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What’s in a name? Depends on who you ask

Native Americans are a proud people with a vibrant culture, rich history, and a past that is a colorful tapestry of triumph, tragedy, and ultimately survival. Natives may refer to themselves and each other by many different names, tribes, and titles, but there is one word that is not a part of their vernacular — a word whose very essence is derogatory and shameful.It is a word that most Caucasians would not dare to call them to their face, and yet seem to have no problem scre...

6 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Shop locally, and improve your community

The benefits of shopping locally can’t be overstated.When we spend our money at locally-owned businesses, we’re often reinvesting in our community. The dollars spent at local stores, shops, restaurants, garages and other businesses tend to remain in local circulation, boosting the local economy and keeping many people in jobs.Various studies have tried to quantify the benefit. The York County Regional Chamber of Commerce estimates that 45 cents of every dolla...

6 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Washington Redskins should get to keep their name

Should Daniel Snyder be forced to change the mascot of his NFL franchise Washington Redskins?While the wave of political correctness that promised to be a mere fad more than 15 years ago has taken on a cultural movement of epic proportions bordering on the absurd the boundaries set by that movement have gone far beyond reasonability.As a society we have devolved to the point where any reference to any ethnicity without that reference containing a hyphen is tantamount to ...

6 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Calling it like I see it: It was a nightmare bus ride

It has been 15 years since I have been on a Greyhound bus and after this past weekend, I remember why.It’s roughly a 10 hour drive by car from Greenville to Toledo, Ohio. Maybe 11 if you really take your time, grab a couple of bites to eat and enjoy the scenery along the way. By bus, it’s 20.Twenty hours of sitting next to complete strangers with questionable personal hygiene habits, 20 hours of desperately trying to grab some sleep in seats that are next to ...

11 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

When it comes to education, just keep it simple

Where does the state of education stand in the state of South Carolina as the 2014-15 school year begins?The answer is, in limbo.There is a real disconnect between polar opposites on an issue that seems to be taking on a life of its own and could easily become a major issue not only in the elections of 2014 but moving forward. Common Core education standards are quickly becoming a line in the sand for many voters, especially those voters with school-aged children.

11 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

The case for making foreign aid a two-way street

What if I told you there was a lot in Africa that was going right?Now, I don’t mean programs that are successfully handing out food aid, treating malaria, or preventing elephant poaching, although I’m sure some of those are succeeding too. I mean intrinsic parts of African cultures that are wonderfully successful and underappreciated.In fact, Americans could learn a lot from Africans. Perhaps they could create an aid program and come over here to teach us?...

14 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

You don’t have to be a jerk to support your team

I’m going to preface this column with a statement, a disclosure, if you will, so that all of you know where I stand and know where I’m coming from before you read any further: I am a Tiger fan.Having said that, let’s talk about that nasty opening weekend and how disappointed I am, not only in both of our major colleges’ performances on the field, but more by the behavior of everyone who happens to be a Gamecock fan or Clemson fan.And chances are I...

14 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

No excuse for not vaccinating children

In 1998, the medical journal The Lancet published one of the most damaging articles in modern history — a study supposedly linking the MMR vaccine with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD. By 2010, the medical journal retracted the paper in its entirety. But the damage had been done.

18 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Finding the write combo not as easy as it sounds

Recently I met someone locally who found out I am a published novelist and they expounded on how that has been their life’s ambition, and all I can say is …So you want to be a writer? Are you sure about that?Wait, let me rephrase that question in a way that will reflect the true essence of what I am asking you … because if there is one thing I have discovered it is that there is a huge and gaping chasm between being a writer and what I am getting at....

19 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

The passage of time — when perception meets reality

My little brother is getting married this weekend, and I can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact that he’s all grown up.Thomas is the baby of the family. There’s almost an 11-year age difference between us. In my mind, he’s still that little boy running around the living room in a homemade Batman costume, the kid I read Harry Potter books to at bed time, and who squealed with delight if I made pizza sandwiches for lunch.He’s the boy who c...

20 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Protecting South Carolina’s veterans

The brave men and women who have worn our nation’s uniform deserve our honor and our kept promises. South Carolina’s approximately 400,000 veterans rely on the services provided by the Wm. Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston and the eleven community based outpatient facilities around the state.That is why this spring when news reports of widespread mismanagement problems and “secret” waiting lis...

25 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Is a brokered peace possible?

For well over 2,000 years, there has been a continuing struggle in the Middle East and to presume the United States can broker any lasting peace in this situation is to expect the impossible.There are two issues at play other than the combatants presently involved in Israel, the Israelis and the Palestinians, or Hamas if you prefer. One of these issues was created as recent as the 20th century and the other predates most historical accounts.

25 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Knitting yields more than just sweaters

School letting out for the summer meant one thing to me growing up — spending two weeks at my grandmother’s house in Pennsylvania. It was easily the highlight of my year.She took me to get my ears pierced (which irritated my mother to no end), we fished and played around the lake in her paddle boat, and she was flexible about the whole dinner before dessert thing.But most importantly, my grandmother taught me how to knit.Knitting has staye...

25 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Sam Wyche has a vision we all need to share

I met Sam Wyche at the most recent Rotary meeting in Easley and it was a true pleasure as a football fan and former player.As a coach and a member of the upstate community during some of my more formative years, he was always a shining example of what hard work could do for anyone, and I thank him for that. But I want to talk about a different Sam Wyche, one that might not be known widely and share with you a discussion we shared.You know him as a Super Bowl coach, Furma...

25 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

What’s in a game of football? Plenty, if you ask my husband

With football season just around the corner, things are beginning to get a little crazy around my house. I’m not much of a college fan myself, but my husband, John, is a die-hard Carolina Gamecocks fan. And I do mean die-hard.Back when we were still dating, I once witnessed him set his car window flag on fire after a particularly devastating loss. (I think it was to Auburn.) Regardless, the polyester had melted all over the roof of the car before I managed to rip it off and s...

27 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

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