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Florence Living







home : opinions April 24, 2015 

Why daughters need fathers
Excerpted from “Raising Black Girls and Educating Black Girls” The media and the academic community provide a wealth of information on why boys need their fathers. The most obvious being you can't be someone you have not seen. Girls can look at their mothers and receive the importance and significance of role models on a daily basis. But, why do girls need fathers? How will a girl learn how to be loved by a man? What criteria will a girl use to select a mate if she has not seen a man at home? Why do many females choose thugs over scholars? Why do so many choose disrespectful men over gentlemen?
Tuesday, February 3, 2015


A few thoughts on aging
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The poverty of identity politics
Imagine if the current President were a Republican, and if during the second half of his second term, after having been elected both times with record turnout by blacks, the black unemployment rate remained stagnant at 11 percent while the black poverty rate hit a record high of 27 percent. What would black politicians be saying about that Republican President? We don’t really need to answer that question, do we? But for arguments sake, let’s imagine that almost seven years after the great recession the country was basically back to work, with an official unemployment rate having fallen from almost ten percent at its height to around 5.5 percent (let’s save the argument about the real rate for another debate), while again the black community, which had overwhelmingly supported the Republican President (again let’s suspend belief for a moment) was experiencing rising poverty rates. 
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Stop Meth from Mexico, not meds our citizens rely on
As a former law enforcement officer, I have seen firsthand the unfortunate effects of meth on the state of South Carolina. While meth production is undoubtedly a national issue, SC policymakers and law enforcement cannot ignore the threats presented by the influx of meth coming into the United States from Mexico. In 2014, more than 15,000 kilograms of meth was seized along the Mexican border, up from 3,000 kilos in 2009; a 500% increase. In 2011, lawmakers took steps to reduce the production of meth in the United States through implementation of the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) system.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What's first in the morning? Coffee or computer?
Here’s something I found interesting circulating around cyberspace. The author is unknown. You know you are living in 2015 when: 
1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave. 
2. You haven’t played solitaire with real cards in years. 
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three. 
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you. 
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don’t have e-mail addresses. 
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries. 
7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen. 
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn’t even have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it. Worse if you lose it. 
10. You get up in the morning and go online before getting your coffee. 
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. :) 
12 You're reading this and nodding and laughing. 
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message. 
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list. 
15. You actually looked back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Emails with legs: the private deception of a public servant
It looks like the convenient device theory Hillary Clinton has used to deflect inquiries as to why she used her private email account almost exclusively to conduct official business while serving as Secretary of State is a bunch of pure hogwash. It has become evident that in addition to her personal phone, she also used an I-pad connected to her personal email account to send and receive information related to her official duties. 
Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Business leaders in 'Small Town' S.C.
It is often said that South Carolina is a big small town where everyone knows everyone else. And if we don’t know someone personally, then it’s usually “I know who they are.” Growing up in a small Southern town, we all generally knew who the “successful” people were, and we also knew about the one or two people that were really successful; they were in a class by themselves. When we saw them on the street, they had a certain air about them; they always seemed to be just a little bit reserved and they were universally treated with respect. 
Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ponderings on life and money
  • Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday. 
  • As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind – every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder. – John Glenn 
  • Money isn’t everything but it sure keeps you in touch with your children. -J. Paul Getty 
  • My husband wanted one of those big-screen TV’s for his birthday. So I just moved his chair closer to the one we have already. – Wendy Liebman 
  • Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia! – Author unknown

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Not every Christian celebrated Easter last Sunday
With traditions that date from the earliest decades of church history, Orthodox Christians will share the ancient experience of Holy Week, April 5-12, 2015, which commemorates the final days of Jesus Christ on Earth. The traditions of Holy Week originated in the practices of the ancient Christian Church, and have been documented as early as 150 AD. This year will begin with Palm Sunday commemorations and continue with services each evening culminating with the ancient Midnight Resurrection service Saturday night and last into the early morning hours on Sunday.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Put prayer back in schools rally
In compliance with God’s word, our mission is to restore and preserve America’s Christian heritage and defend our religious freedoms as granted by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, while promoting unity among Christians in our state, country and the world. We strive to promote and preserve everyone’s right to openly engage in Christian prayer in all public school settings. A “Put Prayer Back” in our schools rally will take place on Sunday, April 19, at 5 p.m.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Letter to the editor policy
The News Journal wel­comes letters to the editor. Let­ters should be legible, preferably typed and double-spaced. All letters are subject to editing for grammar, spelling, length and libel. The editor reserves the right to determine if and when any “open” letters or letters address­ing other persons shall be pub­lished. Letters attacking individuals, other than publicly elected officials, will not be printed. 
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

'South Carolina, we have a problem'
One of my favorite movies is Apollo 13 with Tom Hanks. It tells the story of the 1970 NASA mission to the moon that almost ended in disaster when a systems failure in the space capsule resulted in too much carbon dioxide in the astronauts’ breathing system. The most famous scene in the movie was when Tom Hanks (Astronaut James Lovell), in a quiet, calm voice uttered the now-famous phrase, “Houston, we have a problem.” Indeed they did have a problem; the three astronauts were literally minutes away from dying.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Passing along some 'witty' thoughts
Here are some “witticisms” passed along by my friend Charlie Howle.

A clear conscience is the sign of a bad memory.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. 

Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Easter and Passover

Can  “Passion Week” be summarized in six syllables? Well...how about this: “Shed Blood, Dead Bread, Firstfruits.” That brief summary is spot on for both the original Passover in Egypt and the “Last Supper-Passover” event of Yeshua/Jesus and his twelve disciples in Jerusalem. This precise correspondence of the two events should not be surprising since the New Testament is as thoroughly-Jewish as is the Old Testament, and Jesus claimed to be fulfilling the Bible’s ancient Hebrew prophecies concerning the Messiah in exact sequence and detail. Easter and Passover are about precisely the same thing, but the Hebrew term is most accurate. Blessings! Shalom! Steven C. Smith, Florence


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

'Don't give up, keep on keeping on'
Several years ago when FMU brought Gary Edwards to Florence, we got a good package – a coach, speaker and a very good writer. His articles during basketball season were not only very informative, but down to earth. He wrote about real things like losing animals and pets that are like family. He wrote some great articles about great coaches that he befriended over the years who lost the battle to cancer. He wrote about a coach in our area that he did a favor for before that coach lost the battle. We had a mutual hero in Coach Jim Valvono who also lost the battle.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The way forward: SC State University
Since its founding as a colored Normal institution in 1896, SC State University has been a beacon on the hill in the higher education community of the South. The fact that this institution’s heritage derived from its designation as a historically black college or university (HBCU) was secondary to its storied and illustrious reputation as a place where young ordinary people with mammoth dreams entered and exceptional transformed global citizens emerged. These ambassadors would take their acquired talents across the globe and serve in various careers and capacities that bolstered America’s workforces as well as contributed significantly to this nation’s super power status around the world.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A re-visit to Swan Lake
The weather was beautiful on Saturday afternoon and since I was in the Sumter area with my granddaughters, I took them to Swan Lake Iris Gardens. We all enjoyed watching the swans and other water fowl who make their home here, as well as a long walk along the paths around the lake, stopping to enjoy the flowers and trees already in bloom. After what seems like a long winter, it was just great being outdoors. Both my parents were from Sumter, so they took me and my siblings to the park many times during our childhood. 
Tuesday, March 24, 2015

ObamaCare: Of Hypocrites and Heros
What do you call someone who opposes the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, standing instead for free markets, private charity and personal responsibility in healthcare? What do you call that person when, in a tough situation, he acts in accord with his beliefs, relying on private charity to help him pay the bills associated with an expensive health emergency? I can think of a lot of names for someone like that. “Hypocrite” is not among them.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mandatory voting pros and cons
One of the inherent powers of the President is the ability to spark a big and important national debate simply by floating a new idea in a few lines in a speech. President Obama may have just done that with his recent comments about mandatory voting. I have no idea if what he said will spark a major national debate and ultimately a shift in policy that will change American politics forever, or if the idea will quickly sink beneath the waves of daily media stories and never be heard from again. So, while we wait to see what will happen, let’s take a look at what he actually said, and the pros and cons of the idea of mandatory voting.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A touch of Phyllis Diller's humor
Remember the comedienne Phyllis Diller? Here are a few of her funny quotes passed on to me from a friend. 

“Whatever you may look like, marry a man your own age. As your beauty fades, so will his eyesight.”
“Best way to get rid of kitchen odors: Eat out.”
“The reason women don’t play football is because 11 of them would never wear the same outfit in public.”
“A bachelor is a guy who never made the same mistake once.”
“I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them. “
“Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.”

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Treated lumber is problem for marine life
My name is Rudy Socha and I run a 501c3 non-profit called Wounded Nature – Working Veterans. Our mission is removing trash and debris located in hard to access coastal areas. We do not study or talk about coastal environmental problems, we take remedial action to fix the problem. We travel to these hard-to-reach coastal areas, usually by boat, wade through marsh grasses, squish our way through marsh mud, and endure oyster and barnacle cuts to remove trash and debris from critical wildlife coastal habitats. Many of those involved in our cleanups, including myself are veterans.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It's Sunshine Week in SC and the nation
It is a time to recognize and encourage open government and letting the sun shine in on public documents and meetings. You may not know there are problems with transparency in government in our state, but there are, despite our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The preface to the FOIA says it clearly: “…it is vital in a democratic society that public business be performed in an open and public manner so that citizens shall be advised of the performance of public officials and of the decisions that are reached in public activity…” 
Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Backstage with 'Noises Off'
I’m working backstage with the play “Noises Off” which is currently running at the Florence Little Theatre. It’s a play within a play, written by playwright Michael Frayn. I’ve heard that he wrote this play as a love letter to the theatre because it depicts the activity and craziness which sometimes takes place behind the scenes during a production. Often, as “Noises Off” demonstrates, the show backstage can be almost as entertaining as the show on stage. Frayn’s play is a British farce which means the acting is melodramatic or “over the top,” and the actors are British. 
Tuesday, March 10, 2015

SC Democrats' standing ovation for Martin O'Malley
Democrats in South Carolina are not a group that is easily impressed, but recently former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley really impressed them… as in a standing ovation impressed. All the national pundits and so-called experts who are saying that Hillary has it all wrapped up should take note, because it just ain’t so– at least not in South Carolina. Now, full disclosure: I’m for O’Malley. I’ve known Martin for 30+ years and I’ve been very impressed by what he did as a highly successful two-term Mayor of Baltimore and two-term Governor of Maryland. 
Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Another tragic display of SC's domestic violence
On Feb. 5, around 1:15 p.m., students at the University of South Carolina received a text message warning “Shots Fired” – two words that would send chills and panic through the large campus that is home to nearly 32,000 students. For a few hours, we all believed that USC had become the latest face of campus shootings. Instead, we soon would learn, USC had become the latest site of an epidemic that usually spreads in obscurity, but is all too familiar in South Carolina: domestic violence. USC professor Raja Fayad was shot to death in his office by his ex-wife, Sunghee Kwon, before she turned the gun on herself.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Funny e-cards found in cyberspace
I have to share some of these funny e-card sayings that I have collected from emails sent to me and from Facebook. 

I didn’t make it to the gym today, that makes five years in a row
I wish more things in my life could be blamed on auto correct. 
Sure, I’d love to come over and hang out with you while you talk and text with other people on your phone the entire time. 
Let’s go spend a day at the beach checking our email. 
To drink responsibly to some people means don’t spill it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015








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