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Columns

  • Column: This isn’t the tax reform we want or need

    Editor’s note: The writer is a Democrat from Sumter who lost to Republican Ralph Norman in this year’s special election for the 5th District congressional seat. Parnell is running for the office again in 2018. Norman’s views on the GOP tax-reform bill ran in this space Sunday.

    My father used to tell me to believe half of what you see and even less of what you hear. When it comes to what people in Washington or in the media have to say about tax policy, that’s usually pretty good advice.

  • Column: Our community’s joint mission of philanthropy helps all people

    The first recorded use of the word “philanthropy” was in the Greek play “Prometheus Bound,” written about 460 BCE.
    In the play, Prometheus creates mankind out of clay. In the beginning, his creatures have no culture (no knowledge, skills, arts, science, technology), so they live in darkness, in caves, in fear for their lives. Out of his philanthropos tropos, or humanity-loving nature, Prometheus continues to develop his creatures by giving them two gifts: fire, which symbolizes culture, and “blind hope,” representing optimism.

  • Column: Odd approach to legislative power-sharing

    At a meeting last week, the S.C. House Utility Ratepayer Protection Committee was talking about restructuring the state’s Public Utilities Review Committee, which oversees or influences every area of the energy industry, including the failed V.C. Summer nuclear construction project.
    Rep. Nathan Ballantine, a Richland County Republican, brought up the PURC’s legislator-to-citizen ratio.

  • Column: Democrats back policies that help America’s middle class

    Last Saturday at noon, my wife Mary and I rode in the Lancaster Veterans Day parade in the back of Keith Grey’s pickup truck with Tom and Judy Langston. Keith also pulled a trailer with more members of the Lancaster County Democratic Party.
    The LCDP trailer was entry number 59 in the parade. Tommy Myers and his family walked behind our trailer as entry number 60. Even though Tommy is a Democrat, he was not in the parade as a Democrat, but as a veteran of the Vietnam War.

  • Column: Norman says GOP tax-reform plan is simple, fair

    It is no secret that our tax system is broken.
    Did you know that the tax code has not been fully reformed in over 30 years? Right now, we have the opportunity of a lifetime to achieve fair, comprehensive tax reform and make the system work for all Americans.
    Politicians in Washington have a spending problem, not an income problem. We have to distinguish the needs versus wants, which conservatives have promised the American people.

  • Column: Don’t take shortcut of blaming mass killings on mental illness

    After the latest mass shooting on American soil, those looking for reasons why this happened (and in some cases trying to cover for what many people think is the real problem) are trotting out the old standby boogieman – mental illness.
    In some cases, it’s easier for them to wrap their mind around why this sort of thing keeps happening in this country if they can quickly and easily place blame on a cause such as mental illness.

  • Column: A young boy stops to thank WWII veteran

    Last week, I was having breakfast downtown with an old friend. Usually six of us meet for breakfast on Friday morning, but four were scattered from South America to doctor’s offices, so the two of us carried on.
    While we had coffee and waited for our eggs and bacon, we covered a number of topics – one was about World War II.

  • Column: Another mass killing tests our faith

    The news feeds continue to report the evil actions of individuals and groups who are bent on wreaking havoc against unsuspecting targets.
    Today, we are hearing about the mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where 26 people are dead and more than a dozen others wounded. The reports of such incidents seem to be growing with each passing week.

  • Column: How it feels to receive a quilt of valor

    When I received an email from The Lancaster News asking me to write about how it felt to receive a quilt of valor from Douglas Presbyterian Church, I debated declining.
    Although the quilt was presented in front of many, it felt like a private moment. A treasured moment. It was my pleasure spending time with the church honoring veterans. But as the quilts of valor – and those who award them – are worthy of recognition, I decided to accept the offer and share my thoughts.     

  • Column: Thank you, Promise Neighborhood volunteers, next workday Nov. 18

    On behalf of Lancaster Promise Neighborhood’s other co-chairs, Bruce Brumfield and Dr. Paul McKenzie, I want to express my deepest gratitude to the dozens of volunteers who came out on Oct. 21 to clean up, clear out and paint one of the homes in our zone.
    Mt. Zion AME Zion Church was gracious to host the workday, which involved adult and youth representatives from AMEZ churches, Resurrection of Life Ministries, All for One Ministries, the Lancaster Breakfast Rotary Club, nonprofit organizations and local businesses.