The Opium Wars

What’s most disturbing about this silent declaration of war on American is that the Chinese don’t use warships and warplanes to deliver their deadly payloads. They’re using a sophisticated delivery system for their weapons of mass destruction called “FedEx, UPS, Amazon and the United States Postal Service.” That’s so ingenious it takes my breath away.

China is at war with the West, in general, and the United States, in particular. It has been aggressively stealing technology from other countries for decades. It’s built a cyber army that, according to the Department of Defense, is targeting our aviation and anti-submarine warfare technologies, among other things. Through the use of technology (much of it stolen), China has gained nearly complete control over its population, redefining “Big Brother state.” China has built a system of “vocational education and training centers” that are nothing more than internment camps for dissidents, mainly Uyghur Muslims now, but could easily accommodate anyone that gets in their way. These camps are operated outside China’s captive legal system. And China has made no bones about the fact they intend to be a military superpower by 2049. But first they have to neutralize the world’s current superpower. Continue reading “The Opium Wars”

Discover Yourself in Charleston

If you search long and hard enough, you’ll likely find that special place where your soul connects with the history that is Southern in detail, but American in breadth.

Any journey into the soul of the Old South must begin in Charleston.  She is, after all, the quintessential Southern Belle, pompous and pretentious, and grand — God’s gift to a multitude of suitors.  But she’s also rich in charm and cultural sophistication. Alluring, seductive, mysterious, this Southern Lady wears her pride on her sleeve, while softly whispering of her own long history, and the lessons learned from it. Visitors quickly discover that the Charleston of any season, of any era, is well worth knowing. Continue reading “Discover Yourself in Charleston”

Taveau’s history unique among rural churches

“One of the most significant aspects of this church is its balcony that was taken from Strawberry Chapel and donated to Taveau in the 20th century,” stated Michael Bedenbaugh, executive director of Preservation S.C. “Strawberry Chapel and Taveau Church are inextricably connected. I believe the preservation of both is vitally important to this region.”

Patra Taylor’s series on South Carolina’s endangered rural churches continues with a feature story about Berkeley County’s Taveau Church. Continue reading “Taveau’s history unique among rural churches”

National Spoonerism Day

To celebrate National Spoonerism Day, switch your sounds around as much as possible.

July is jammed with holidays. We started the month with World UFO Day. Then we raced into Independence Day, National Kissing Day, National Nude Day, and Yellow Pig Day. (The presidential candidate who will declare a three-day holiday weekend for all of these great celebrations has my vote) Today is National Spoonerism Day, a favorite of my logophile friends and me. Continue reading “National Spoonerism Day”

Straw men and empty suits

While PM Trudeau’s words had me wide-eyed and a little horrified, my accurate transcription fails to capture the accompanying awkward hand gestures that inspired a few hand gestures of my own, one in particular.

[This column first appears in the July 2019 issue of The Charleston Mercury.]

57 million straws a day

[In op-ed columnists’ latest installment of RAWW (Rants of an Angry White Woman) Patra Taylor introduces readers to the  Straw men and empty suits of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s world.] Continue reading “Straw men and empty suits”

Stay-cation results in journey of no return

As I sat thinking of the glory days ahead, my almost liberated brain alit upon an interesting idea…a stay-cation in which I would do only what I really wanted to do for seven consecutive days and nights.

(This bit of family humor by Patra Taylor appeared in the June 2010 issue of The Charleston Mercury.

Three months of freedom begins

The morning of the last day of the school year found me counting the minutes until the final bell rang in anticipation of that glorious moment when I…ah, I mean, Benn could finally herald in the long-awaited Season of Freedom, more commonly referred in to in these parts as summer. Arriving at Benn’s school an hour early (he asked me not to be late), I sat in my vehicle along the carpool route enjoying the light breeze flowing through my open windows with delicious thoughts of nearly three whole months of not being jarred out of bed by that annoying beeping of my alarm clock dancing through my head. I knew I won’t be able to de-program myself from waking up at the same early hour as I always do, but allowing my eyes to flutter open of their own accord is a whole lot easier on certain of my vital organs. Continue reading “Stay-cation results in journey of no return”

Rice Told Tales

After a nearly hundred-year absence, rice has made a comeback in South Carolina.

Charleston Food Facts

In the early 1700s, planters near the coastal port of Charleston began the arduous process of clearing and diking inland swamps to provide water for the cultivation of rice. But the first attempts at growing it failed. Finally, in 1726, rice was successfully introduced into the colony, and with its success came the first wave of economic prosperity. In its rice heyday, Charleston Harbor was one of the largest shippers of rice in the world, second only to Bangkok. With the abolition of slavery in 1865, labor-intensive rice production had screeched to a halt by the turn of the century. Continue reading “Rice Told Tales”