One of the holiday gifts I received this past season was a bundle of five books -- the first five books in George R.R. Martin's ongoing fantasy saga A Song of Ice and Fire. People are getting to know the books thanks to the HBO series named after the first book, "A Game of Thrones."
Who would have guessed that President Barack Obama's call for more college opportunities was secretly a liberal indoctrination plot?
With the warm afternoon sun glistening on her silver hair, she sat in her rocker on her front porch reading her Bible. At other times, a flock of grandchildren gathered around her rocker for ghost stories which, when remembered later at bedtime, caused them to shiver and tightly gather the covers around their necks or cover their heads completely.
Several weeks ago, the untimely death of a well-known singer caused a media frenzy of sorts and snared the attention of many. Most of us saw at least one report relating to the death of Whitney Houston and the apparent basis of her demise. In fact, I believe it safe to say, the majority would agree Ms. Houston's death was a sad and senseless loss of life for such a young and gifted performer. Few would debate this veracity. However, in this case, for reasons unknown, there appeared to be a penalty for the fame, fortune, and talent; tragic ...
The Academy Awards show has come and gone.
WASHINGTON -- Politicians say the darnedest things, especially when their lips are moving.
How has an election year that was supposed to be all about economic recovery suddenly become all about sex? Critics blame the media. They have a point. The media keep reporting what the candidates are saying.
One of the tightropes politicians walk is finding ways to take credit for things that go right while blaming opponents for things that go wrong.
WASHINGTON -- You've likely heard by now that the presidential election may pivot on the unlikely "controversy" of birth control.
A bill that would allow South Carolinians to get copies of public documents faster and less expensively is heading to the full House of Representatives for consideration.
If Republicans are holding off for their Mighty Mouse moment, then they may be waiting for awhile. For those unfamiliar with the classic cartoon, Mighty Mouse is a heroic rodent in yellow and red tights who would take to the sky to the tune of "Here I come to save the day!"
It's OK to make fun of your own crowd, according to old wisdom, but nobody else's.
This past week the House of Representatives returned to Columbia following a week of furlough. Each week the House takes on furlough saves the state $50,000. The House will take two more weeks of furlough in April. The House has repeatedly passed bills to shorten the legislative session only for them to die in the Senate. The House has taken upon itself to effectively shorten its session through furloughs because House members believe that we can accomplish our objectives in fewer weeks and save taxpayer money.
A line in the Clarence Page column the Chronicle-Independent ran on Monday reminded me of several conversations I had in 2011.
Hello and Happy Friday! If you ever want time to fly by even faster, agree to write a monthly column in your local newspaper! Yes, it's that time again. Let's see what I have in my laptop for you this month.
Ah, Prince, how we've missed you. Prince Rogers Nelson has finally "Kiss"-ed and made up with Warner Bros. Records, regaining control of his original catalog of music and put out not one, but two albums worth of new music on the same day.
It's a funny thing. That's what Mama used to say when something baffled her. Like Mama, I prefer that things make common sense. Otherwise, I'll ponder, figure, study, and try to decipher that funny thing until it's somewhat sensible.
In early September, I attended a meeting of superintendents in Greenville. A major area of discussion was the development of a workforce that would attract sustainable industry to South Carolina and how K-12 education fits into this puzzle. To underscore this discussion, the meeting included a tour of the BMW plant in Spartanburg. Wow! This facility absolutely reflects what a 21st century workplace looks like and what many of our students will need to be prepared to enter. I talk a lot about preparing students for their future and not our past. The BMW tour reminded me why this is ...
On Nov. 4, Kershaw County citizens will have the opportunity to vote on the Kershaw County School District facilities referendum. Because of legislation passed by the South Carolina General Assembly in 2014, voters will be able to decide whether or not a penny sales tax that would be collected for 15 years could be imposed in the county and used by the school district to fund the projects in the referendum.
I was in Boston recently and just down from our hotel, in the heart of the Back Bay, is the Berklee College of Music.
WASHINGTON -- Now, now, let's not panic.
I obviously enjoy sharing stories from my childhood and other eras of my life in this column. I've told you about the time my pony took me on a crazy ride through a shed with a low ceiling and the time I got "lost" at the New York World's Fair. This week I'm going to tell you about a very special place that was the scene of many of my happiest childhood memories.
Hollywood's most recent spate of pirate movies, the Pirates of the Caribbean series starring Johnny Depp, illustrates the age-old stereotype of "the pirate." Depp is the perfect swaggering pirate, his full head of dreadlocks wrapped in a cloth, waistcoat belted with heavy leather, on occasion an 18th century skirted frock coat and a tricorn hat. Pistols and swords in his belt within easy reach for a fight. Soft leather boots folded down at the top. Swashbuckling at its best. Depp embodies the definitive pirate style.
ASPEN, Colo. -- One of the challenges that advocates are discussing here at an anti-poverty conference in Aspen -- yes, I realize the irony -- is getting buy-in from the private sector. How do you convince companies that social spending and government "handouts" are good for the bottom line?
My taste in music is pretty diverse. I seriously listen to every genre. However, I do have my favorites as I am sure many people do, and I have found that my preference for some genres are restricted to certain decades.
Lately, I seem to be reminded of the old adage "tough times never last but tough people do." It has me wondering: do tough people simply outlast the tough times or is it that people actually become tough as a result of surviving adversities over and over? Perhaps the answer lies in what we find on the other side of those difficult times. Perchance on the other side of these really burdensome and painful moments in our lives lay tougher people. It does make sense. Trying and practicing to be tough over and over would have to deliver a positive ...
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