WASHINGTON -- Jobs, jobs, jobs, we keep hearing. But for whom, whom, whom?
It sometimes seems odd that South Carolina voters can play the role of kingmaker in presidential campaigns.
When you want to know, and more importantly, understand, what's going on in town, we are your No. 1 source for local news. When I say "we," I mean local community papers like ours.
Last month's column focused on South Carolina's abysmal, fourth-highest in the nation unemployment rate. I have come across some information in the last couple of weeks that has given me a lot to think about as I look for ways the state can encourage job creation in South Carolina.
Suddenly, Campaign 2012 is looking like deja vu all over again. Remember how President Barack Obama's fast rise to the White House was boosted here and there by remarkably unlucky opponents? The Republican challengers to his reelection seem almost determined to help him to get lucky one more time.
Do AMC's "Mad Men," ABC's "Pan Am," NBC's "The Playboy Club" and BBC America's "The Hour" exploit society's barely suppressed appetite for a more sexist, racist and conservative era? Fear not. The underlying message in these depictions of the bad old days is clear: We should be better than that now, even when we aren't.
Forty-two years ago, Wife Nancy -- she was Girlfriend Nancy back then -- gave me an etching of a little boy standing on a rocky shoreline in Maine.
During the past few years it has become increasingly obvious that baseball is no longer America's past-time. The NFL has taken over that mantle as pro football now garners more money and more eyeballs than any other sport.
WASHINGTON -- I stayed up late last Wednesday night in hopes that the U.S. Supreme Court would call off the execution of Troy Davis. Instead, at 11:08 p.m., he was pronounced dead.
The last time I remember reading about something called "K2," it was probably in a National Geographic article referring to the second-highest mountain on Earth after Mt. Everest. In fact, they are part of the same mountain system, although more than 800 miles apart.
Class warfare seems to be popping up everywhere these days. It must be campaign season.
I am very grateful to the Chronicle-Independent for giving me an opportunity each month to discuss education in our community and beyond. One of the topics I feel compelled to keep talking about is how our state funds K-12 education. As I've said on several other occasions in this space, it's an understatement to say that the way our state funds K-12 education is dysfunctional, complicated, disorganized, ineffective and contradictory, and that's on a good day. When I think about this system, imagery involving duct tape and baling wire comes to mind.
The city of Camden was in the spotlight Thursday when local elected leaders from around the region met at TenEleven Galleria. These regional leaders, along with Camden city officials, met to discuss important legislative issues at a Municipal Association of South Carolina's Regional Advocacy Meeting. The Municipal Association is a statewide organization that provides support to the state's cities and towns with their efforts to be hubs for job growth and economic development.
Let's be fair to Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Contrary to a widespread impression, the libertarian-minded Texas Republican did not say during a recent Republican debate that people without health insurance should be left to die. It is only his idea of "freedom" that might cause you to think so.
Call me a hypocrite, and you'll be pretty darned accurate if you're talking about big-time college athletics.
The laboratories of democracy are blowing up.
I have admitted in this column many times that I have become a "grumpy old man." Well, folks, here I go again. I often blame technology and the instant sharing of news and opinions on many of society's ills, and that's what I'm doing again today.
I have many colleagues who are of the turf persuasion and we have come to an understanding to agree to disagree. I think grass is a weed, they think a tree is a weed -- in nature the two aren't meant to meet. This is why only grass grows on the Great Plains and only trees grow in the forest. But since we aren't on the Plains or in the forest, we try and get plants to co-exist in arranged landscape designs we like to see.
Last week we spent a few minutes talking about being the best in the world in a particular field.
As the primary pundit at the "Harmony County Weekly Blister," I am frequently called upon to perform many tasks. So, besides winding up the cat and putting out the clock, I also write the advice to the lovelorn column entitled, "Ask the Stud Muffin."
I never played high school football. My glory days ended with the little league Lions and the gridiron of my youth is now a stand of depressingly mature pine trees across the old, worn foot bridge in Woodward Park. Like many, I now enjoy the pleasure of watching and cheering on younger generations and look forward to each new season as it plays out on our home field at Zemp Stadium. It is my opinion that we, as a community, should keep Zemp and prepare the old facility for the future.
WASHINGTON -- Lego's groundbreaking female-scientists set sold out almost immediately after it was released this month. But never fear, fans of feminist toys: A new Barbie doll, now in stock, is also shattering the plastic ceiling.
For the past couple of years, our district has designated one book for summer reading for secondary students. I've really liked this approach. It has generated a lot of enthusiasm and gotten entire families involved. This year's book, This I Believe II, is a collection of personal essays by a very diverse group of people, ranging from legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma to author Studs Terkel. The book got me to thinking; if I was to write an essay about what I believe about education, what would I say?
Let me begin with full disclosure: I was born in Greenville and even though my family moved away when I was 5 years old, I still consider Greenville my hometown. And, as with a first love, one's hometown will always be something special. So it is with me and Greenville.
Some missing something or the other required me to prowl through closets at Mama's house. That's when I found it. I pulled it out and smiled broadly, warmed by the memories it evoked.
I am man enough to admit that I have cried more than once since the news broke that Robin Williams had died by what local officials said was suicide.
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