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.

1 days 5 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....

2 days 5 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...

3 days 5 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...

8 days 5 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.

8 days 5 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...

8 days 5 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...

8 days 5 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...

10 days 5 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...

10 days 5 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...

15 days 5 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...

15 days 5 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...

16 days 5 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...

17 days 5 hours ago | | | Email

EMS there when you need them

Sometimes you don’t realize just what you have until you need it. Who would think you’d require the services of the Pickens EMS at 3AM on a Sunday morning, but sure enough, there I was, gasping for air like a fish out of water and a wife unable to drive because of a foot operation of her own. A 911 call and the EMS was here within 15 minutes, loading me up with wires and tubes and helping my wife into the ambulance so she could go along. I don’t know the names of the man and...

17 days 5 hours ago | | | Email

Having a bad week? It can ALWAYS be worse

I don’t know if this is true but if it is this has to be one of the worst weeks ever suffered by one man in the history of the world … and I have to be honest, I didn’t do the research because in this case I think I like the legend if it happens to be untrue.So I’m sitting there this weekend and a friend says, “Did you hear about the guy that got hit with both of the atomic bombs in Japan at the end of World War II?”For those uninitiat...

17 days 5 hours ago | | | Email


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