Sunday, July 2, 2006
of July means a lot to South Carolinians
SC Statehouse Report
2, 2006 - Perhaps the best thing about America's Fourth of
July holiday is that it gives us all a chance to be purely
American for a day and to celebrate it fully.
Like Thanksgiving, Independence Day is a purely American
holiday. It's a day of fun, sun, fireworks, cold drinks, grilled
foods, companionship, family and friends. But it's more. It's
a way for Americans to rejoice in their freedom and pay tribute
to those who have fought and died to preserve it.
Just about everyone has favorite July 4th memories. A few
years back on Sullivan's Island after a great dinner with
friends, we went to the center of the island to watch fireworks.
As they were going on, you could see fireworks from Mount
Pleasant in one direction and Isle of Palms in another. All
around, Americans were celebrating being American.
Another favorite was in 1990 at the Gilbert Peach Festival
as 87-year-old Strom Thurmond and then-Gov. Carroll Campbell
mounted horses to participate in an annual parade. While both
were politicking for re-election, it seemed the Fourth of
July was more than being Republican or Democratic - - it was
about being American.
Other people have similar memories and thoughts about our
For Columbia public relations executive Bud Ferillo, "The
original 4th was a moment of great courage and a leap of faith.
At once the colonial leaders were embarking on a bloody revolution
and a risky experiment in democracy, and their deeds remain
today most worthy of remembrance and celebration."
Charleston political consultant Phil Noble notes, "It
was a 'revolution' -- not just an interesting discussion or
small changes -- - but a full blown REVOLUTION of big ideas,
big hopes and big dreams. Where are our big ideas and big
hopes today?" Citing the state motto, he added, "Dum
Spiro Spero -- While I breathe, I hope."
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S.C. Chamber of Commerce President Hunter Howard remembers
a unique July 4th when he was a boy. He watched adults dig
a sand pit on an island off the coast:
"They would put red and black ants into the pit; then,
they would bet on who would win -- which ant would get out
first. That ant pit actually reminds me of where we are as
Americans and South Carolinians in the global economy,"
Howard noted. "We need to focus on raising this state's
per capita economy and educating our children to ensure we
are winners in the new economy. Only by being the world leader
can we continue to celebrate the sacrifices others have made
to ensure our freedom."
For State Sen. Larry Martin, R-Pickens, the Fourth of July
means reflection and appreciation. In particular, he warmly
remembers how his family spent holidays with neighbors in
the 1960s: "The Dacusville Community of Pickens County
came together for several years to cook some of the best pit-cooked
barbecue in our area of the state. The Dacusville school facilities
served as the site for the event, and an array of games and
activities for the children and youth was provided. I never
attempted to climb the greasy pole, but I vividly remember
admiring those that did."
It's a family affair also for State Rep. Vida Miller, D-Georgetown,
who has been going to a "Friends and Family Cookout"
for more than 40 years: "Hamburgers, hotdogs and homemade
ice cream are still the main fare. We have great memories
of four generations of wonderful friends and family members.
The tradition is still going of celebrating knowing and loving
each other and honoring our freedom."
Martin's neighbor, Blue Ridge Electrical Cooperative President
Charles Dalton, vividly recalls a 1997 holiday in Boston when
his family watched Furman graduate Keith Lockhart conduct
the Boston Pops as fireworks filled the skies: "Nothing
can compare to that display. The entire sky became bright
with fireworks. The clapping and shouts of the people, the
flags being waved by children and adults, we truly felt so
proud of our country. For that brief period, there were over
200,000 people with something very much in common, a love
for THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. What a grand 4th of July
Let's hope we can remember the spirit of the Fourth of July
every day of the year. Be safe.
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the Palmettos, is available for $15.00. Click
here for more.
Another great cartoon from Bill McLemore:
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Decent wages, more needed
To the editor:
None of the tax rate would be so hard if we got paid a decent
wage. Property personal income on a vehicle is outrageous.
You have to drive a substandard car that breaks down on every
curb. If you happen to be able to afford a half decent one,
the property tax you surely can't afford.
Most states do something we can see with the money they take
in. S.C. does nothing for the low-income people, as far as
fixing up houses for the elderly.
-- Mary Mack, St. George, S.C.
6/19: Better attitude needed on education
To the editor:
Enjoyed your article summary of the problems of education
in our state. (Commentary,
6/18) We need more discussion, no doubt.
Think about it for a minute. My bet is that at least one quarter
of the young people starting high school in any state haven't
a clue why they have to go to school; my bet is that their
reply would be....."It's a state law".
It is downright human nature that as soon as you tell someone
to do something, their immediate thought or question is "Why?"
I would offer the thought to you that the majority of young
people in school today do not know the why.
I suppose the answer to that question might be debatable by
the academic community. To me, it is simple and basic. The
reason you go to school is to prepare you for a job. Yes,
I understand the ancillary reasons such maintaining a culture
or that democracy requires an educated input. But the preparation
of a lifetime effort in something that perfectly would be
one's passion is all summarized in one word......a job.
If our teaching professionals realized this and starting from
Kindergarten brought this objective in life to early realism,
you would see a different culture. Young people can absorb
it early on........I've seen it done.
Those of us who are successful and happy in life are there
because we set a goal and sometimes many attempts of goals
until we get the right pathway. Why can not you write about
the "why," instead of the the faults of parents,
teachers, administrations, buildings, drugs, sex, legislators
and school committees? What are we suppose to stop for, to
look for, and to listen for? This is not about money. It is
I do commend your writings about it. Can't we sharpen the
-- Otto Wahlrab, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
6/18: Look at ability to pay
To the editor:
The whole problem for the education system is money as everyone
speaks. We need to increase taxes on businesses who have the
ability to pay them. We need to increase sales tax or remove
all the sales tax exemptions, which are based on your ability
to pay . We have sales taxes on cars, trucks, airplanes, boats
and RVs that is based on your ability to pay; but you let
the rich have relief on the harsh tax on expensive things.
We need to remove all the property taxes on personal homes
as this IS NOT based on your ability to pay.
-- David Whetsell, Lexington ,S.C.
- 6/19: Decent
wages, more needed, Mary Mack, St. George, SC
- 6/19: Better
attitude needed on education, Otto Wahlrab, Hilton
Head Island, SC
- 6/18: Look
at ability to pay, David Whetsell, Lexington, SC
- 6/14: Wealthy
control the debate, Municipal employee, name withheld
- 6/13: On
target, Bob Henderson, North Charleston, SC
- 6/13: Do
your homework, Ralph Bristol, Greenville, SC
- 6/12: Neanderthal
thinking, Natalie Mann, Bluffton, SC
- 6/12: Right
on property tax reform, James A. Fleming, Bennettsville,
Here's a "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" related to various
political news items from the past week:
Bauer. The lieutenant governor proved he has committed
supporters by turning out his base in the election. Campbell's
supporters showed they weren't as committed to the son (Mike)
as they were his dad (Carroll). Now comes the real test --
whether the tempestuous LG can beat Robert Barber in the fall.
Barber. One side says it's good to have a November
opponent with a short temper, who races cars, gets speeding
tickets and crashes planes. Others worry that the hardworking
LG will again work hard enough to keep his job. Our thought:
Barber has a better shot against Bauer than Campbell because
Bauer's got higher -- and some very public -- negatives.
TERI recipients. After waiting for awhile, TERI recipients
will start getting millions of dollars in retirement checks
Sanford. Perhaps endorsing Mike Campbell wasn't such
a good idea for the governor's wife. It exposed another chink
in the gov's armor and makes many wonder how deep his support
U.S. House. Rep. Henry Brown and his cronies have
pushed through a bad bill to allow drilling off the SC coast.
They should be ashamed of themselves.
SC voters. It's pretty pitiful when only 7 percent
of registered voters turnout for statewide runoff elections.
South Carolina. The state fell two spots to 47th in
child welfare in the country in the KidsCount survey. South
Carolina can do better.
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