WASHINGTON -- As the debt ceiling loomed last year, President Obama believed Republicans had him over a barrel. They had won the midterm election. More important, calling the GOP's bluff seemed too big a bet: defaulting on the debt risked plunging the global financial system into chaos.
There's a bumper sticker that I've seen a number of times and saw again just recently. It says, "If you can read this, thank a teacher." That's well said and actually, it's not said enough for many reasons beyond reading. As I thought about what to write for the month of November, a time for giving thanks, I thought it would be appropriate to ask our teachers and other staff to talk about a teacher whom they would want to thank. I sent out an email to this effect and got more responses than I could ...
In my first installment I discussed that I was assigned to the 304th Military Police Battalion in Nashville, Tenn. So why am I writing an article for the Camden Chronicle? I am a Kershaw County resident and have lived in Kershaw county on and off since 1972 when my dad, John Baird Sr., retired from the Army here. When someone writes a résumé in the Army, we call it an autobiography. I will give you a short synopsis of my military and civilian career and how I ended up in Nashville as an Army Reservist. I graduated from Lugoff-Elgin ...
NEW ORLEANS -- It is tempting, oh so tempting, to unleash the snark as the script unfolds: Real Housewives of Tampa. Or is it Real Generals of Kabul?
Today's column did not spring from original thought. I'm not the first person to write about CBS' Person of Interest, now in the middle of its second season on Thursday nights. Specifically, I'm not the first person to write about how the show is actually falls into the science fiction genre rather than strictly police procedural or thriller. Nor am I the first to write about why it's such a good show. In both cases, that would fall to Annalle Newitz on io9.com, a blog/website devoted to all manner of science fiction, fantasy and ...
On November 9, I had the privilege of speaking to a wonderful group of people in the gym of Belin United Methodist Church in Murrells Inlet. I am not often called on to speak in public and although I am not the most gifted orator, I was honored and even excited to be there. This particular event was the Veterans Day Program held by the church in honor of veterans of the congregation and of this wonderful community. I was invited to speak by Charlie Nash who also planned and hosted the event. If you know anything about Charlie, I ...
The presidential election results have caused some interesting behavior from U.S. citizens around the country.
Gen. David Petraeus, his buff girlfriend, that buxom woman from Tampa and the other general, whatever his name is, are proving once again the truth of a saying that's been around a long time:
Volumes of political spin bump up against hard facts on Election Night.
There have almost been too many surprises this year to predict which teams we'll be seeing in Super Bowl XLVII. It's been a roller coaster ride of a season, but along the way, NFL fans have learned a thing or two about what to expect in the second half.
I guess every child hears how lucky he is from his parents. I am not sure the story is true. My mother, a widow with little education, told me how meager her Christmases had been in a family of 12 children. According to her, she was lucky to get an apple or an orange, a finger-sized doll and a stick of candy. My brother and I, on the other hand, usually got much more. I remember quite clearly that Santa never got the idea right that I despised dolls, so I received one every year. Contrary to the dolls of ...
WASHINGTON -- The headline was inevitable: "What went wrong? "
I have never been quite as wrapped up with Twitter as a lot of my colleagues are, although the 140-characters-or-less medium appears to be ideally suited to today's shortened attention spans.
Four-year-old Abigael Evans spoke for millions when she sobbed, "I'm tired of Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney."
(John Baird, an army lieutenant colonel (LTC), is the brother of Rupert Baird, who wrote a number columns for the Chronicle-Independent during his deployment several years ago. LTC Baird is now doing the same. His columns will appear periodically on Mondays during his deployment.)
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.
Last week, I revealed my birthday wish come true of traveling to New Orleans next month -- my No. 1 choice of cities to visit I've never been in before.
It was over Sunday dinner when my sister told me what I did not know. A childhood friend, the red-headed, freckle-faced girl with laughing eyes and the brightest sense of humor possible, was sitting vigil with her husband as death crept close.
One of the groups I meet with on a regular basis is Student Cabinet, which is made up of students from each of our three high schools. It's always interesting and informative for me to hear the insights, opinions and perspectives from this very formidable group of young people. They don't hold back on what they think, which is a good thing.
It is a rare occurrence, but occasionally in the world of professional sports an individual comes along who becomes the standard bearer for his particular field of competition.
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