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When is making a cake constitutionally protected speech?

WASHINGTON - The conversation about a cake lasted less than a minute but will long reverberate in constitutional law. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear 60 minutes of speech about when, if at all, making a cake counts as … more

Fake news will out

WASHINGTON - The phrase "the truth will out" has always been at home in American newsrooms where journalists dedicate their days to making it so. Sometimes Truth needs a little nudge, as was the case recently when an anti-media organization, … more

On sports gambling, Supreme Court should put bet on federalism

WASHINGTON - American democracy's comic opera frequently features collaborations of "bootleggers and Baptists." These entertainments are so named because during Prohibition, Baptists thought banning Demon Rum would improve public morals (oh, well) … more

Self-sabotage of blacks and diploma fraud

The educational achievement of white youngsters is nothing to write home about, but that achieved by blacks is nothing less than disgraceful. Let's look at a recent example of an educational outcome all too common. In 2016, in 13 of Baltimore's 39 … more

Why Roy Moore matters

Why would Christian conservatives in good conscience go to the polls Dec. 12 and vote for Judge Roy Moore, despite the charges of sexual misconduct with teenagers leveled against him? Answer: That Alabama Senate race could determine whether Roe … more

Big boxes and small towns on Black Friday

WASHINGTON - Even though an estimated 115 million Americans rushed to malls and big-box stores for Black Friday sales, others were reporting that the annual spend-a-thon has lost its bang. Gone is the thrill of the stampede, the fist fights over … more

Rumph remembered as role model, philanthropist

I am very sorry to learn of Scott Rumph's death. He was one of my oldest friends, a man who had the respect of all who knew him, and a wonderful role model for our younger generation. I always … more

Merkel - and Davos - rebuked

It's been a tough era for Davos Man, the personification of the great and the good who meet in the World Economic Forum in that Swiss ski resort every January. The rebukes just keep coming. The European debt crisis. Brexit. Donald Trump. And now, … more

Litter ads are a waste of money around here

Every time I see the ad on TV where they sing, "No one trashes my state," I think it is a real waste of money. Apparently they have never driven along the bypass or any other highway in Sumter … more

Giving thanks for journalism

WASHINGTON - Thanksgiving is a splendid holiday but also a useful one. It reminds us that gratitude is a virtue. We owe the most satisfying parts of our lives to others and fool ourselves if we imagine otherwise. We usually begin, rightly, by … more

A nod, and a nodding off, to a year of American hilarity

WASHINGTON - Tryptophan, an amino acid in turkey, is unjustly blamed for what mere gluttony does, making Americans comatose every fourth Thursday in November. But before nodding off, give thanks for another year of American hilarity, including: A … more

This Thanksgiving, give others a helping of gratitude

CHICAGO - Let's be real: Sometimes it's just plain hard to give thanks. It may be because of personal issues like a job loss, a death in the family, the end of a relationship or an illness. Or it could be the accumulation of terrible events in … more

We've become an unserious nation

How stands John Winthrop's "city upon a hill'' this Thanksgiving? How stands the country that was to be "a light unto the nations''? To those who look to cable TV for news, the answer must at the least be ambiguous. For consider the issues … more

Diversity obsession

A common feature of our time is the extent to which many in our nation have become preoccupied with diversity. But true diversity obsession, almost a mania, is found at our institutions of higher learning. Rather than have a knee-jerk response for … more

You should vote according to your moral compass

you should vote according to your moral compass Judge Roy Moore of Alabama, the Republican nominee for U. S. Senate, is accused of sexual improprieties with minors. Kay Ivey, Alabama's Republican governor, is inclined to believe Moore's … more

A groper's gallery of the grotesque

WASHINGTON - It seems more than coincidence that the first year of Donald Trump's presidency coincides with a trend that was heretofore unrecognized - groping. Gropers abound, it seems. From Harvey Weinstein to Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy … more

Equifax breach already taking toll

WASHINGTON - The scenario that personal finance and credit experts feared most about the heist of consumer data from Equifax may already be underway: Criminals are using the stolen information to apply for mortgages, credit cards, student loans, … more

We need some thinkers in Congress today

Archie Parnell's commentary in The Sumter Item on Nov. 5 discussed what he doesn't like about the new GOP tax plan. Other than one paragraph (out of two full columns) concerning the Estate Tax (which … more
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