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Florence Living

home : opinions August 1, 2014 

SC, immigration and 'Us vs. Them'
First things first: every nation must secure and control its borders. This is not political rhetoric or an ideological judgment but a simple geo-political fact. Whether it’s the Ukraine and invading Russians, Japan defending obscure coastal islands, or ancient Rome resisting Hannibal and his elephants coming over the Alps from Carthage, it is exactly the same. A nation’s borders must be secure. We in the US need to do this with our southern border with Mexico. We can argue over the need for a fence, or electronic monitoring, or the National Guard holding hands on the banks of the Rio Grande – but whatever it takes we must be able to control and secure our borders. That said, one of the great tragedies of the current “children’s crisis” is how it is being used to whip up unfounded fears, prejudices and outright hatred.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Is your portfolio adequately diversified to match your tolerance for risk? Even if you have been fortunate enough to enjoy strong returns in the past, you may want to periodically review your portfolio to make sure your assets are properly diversified. In order to diversify their portfolios, investors typically start by allocating their assets into three classes: stocks, bonds, and cash. However, in many cases, additional diversification may be needed in order to further reduce portfolio volatility. For example, simply having your investments divided between stocks, bonds, and cash may be a problem if all of your assets are tied up in one or two companies or industries. 
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What others say about work
Following are quotes from successful folks about the value of hard work:
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Apollo 11 was an achievement worth remembering
July 21 marked the anniversary of one of America’s great triumphs. Forty-five years earlier, the eyes of a nation were transfixed to their black and white TV sets to watch history unfold as an American astronaut stepped foot on the grey lunar soil. Neil Armstrong became the first man to stand on ground not of this Earth. It was a remarkable feat, one which is unparalleled in world history. Since the beginning of mankind, humans had gazed at the bright sphere hundreds of thousands of miles away, wondering what it was like. At 10:56 p.m. on July 21, 1969, a human was walking on it. So uncertain was the Apollo 11 moon-landing mission that President Nixon had a speech writer prepare for him an address to the nation in case catastrophe occurred. 
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

On staying and feeling young
I’d like to share some good advice on staying young that was passed on to me. Whether it keeps you young or not it should certainly enhance your life. 
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Know who your thrift shop donations are benefiting
Within the past several months I have received numerous contacts from local citizens inquiring about the donation bins that have continued to appear throughout Florence County. They asked if they benefited Florence County Disabilities Foundation or what charity they were associated. After doing further research, I discovered that bins that have a sign that says “Clothes and Shoes” and most of them are painted blue or yellow are operated by for profit clothing recycling companies and the name of a charity, most of which do not benefit local citizens and some are charities from out-of-state. Most of the charities’ name on the bin receives only a one-time donation or a small percentage of the proceeds from the sale of the items with the majority of the funds benefiting private individuals.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Teacher Union head gets failing grade
For the life of me, I can’t seem to figure out why and how unions get into the business of educating our children. They always seem to do more harm than good; and those who suffer the most seem to be the ones unions profess to protect – the rank-and-file teachers. To hear educators and pundits talk you’d think we are at the dawn of a change in public school education that will herald a new commitment to providing students and parents an education worthy of the tax dollars spent. Yet, until such time that teachers’ unions stop being impediments to success, our education system will not deliver the results we need to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s challenges.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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. That is what this case was about… the shooting of an innocent suspect. Supposedly in self-defense. Problem is, the autopsy showed the suspect in Sumter County was shot in the back. 
Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The codes that men live by
Ladies, this column is for your reading entertainment. Men already know these things. International Rules of Manhood: 
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

States' rights, slavery and strange symbolism of Cliven Bundy
America is a land of stories. We love to use stories about individuals to extract general principals about society as a whole. The story of Cliven Bundy is no exception. His story about an armed standoff versus the Federal Government this past April was illustrative to many of the principles that we are a government of the people, that individual rights are sacrosanct, and that states have the right to decide how to govern the lands and people within their territories. But the story didn’t end there unfortunately. Given the bully pulpit for the first time in his life, Mr. Bundy foolishly squandered his opportunity to have America hear his story. Instead, he launched into a misguided and racist diatribe about African Americans, stating that he believed the fact that “they never learned to pick cotton,” accounted for the social ills of single motherhood and high black male incarceration rates. 
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

While I breathe I hope - really?
South Carolina’s motto, ‘While I breathe I hope’, is surely the most optimistic statement any one can make. Despite all, if we can draw a breath, we are hopeful and optimistic. I’m sure most people don’t pay attention to such things, or even know what our state motto is, but ‘While I breathe I hope’ gives great solace to me. I am an optimist by nature and when it comes to the future and fortunes of my beloved native state, I sometimes vacillate widely between despair and hope. (Today’s newspaper says we’re 50th in something again). But somehow through it all, I seem to usually come out on the ‘hope’ side.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Value investing
Two fundamental styles of investing, growth and value, historically have performed “countercyclically.” This means that when one style falls out of favor, the other type becomes the preferred choice. Thanks to wide fluctuations in the stock market lately, some investors are rediscovering value investing once again. While growth investing focuses on companies that are believed to be in the early stages of considerable earnings growth, value investing concentrates on stocks that are temporarily out of favor with investors on Wall Street and are believed to be undervalued by the market. A more conservative approach than growth investing, value investors tend to approach investing with a long-term perspective. 
Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Understanding cats! Really?
If you are a cat lover, you’ve probably pondered what cats think about. Well, somebody figured it out and circulated on the World Wide Web. I have no idea who this cat person is, but here are some of the things that a cat thinks about: 
Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Correcting history: How Vietnam vets were embraced
Why is it that the American people rejected our troops who served in Vietnam? We know all about the protests not only against the war, but against those who served. Why were there no demonstrations of support? Why was there no welcome home parade? What if what we know about Americans’ lack of support for our troops in Vietnam is wrong? Impressive evidence has been revealed showing what we thought we knew was wrong all along. The media have a great deal of control over the events that we think about. We only know about current events that get reported. When events are omitted from the record, history is effectively changed.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Is the SC Legislature a 'Den of Thieves?'
Exactly 40 years ago this summer, a brash, 36-year-old reformer running for governor called the state Senate “a den of thieves.” A majority of Democratic voters agreed with him, and Charles D. “Pug” Ravenel won the primary to become the Democratic Party’s nominee. But the good old boys had their revenge. The state Supreme Court, all of whom had been appointed by the Legislature, ruled that Ravenel did not meet the state residency requirement and he was thrown off the ballot. Thus began the sad tale of the demise of Pug Ravenel, but that is another story for another time. 
Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Independence Day trivia
As we prepare to celebrate our nation’s 238th birthday, I thought you might enjoy some historical trivia to ponder. 
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Would you risk your life for freedom?
The U.S. Declaration of Independence (4th July 1776) is the premier instrument of Judeo-Christian statecraft in world history. This classic document is the fifth of the five Great Documents of Liberty, beginning with the sturdy 1215 Magna Carta and its fundamental platform of a biblical-separation of a creator-based state and a redeemer-based church, which are co-equal, linked together, and both constrained within their respective spheres of action.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Thank you for your support!
As you know by now, on June 18, I was elected President Pro Tempore of the South Carolina Senate. Shortly thereafter, I was unanimously elected Lieutenant Governor and sworn in by the Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court. This is quite a privilege, and not one that I take lightly. Stepping up to take the position of Lieutenant Governor was not a move I made lightly. The 26 years I spent as a state senator was a privilege and an honor, and it was more rewarding and fulfilling than I could ever have imagined. My service as senator was a team effort throughout the five-county area that comprises Senate District 32. We worked together to improve the quality of life for all citizens, and I could not have done it without your cooperation and support.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Time to free S.C.'s energy market
In South Carolina – as in most other states – regulation has almost completely divorced the energy sector from the free market. Private energy providers must register with the state as public utilities. Once registered, the state helps enforce a monopoly territory where only one utility may provide power. Regulators determine the prices energy providers can charge. All of this regulation, we’re told, is in the best interest of all parties: It keeps prices down and prevents rapacious monopolies. Only it doesn’t. Indeed, the regulators – the South Carolina Public Service Commission – have failed to achieve these goals. Over the last nine years, two of South Carolina’s largest utilities, SCE&G and Duke Energy Carolinas, hiked rates by more than 20 percent over inflation growth.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Minding your P's and Q's
Many of our popular sayings originated in colonial times. I’d like to share some interesting historical trivia that friends have shared with me. During the early days when our country was settled, common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards applicable only to the ‘Ace of Spades...’ To avoid the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Most games however, require 52 cards, so these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren’t “playing with a full deck.” At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid’s job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in pints and who was drinking in quarts, hence the phrase “minding your P’s and Q’s.” In the late 1700’s, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. 
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Slavery in SC today
What a shocking headline, but our Attorney General Alan Wilson says it’s true – and he’s right. Slavery today is not black folks standing on the auction block in the city square. Its modern day equivalent is called “human trafficking” – for the sex trade, enforced labor and especially exploitation of children. “It is a real problem… [I]t is clear that South Carolinians are traffickers, that South Carolinians are victims, and that human trafficking is happening in our state,” according to the SC State Plan to Address Human Trafficking, which was released recently by Wilson and a collection of 18 federal, state and community organizations. So, how big a problem is it? Statistics about such nefarious and hidden crimes are murky at best but some good data is being developed.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Councilman Willis shows concern for citizens
This letter is in support of City Councilman Glynn F. Willis in his upcoming re-election to the Florence City Council. Councilman Willis has been such a tremendous help to our neighbors and my family for many years, spending countless hours talking with us about our neighborhood security and way too many other concerns and issues to include in this letter. I am writing to share how much I personally appreciate Glynn and what he is doing so diligently to make our city the very best it can be. Each time we bring an issue to him, he has listened actively and attentively and with genuine concern. What stands out about Councilman Willis, other than his love and concern for our citizens and communities, is his unique ability to take a look at an issue and then take a step back and take a wider look at how his influence may provide the very best impact for all citizens.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Budget travel suggestions
It time when most of us set our hearts and mind on a summer vacation. I was surfing on the net recently, (one of my favorite pastimes) and I came across Budget Travel’s 10 Best Budget Vacations for Summer. They rounded up some of the best beaches, national parks, mountains, and big-city blowouts, with hotel rooms ranging from $49 to $149 a night. Interestingly, Myrtle Beach was on the list with beach front rooms starting at $79. Orlando, Fla., was also listed with rooms as low at $67 and located less than 20 minutes from Disney and Universal Parks.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Free to eat whatever you want
My neighbor just left to spend the entire summer in Europe. He’s a guy with a highly restrictive diet and countless food intolerances that his “nutritionist” detected using dubious testing methods. I haven’t had the heart to tell him she’s a total quack. I think on some level, he wanted to hear that he couldn’t eat half the foods on the planet. But I also feel for him. He’s going on the trip of a lifetime to a place with incredible food. What if he won’t eat it? The day before he left, I asked him what he’ll do on the trip. He told me he plans to eat everything. He and his “nutritionist” agreed that food is better over there. Safer. More pure. And you know what? In general, he’s right. Europe is much stricter than our country about what kinds of chemicals get into the food chain. Europeans don’t find many — if any — artificial dyes in their food.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What's the best city for a staycation?
Staycation, the term for staying home and taking nearby day trips, is still a popular and economical way for families to enjoy their summer vacation., WalletHub, which describes itself as a personal finance social network, came up with a list of the best and worst cities to “staycation” by comparing 100 of the largest cities in the United States. The comparisons were based on 20 key metrics ranging from the number of public golf courses and swimming pools per capita, to the cost of maid services. 
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The search for an autism breakthrough
In early May, thousands of people turned out at Finlay Park in Columbia for “Strides for Autism,” a fundraising walk to raise support for the South Carolina Autism Society. And about a month earlier, a similar event at Heritage Park in Simpsonville saw an impressive turnout. It was heartening, but not surprising, to see those events so well-attended. Over the years, as I’ve met and spoken with families affected by autism, I’ve been moved by how strongly they support each other and rally around a shared cause. 
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Galloway Mosley
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