If you pay attention to the news -- and if you're reading this community newspaper it's likely that you do -- you're probably aware that the federal government just rejected South Carolina's recently-passed "Voter ID" law, which would require voters to present photo identification before casting a ballot in an election.
When I was a little kid, I loved imagining what things would be like when I grew up. I've kept right on imagining through today, whether it be through fiction I've written or some of these columns of mine you've read in years past.
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.
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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