Fort Mill Times

Gallimaufry - March 12, 2008

Jeff Shrewsbury is a freelance writer living in Fort Mill. You can see an archive of his other columns at his blog,, or e-mail him at
Jeff Shrewsbury is a freelance writer living in Fort Mill. You can see an archive of his other columns at his blog,, or e-mail him at

I've got a few things rattling around in my craw this week, so as they say in baseball, let's go around the horn:

Free at last, free at least

So after 50 years in power, Fidel Castro finally stepped aside last month and handed the reins over to his baby brother Raul, who will be 77 in June. In the official election results, Raul got 99 percent of the vote, which prompted our very own version of a President to take a few shots at the way the Cubans run their country.

And although I'm certainly no fan of Stalinist forms of government, it occurs to me that George Bush chiding the Cubans about holding free and fair elections is like Paris Hilton chiding Britney Spears about her lifestyle choices.

Hardest-working Governor in S.C.

Guess who is working harder than ever to get Gov. Mark Sanford named as John McCain's running mate? Why, it's the SC Republicans, that's who. Seems they'll do just about anything to push him out of the Governor's chair as quickly as possible. The whole thing kind of reminds me of that old saying among soldiers: "If we ever get into some really heavy combat, I'll be right BEHIND you every step of the way."

Speaking of family feuds

The Democrats just won't be happy until their presidential candidates have picked open every scab they can just in time for the general election when the Republicans will gleefully pour rubbing alcohol on the open wounds. Has there ever been a more dysfunctional group in national politics? And are they about to screw this election up as badly as they did the last two?

Speaking of dysfunctional

Nobody in the media takes Ralph Nader seriously, but he's so right on one thing: we've really only got one political party - the Big Business Party - and it's only interested in two things: No. 1 is keeping Wall Street happy regardless of the effect on the rest of us, and number two is keeping anyone who disagrees with number one from having a voice in Washington.

School days, school days

It's no coincidence that across the country those school districts that dedicate the most resources for capital upkeep, teacher benefits and other improvements are consistently rated the best by nearly all measures. So I just can't quite figure out why anyone is ever opposed to funding schools and why it's usually those same people who are the first ones to endorse spending more on prisons - as long as those prisons aren't in their neighborhoods, of course.