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Columns

  • Column: Simple steps to enhance education in South Carolina

    We all want our children to do better in school, so education reform is a predictable hobbyhorse. And yet, few offer ideas beyond throwing money at the problem or reducing classroom sizes.
    As the son of an educator dad and literacy-coach mom, I offer simple steps to enhance education in South Carolina’s Fifth District, five vital skills required for 21st century success.

  • Column: If bands can make moral choices, why can’t everyone act on beliefs?

    Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and others have the right to cancel their concerts in North Carolina just because they believe that the state’s HB2 law is discriminatory.
    I also believe people and businesses have the right not to do business with people of different beliefs.

  • Column: Join letter carriers to Stamp Out Hunger!

    The National Association of Letter Carriers will hold its Stamp Out Hunger food drive May 14. Lancaster postal employees will again participate in this national effort, with your help.
    Now in its 24th year, Stamp Out Hunger! is the nation’s largest single-day food drive. Last year, letter carriers collected 70.6 million pounds of food from postal customers across the country, bringing the total donations to more than 1.4 billion pounds of food collected along postal routes since the drive began.

  • Column: Business owners suffering unfairly in LGBT disputes

    It just keeps getting more and more interesting and perplexing. I am just not quite sure what to make of it all.
    The list continues to grow of businesses across the country that have been sued or threatened with lawsuits because they refused to provide services for individuals/couples who are openly gay. Some businesses have closed because of this, at least temporarily.

  • Column: ‘Bathroom bill’ enforcement more than we can handle

    Some states are known for things they produce in abundance. Idaho has potatoes, Maine has lobsters and South Carolina seems to have more than our fair share of politicians with loopy, if not downright embarrassing, ideas.
    This is not really new for the Palmetto State as we have a long history of such loopy ideas – secession, printing our own currency, denying children an education based on their skin color, etc. – and these are just the things proposed in the last few years.
    And now we are at it again.

  • Column: Legislature shouldn’t police itself on ethics

    Many, if not most, South Carolina state lawmakers have a peculiar understanding of the separation of powers. For them, the principle seems to mean that all powers should be removed from the executive and judicial branches and concentrated in the legislature.

  • Editor's Column: If politics were sport, Mr. McCoy would be ejected from the game

    Billy McCoy and his band of merry plagiarizers came up with a head-scratcher of an explanation.
    Yes, they acknowledged, we copied almost every word of an N.C. police department’s strategic plan and called it our own, but that’s not plagiarism. And besides, every law enforcement agency in America does this, so who cares?

  • Editor's Column: Come join the jousting match of ideas

    I encounter angry people often in this job, and that’s OK.
    Usually it’s because of something we published, like a recent story about a young man charged with several violent crimes. His mother called to scream at me that we had no right to drag him through the mud this way, that we should wait to see if he’s convicted. I listened for a while, but when she started repeating herself, I told her I understood why she was angry and said goodbye.

  • Column: S.C. House bill confirms party caucuses are public

    This editorial ran in thenerve.org, an online publication of the S.C. Policy Council, an independent, nonprofit research group promoting free-market policies and government transparency.

    Exactly one year ago, The Nerve’s Rick Brundrett published a story on how legislative caucuses – the General Assembly’s partisan strategizing organizations – somehow get to avoid being designated as public entities. This despite the fact that they meet, rent-free, in public office space and by definition deal with public business.

  • Column: Jettisoning pervasive negativity

    A few news items, two from South Carolina and two national:
    Item one: S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson called David Pascoe (the special prosecutor that Wilson appointed) a “liar” over his handling of a public corruption case.
    It began with a barrage of harsh words from Wilson delivered with great heat and passion and ended with a flurry of papers filed in court. Gov. Nikki Haley called the whole thing “an embarrassing mess.”  There’s no reason to think it won’t continue for a while.