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”

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”

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”

Coots, codgers and a kick in the shin

While I still appreciate the simplicity of the “sticks and stones” problem-solving paradigm, I prefer to think I’ve evolved with the times. Today, bullies are dealt with through zero tolerance policies, the arduous criminal justice system and lengthy civil lawsuits.

At the risk of sounding antediluvian, the playground protocol from the era I grew up in seemed a whole lot simpler than it is today. When confronted with taunting and name-calling, a girl like me would first initiate the “sticks and stones” defense.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Continue reading “Coots, codgers and a kick in the shin”

Howling dogs make for sweet summer dreams

All these years later, I’m still a dreamer. I believe our dreams are who we really are. Every one of us is a little bit rock star, a little bit astronaut, and a little bit Stanley Cup winner.

[This appeared in the July 8, 2004 edition of the Charleston Mercury.]

These boots were made for walking

I was almost a ‘60s sensation.

In the summer of ’66, I decided to form an all-girl rock band, a cutting edge idea at the time, especially for a girl of 10.  I figured a generation that welcomed the Beatles, the Animals and the Rolling Stones would also be receptive to a group of pre-pubescent, relatively talent-less rockers of another sort. I was clearly ahead of my time. Continue reading “Howling dogs make for sweet summer dreams”

Saving Trinity

Mike quickly discovered the door was open and the church was welcoming, so he found himself inside, marveling at the church’s sophisticated architectural and pondering the original intent of those who built it in Abbeville on the eve of the American Civil War.

Sacred Spaces

Saving Trinity is the fourth in a series by Patra Taylor about Preservation South Carolina’s efforts to save the state’s rural Sacred Spaces. This article appeared in the June 2019 issue of the Charleston Mercury.

Excerpt from article: Each time Bedenbaugh turns the lock in the door, he bears the responsibility of representing the passions and integrity of the board of directors of Preservation South Carolina for which he serves as executive director. More importantly, he has made promises to the church’s congregants, to the community, to the Episcopal diocese. Saving this church edifice for future generations is personal. To Mike, they’re all personal. Continue reading “Saving Trinity”