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Columns

  • Column: The key to success: High expectations

    This column is about a teacher, a family and a state, and one simple but powerful idea – expectations.
    First the teacher. In 1804, in the S.C. backwoods of what is now McCormick County, at a crossroads called Willington, four Presbyterian men decided that the community needed a church and  a school.
    Presbyterians (then and now) place a high value on learning. Church rules require that ministers be “educated and trained,” and thus many Presbyterian ministers also taught school.

  • Column: I don’t believe marchers’ science

    This weekend over 600 rallies and marches happened around the world for science. I watched some of the speeches on CSPAN from the rally in D.C. Many science topics were spoken about, but the core subject was that man-made global warming is considered settled science.
    What they are proclaiming is that their science is real. Why do they need rally for science that is real? They are not supporting Newton’s laws of motion here.

  • Column: S.C. choice: Ideology or better roads

    For the last several years, plans to properly fund the maintenance and expansion of our state’s roads have been short-circuited in the S.C. Senate by road-plan opponents.
    Due to their stubbornness, only piecemeal solutions – the legislative equivalent of I-95’s stop-and-go traffic – have been advanced.

  • Column: Call me bleeding-heart conservative

    I was the sole candidate who challenged Mick Mulvaney in last year’s Republican primary. Sadly, fewer than 14 percent of eligible voters voted. This year I have six Republicans in opposition to my bid – not to mention three in the Democratic Party and some others.
    Who will best represent all 660,000 citizens in 10-plus counties? I will. Here’s why. Principle: Much of leadership is clearing the clutter.

  • Column: Biggest threat to driver safety is cell phones, not bad roads

    In the seemingly interminable debate about funding for roads in South Carolina, with the latest gas-tax hike being debated this week in the state Senate, we’re often told that billions of dollars must be taxed or borrowed in order to make the roads safer and more efficient.

  • Column: Universities losing ‘unity of diversity’

    Recent events make me think back to my time in divinity school studying for my master’s degree.
    The university it was attached to was well-known as a theologically conservative institution, but the divinity school gained a reputation for being liberal-minded because it insisted we learn both sides of the argument.

  • Column: Pug Ravenel and the tragedy of what S.C. might have been

    Pug Ravenel died last month. He was 79. Most people living in South Carolina today don’t know who he was or what he did. But they should learn.

    Pug epitomized the triumphs and tragedies of what is and what might have been for South Carolina.
    Full disclosure: I worked for Pug for almost two years when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 1978. I was a true believer.

  • Column: Send expert to Washington and restructure flawed system

    April 15 is a day most Americans dread. But for millions of hardworking taxpayers, the completion of tax returns is actually unnecessary.
    The government maintains records showing how much tax has been withheld from their paychecks. Their income is on file. The amount of tax they owe or tax to be refunded is on file, too. Yet tens of millions of hours are wasted with millions of Americans filing their tax returns with information the government already has.

  • Column: Congressional hopefuls need to detail plans for Medicare

    With 15 candidates competing for votes, things are heating up in the special election to fill Mick Mulvaney’s seat in the 5th Congressional District.
    On behalf of our 81,000 members in the 5th District, AARP South Carolina wants to know where these candidates stand on protecting Medicare for the future and their specific position on “premium support” (a.k.a. Medicare vouchers).
    So what are Medicare vouchers?

  • Column: Today we celebrate most amazing event in history

    As we look around the world this Easter Sunday, we see the realities of violence, disease and famine, of graphic horrors in places like Syria and Egypt.
    With all this suffering, it is a fitting moment to ask a well-worn question: Why do bad things happen to good people?
    My attempt at an answer would be to examine the word “good.” It’s an extremely relative term. I can look around and find persons with whom I can compare myself, and I can reach the conclusion that compared to them, I am pretty good.