The Real Meaning of War

(Appeared in Blue Ridge Press Syndicate, 10/8/2001) Before Sept. 11, I would have defined myself as an environmentalist and writer first, with “American” obscured somewhere down the list between “college professor” and “Methodist.” Prior to the attacks on New York, Washington, D.C., and in Pennsylvania, the only “war” I found compelling was the one...

Invitation to Sanctuary

(Appeared in Blue Ridge Syndicate, 7/2/2001) I’ve been walking Spartanburg, South Carolina’s Cottonwood Trail a few times a week for the past 10 years. There’s nothing epic about my three-and-a-half mile ramble out and back along Lawson’s Fork Creek. It’s not Yellowstone or the Appalachian Trail. It’s an ordinary Southern suburban trail twisting through a...

Come Hell or High Water

(Appeared in Blue Ridge Syndicate, 1/8/2001) With a $1 billion project on the line, South Carolina developer Burroughs & Chapin in late December filed the last of an extraordinary volley of documents aimed at persuading the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to revise the floodplain map of the Congaree River. Burroughs & Chapin owns 4,600 acres on the Congaree, just south of...

Question Reality

(Published in The State, Columbia, SC 4/1/98) Welcome to the 90s: Smart bombs. Rapid deployment. Cruise missiles. 72 hour wars. Just when it looked like the decade’s military/political hype had finally drifted deep enough to make the world feel safe and small, two incidents recently brought me back to reality. The first was my viewing of the Barry Levinson cinema satire Wag the Dog. Forget...

Question Reality

(Published in The State, Columbia, SC 4/1/98) Welcome to the 90s: Smart bombs. Rapid deployment. Cruise missiles. 72 hour wars. Just when it looked like the decade’s military/political hype had finally drifted deep enough to make the world feel safe and small, two incidents recently brought me back to reality. The first was my viewing of the Barry Levinson cinema satire Wag the Dog. Forget...

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