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Tagging along on bike ride will bring many returns

As you read this column, whether it be over a cup of coffee, a bite of lunch during your workday break, or as you sit at home celebrating the beginning of your weekend, I am on the road. I hope to make it entertaining for you.Today, depending on what time it is for you right now, I am somewhere between Simpsonville and Newberry, photographing and writing about the Ride to Remember, a fundraiser for Alzheimer’s research. There will be literally hundreds of cyclists covering 25...

6 days 7 hours ago | | | Email

Supreme Court autopsy ruling trumps public accountability

For the second time in a month, the S.C. Supreme Court has ruled against openness and punted important issues back to the Legislature for change.On Tuesday, the court ruled that autopsy records are exempt from release under the FOIA because they are medical records.Why does this matter to the public?It matters because the next time police shoot an innocent man, don’t expect the public to have access to the autopsy report giving the details of the death....

7 days 7 hours ago | | | Email

November governor battle will be a political brawl

It’s beginning to look as if this could be a very interesting campaign season as concerns the gubernatorial race in South Carolina and the issue of the state’s Department of Social Services will be the battleground upon which it is fought.All it takes is turning on the television to see the landscape of the campaign beginning to form on the horizon. The Democratic Governors Association has now joined the fray, tossing down the proverbial gauntlet in a new ad campaign wh...

7 days 7 hours ago | | | Email

Literature digs deep into the soul of the writer — and the reader

In the last seven months I would have to say we’ve covered any number of topics including religion, politics, my life, my sons, my pets, and music. You know more about me than either of my ex-wives ever knew, and they could read exceptionally well, so let’s try something different … let’s talk literature.Wait, before you put the newspaper down because you’re afraid I’m going to go into some diatribe on the value of the moral and ethical concerns ...

9 days 7 hours ago | | | Email

Nothing new under the Gaza-Sderot Sun

The temperatures keep rising in the hot Gaza-Sderot region; after all it’s July. But it’s not the heat that is making our lives unbearable; it’s the renewed terrifying and senseless violence that within 24 hours spun out of control, affecting Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and points further north. It’s the ‘here we go again’ lethal ping pong of Israeli bombings in Gaza and rocket attacks on Israeli communities.

10 days 7 hours ago | | | Email

A birthday wish — and some universe leveling — for my son

I remember when I turned 19 years old and what a boy I was, not from a lack of effort on the parts of both my parents (bless their prematurely aged hearts), and today my oldest son reached that milestone himself … and there is a world of difference between us at that age, I can tell you.

14 days 7 hours ago | | | Email

The DSS clock is ticking

Tick tock goes the clock and the question is, when will it stop?The Department of Social Services along with Gov. Nikki Haley should be taken to task by every citizen in the state of South Carolina for their complete disregard for due process and lack of transparency. There is absolutely no excuse for ANY refusal to answer questions where the welfare of our children is concerned.The department itself is insulated to the point of no accountability, operating under a syste...

14 days 7 hours ago | | | Email

Why do some relationships work while others fail?

I got into a discussion about relationships with a friend recently, and although I’ve had the thought before and have limited how often I share this opinion, I do believe I know why approximately 50 percent of marriages end in divorce … so considering that statistic I figure I have even odds on getting this one right.Boy meets girl and loses his mind and it begins, while girl meets boy and all of the dreams she has ever held inside suddenly become an episode of Bridezil...

15 days 7 hours ago | | | Email

We are mistaken about Iraq

“Those Iraqis have been fighting each other for centuries,” a friend recently said to me. I have heard this mistaken view too often.I told him I had been to Iraq nine times, all before the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. Not a single Iraqi ever said to me, “You need to know I’m Shiite” or “I should tell you I’m Sunni.” Not doctors, not taxi drivers, not hotel staff, not families we visited. Baghdad had many mixed marriages of Shiite and S...

16 days 7 hours ago | | | Email

School trustee responds to AdvancED re-accreditation

By law, the South Carolina Department of Education accredits all public education units — school boards, school district operations and schools, and certifies the diplomas issued by school districts in the state. The School District of Pickens County is accredited by the state and in its 2012-13 report gave our district a 3.93 (out of 4.0) score. The state gave our school board the highest score of 4.0 or “All Clear,” showing it was/is compliant with state education laws, re...

16 days 7 hours ago | | | Email

Brazilian order and progress

Every four years, Brazilians wrap themselves in their cheerful green, yellow, and blue flag emblazoned with the Portuguese words “ordem e progresso.” The slogan, which translates as “order and progress,” stretches across a puddle of stars.It’s not just the people, although plenty of folks do coat their arms in green and yellow paint and wear colorful wigs. When my stint as a foreign correspondent based in Rio de Janeiro coincided with the 1994 World Cu...

21 days 7 hours ago | | | Email

Let freedom ring but know why it’s ringing, too

As the Fourth of July weekend approaches there should be the thought of freedom on the minds of Americans across this nation, celebrating 228 years as an independent country founded upon the principles of freedom, but it will be an unfortunate turn of events this weekend as there will be given very little thought as to how that concept has changed.There will be fireworks, barbecues, family reunions, sparklers, and music. The Stars and Stripes will be on full display as one and all ...

21 days 7 hours ago | | | Email

Oh, for the humanity of it all …

Out of sheer boredom — and for no other reason, I can’t stress that to you enough — I happened upon a TV show on MTV and for the first time I feel like a curmudgeon of the first order.First off, when did MTV quit playing actual music videos? I was in that teen generation that saw the network debut and since Madonna circa 1993 I don’t think I have ever once cruised past and seen someone singing. Oh, they have plenty of pregnant teens and groups of maladjusted...

23 days 7 hours ago | | | Email

A productive 2014 legislative session

A lot of the news coverage of the end of the General Assembly’s legislative session has focused on the more “popcorn worthy” moments of the Senate choosing its internal leadership. But what those news stories have left out is that despite it all, 2014 was a banner year for education, government restructuring, and commonsense reform that the people of South Carolina deserve.

26 days 7 hours ago | | | Email

How did ‘Don’t Mess with the Money’ become the NSA’s motto?

Imagine we had a brazen and powerful gang stealing trillions of dollars from the American people. Then imagine that our law enforcement folks knew the identities of every one of that gang’s ringleaders.Wouldn’t it be great if the government of the United States had the technological wherewithal to track those ringleaders day in and day out? The ability to see who they were phoning. Or emailing. Or where they were going on the Internet.Oh, wait, the government...

28 days 7 hours ago | | | Email

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