In response to a November 2011 column in which railroad artifacts were discussed and pictured, Eugene Carl Griggs of Lugoff called to say he enjoyed it very much. Gene is a retired former employee of the Seaboard Railway. Little did this columnist know our conversation would lead into some very interesting and little known areas of World War II history.
(Columnist Clarence Page is on vacation. In his absence, Robert Koehler, an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer, is featured today.)
Let's start with some good news:
Unless you've been holed up in a basement somewhere for the past few years -- if you seldom read a newspaper or watch a news broadcast on television -- you are aware of global warming and the catastrophic effects it could have upon our planet.
Even without knowing the intricate details of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), many have come across a teacher or two who says that their creativity and long-term effectiveness in the classroom has become limited since the implementation of NCLB. Consequently, it is honorable that the state of South Carolina has been motivated to submit a request for flexibility in NCLB requirements early next year and requests the input of the "community" of South Carolina.
Ah, a New Year.
(Columnist Kathleen Parker is on vacation. In her absence, Ruth Marcus, a columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group, is featured today.)
Only once since my foolish adolescence do I recall actually feeling fortunate to be a smoker, a truly insidious addiction that I have since kicked. It was the slightly chilly Washington evening on which I was joined during a smoke break at a friend's birthday party by Christopher Hitchens, one of the few people who can be called a journalist-intellectual without it sounding like a punch line.
Imagine a place where jobs are plentiful, and the housing market is thriving. A place where even low-playing service jobs come with signing bonuses and other benefits.
Last week, I named Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews as my 2011 Person of the Year. Inevitably, any thoughts of law enforcement bring me thoughts of crime. Sometimes reading crime reports can be the most enjoyable part of the day.
WASHINGTON -- The Republicans' final debate preceding the Iowa caucuses is suddenly uncompelling. There is nothing to do but write about Christopher Hitchens, whose death has made the world immeasurably less interesting.
Choosing a career in the media makes me a willing martyr. Although I am drawn to the glossy covers of magazines and daydream about seeing my 10-point byline in publications nationwide, making a living as a reporter means continuously living in my most vulnerable state.
A conservative Christian group has launched a boycott against "All-American Muslim." The TLC reality TV show about Muslim families in America fails to live down to the group's narrow-minded stereotypes. Their gripe, in my view, makes about as much sense as boycotting "The Cosby Show" because it doesn't mention black street gangs.
WASHINGTON -- Callista Gingrich has done something she might come to regret -- succumbed to the Twitter fairy and opened the door to unwelcome scrutiny.
WASHINGTON -- The new "agreement" between Russia, the U.S. and our allies is exactly what the former KGB agent ordered.
Sylvia Plath said, in her autobiographical novel The Bell Jar, "There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them." While I do fully agree with the literary force of genius that is Plath, if that had been my statement, I would have written it: "There must be quite a few things a hot bath or a long walk won't cure, but I don't know many of them."
Recently, I was listening to a talk radio host railing about how public schools "no longer teach values." This issue seems to be a mantra of sorts for some folks in the media, many of whom I suspect haven't been anywhere near a public school in years. As someone who is in public schools every day, I can't for the life of me figure out what this view is based on. I know it's not based on reality.
It is each of the many Easters of my life that I remember more clearly than any other holiday. Christmases blur together with only a few standing out in my memory such as the one when it snowed all day, the year I lost my voice completely, and the two times that I wasn't home – one working in Washington, D.C. and another in London.
** Thomas Ravenel, the former state treasurer who served prison time for cocaine distribution, now stars in a reality television show called "Southern Charm." Ravenel stumbles through the show in a haze of alcohol and bad judgment. He and his girlfriend, who's 30 years his junior, recently had a baby in Florida. Ravenel says he intends to revive his political career by running for the U. S. Senate from the Palmetto State. The guys in Vegas would probably lay some long odds on his chances for success.
You know what the most commonly used word in the English language seems to be?
Robert Mills was the first American born and trained architect. He called himself "Robert Mills, Architect of Public Buildings." Indeed, Mills established a new scale and standard for public buildings in Washington, D. C. when he designed the Treasury Building, the Patent Office, and the General Post Office in the 1830s and early 1840s. In other parts of the country, Mills designed buildings that were sensitive to regional values and local architectural traditions. Always his attention was on permanency and fireproofing for his public buildings.
Camden is, without a doubt, a horse town. Kershaw County is a horse county and the love for horses extends throughout this great area of South Carolina. However, it stops at my door.
Easter is a holiday of two extremes. On one side is a covert celebration of springtime with cute bunnies and pretty dresses and Easter egg hunts and chicks and flowers and lambs. On the other is a lamb being slaughtered on Passover. There is a bloodstained cross on which a Jewish man is dying who proclaimed that he was the Son of God, and that he had to be killed so that God's wrath against my sins could be carried out not against me but against him.
WASHINGTON -- One approaches the race fray with trepidation, but here we go, tippy-toe.
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