• Hailed only a quarter-century ago as one of the most amazing technological breakthroughs of all time, the personal computer has fallen on hard times, indicating just how rapidly things change in this world. Though PCs aren't extinct by any means, sales fell 14 percent during the first quarter as compared to a year ago, and that continued a trend of several quarters, as mobile devices of all kinds replace desktop and laptop computers. And Microsoft, which made Bill Gates and Paul Allen among the richest people in the world, has bombed with its new Windows 8 operating system. Indeed ...
Americans are a forgiving lot when it comes to politicians, and South Carolinians are obviously among the most forgiving of all, having handed former Gov. Mark Sanford a resounding victory in the Republican Congressional primary down in the Lowcountry last week. Sanford defeated a large team of GOP rivals to claim the nomination and will now face Elizabeth Colbert, sister of comedian/commentator Stephen Colbert, for the seat which was vacated when Tim Scott was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Jim DeMint. Whew, that's a mouthful.
• We have noted before our apprehension about Hollywood celebrities who confuse their entertaining ability with their political views, thinking voters will pay attention to their often-pompous pronouncements. We recently observed talented Hollywood artist Rob Reiner going on and on in a pontifical manner about what this country should do. We'd like to nominate him as Undersecretary of Silence, hoping he would pay attention to the title.
Sports events sometimes become metaphors for life, and there is no better showcase for that than the ongoing March Madness basketball tournament; a national champion will be crowned Monday night to culminate the annual event. In the round of 8 which was played March 31, number-one seeded Louisville was playing perennial power Duke when Cardinal forward Kevin Ware jumped to block a shock and broke his leg as he fell. It was a gruesome injury, and replays showed the leg projecting at a nasty angle – a horrid break – when he hit the floor. Coaches and teammates wept for him as ...
Last week's unveiling of the statues of Larry Doby and Bernard Baruch, and the attendant ceremonies which were held, amounted to a tripleheader: well-conceived, well-planned and well-executed. The hundreds of people who turned out Friday at the Camden Archives to witness the event were indeed buoyed by a ceremony that truly reflected the theme for the day: reconciliation.
• Actress Ashley Judd has been fooling around with the idea of running for the U.S. Senate from Kentucky against Mitch McConnell, the minority leader. Apparently she didn't like what she was seeing in polls, for she announced last week she would not run. Frankly, we're not disappointed that we won't be subjected to Judd's brand of Hollywood wisdom over the next couple of years.
Those of us who live in Kershaw County often tend to take for granted the Carolina Cup, which is known across South Carolina and the Southeast as one of the premier sporting and social events of each year. While many natives don't attend the race and might grumble good-naturedly about traffic tie-ups on Cup Saturday, thousands upon thousands of people flock here each year to attend the races, and that is an incalculable benefit for Camden.
Camden City Council is considering two projects that would utilize hospitality tax funding, one which would create a "pocket park" where the former Maxway building -- an eyesore by any measure -- is located in the downtown business district, and the other the creation of a tavern at the Historic Camden campus.
• U.S. airlines, which tout customer service but don't practice it very often, could take a cue from Lufthansa, the German line which flies many routes between the United States and international destinations. Lufthansa offers incentives for medical doctors to let the airline know when they're aboard, and they reserve a particular seat -- it happens to be 36G -- for the physician, so flight attendants always know where they can find help in an emergency. Now that's a nifty plan that serves everyone's interests.
The U.S. Postal Service is losing nearly $16 billion a year, and the attrition of traditional mail continues as people communicate, pay bills and make reservations on the Internet, along with a host of other tasks that used to involve mail. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe announced recently that Saturday mail delivery would be eliminated; this, of course, isn't everybody's first preference, but it's necessary to try to help stem the flow of red ink. But the post office has always been a political football, and our representatives in Congress -- the same ones who agree on almost ...
A state Senate bill that would allow early voting in South Carolina makes perfect sense and will benefit thousands of Palmetto State voters if it becomes law. Many other states already allow people to cast their ballots several days before an election, but South Carolina voters haven't been allowed to do that unless they were able to provide one of 18 different reasons to cast an absentee ballot. In reality, those wishing to vote early haven't had a problem in doing so by designating one of the basketful of absentee-voting reasons, but it's a needless process. This ...
• There is something comforting about tradition, and the election of a new pope -- with the tell-tale white smoke billowing from a chimney atop the Sistine Chapel -- is about as traditional as it gets. With 1.2 billion members, the Catholic church is facing both challenges and opportunities as newly elected pontiff Pope Francis begins his tenure. He has won adherents from the beginning because of his humility, and it will be interesting to see how he takes on the challenges of the church.
Supporters of President Obama say the ratcheting up of a group called Organizing For Action is simply a way for the president to get his message out and pressure Congress to adopt his agenda. Critics say it's a way for big-money donors and special interest groups to buy access to the White House. As the controversy swirls, we are reminded of the Clinton presidency and the brouhaha around "the Lincoln bedroom," which was the practice of allowing large donors to have a sleepover in the White House.
There's an interesting situation working up in Charlotte, where the owners of the Carolina Panthers are asking the city of Charlotte and the state of North Carolina for more than $200 million to fund stadium renovations at 17-year-old Bank of America Stadium -- a facility, by the way, that was built not with the owners' investment but primarily through the sales of "permanent seat licenses" to those who bought season tickets, along with some funding from the city of Charlotte.
• We note with sadness the death of longtime Camden resident Ed Bracey, who was a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He was also a civil rights pioneer, helping pave the way for the integration of South Carolina's public universities, and he was a tireless advocate -- sometimes through his columns here in the Chronicle-Independent – for justice. He leaves the world a better place.
On Sept. 28, 1789, according to a government website, the First Federal Congress passed a resolution asking President George Washington recommend to the nation a day of thanksgiving. The site goes on to describe what happened: a few days later, Washington issued a proclamation naming Thursday, Nov. 26, 1789, as a "day of public thanksgiving" -- the first time the holiday was celebrated by our fledgling country.
• Property rights vs. community pride is a conflict as old as civilization itself. In recent months, we've reported on two attempts to regulate the appearance of properties in an effort to clean up our communities. Back in October, Kershaw County Council rejected, 3-4, third reading of an ordinance which would have given the county authority to demolish uninhabitable dwellings deemed a nuisance to neighbors or the community at large. More recently, Bethune Town Councilman John Fulmer proposed an ordinance which, if passed in December, would fine owners of blighted properties if they don't clean them up after being ...
Lawyers of every political persuasion are lining up in Washington to have their say on the legality or illegality of the plan President Obama intends to implement regarding amnesty for illegal aliens who are in the United States without proper authorization, with one major network saying the president's plan to take the immigration system into his own hands "is a daring test of the limits of presidential power."
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