• The Abbeville case – key to S.C.’s future

    There is nothing – absolutely nothing – more important to the future of our state than fixing education. And as a result of the Abbeville case, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to fix it. The question is will we?

  • Lawmakers approve $200,000 earmark for ‘paper’ project

    S.C. lawmakers for years have bypassed the normal budget process by quietly slipping in earmarks for thousands – and sometimes millions – of tax dollars for their favorite organizations.

    But in rejecting Gov. Nikki Haley’s veto of a $200,000 earmark sponsored by Rep. Bill Herbkersman, R-Beaufort and a member of the budget-writing House Ways and Means Committee, the General Assembly recently went a step further: It approved spending taxpayer money for a nonprofit housing development that has existed for years only on paper.

  • In our effort to appease, we lose more than we gain

    Dr. Brooks Walker’s guest column, “Seek truth: Stop mob from ruling,” in the July 15 edition of The Lancaster News makes clear by illustrious examples his point that “facts have no place in a conversation based on emotion and assumption.”

    He further states, “Justice begins with the search for truth...” followed by more vivid illustrations showing that truth is not being sought by those who scream “no justice, no peace.”

    There can be no justice without truth. Lady Justice has always been depicted as blind.

  • No one has ever had the stage presence of Elvis Presley

    As far back as I can remember, Elvis was part of my life. It was a treat to go to the drive-in with the family and I clearly remember a night we saw three of his movies at the old Townview.

    For those too young to know, a drive-in is just like a DVD player for your car except the screen is huge and outside, you can only go at night, and mosquitos eat you alive in the summer.

    I just happened to be watching NBC in November of 1968 when Elvis exploded onto the screen in what is now called the “‘68 Comeback Special.”

  • S.C. education: Buckets, fires and computers

    Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire,” said the Irish poet William Butler Yeats.

    In South Carolina, we are spending far too much time trying to fill pails (often with holes in them) and not nearly enough time lighting fires. But the good news is that there is no better fire starter for young minds (or old ones for that matter) than a computer connected to the Internet.

    And therein lies a great hope for our state – and there are real reasons to be encouraged.

  • A ghastly reminder of the consequences of inaction

    Reminders are a good thing in life. The more poignant the reminder, the more effective it becomes in its work of reminding. Reminders of evil in human history cry out to contemporary culture for relentless vigilance.

    Disaster lurks on the horizon for those societies who become inoculated to these reminders. The question remains whether we will hear the cry of alarm. I was recently confronted with a blistering reminder of the darkness and ruin of the human heart.

  • Parents, citizens, students deserve the whole truth

    I have often shared with my students and church members that telling a half truth is the same as telling a whole lie. Reason being is that in most cases half of the truth that is not being told is the most important information needed in making an appropriate assessment of the situation.

    The same can be said regarding a recent article in The Lancaster News entitled “Three Schools to Swap Principals.”

  • Lawmakers ignore budget priorities

    While Gov. Nikki Haley’s vetoes may have totaled a miniscule portion of the budget, it didn’t stop lawmakers from overriding a significant number of her 87 vetoes (83 on the General Appropriations bill, three on the Capital Reserve Fund bill, and one on the Supplemental Appropriations bill). The House sustained only 17 of the 87 vetoes and the Senate another two.

    The Legislature moved quickly through the vetoes, often not even feigning serious debate to the possibility of sustaining a veto.

  • Seek truth: Stop mob from ruling

    Baltimore has seen riots, demonstrations and destruction. When students asked what I thought of the whole thing, I said I didn’t have all the facts, so my opinion would be based on hearsay.

    At that, one of my students began a tirade on police brutality with their own set of facts, which they assured me were accurate. Another student went all the way back to Trayvon Martin, Ferguson, New York and Charleston, speaking of the evils of police brutality.

  • Indian Land must have robust fire department

    Fire protection is a key function of government, and a system of robust volunteer fire departments, supplemented as necessary by paid firefighters, is essential to the financial health of Lancaster County.

    The question as to how to best provide the paid assistance while maintaining the strength of the volunteer departments is of prime importance.