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.
The S.C. Republican Party has withdrawn from a federal lawsuit that would close the GOP's primary only to members of the party. The state organization didn't do that because it opposes the suit but because it doesn't want to spend the money. But in reality, it should oppose the suit as a matter of sound policy; trying to accomplish closed primaries in a state in which voters don't even register by party makes no sense.
Officials of the United States Golf Association made a good decision in sending this week's U. S. Open, the most prestigious of its tournaments, to the fabled Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., a mere chip shot away from Philadelphia's prestigious Main Line. In an era in which players are much more muscular and powerful, and equipment is advanced, some would say Merion, at 6,996 yards, isn't long enough to host a major championship such as the Open. Nowadays, courses stretch out to 7,600 yards and longer as players routinely average 300 yards or more ...
Camden City Council was scheduled yesterday to take second reading on a proposal to purchase the former Maxway building in the downtown business district, with plans to raze the decaying structure and build a small park. The building, located at the corner of Broad and Rutledge Street, has stood unoccupied for years and has become an eyesore. It's presently owned by Redwood Homes LLC, which has agreed to sell it to the city for $65,000. It will take about twice that amount to demolish the structure and perform asbestos removal and abatement.
• We note with sadness the recent death of Leonard Price, who moved in his later years to Boonetown and became one of Kershaw County's most generous and involved philanthropists. Price gave to a variety of causes and was especially beneficent towards North Central High School. As Bobby Jones, a former school principal in the county said, "He not only talked the talk, he walked the walk." Price has left an indelible mark upon the county.
Recent revelations that the government is carrying out secret domestic surveillance programs on businesses, coming on the heels of other snooping incidents by the Justice Department, are chilling and go to the very basic tenets of freedom in this country. The serious nature of this surveillance is highlighted by the fact that many members of both parties -- and they seldom seem to agree on anything -- are aghast at some of the things that are happening.
People in this country -- no doubt many right here in Kershaw County -- are angry with the Internal Revenue Service and its heavy-handed methods. Of course, the IRS has never been popular, and probably wouldn't be if the agency did everything by the book. But its recent targeting of conservative groups has spotlighted the venom with which overzealous bureaucrats can operate. Adding to it are recent revelations about profligate spending on travel and "training" by IRS employees.
• We can't think of a better recipient of the Boy Scouts' Citizen of the Year award than Jack Brantley, the Camden caterer who's carved out friendships throughout South Carolina. Brantley's personal magnetism has helped him establish a thriving business and has also helped spread Camden's reputation. He's always been generous in helping local causes and in donating the use of his home, Aberdeen, for community affairs.
South Carolina Democrats were right in recently criticizing Gov. Nikki Haley for her refusal -- she later relented -- to oust a member of her re-election committee who had ties to the Council of Conservative Citizens, a far-right group with severe overtones of racial bias. That group believes, according to its own website, that "the American people and government should remain European in their composition and character." That's a fancy way of explaining racial purity.
We were glad to see the Kershaw County Sheriff's Department conduct a sting operation recently that resulted in five area businesses being cited for selling alcohol to minors. People under the age of 21 have many ways to get alcohol, and we don't delude ourselves into believing that such an effort will wipe out underage drinking, but it's one more step that will make it more difficult for people to buy alcoholic beverages illegally.
• We're happy to see that Camden native Michael Kohn is back in the Major Leagues as a relief pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels. Kohn is 1-0 during the young season, with 12 appearances at the time this was written. He's compiled a steady 2.45 earned run average. Like all Camdenites, we wish him success and a long career in "the show."
By now you have probably heard on more than one occasion some representative of the Obama administration -- perhaps Jay Carney, the press secretary; or maybe Eric Holder, the attorney general; or maybe the president himself -- repeat words that have become almost a mantra in responding to the multiple issues that are dogging the White House: "It wouldn't be appropriate to comment on an ongoing investigation."
The proposed "road diet" that the city of Camden is contemplating for its downtown area is intended to make the central business district more vibrant, pleasant and inviting. But not everyone agrees that will happen if the plan is effected, and city council is right to proceed slowly with this rather than rushing into something that's going to be met with resistance. The plan is complex but involves, among other things, moving trucks off Broad Street and then narrowing the area of Broad between DeKalb and York streets to one lane in each direction.
There are jokes aplenty about the Internal Revenue Service, but the latest revelations about that agency's conduct in targeting conservative groups is no laughing matter. In reality, it's not about conservative groups or liberal groups or apolitical groups. It's about the abhorrent idea that the IRS would single out any kind of organization or individual to harass -- and indeed it is harassment.
• An amazing sight Friday morning: the final two-section, 75-foot portion of the spire atop One World Trade Center in New York City was lifted up and carefully put in to place. With the spire, 1 WTC -- as some are calling it -- became the tallest building in the western hemisphere, topping out at a very symbolic 1,776 feet. While it was an odd bit of showmanship, it was also nonetheless thrilling to watch as NBC Today Show host Matt Lauer had the honor of signaling the workmen to complete their task. New York/New Jersey Port Authority Vice Chair Scott ...
Two prominent decisions in South Carolina courts this week have been just and fair -- exactly the way most people would like to see the legal system work. The first was a decision by Circuit Court Judge Carmen Mullen to overturn the 1944 conviction of a 14-year-old boy who was sent to the electric chair back in the Jim Crow days of this state for the murder of two girls.
With police behavior having been in the news recently because of incidents in which white officers killed unarmed black citizens, there has been much discussion -- rightfully so -- about whether some officers are acting recklessly. Racial profiling, of course, has been a part of this discussion, as it should be. It's interesting, then, that the U.S. Supreme Court handed down an opinion earlier this week giving some leeway to police who make "reasonable mistakes" in enforcing the law. Of course, reasonable mistakes don't include the right by officers to act without provocation or to use undue force. And ...
• A tip of the C-I hat to Kershaw County Deputy Fred Tiah, a school resource officer at Stover Middle School in Elgin. Tiah, as we reported Friday, is from Liberia, one of the hardest-hit countries in this year's Ebola crisis. Recognizing he has been welcomed to and is finding success in America, Tiah says he wants to help children in his native country who have been orphaned by the deadly disease. He's put his idea into action, raising money to help pay for the children's education and medical supplies. Tiah also wants to be a role model ...
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