WASHINGTON -- In today's world of social media, where everyone's every little thing is on display, it is sometimes difficult to recall a time when exhibitionism wasn't ubiquitous and was, in fact, not admired.
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.
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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