We're glad to see law enforcement officers, especially state troopers, blanketing Kershaw County roadways this week in an effort to help stem a disturbing trend in traffic-related deaths this year. From today through Saturday, troopers will saturate the area, and they will be assisted by cooperating officers from the Camden Police Department, Kershaw County Sheriff's Office and Elgin Police Department.
• Just last week we were patting Sen. Lindsey Graham on the back for his efforts to forge compromise in Washington, but his idea to boycott the winter Olympics in Russia if that country grants asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden is unwise. The last American of power to use the Olympic games as a political tool was President Jimmy Carter back in 1980, and that didn't work out too well -- like many of Carter's other initiatives. Graham's idea is a lousy one, which was noted by House Speaker John Boehner.
We're aware, of course, that in an age of terrorism and violence, law enforcement officials need all the help they can get in dealing with potential incidents. The recent bombing at the Boston Marathon is yet another piece of evidence that people with ill intent can strike at any time. And one of the factors that led to that crime being solved was the presence of security cameras in the area.
We often bemoan the lack of bipartisan effort in Washington these days, a sad set of circumstances that leads to gridlock. Partisanship is at an all-time high now, and there are only a few people in Washington who are willing to reach across the aisle to help forge compromise. Now, because Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is one of those people, some in the Palmetto State's Republican Party want to mount a primary challenge to him. Some in the right wing of the party want to see no compromise whatsoever, which is basically like saying, "We really like ...
• With all the hoopla over online retailing, it's surprising to see figures indicating that of all 2013 first-quarter sales, only 5.5 percent of them involved e-commerce; further, many companies which started selling products on-line are now starting to build brick-and-mortar stores. The predictions of the death of traditional retailing have obviously been overblown.
So-called "stand your ground" laws have been a matter of controversy around the country in the last couple years, but no case involving such a law is more puzzling than the S.C. Supreme Court's agreeing to hear a matter in which a confessed murderer who kicked in a door and then killed his robbery victim claimed he should have immunity because he was fearful for his life, thinking the victim he was robbing was about to kill him.
Amid recent reports from the National Council on Teacher Quality that finds "an industry of mediocrity" and asserts the country's teacher training system is badly broken, there is good news in the Kershaw County School District, and we don't blame Superintendent Frank Morgan for tooting the district's own horn in a recent column in this newspaper.
• The automobile business in the United States has had its ups and downs over the past few decades, suffering through recessions and profiting mightily during good times. But over the last 60 years, one thing's been constant: the allure of the Corvette, which began in a humdrum fashion but became a "hot" car when it was redesigned into the Stingray in the 1960s. The Corvette, recast for 2014, is still a head-turner.
A civil jury didn't take long this week to find in favor of Camden Military Academy officials who had been sued for allegedly fostering an atmosphere of bullying which the plaintiff claimed led to a sexual assault in 2008. Given the extended nature of the trial and the serious accusations, the quick verdict obviously proved that jurors gave little credence to the claims. The testimony was at times sordid and no doubt painful for the three CMA officials who had been named -- Col. Eric Boland, headmaster; Lt. Col. Pat Armstrong, commandant of cadets; and Command Sgt. Major Vertis Wilder.
There's a way government works, and a way the public thinks government works, and the two often don't resemble each other. For instance, many Americans naturally assume the State Department picks its best and brightest people as diplomats, performing the important function of acting as liaison between the United States and the countries to which they have been posted. That would make sense and would help ensure healthy relations with other countries around the world.
• With "Lake Wateree season" in full swing and the July 4 holiday approaching, the recent drowning deaths of two people at nearby Lake Murray and a close call at Camden's Kendall Lake serve as a stark reminder that swimming can end tragically. Safety procedures should always be used, and people should remember that alcohol and swimming don't make for a good combination.
Netroots Nation, the largest gathering of liberal activists in the country, was held recently in San Jose, Cal., and while Hillary Clinton was not there in body, she was apparently there in spirit. The uber-lefters booed Clinton back in 2006 when they decided they'd rather cast their lot with Barack Obama; they saw him as a true liberal, whereas they didn't like Clinton's support of the Iraq war and were still seething about her husband's move to the center during his presidency. That was a move, by the way, that was one of the most shrewd ...
If you want an example of how the government wastes taxpayers' money through tax subsidies of all kinds, you need look no further than the hodgepodge of benefits offered in an attempt to curb climate change, none of which are very effective. That's the opinion issued by the non-partisan National Research Council, which says tax policy could be a positive way to effect climate change but that Uncle Sam has pretty much bungled things. That's not surprising.
• Actor James Gandolfini, who died unexpectedly last week at the age of 51, was one of the great artists of his time. His portrayal of mob boss Tony Soprano has been hailed as one of the best television acting performances ever. Gandolfini, a graduate of Rutgers University, was a true Jersey guy, and he was taken too soon.
The federal sequester has caused a great deal of controversy this year, with groups of all kinds protesting what they claim are inhumane spending cuts by Uncle Sam. Though the sequester has dictated cutting only a small percentage of total federal funds -- and in some cases, just reducing the rate of increase rather than actually cutting -- some have tried to make it the equivalent of a national disaster.
There are many things we like about Gov. Nikki Haley, chief among them being her determined focus on economic development. Haley has been a tireless campaigner for South Carolina when it comes to attracting business to the Palmetto State, and it's paid off in lots of jobs and significant tax revenue. We also like the fact she's a female of Indian descent who helps the diversity picture in South Carolina.
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