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.
WASHINGTON -- In Mitt Romney's Fantasyland version of the American Dream, all it takes to succeed in this country is determination and hard work. Government merely needs to get out of the way, roust the Entitlement Society slackers, and let the Opportunity Society strivers go for it.
Last summer, then-68-year-old Steve Sabol told his doctors that he needed to stay alive at least until August. That way, although battling a brain tumor, he could see his father, Ed, enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He made it, but unfortunately Steve's fight with cancer came to an end last Tuesday in his hometown of Moorestown, N.J.
Bubba is back. As a word man, I was most impressed at the Democratic National Convention by Bill Clinton's skillful speech, much of it ad-libbed.
We spread Steve last week.
WASHINGTON -- We want to move out. We want to own our home. We want to marry. We want to work.
It sure has felt good to have some cooler days lately. After a long, hot summer, it's nice to know the more pleasant breeze of a pre-autumn day. I have heard many people say similar things in the past week or two, and then there's usually also a follow-up comment about how it won't be long until we're complaining about how cold it is or there's snow and ice on the roads. All true.
Hot, hot, hot! We're on the second day of 99 degrees-plus-the-heat-index weather. I'm on my wide front porch on the shady side of the house with a woven Palmetto frond fan in my hand. Back and forth, waving steadily. It helps a little -- fanning my sweat glistened cheeks and neck. The ladies a century ago would have said they were "glowing." They used these fans too -- in fact my older friend bought dozens of them for her daughter's summer wedding at Salem Black River Presbyterian years ago -- before they put in air conditioning. She gave me this ...
Music has the power to influence. It has the power to evoke deep thoughts, which ultimately lead to a flow of emotions and feelings. Driving paired with music seems to increase that flow of emotions. Maybe it is the sometimes calm rhythmic movement that the steady turn of the wheels creates that appeal to the mind and body. I make a 45 to 50 minute drive to and from work five days a week, so I get plenty of time to daydream, think and devise plans of action for any situation that is heavy on my mind. No one is ...
Though the calendar has now been flipped to the month of September and autumn is right around the corner, here in South Carolina it is still very much summer according to the thermometer. Days are getting shorter, but lower temperatures don't usually make it to South Carolina to signal the end of summer until well into October. Birds have begun their annual migrations south, but the heat and humidity that still lingers continues to keep snakes very active. Being exothermic, or cold-blooded as I was taught in elementary school, snakes take environmental warmth and warm themselves to activate processes ...
WASHINGTON -- As a South Carolinian, it befalls me to examine the peculiarities afflicting our former governor and now-congressman Mark Sanford, who, contrary to decorum and taste, continues to demand attention.
Last week, I called for going after ISIL (or ISIS or IS, the Islamic State as it wants to call itself now), in full force. Admittedly, I wasn't very specific about that. Some may have thought I meant "boots on the ground," as opposed to only the air strikes the U.S. has already participated in.
When business called Tink back to Los Angeles, he decided to take the opportunity to have his annual check-up. When it ended, he called home.
Around this time of year I get the hankering to head for the hills -- the North Carolina mountains, actually -- and this year the itch is coming on pretty heavily.
Betrothed women of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your husbands' names.
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