Even the best batters have to take batting practice sometimes. But it seems Barack Obama didn't heed such advice during the debate last Wednesday night. His lack of preparation was strikingly evident, only giving further credence to the idea that the president just doesn't seem to like the game of politics all too much.
As a teenager in Pennsylvania, I delivered The Morning Call and The Evening Chronicle to customers in a suburb of Allentown. On rainy days, I'd try to make sure the paper stayed dry inside the screen door. Now, I get The State and the New York Times delivered to my driveway in plastic bags, though the Times delivery is erratic. I can, of course, also read the Times on my iPhone, iPad and desktop computer.
Once or twice a year while living in the Washington, D.C., area as a child, my father would drive me and my sister to New York's Long Island to visit my grandparents, Ira and Barbara Cahn. They lived in Wantaugh, but spent much of their waking hours -- as well as time they should have been sleeping -- a little east of there in Massapequa.
Twenty-five years after sociologist William Julius Wilson's important study of urban decline and vanishing "marriageable men," poverty is still with us. At least, we're finding lots of new ways to argue about it, even if our theories are no less sharply divided than the rest of our politics.
Move over Duggar family, TLC has a new hit show on their hands.
Six weeks have passed since my oldest son walked through our back door. The mere mention of this makes the stretch seem even longer. Of course, aside from a normal dose of missing their brother, for his siblings, this time represents six weeks of more slices of pizza at dinner, shorter waits for the bathroom, and total control of the TV remote. For me, it suggests more intangibles. It is the void, the missing place setting at our table, and the one less body charging down the stairs for breakfast like a horse running for open country.
Research tells us Americans are getting smarter as time goes by.
WASHINGTON -- Gloria Steinem is unmistakable.
The European's triumph during the final round of the Ryder Cup Sunday may provide a preview of things to come on the PGA Tour.
That morning, a piano tune from boyhood days echoed down the halls of Pinedale, a senior citizens care facility located near Camden. As we drew abreast of the piano player's room, there sat Neva Shannon ("Coota") Montgomery with her near 100-year-old, yet nimble fingers "tickling the ivories" into the song "Jesus Loves Me."
If there's one thing I have an unnatural fear of, it's insects of both the crawling and flying variety. I've known that about myself since I was at least 12 years old when a huge bumblebee landed on my head. Not knowing what it was, I reached up and grabbed it only for it to -- naturally -- sting me. Luckily, I'm not allergic, but, boy!, did it hurt. Why that translated to a fear of crawling insects, I'm not sure except that I remember a giant millipede (or something like that) crawling up my bedroom wall ...
Amidst a necessary, but life-threatening, debate on the future of health care for millions of Americans, presidential candidate Mitt Romney revealed why it's OK that almost 50 million Americans are uninsured. Romney said in an interview with a TV broadcast news program that people who are uninsured are "care(d) for" with the help of America's emergency room services:
You might not be finding much to laugh about these days.
WASHINGTON -- I've written variations of this column a couple of times during the past 20 years, but certain occasions bear revisiting -- and surely the disappearance of a friend is one.
With the official start of autumn last week and the holidays soon upon us, my thoughts turn to a truly unique American holiday. No, not Thanksgiving but Arbor Day. Perhaps you may recall celebrating Arbor Day in elementary school, perhaps you remember hearing John Denver singing "Trees for Your Tomorrow" on television or radio on behalf of the National Arbor Day Foundation or perhaps you've seen an article about it in The Chronicle Independent with a photo of people standing around a newly planted tree.
Things I promise not to write about today:
WASHINGTON -- Flexible hours. Being your own boss. The glories and self-bootstrapping pride of entrepreneurship.
In the past two weeks, I have written, respectively, about some of the wonderful things we have here in Kershaw County and how often those things get taken for granted. Two weeks back, my focus was on the artistic and cultural offerings we have, along with recreation facilities and programs for participants of nearly any age and the economic boost that gives us when players and teams from out of town converge on us for sports tournaments, equine events and much more.
WASHINGTON -- When Democrats were looking for evidence of a Republican war on women, they overlooked Exhibit A -- Sarah Palin.
The gliders landed in the Boykin fields and pastures and the German POWs worked in Lugoff and Boykin, while a Lugoff native and a Camden businessman partnered together to raise millions of dollars for the war effort.
"Someone needs to go to jail."
OK, so I'm actually writing this on Friday, but you're reading it Monday, so that's why it's random thoughts for a Monday morning.
It happened the other day. It's funny how things so simple can remind us of things so meaningful, of those sweets that are tucked inside our hearts and unknowingly treasured.
While I was taking a finance class as part of my doctoral program in Virginia in the early 1990s, one of the topics we discussed was a lawsuit that had been filed in South Carolina, now called the Abbeville case, which challenged South Carolina's structure for funding public education. Life takes funny turns. Here I am 21 years later in South Carolina when the case is finally settled.
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