Before Thanksgiving, as I "juned" around the kitchen -- a mountain word Mama used to mean "fast moving" -- preparing for company, it occurred to me that I should invite Jerry.
Below are excerpts from essays written by eighth graders from a school district in the midlands on the topic of "What Freedom Means to Me." As you read these excerpts, check to see how these students feel about their country. Also check to see if parents and teachers have taught them many concepts on citizenship, civics and American democracy.
By Barton Swaim
"Hey," said the guy next to me at the blackjack table, "you know what they call people who hang around casinos?"
WASHINGTON -- President Obama got it two-thirds right when he said the delayed confirmation of his attorney general nominee, Loretta Lynch, is owing to Senate dysfunction and Republican stubbornness.
Here in the Chronicle-Independent newsroom, we're kind of shaking our collective head about the news which broke Tuesday about the early-morning heist of a complete automatic teller machine (ATM) from Mid Carolina Credit Union in Lugoff. The thief or thieves apparently used a large, stolen piece of equipment to rip the ATM from its concrete base and load it into or onto some sort of vehicle, almost surely a truck, given an ATM's size and weight.
Spring is here in the City and the Bradford pears look so pretty.
If I had to list the drivers people have asked me about over the years, Kurt Busch wouldn't be in the top 10.
WASHINGTON -- I'm standing in the Starbucks line behind 10 other sleepyheads waiting to order my tall skinny cappuccino, otherwise known as a shot of coffee described as I wish it to be.
Today's reflection is about things I just don't do anymore.
Every day, in every area of our state, hardworking South Carolina taxpayers are being robbed. They are not held up at gunpoint and their homes are not burglarized. But, they are the victims of theft just the same. Criminals are stealing federal funds and using that money for their personal benefit. They are committing fraud against the food stamp program. In fact, they pocket more than $2 million of your tax dollars every year in South Carolina alone.
From 1999 to 2006, I tuned in to every episode of "The West Wing" starring Martin Sheen. It was one of the smartest shows I've ever watched with a superb cast and excellent writing. Like every television show, it had its ups and downs. Its detractors felt it was too idyllic and -- being an Aaron Sorkin product, like "The Newsroom" in more recent years -- too preachy.
You may be surprised to learn people sometimes disagree with me. You may be equally surprised I sometimes see their point in the disagreement. Sometimes I agree with the disagreement.
Flowers are blooming, the sky's blue and it's motorcycle-riding season.
OK, so the time changed nearly two weeks ago, but this week's installment of my thoughts and musings is about the recent time change and the proverbial "extra hour of daylight" we get to enjoy from now until autumn.
I don't often get the chance, simply due to my work schedule, but every now and then I like to see what our sister paper in Bishopville, the Lee County Observer, has on its front page.
My people, as I have long said, were raised up on hard times in the Appalachian foothills. I don't know that I had a grandparent who ever saw the sum of $500 at one time or even held a $100 bill in hand.
I was browsing through a community newspaper recently -- not this one -- when I came across photos from the senior prom at a particular high school.
Trigger warning: This column will include discussion of ideas which may conflict with your own.
I am a musician, so I am, of course, also a big music fan. As far back as my memory can stretch, way before I ever learned to play an instrument, I loved to listen to music. Mostly it was on the radio, but my parents and older sister had a few record albums, too.
Nothing instills fear in the heart and soul of humans as does a snake. Since the beginning of recorded history, snakes have been a symbol of evil, treachery, poison, etc., and because of this perception, misinformation and folklore, most people hate snakes. Personally I have no problem with snakes; roaches and tarantulas are a different story, but a snake? No worries.
WASHINGTON -- You know we're off to the races when the first slip of the tongue by the presumed Republican presidential front-runner consumes the news for days and launches the primary race in earnest.
I have a picture -- probably my favorite of my parents -- which sits on my desk in my office at home. It was taken circa 1960, give or take a year or two, on the evening of the West Point Founder's Day ball.
More than 60 percent of us who live in South Carolina today were born here. As native South Carolinians, we grew up imbibing the history, heritage and myths of the South. And there is no stronger myth of the South than the myth of the Lost Cause, as beautifully and brilliantly portrayed by the 1939 romantic historical film epic, Gone With the Wind.
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