simply horrified. Others wonder where they can buy one, too.
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.
As the primary pundit at the "Harmony County Weekly Blister," I am frequently called upon to perform many tasks. So, besides winding up the cat and putting out the clock, I also write the advice to the lovelorn column entitled, "Ask the Stud Muffin."
I never played high school football. My glory days ended with the little league Lions and the gridiron of my youth is now a stand of depressingly mature pine trees across the old, worn foot bridge in Woodward Park. Like many, I now enjoy the pleasure of watching and cheering on younger generations and look forward to each new season as it plays out on our home field at Zemp Stadium. It is my opinion that we, as a community, should keep Zemp and prepare the old facility for the future.
WASHINGTON -- Lego's groundbreaking female-scientists set sold out almost immediately after it was released this month. But never fear, fans of feminist toys: A new Barbie doll, now in stock, is also shattering the plastic ceiling.
For the past couple of years, our district has designated one book for summer reading for secondary students. I've really liked this approach. It has generated a lot of enthusiasm and gotten entire families involved. This year's book, This I Believe II, is a collection of personal essays by a very diverse group of people, ranging from legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma to author Studs Terkel. The book got me to thinking; if I was to write an essay about what I believe about education, what would I say?
Let me begin with full disclosure: I was born in Greenville and even though my family moved away when I was 5 years old, I still consider Greenville my hometown. And, as with a first love, one's hometown will always be something special. So it is with me and Greenville.
Some missing something or the other required me to prowl through closets at Mama's house. That's when I found it. I pulled it out and smiled broadly, warmed by the memories it evoked.
I am man enough to admit that I have cried more than once since the news broke that Robin Williams had died by what local officials said was suicide.
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