This is turning out to be one of the tougher holidays for a lot of Americans. The economy continues to be a problem as we nervously wait to see if we'll go over a fiscal cliff, and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., has cast a pall over the holiday spirit.
Childhood is a wonderful time! A small child really believes he or she could "catch a falling start and put it … in a pocket." Nothing is impossible. Also, the warmth of love and acceptance comes from family and friends. Nowhere are the problems of finance or payment. Some children even tell their parents, when told they are big boys or girls, "I don't want to grow up." Even the story Peter Pan concerns a group of children who fly off with Peter, who has never had to grow up.
Words have power. If anyone wonders whether conservatives have taken the lead in effective political catch phrases, the term "right to work" should remove all doubt.
WASHINGTON -- It is a conundrum of wordsmiths that sometimes events are so horrible that words escape us. Bereft of the tools of our trade, we are left with what is perhaps the only appropriate response to something as heart-stopping as the massacre of children: silence.
Do not turn your eyes from the horror of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn. Twenty children, their teachers and aides, their school principal shot repeatedly, in some cases beyond recognition, by a 20-year-old wielding a semiautomatic assault weapon.
Every six or eight years I relate to you a Christmas story first told to me by Max Ford. Here goes:
(The following is the second portion of Camden Archives and Museum Director Katherine Richardson's keynote speech at the Baruch Society Annual Meeting, Nov. 15, 2012. Further portions of the speech will be printed in later editions of this column.)
A 13-year-old girl from New Jersey has campaigned to get the makers of Easy-Bake Oven to put gender-neutral colored ovens on the market.
WASHINGTON -- As politicians compete to prove who loves the middle class more, they're missing the elephant and the donkey in the room.
If there's one thing that will be true this year in ACC basketball, it's that the Duke Blue Devils will be aiming to avoid another upset to the likes of Lehigh University. After being knocked out of the NCAA Tournament in the first round last year by the Mountain Hawks, Duke will be moving into conference play with a purpose, hoping to show teams they're legit contenders.
I had been in Kershaw County just a few months when I got one of the worst phone calls of my professional career. At about 8 a.m. on a gray Saturday morning in early December of 2007, I was coming inside from a morning run, and the phone was ringing. I vividly remember a momentary pit in my stomach; a phone call early on Saturday morning is rarely good news. I had no idea; however, how tragic the news would be. A young man in our community had been shot and killed the night before in a gang-related incident ...
A very wise man who happens to own one of my favorite hideaways in the North Carolina High Country once told me, "You need a horse in the mountains the same way you need a boat in the Lowcountry."
WASHINGTON -- One of my great hopes for a Barack Obama administration -- and thus one of my personal disappointments -- was that he would use his bully pulpit to emphasize the importance of a two-parent family, and especially of fathers, to children's well-being.
A couple of months ago, I "rejoined" LinkedIn, the social network for business professionals. I got back in to it because the network was beginning to expand from simply helping people network for that next big job to helping them with their current jobs. A few friends and family members had also joined up at the same time that LinkedIn began adding some more news-oriented and thought-provoking features.
Which local business man and his wife have been deck hands on the U.S.S. Constitution?
Baseball and cursing have been a pair since the first days of the game.
WASHINGTON -- True words are often said in jest, it has long been said. But a harsher idiom has been taking shape in recent years: Jest is becoming the only way to express truth.
I like to write my weekly column on humorous topics when possible. During my months here, I've managed to sprinkle in some stories of goofy things that have happened in my life and there are more I would love to convey to you. I'm probably not as funny as I sometimes think I am, but those are still the kinds of musings I prefer.
I wanted to share with you selections from recent speeches I delivered in and around Camden, two on April 11 and one on April 18.
BISHOPVILLE -- Lee Correctional Institution, South Carolina's largest maximum-security prison, gets plenty of bad press -- from a riot and a lockdown in February to drone-delivered contraband a few days ago.
I am afraid I am slowly driving my beautiful, long-suffering Beloved nuts.
Several times during the nearly 15 years I've spent here at the Chronicle-Independent, I've had the privilege of covering the Upchurch & Jowers All-County Academic Team banquet, as I did a week ago tonight. As I continue to work on the education beat I took over a few months ago, I'm sure I'll attend many more of these special events in the years to come.
We stood in the charred remains of a life that once was -- my sister and I -- and said not a word. What was there to say? Finally, I spoke.
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