Someone sent me an Internet video of two soldiers in Afghanistan demonstrating how to make coffee using a device called a heat pack. It was entertaining though the language was pretty salty, as soldiers' language can be.
What would America look like if the Tea Party movement ran it? You can get a good glimpse in Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's budget-balancing plan. Now, I wonder, will Democrats come up with a better plan? Or will they simply wait for Republicans to destroy themselves?
Can you think of only one word that accurately defines you?
NEW YORK -- So why do Republicans hate art, the elderly and children?
After having been involved in the political and governmental life in South Carolina since 1963, when I accepted a position on the staff of Gov. Donald Russell, I am still constantly amazed at how long awful ideas persist in our State.
A few weeks back, my wife showed me a newspaper article about a television ad running in North Carolina by a group called "NC Together." In it, the narrator touts the fact that North Carolina has a world class education system that has attracted business and industry to the state and advocates for not making deep cuts to educational and other resources in order to keep the North Carolina's business climate a competitive one. At the end of the ad, a picture of a "Welcome to South Carolina" sign is flashed and the narrator says, "There is another way ...
When President Clinton signed landmark welfare-reform legislation in 1996, he said it would "end welfare as we know it." Wrong verb. More accurately, it changed welfare as we know it.
Ronald Reagan was already in office by the time I turned 18 in 1983 and was eligible to vote. The next year, however, I cast my first vote for president: for Reagan to have a second term.
Conservatives express shock and horror over political correctness, which they roughly define as the Orwellian suppression of any frank discussion about issues that liberals hold dear. But conservatives practice their own PC, too. "Freedom fries," anyone?
Gosh, life is good, and it's the people around us who help make it so.
One evening last year when I pulled into my driveway, there was an unfamiliar car parked in front of my house and there was a man wearing a uniform, standing by the car. As I got closer, I recognized the uniform as a Richland County Sheriff's Department uniform. This officer identified himself to me and said that if I was elected sheriff, he and his partner would like to come work for me. He handed me an envelope containing their resumes.
"What if they gave a war and nobody came? So goes an old Vietnam War era bumper sticker. I've got an update in mind: What if they gave a war and nobody paid attention?
The more months and years I acquire in this here world, the more I realize how pointless it is to plan. Planning ruins things.
NEW YORK -- Whether the topic is Libya's rebels or Afghanistan's "reconciliation" with the Taliban, the pivotal question is, or should be: What about the women?
Captain Stephen D. Lee, CSA wrote on April 13, 1861 that, "We then proceeded at once to Fort Johnson (James Island), which we reached at 4 a. m. (April 12), and to Captain George S. James, commanding at that post, gave the order to open fire at the time indicated. His first shell was fired at 4:30 a. m….."
As I have written here at least once before, only to be proven wrong, Spring is finally here. I really hope I am right this time, but I guess we're never completely immune in April to a cold front coming through that would bring a rainy day or two and then the drop in temperature that always follows. But, let's keep the optimism up and say, with faith, that Spring really is here to stay.
WASHINGTON -- The word is out that Chelsea Clinton is with child, making the favorite Democratic presidential nominee a soon-to-be grandmother.
It was a simple phone call, out of the blue, from someone I'd known years before.
Nothing quite marks spring here in South Carolina like the blooming of daffodils and dogwoods, the fluttering of robins and the release of the pine pollen. Each spring as I walk my dog through the woods during the height of pine pollen release, my footsteps stir the airy spores and coat my shoes. Is it annoying? You betcha. But you know this is the natural order of things and one of Mother Nature's most basic processes, reproduction.
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.
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