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Columbia's only locally owned alternative newsweekly

Updated: 2014-10-06T19:54:54.100-04:00


Dan Savage at USC and Drinking in the Morning


(image) “Savage Love” comes to USC

Dan Savage, author of the wildly popular “Savage Love” sex-advice column (syndicated in South Carolina exclusively in Columbia City Paper) visits the Russell House Ballroom Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m.The Q&A session –essentially a live, audience-driven version of his advice column—will cover anything and everything related to sex, relationships, LGBT issues, sex education and politics. The event is FREE to USC students, faculty and staff.

Also, this weeks episode of Drinking in the Morning is all about Jesus andColumbia City Paper!

(object) (embed) now has up to the minute movie times, show dates, and weather. has upcoming auditions and theater previews. Bookmark them!

Pick up the current issue: Download


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The next publication dates are 10/1, 10/15, and 10/28. Call 803-218-9455 for advertising information.

Congrats Ron Aiken!


We presented Free Times with a fruit basket last Friday to congratulate them on their second original cover story since the "Cromartie Files" in 2000.
Keep up the good work Free Times and enjoy our fruit basket packed with a cheese ball with nuts, small potatoes and sour grapes!

Open season


Five Points is still over looked when it comes to police presence at night. Here is this seasons warning e-mail being forwarded around:

Information out about 5 Points and recent gang related activity. Please Read!

I know we get emails like these all the time warning us about the area, and I am sending one out because my cousin was jumped by a gang of 20-30 young black men Saturday night around 2:00AM while walking to his car parked in between Harpers and the Bank of America.

He was not walking alone, but with 2 girls and another guy. One of the girls had her purse stolen and the 4 of them were able to run and get into their car. My cousin was in the back and was grabbed, knocked to the ground, had his wallet, car keys, and cell phone taken and kicked and beaten by the group. His friends immediately drove the car over to scare the group, and they all ran away. He was taken to the Emergency Room and was in ICU. He is going to be fine, thank God. After the gang was done, they ran back onto Harden Street to mix in. No police were there in time to do anything or make any arrests. The scary part to me is that they ran right back into a public area, obviously not worried about being caught.

While my aunt was in the waiting room of the ER, there was a girl in there with her boyfriend who had been attacked the same night in 5 Points in the same way. Her purse was taken but she was not harmed. Her boyfriend was severely beaten and had a broken jaw.

The nurses in the trauma unit told my aunt they have seen an increase in attacked people coming into the ER over the last few weeks with similar stories from the 5 Points area.

I tried to find something about the 5 Points area in the local media warning of these incidents but was unable to find anything about it though it is clearly happening and a huge danger to all of us who go into the area. I want to let everyone I can know about this and to please be careful when down there and to stay away from back alleys, roads, and dark areas. There is not much any of us could do if attacked by a gang of 20-30 while walking to our cars or being in the area.

Please pass this along so that people will know what is going on the 5 Points area and to be very careful while down there.



Satire by S.M. Baleen

Today (Tax Day), about 1,500 members of the Ku Klux Klan gathered on the South Carolina State House grounds under the aegis of protesting “taxation without representation.” Rally organizer and Columbia area real estate magnate Britton Clark could not be reached for comment on the irony that the rally was being held on the steps of the State Capitol, the very place where taxation WITH representation occurs every day in South Carolina.

U.S. Senator Jim Demint told the gathered fiery protestors, “This is where I get my strength.” Really? From people who apparently despise the fact that their tax dollars are spent to pay the salaries of firefighters, teachers and police officers. (Hey, Senator, I hear that the quasi-country of Somalia has some political position holes to fill.)

Today’s rally, however, is a marvelous indicator that the American political right wing has apparently taken a turn for total pacifism. Or is it possible that the protestors, many of whom have family and friends in the U.S. military, aren’t aware of the fact that the $1 trillion the U.S. government will spend on defense in the current fiscal year comes from taxes collected by the federal government.

Then again, maybe the “tea party” protesters just want the military to be composed of privately-maintained armies. This could be the case, as one protestor could be heard yelling, “COBRA Commander rules! Long live Destro!”

Ironically, at the end of today’s rally, all protestors were forced against their will to cross publicly-funded roads in order to get back to their cars. (No one seemed to complain all too much about that.) And Columbia Mayor Bob Coble issued a special edict that any protestor injured in an automobile accident on the way home would, out of deference for their political beliefs, not be offered police, ambulance or firefighter assistance, nor would they be allowed treatment by a doctor or healthcare worker who had formerly received any type of public education.



The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) is dismayed to learn that unscrupulous members of the U.S. Senate have taken advantage of Americans' focus on the nation's financial crisis in order to pass controversial legislation that threatens the livelihoods of everyone who relies on copyright for a living.Deploying perfidious secrecy reminiscent of the circumstances of the passage of the USA-Patriot Act, the Senate passed S. 2913, also called the Shaw Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 ("Orphan Works Act") on Friday, while the national media was focused on the mortgage meltdown bailout proposal. A similar bill is being considered by the House of Representatives.The owner of a store notices a man shoplifting her merchandise. She calls the police, who arrest the man. But they don't take him to jail. Instead, they let him keep the stuff he stole. All he has to do is pay the retail price. They let him go.Crazy? You bet. But that's exactly what Congress wants to do to intellectual property. If a cartoonist or another artist catches someone stealing his or her work, the thief gets to keep it. All he has to do is pay retail.Sponsors of the Orphan Works Act claim they want to make it easier for libraries and researchers to reproduce intellectual property whose creators or copyright holders are difficult to find. The practical effect of the Orphan Works Act, however, would be far more sinister. If signed into law, it would create an irresistible incentive for unscrupulous individuals and companies to violate copyrighted material, including the political cartoons created by our members."The bill enables users to exhibit orphan works if, after a thorough and documented good-faith search, they are unable to locate the copyright owners," reports the Deseret News of Salt Lake City. And there's the rub. A "good-faith search" is so broadly defined as to be meaningless.Let's say, for example, that a book publisher wanted to print an editorial cartoon in a history textbook. Currently a typical reprint fee for such use is $250. Under current copyright law, a publisher who gets caught using such work without permission would be liable for three times the standard rate—in this case, $750. A judge could order the books impounded. If the cartoonist had to hire a lawyer, a judge could make the violator pay his or her attorney's fees. These provisions deter most would-be copyright violators.Under the Orphan Works Act, the deterrent effect of punishment would all but vanish. If the cartoonist learned about the infringement and tracked down its perpetrator, all the publisher would have to do to avoid the triple penalty would be to claim that it engaged in an as-yet undefined "good-faith search." In the cited example, the aggrieved cartoonist would receive $250. He or she would have no way to remove the image from a book that he or she might find objectionable—say, one that advocated reprehensible political views. There would be no compensation for legal fees, or the time and effort involved in tracking down lawbreakers. And that's assuming the artist were ever to learn about the illegal usage.In the unlikely case that an artist were lucky enough to learn that his or her work had effectively been stolen, he or she would only be entitled to "the amount on which a willing buyer and willing seller in the positions of the infringer and the owner of the infringed copyright would have agreed with respect to the infringing use of the work immediately before the infringement began." But this is no different than the storeowner who catches a shoplifter. A victim of theft is NOT a "willing seller."Laws that encourage illegal behavior are bad laws. We hope the Senate and President Bush will join us, at least 60 other organizations representing writers and artists, and millions of Americans employed in the creative arts, in opposing the Orphan Works Act.Ted Rall, PresidentAssociation of American Editorial Cartoonistsread more South Caro[...]

A Real Republican Maverick


Governor Mark Sanford is more true to Republican roots than some in the Bush administration. It is no surprise Sanford had trouble on CCN defending the similarities of John McCain's economic plan to the Bush Administrations. Perhaps Sanford was more biting his tongue than blanking out. This is a great article by Sanford that appeared the the Washinton Post.

While Sanford gave one bad interview nothing compares to Palin's "air space" in the attached Youtube clip and she expects to be Vice President. Since that appearance she has been turning down interviews and it is becoming more apparent McCain may have made the wrong V.P. pick in trying to attract moderate and independent voters.

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McCain is no longer a maverick and never accept a self given nickname. It makes reminds me of a "compassionate conservative" that was going to be a "uniter not a divider."

Americans at war with nature


Since World War II and perhaps even earlier, Americans have been seemingly brainwashed into believing we have to war with everything.  There has been the unsuccessful war on poverty, the unsuccessful war on drugs, the unsuccessful war on cancer and recently along the Mississippi we have seen another battle lost in our war against nature, or in this specific case: a river.    The Mississippi has proven once again to be an adversary that the United States and its citizens cannot beat (similar in a way to fighting a conventional war against an idea like terrorism or fighting a war against plants like the opium poppy, marijuana or coca). An early victory by the Mighty Mississip’ occurred in 1927.  The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 displaced 700,000 people.  Another battle lost by America was the Great Flood of 1993.  Yet, we have rebuilt houses again and again and have built higher and higher levees in the hope that it can stop a force of nature, a flooding river.  You have to admire the heart of the people who keep rebuilding along the Mississippi, but once you wade in deeper you have to get fairly pissed off at those people.  You hear people say, “I couldn’t afford flood insurance and now I lost everything.”  No matter how heartless it sounds the question has to be asked: “You knew the river flooded, why should I feel sorry for you for taking a calculated risk and losing?”  No one feels sorry for people who lose their shirt on other risky gambles like letting it all ride on black at the roulette table, why should I feel any worse because some person chose to live next to a river that floods and either didn’t get flood insurance or wasn’t able to afford flood insurance? To top it off, FEMA and other federal organizations help rebuild these communities and levees and that money comes from you and me.  Our money is taken to rebuild communities that—almost guaranteed—will be flooded again.  It’s a river; rivers flood and levees seem to break quite often.  So basically our federal government is reinforcing generations of bad decisions and allowing them to continue.    The question remains: isn’t there a better solution to this problem than levees and flood insurance?  Every time a town is destroyed by a flood, the actuaries crunch out the numbers and come up with new, higher premiums; levees get built higher, bigger, and stronger which seemingly causes more catastrophic flooding when they fail.  My question is why fight the flooding, why not work with it? Doesn’t flooding ultimately deposit new nutrient rich silt on farmlands?  If flooding were allowed to occur along large stretches of the river, wouldn’t that dissipate the effects of the flood, and lead to lower flood waters in general? (I admit I am no flooding expert and this last supposition could be wrong).    Well how could we do this?  How could we build homes and communities that to borrow a hippie phrase, “live in harmony with nature?”   Hmm, let’s think about this. What is the major issue with flooding? The water rises but the buildings don’t, thus they flood.  There is the answer: floating buildings!  A building that could float would cost more up front, but in theory flood insurance (yes you would still need it as a precaution) premiums would be significantly reduced so you make the cost difference up on the back end.    Could it be done? Yes it can be done.  Asian communities have been build on stilted or floating platforms in areas that are dry are only part of the year.  And people like the Dutch, as close to masters as there can be in fighting water  (yes, even they haven’t won the war) have begun to look at the feasibility of large scale floating villages.&nbs[...]




Syndicated political cartoonists Ted Rall and Matt Bors will issue
cartoons ridiculing two figures generally revered by liberals for their
political humor: Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show" and Stephen Colbert of
"The Colbert Report."

Despite not making a deal with the striking Writers Guild of America,
Stewart and Colbert have returned to their shows--without writers--in a
move that has generated little to no criticism from the liberal press.

Rall and Bors, who write and draw all their own material and are not
members of the Writers Guild, have decided to team up and deliver a
one-two punch, with each of them taking on one of the Comedy Central
hosts in cartoons issued by their respective syndicates on the night of
Thursday, January 17. The cartoons will also be available at their
websites and

"One naturally hesitates before unleashing the fearsome power of Rall
and Bors," said Bors and Rall, "but the stakes are too high, the issues
too important, the hypocrisy too hypocritical for us to just put down
our pens and tune in to their union-busting, albeit highly amusing,

Rall's cartoon imagines rough and tumble union members from 1938
traveling through a wormhole to encounter Jon Stewart, whom they
identify as a "scab." The comic ends with Stewart being carried away on
a stretcher after being violently beaten. "Stewart's wry, vaguely
left-of-center wit fails to register with the visitors from a more
straightforward time," Rall writes in the comic.

"Progressives shouldn't let these scabs off the hook, no matter how
hilarious they are," said Rall. "The War on Snarkism starts now!"

Bors' comic deals with Colbert in a parody of his popular segment "The
Wørd." This time the word is "Scab" with Colbert remarking, "Writers
may be able to hang out all day on their air conditioned sidewalks, but
I have a mouth to feed, folks!" while the screen informs us of his
ego's lunch break demands. It's something you could almost imagine
Colbert saying, with Bors turning the faux-right wing persona back on
the host.

"They have no integrity, no morals, and no guts," Bors huffed. "They're
funny, sure, but not ha-ha funny. Not after this."

Ted Rall's cartoons are distributed by Universal Press Syndicate, while
Matt Bors' work is distributed through United Feature Syndicate. They
each draw three cartoons a week.

Neither Rall nor Bors will be available for appearances on either of
the shows while the strike remains in effect. "We'd rather fight in
Bush's wars than cross a picket line," they said in unison.

Brave Bhutto assassinated



Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated at a rally in at a park in Islamabad.
Bhutto was a brave and bold proponent for democracy in Pakistan.

For more:

Wilmington book review


Here's a great book review of Don McCallister's Kings HighwayBy Ben SteelmanStaff"You should have seen the Atlantic Ocean in those days," says Burt Lancaster's aged hustler in the movie Atlantic City. And you should have seen Myrtle Beach in those days, too - before the condos, before the monster outlet malls, before the eight-lane highways and the seawalls, before lap dancing replaced shag dancing.Columbia, S.C., author James D. McCallister remembers it well, and his first novel is an exercise in a sort of rueful nostalgia.King's Highway takes us back to the spring of 1978, through the recollections of Ray DeKalb, a slacker before his time at "Southeastern University" in Columbia.Ray isn't sure who he is, or what he wants to be, but he's emphatically clear on what he doesn't want to be: a small-town up-country lawyer with political impulses, the future his daddy has mapped out for him, and the one that his brother, Jenkins, has already embraced.Ray's a kind of passive-aggressive rebel, surly but not daring enough to do much to jeopardize the trust fund checks that keep him in beer, vinyl LPs, paperbacks and low-grade marijuana.The South Carolina public school system and a few semesters at Southeastern have given him a patchy, unsystematic education: We know Ray's read the usual undergrad classics of the period: Catch-22, Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning and a little Harlan Ellison. (He quotes the title, at least, of Ellison's "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream.")Ray's main passion, though, is music, especially Warren Zevon's Excitable Boy, which he's just discovered. (The chapter titles in King's Highway are all Zevon singles from that album.)Eventually, angst and a half-hearted, busted romance send Ray packing his bags and heading for his old Nirvana of Myrtle Beach, to rent a motel room, find a job and figure out what happens next.At least he checks off a couple of goals. In a day or two, he's swinging a broom at The Pavilion, a real-life Myrtle Beach amusement park. In a few days more - given his smart mouth and a low-grade talent for voice impersonations - he's scored a promotion to top clown in the dunking booth.Ray also gets lucky, first with his fairly-well-preserved landlady, then with Jamie, with "her little flip-up bangs and her golden-brown skin," a Jersey runaway who's just split with her smalltime-dealer boyfriend. Fortunately, she made off with some of the merchandise before she left. Life is good. For a while.Like most 20-year-old philosophers, Ray isn't quite as brilliant, or as original, as he thinks he is.There's a certain satisfaction in feeling superior to the Pavilion customers who think chili dogs are an appropriate diet for their toddlers. And, of course, Ray sees right through the aging beach bums and the hairy hangers-on who keep talking about the epic sci-fi novel they're going to finish one of these days. What he can't see is that he's no different than they are, and heading in the same direction.Nor does he realize that a mutual affection for energetic sex and controlled substances is a shaky foundation for a deep and lasting relationship.Naturally, this being Myrtle Beach, and this being the '70s, tougher drugs than dope soon enter the picture, and meaner characters as well.There's not much surprise about where King's Highway is heading, and McCallister leaves a few of his characters only half-sketched. Perhaps, too, there needs to be another ironclad rule: Just as white people probably shouldn't try to reproduce African-American dialect, maybe Southerners should avoid trying to reproduce fluent New Jersey-ese.The author hits the bull's-eye, though, with his main character: Myrtle Beach itself, the Cloud Cuckoo-Land of misspent youth - what it felt like when we thought the fun [...]

Pastor Billy Ball



Next Saturday's Pride event may not be all fun and games or slaps and tickles. Supreme nutcase, Pastor Billy Ball, is scheduled to protest the S.C. Pride event and this guy has been to more gay parades than a pair of rainbow-colored bicycle shorts. The tragically named wacko even has a special collared shirt tailor made for the event, perfect for a round of golf and a quick dinner at Saluda's afterwards.

Maybe Pastor Ball is only comfortable around gays. And statistically speaking, the size of his family may very well produce a homosexual in the next generation or so.

Here's a picture of Pastor Billy Ball's grandkids.


Some of them have well coifed hair and fashionable little T-shirts while they strike poses (not to mention being completely disinterested in their sister). What if one of them eventually came out as a gay adult? Would Pastor Ball damn one of these cute little guys to Hell?

Most people want to punch Billy Ball in the face but my guess is all that will happen on Saturday is a wink and a pat on the ass. Ryan Wilson of S.C. Pride announced a press conference this afternoon regarding his attendance and chances are, they’re coming for you Pastor Ball, so pucker up!

Michelle Malkin's poor logic


Joe Biden and Bill Richardson are the voice of the Democratic Party?

-- Corey Hutchins

In her recent column “The Democrats’ gun owner -bashing YouTube moment,” disseminated in corporate alt weekly panderers to the evangelical right-wing conservative advertising bloc, she makes a pretty laughable assumption about “The Democrats’” view on the Second Amendment in her labeling of Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Bill Richardson both as “leading presidential candidates.”

In fact her whole argument stemmed from the answers of Biden and Richardson as if they were the gospel voice of the Democratic Party.


Because if Joe Biden is not only a “leading presidential candidate” but also speaks for the entire Democratic Party then the next time I see Sen. Brownback verbally masturbating to everything between Genesis and Revelations or Ron Paul saying how we should end capital punishment, I’m going to go ahead and take that as The Right’s Holy View…by proxy of course, which is exactly what Malkin did.

She also uses the “Liberal” audience’s silence on Biden’s “snide” remarks about gun owners and the mentally ill to cement her argument that Democrats don’t believe in the Second Amendment and also have no compassion for the disabled. But Malkin probably forgot how many top key Republicans in the CPAC audience laughed and applauded when Ann Coulter called John Edwards a “faggot” at the convention.

To her credit-- though we don’t need Michelle Malkin to tell us this-- the Democrats typically do have a pussy-foot stance on the Second Amendment, which is a shame. But it probably does work for them and, really, trying to take that issue away from the Right would be like Gov. Mark Sanford saying the Right should take the environmental issue away from the Left. It’s just not gonna happen.

The Ron Paul problem


"Lower-tier candidates" get the media backhand-- Corey HutchinsJust around the corner from City Paper’s office was a stenciled “Ron Paul for president” sign spray-painted red white and blue on a slab of particleboard similar to the "Deer hunting" signs of Upstate New York or the "Happy birthday Wayne, from T-bones" in other parts of the country. In Five Points, one of Columbia’s shopping, restaurant and bar areas, the Ron Paul sign was tacked to a telephone pole and directly below it was a similarly constructed job that read “Ultimate Fighters Wanted” with a listed local telephone number.Also, on a nearby freeway there exists low-budget Ron Paul banner that hangs off a pedestrian bridge as if it were advertising a college fraternity toga party for this Saturday night.So needless to say hearing that Paul currently has more cash on hand for his campaign than John McCain was a only a little puzzling. Personally I feel bad I haven't gotten a chance to get to know about Ron Paul-- I somehow managed to give up the time not spent between my two jobs, checking Facebook and scrolling through blogs to Columbia’s service industry. But the Ron Paul campaign hasn’t really pulled me in yet— even with its hipster stamp of approval— and, to a more specific point, his moments in the debate were never projected ad osmosis from the voice boxes of Chris Mathews or Tucker Carlson and he somehow managed to stay out of the pages of the New Yorker, Esquire and Vanity Fair while only tickling my funny bone in anything from Mother Jones, The New Republic or Slate.comAnd while Hillary Clinton and John Edwards recently got caught saying they believe the other candidates aren’t "serious" and the Democratic pool should be narrowed down, I wonder if this “blunder” wasn’t actually calculated by their individual campaigns to only appear like one. As for whom Clinton/Edwards are talking about, i.e. Dennis Kucinich et al, I'm not even sure that's the absolute correct spelling of Kucinich's name. I once overheard The Nation’s Washington Correspondent, John Nichols, say that Kucinich’s problem was "about six inches" and I remember reading something somewhere once about "a 5' 7" divorced Jew." I know he shook my hand at the Hunter Gatherer in Columbia a few years ago and afterwards I said, "Who was that?" My roommate looked at me like I was Charles Manson. And while everyone always says “the media picks the president” we do hear an awful lot about John Edwards (most notably in Men's Vogue in the waiting room of the gay barber), we hear about Hillary Clinton from everyone with a mouth and Barack Obama from every ambitious young black or-- ahem-- "just very progressive" young person in the South (maybe that's too much of an indictment), and , of course, Obama Girl (what a chick) but for the others in the running you really have to go and dig stuff about for yourself. You know… take the time to Get To Know The Candidate. I too want to get to know Paul and Kucinich, maybe even Mike Gravel, just to understand their ideas and see if I think they’re “electable”— make sure no one can really hammer me for it— but I don't know if I'll be wasting time getting hooked on another Nader wagon like I supported in 2000. And this is coming from a guy who’s shared a few afternoons with John Taylor Bowles.One thing I don't want to do though is spend my energy bashing the people who support the "lower-tier candidates," (as they’re being labeled by both the other candidates and the media in wink-and-handshake fashion) because democracy, even one as muddled as ours, is all about choices and restricting those choices would go against the same ideological principles that pragmatic,[...]

Hillary video


Hillary Clinton works to soften her image with some humorous campaign videos.

Michael Moore


Mike demands an apology from CNN for Dr. Sanjay Gupta's biased reporting on 'SiCKO' and for helping the Bush administration lie us into a pointless war.

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The World Speaks


Ever hear some redneck say we should remove the troops so we can nuke them all?

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Video link suggested by City Paper columnist Ismail Lagardien

Landmark Resources attempts to shut down block of Five Points nightlife


Here's the letter from Landmark Resources to the businesses in Plaza Center. Check out the story at




From our political satire buddy David Martin.


by David Martin

Paris Hilton is back in jail and has apparently found God. She was recently spotted carrying a copy of the Bible and now says that her prison experience has changed her and made her “much more spiritual.”

However, it appears that Ms. Hilton’s Bible is not the King James Version or the New International Version. Rather, it seems that she is reading from her own personal version of the scriptures as evidenced by the following passages:

Oprah 3:15

“Be not constrained by the bars of prison but go forth and announce your state to the world. Whomever you choose to call, do so with grace, modesty and a guaranteed 15% audience share.”

Barbara 5:13

“Let not thy View be impaired by the darkness of your cell. For there is another cell called a phone which shall be thy lifeline to the throngs who long for news of your stay. Call when the spirit moves you and fear not that ye shall wake me for the good news is on a 24-hour cycle.”

Phil 4:23

“And the child did lamp unto the feet of the healer and cried out: ‘Why have you forsaken me, Dr. Phil?’ But lo, I have not forsaken you my child but instead I have reserved a fortnight’s worth of episodes to bring you back into the fold.”

2 FOX 6:12

“Know ye that wherever you go, God is with you as is FOX and all of her many channels. Praise the cable universe and the certain wealth that shall be rained down upon you at our most generous rates.”

Numbers 2:23

“Yea though ye serve your full sentence, know that the numbers will continue to rise. Based on the findings of the ones called Neilsen and Gallup and Pew, surely you will be seen by more of the people than you could previously have imagined. Do the time and you will earn the abundance of the Lord.”

Revelations 8:12

“And the people looked heavenward and cried as one: ‘Give us more news of the one they call Paris for we must know whereof she speaks!’ And the one called Paris looked down upon the masses and smiled for she knew that her penance would profit her for all time.”

2 ET 4:26
“The picture taker will live with the gossip monger, the broadsheet will lie down with the tabloid, the news and the entertainment and the trivia together; and an overgrown child shall lead them.”

S.C. commits another murder.



Columbia, S.C. -Calvin Shuler was executed by lethal injection on Friday at Broad River Correctional Institution. Shuler was convicted of a murder that occurred during a botched robbery of an armored vehicle that killed James B. Brooks on Dec. 3, 1997.

Ever since City Paper slapped Governor Sanford’s home and vacation numbers on the cover of December 1st, 2005 issue South Carolina has done a good job at keeping it quiet when they are about to kill another criminal that didn’t commit a premeditated act.

Bottom line is South Carolina continues government-sanctioned murder for those that aren’t the worst of the worst and Gov. Sanford does nothing to stop it.

Hopefully these powerful state officials will get a T-Bone steak and have time to reflect on their judgment day.

- Paul Blake

S.C. Department of Revenue collecting from drug dealers


The most mind boggling thing in this past cover story on crack had to be South Carolina's tax stamps for cocaine, heroin and mary jane.
Here's one of the stamps and the form needed for paying taxes on your illegal substances.

Read the full article here if you haven't read this yet.


Numbers Don’t Lie


By Wendy BrinkerMany boast that America is the best country in the world. Indeed there are a few superlative qualities unique to America that go unchallenged. One area where we absolutely reign supreme is in our insatiable consumer practices. Americans only constitute four percent of the world population, but manage to annually gobble up one fourth of the world’s resources. That’s pretty impressive, considering there’s no ecosystem in existence that can mathematically sustain that type of predation for very long. We are superbly practiced in the art of compartmentalization, so the impact of our voracious appetites on the planet never really enters the equation.Because we are so superior in theory and practice to the average world citizen, it’s difficult for us to extend equal human value past the Canadian border and ever since that “Freedom Fries” thing it’s even more difficult. So what if we’re considered terrorists by the international community? The world is our oyster and we’ve got all the Texas hot sauce you can handle. We're some gun toting, democracy loving, bible pounding marauders and if you’re not with us, you’re an evildoer so who needs you anyhow?But this is no recent development in American attitudes. The notion of our special brand of U.S. grade-A white dominion stepped onto the shores with our ancestors and has remained a basic staple in our philosophical diet ever since. They brought with them a Western European notion created at the dawn of the sciences of archaeology and anthropology that asserts Caucasians possess a brain capacity superior to all others. Our indoctrination into the world using this model that puts us at the top of the human food chain has forever tainted our country's history, our self-perception and our relationship to the world. It is the subconscious brick on the gas pedal for white America when we characterize a people or country as barbaric or primitive or to whom we assign and extend “civility.”This is how we lovingly forgive ourselves and even romanticize the genocide of the native people who lived on this continent thousands of years before we arrived. They were simple, hostile savages and besides, it was destiny – divine providence. God wanted us to live here. This is also the very quality that allowed us to kidnap and hold Africans in captivity for centuries for the express purpose of providing free labor. We just couldn’t find it in ourselves to assign any intellectual prowess or spiritual worth upon those who are so obviously inferior. And this is precisely how we live with the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. Why start extending any benefit of humanity to people who are so obviously different from us now? The news media refuses to show us the reality of carnage in Iraq, so unless you’re some kind of tree-hugging, bourgeois liberal, you probably don’t seek out this sort of morbid imagery. But our modern theatres and sporting arenas, the places you learn community/family-sanctioned hatred for people wearing another color or sporting another logo, provide a perfect measure. The toll of American deaths has recently exceeded 3,500. This grim assembly would fill up the four orchestra floor sections and the first and second balcony at the Township Auditorium with 300 waiting on Taylor Street to get in. The number of troops bloodied and wounded in Iraq (25,830 as of June 6, 2007) would constitute a capacity crowd of 18,000 at the Colonial Center and the overflow would nearly[...]

Ravenel Indictment


Shortly after losing the state Republican nomination for a U.S. senate run to Jim DeMint in 2004, real estate developer-turned-S.C. Treasurer, Thomas Ravenel, explained that his gracious endorsement of DeMint was an example of how he "rolled." "That's just how Thomas Ravenel rolls," he said.


City Paper web site update


One Stop Shop now has all the information you need:
up to the date live music listings , movie listings, weather, on-line sudoku games, Restaurant listings and you can even find the lowest place to buy gas.

Don't worry there's still plenty of web extras of the Handwriting Doctor, Radio Free, Ted Rall, Statehouse Report, Savage Love, Red Meat, Bum of The Week, Letters to the Reader, David Axe's War is Boring, and unique sports coverage you won't see anywhere else.


The State newspaper picks up Christian Exodus story...two weeks later


Two weeks after City Paper reported the founder of the religions, conservative, secessionist group, Christian Exodus, planned to lead an emigration to the South Carolina Upstate in order to take over state politics, the state’s largest daily newspaper ran an Associated Press report about the “breaking news.”

We’re sure it just took two weeks for one of the “boys in the newsroom” to go outside to buy a Coke and a Starburst and stumble across Columbia’s only locally-owned alternative weekly, but hey, better late than never.

-Corey Hutchins