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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?...

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...

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.

4 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....

5 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...

6 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...

11 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.

11 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...

11 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...

11 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...

13 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Time to create some magic for your kids

I think I became a cynic about people when I reached an age when life just didn’t have the magic it once held and I discovered that people are just out for themselves and nothing more. Yes, I do know there are some genuine people out there. It just so happens they are the exceptions to the rule, and there are far too few of them.Christmas, Easter and summer — among other things — were always the times when there was a mystery about the world I didn’t get and...

13 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Could the loss of one save another?

I was just a kid and a huge fan of the show Happy Days, never missing the show so my friends and I could all talk about it the next day at school. All these years later I remember the night I met Robin Williams when he appeared for the first time as Mork from Ork, leading to the spin-off Mork and Mindy and a resume of credits beyond what any one person could ever reasonably expect.I, like many of you, thought the rumor of the comedian’s death a hoax and nothing more. Maybe it...

18 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

It’s just sweet tea — how hard could it be?

Living in South Carolina for the past six years has taught me many things. I have learned that there is no such thing as a “quick” phone call, macaroni and cheese should never ever come from a box, and the phrase “bless your heart” is not necessarily a compliment.But the most important thing that I’ve gleaned from my time down South is that tea is not tea unless it contains at least a half pound of sugar.I hail from the great frozen...

18 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

Getting real about rape

Hallelujah. Lawmakers are finally doing something productive about rape on college campuses. A group of eight senators has just proposed the Campus Accountability and Safety Act, which would ensure harsher penalties for colleges that aren’t reporting on-campus sexual assault crimes.The bill follows the Board of Education’s release of a list of colleges being investigated for allegedly mishandling student sexual assault complaints — now up to 71 from the initial 55...

19 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

The case for low taxes

They boast about how they “bring home the bacon.”They take credit for new buildings, new parks and new programs for which they’ve secured public funding.But all too often, politicians forget to thank the people who made it possible – the taxpayers.One of the fundamental problems facing government at all levels is the casual attitude which is often displayed toward tax dollars. Too many public officials see taxpayer dollars as the answer...

20 days 18 hours ago | | | Email

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