Camdenites of reason, including those who enjoy taking a walk in the morning, will no doubt find a great deal of wisdom in the a federal judge's burial of a lawsuit filed by two dog owners against city and county officials who had removed their dogs after complaints of violent behavior by the German Shepherds.
• We couldn't help but be a bit wistful last week upon reading that DuPont is making a $500-million plant expansion at its Moncks Corner facility, which produces Kevlar. We recall fondly the glory days of DuPont in Kershaw County, when the May Plant had more than 4,000 people on the payroll in high-paying, steady jobs. The company, like most large corporations then, transferred many people frequently, which led to an influx and egress of talented, interesting people into and out of this area. Many have remained here in Camden even after DuPont sold its May Plant -- we're ...
South Carolina Republicans have long taken pride in the fact that the state's first-in-the-South primary has attracted a great deal of national political attention, and indeed, Palmetto State GOP voters have had an uncanny knack for picking the eventual party candidate. So it gives the state a great deal of clout among Republican candidates who want to gain momentum as they head into the election season's final year. As we've noted before, we aren't keen on the fact that candidates for the White House announce soon after a president has been chosen, setting up what is ...
Surprise, surprise. Gov. Nikki Haley has handed out poor "report card" grades to Democratic legislators in Columbia, and they have responded by giving her a poor grade as chief executive of the Palmetto State. When Haley announced shortly after being elected that she planned to hand out grades to legislators, it sounded like a bad idea to us. First of all, it's arrogant. Second, it was reasonably easy to predict that members of her own party would get higher marks than Democrats. And third, it looked as if Haley had learned nothing from the contentious relationship that her predecessor ...
• We've commented all along that a pending bill to require South Carolina voters to present a photo ID at the polls was no big deal, though some opponents claimed it would be unfair because some people don't have ready access to such identification cards. The state has offered the estimated 178,000 Palmetto State residents without a card free transportation to a DMV center to have one made at no cost. Only 600 people have taken the state up on the offer, indicating to us that the rest don't have much interest in voting, anyway.
The many thousands of Atlanta Braves fans here in Kershaw County are no doubt hanging their heads in despair after the team blew a 10-and-a-half game wild-card lead in little more than a month to end up missing the National League playoffs. Ironically, the Boston Red Sox had a similar run of futility, failing to hang on to a nine-game wild-card lead they held Sept. 4. The Braves and the Red Sox share one common thread: they're both regional franchises, with Atlanta commanding huge hoards of fans in the South and the Red Sox the favorite of nearly every ...
Gov. Nikki Haley says something needs to be done to alter a pension system that gives South Carolina legislators wider benefits than other state workers. The subject has become controversial following a report in USA Today last week detailing ways in which lawmakers' pensions are more advantageous than those afforded other state workers. The president of the S.C. Retirees Association has entered the fray, criticizing the practice and calling for reforms.
• There are no doubt many Netflix users in Kershaw County; the video mail service grew over the years at an astonishing rate with its wide choice of flicks and excellent customer service. Then came a price increase that resulted in the loss of millions of customers, a move that CEO Reed Hastings recently acknowledged was "arrogant." The landscape is littered with companies that made brilliant moves, then followed them up with dunderheaded strategies that spelled death for them. It's too early to tell for Netflix.
With the steady fade of Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, the Republican nomination for president appears to be narrowing into a two-way race between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. That doesn't mean, of course, that things couldn't turn suddenly; four years ago, John McCain appeared dead in the water but mounted a strong comeback to win the nomination. But in this instance, it looks like it might be hand-to-hand combat between Romney and Perry, with the rest of the candidates left on the outside, looking in.
South Carolina recently passed a law that requires voters to show a photo ID when they go to the polls, and we have said all along those who object to such a move are throwing a red herring into the equation. There's certainly nothing wrong with having people prove who they say they are when they go to exercise the basic right of democracy, and the photo ID law does nothing to prevent people from voting or making it more difficult for them to do so.
• The leaders of a bipartisan congressional committee charged with finding $1.2 trillion in savings apparently understand the importance of their mission, with Sen. Patty Murray saying, "I don't see this as a party issue. I see success as bringing some confidence back to the American people that despite our differences, we can find some ways to move forward." Indeed, about four in five Americans say they have no confidence in Congress. Committee members of both parties have an opportunity to make a difference; let's hope they will take their duties seriously rather than hewing to a rigid ...
When the modern food stamp program began as a pilot project in 1961 -- it was authorized as a permanent program three years later -- those in charge probably never envisioned a day when people might walk into fast-food restaurants, order up a huge container of French fries and then pull out their food stamps to pay. But that's what's happening in some places today, and restaurant owners are pushing for a bigger share of the pie.
Nearly a half-century after the death of President John F. Kennedy, there remains a fascination with him and his family. The young Massachusetts senator won a narrow victory over Richard Nixon in 1960, and his brief administration has become known to many as "Camelot," a reference to the verve, idealism and sense of idyllic happiness that surrounded his time in office and the mood of the country at that time.
• This month's award for poor taste goes to the Pima County (Arizona) Republican Party, which is planning to raffle off a gun like the one used to shoot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Our dim view of this has nothing to do with second amendment rights, but rather spotlights an exercise in poor judgment, given the tragedy that occurred in Rep. Giffords' district in January, in which a gunman killed six people and wounded 13 others.
The late comedian Lewis Grizzard, whose column appeared in this newspaper, was an oft-married guy who used to joke that there was a bumper sticker reading "Honk If You've Been Married To Lewis Grizzard." Taking a new tack on an old theme, we're going to start looking for stickers announcing, "Honk If You've Sued Sheriff Jim Matthews."
• We are comforted when justice is served, and we believe that happened Thursday afternoon when a jury found 33-year-old Willie Thomas Starnes, of Bethune, guilty of armed robbery and murder. The jury found Starnes guilty of deliberately using his vehicle a year ago to knock Alan Thomas Robinson, 67, also of Bethune, off his moped, stealing and loading that moped onto his vehicle and then turning around and running Robinson over. Robinson died the next day. Starnes is then accused of selling the moped for money he used to buy drugs. In fact, Starnes was under the influence of drugs ...
Whenever the subject of guns is brought up, it engenders strong opinion on both sides -- from those who believe in absolute Second Amendment rights, and from those who believe that nobody should be allowed to own a gun in any circumstances. Like most people, we fall somewhere in the middle, solidly on the side of Americans to own firearms but a bit dubious about why it makes sense for people to own Uzis and other automatic weapons that are made with the express purpose of killing people.
We comment on sports issues in this space on a regular basis, because athletics are so ingrained into the culture of Kershaw County and South Carolina. This week marks the kick-off of college football season in the Palmetto State, and several developments highlight the changing culture of the pigskin pastime here.
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