Absentee voting

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DontForgetToVoteFlagIn South Carolina, In-Person Absentee Voting begins 30 days before the election. For the November 8, 2016 election, In-Person Absentee Voting in Florence County begins at Voter Registration on Third Loop Road in Florence on October 8.

However, you can apply for an Absentee Ballot now, by visiting SCVotes.org, or SCAbsentee.com. 

Persons qualified to vote in SC by absentee ballot are the following:

  • Members of the Armed Forces or Merchant Marine serving outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them
  • Persons serving with the American Red Cross or with the United Service Organizations (USO) who are attached to and serving with the Armed Forces outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them
  • Overseas Citizens
  • Persons who are physically disabled
  • Students attending school outside their county of residence and their spouses and dependents residing with them
  • Persons who for reasons of employment will not be able to vote on election day
  • Government employees serving outside their county of residence on Election Day and their spouses and dependents residing with them
  • Persons who plan to be on vacation outside their county of residence on Election Day
  • Persons serving as a juror in state or federal court on Election Day
  • Persons admitted to the hospital as emergency patients on Election Day or within a four-day period before the election
  • Persons with a death or funeral in the family within three days before the election
  • Persons confined to a jail or pre-trial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial
  • Persons attending sick or physically disabled persons
  • Certified poll watchers, poll managers, and county election officials working on Election Day
  • Persons sixty-five years of age or older
  • Persons who for religious reasons do not want to vote on a Saturday (Presidential Primaries Only)

When voting in person, you will be asked to show one of the following Photo IDs at your polling place:

  • SC Driver’s License
  • SC Department of Motor Vehicles ID Card
  • SC Voter Registration Card with Photo
  • Federal Military ID
  • US Passport

For more information about voting in South Carolina, see http://see www.scvotes.org.

For information specifically about Florence County voting, see
http://www.florenceco.org/offices/voter-registration/

Declaration of Independence

(From the National Archives)

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

My Heroes

SC Family Memories

MotteMilitaryPhotomerge2014My heroes have always been soldiers, and sailors, and airmen…

I learned the Star Spangled Banner in grammar school right along with the Pledge of Allegiance. Our music lessons at McKenzie included folk music, rounds, spirituals, patriotic music and national anthems from ours as well as several other countries.

I loved all of it, but especially the service songs — Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Chorales or Choruses from various branches of the service came to Florence in the 1950’s and the whole town turned out.

The most popular movies were war stories from WWII, whether they were love stories, musicals, or dramas. When television arrived at our house, Victory at Sea became a favorite show.

These days a lot of businesses will remain open and feature big sales on Memorial Day, Independence Day, or Veterans Day – holidays designed to remember and honor the sacrifices of our armed…

View original post 420 more words

Introducing Paul Gaymon, Attorney at Law

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My son, Paul Gaymon, has started his own law firm, The Gaymon Law Firm, PLLC. He helps people with substantial tax debt and other serious financial problems.

Paul is licensed in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., but can represent clients throughout the United States before the Internal Revenue Service. His web site is http://www.gaymonlaw.com. Take a look!

Returning to the fold and to the work

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As of this past Monday, May 9, 2016, I have officially returned to the Florence County Republican Party, and have accepted the appointment once again as county party Secretary.

FYI – I resigned from the GOP in 2010 in order to publicly support a life-long friend, Ed Clements, who was running for reelection as Solicitor for the 12th Judicial Circuit. Ed was running as a Democrat and the local GOP also had a candidate running for that office. Our local and state GOP Rules rightly required that I resign from office as county GOP secretary, and so I did.

Over the past six years, several people have called on me and visited, encouraging me to return to active participation in local GOP politics. But health-related activities were keeping me very, very busy in those days – primarily staying alive! See www.BettesJournal.wordpress.com for reports on those past (and present) adventures.

This week, however, when new Chairman Mal Weatherly (also a longtime friend) called to recruit me, I prayerfully considered and accepted the appointment, resuming my active role as Florence County GOP Secretary. The announcement was made at this month’s GOP meeting.

Maintaining party records are important and accurate record-keeping is important. This year’s elections are truly important!

What is more important to me, however, is doing what I believe God wants me personally to be doing every single day – doing it obediently, faithfully, efficiently and effectively, always dependent on His presence and help. That’s my plan in accepting this new /  old assignment.

If you’d really like to know more about me and my past activities, please see the About Bette page. And feel free to call (843-629-0225) or email (bettecox@bellsouth.net) me if I can answer any questions about any of this.

 

Words mean things

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CapriTheater02X-rated movies were unheard of in Florence, SC when my children were toddlers. Some smaller towns nearby aired off-color films in their theaters, late at night and with little advertising.

But then one of our main Florence theaters began advance advertising for a “coming attraction,” our very first adult film with an X-rating.

The local daily paper carried the ad on the appropriate entertainment page; it was one of those in-your-face, I-dare-you-to-object sort of advertisements.

Reading the ad with misgivings, I carefully checked to see what hours the film would run. Surely it wouldn’t be until late in the evening, after normal family movie-goer hours, I thought. No. It would be run in the usual evening prime-time slot for several days.

One well-known and well-thought-of family had owned our local movie houses for many years. I wouldn’t have thought they’d be agreeable to this (I still don’t know if they were), or if they were being required to offer this movie in order to get other, more popular films of the day.

No matter. We had a few days’ notice, so I knew if anyone wanted to protest, they could write letters to the theater owners. I wrote a letter to the editor of the local newspaper. I wish I had kept a copy – it was titled, Words Mean Things.

It wasn’t just that I objected to showing this type of movie in Florence. I objected to the offensive advertising, the marquee posters that would appear, the billboards and the newspaper ads. I objected to the words and the images that would be seen not just by the adults the film was designed for, but by the children of our area.

That movie house was right on the main street of our town, right between a residential and commercial area. It was sandwiched between family restaurants and grocery stores.

It was an excellent location for a theater, actually. But not for the kind of blatant, off-color images and language that would accompany that movie – which would be the first of many such rated films, if this one succeeded in airing.

The newspaper didn’t change a single word of my letter. Since it was over their usual word limit, the editor called to ask my permission to publish it without changes of any kind. There was no editing, no cutting. The letter ran as-is.

But the movie never ran.

A few days after my letter was published, another ad appeared: Due to public sentiment the X-rated movie had been cancelled. Apparently my letter had hit a nerve. Many other people wrote letters of their own, followed by many phone calls to the theater owners.

The powers that be – whoever they were – feared a full-scale protest was about to happen, complete with marchers carrying signs. I didn’t foresee that happening and certainly didn’t suggest any such thing, but it was a definite possibility had the film ever opened in Florence.

Well, it was a long time after that before Florence did run an X-rated movie, and by then I didn’t live in town and didn’t keep up with movie fare.

But I’ve never forgotten the power of the words. Words mean things, but the message won’t get out if those words aren’t spoken. Or written.

See something, say something

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How can I demonstrate God’s love? See something, say something, maybe.

SkateboardBoyHe looked to be about 8 years old, the kid focused on the front edge of his skate board as he determinedly rode up and down my street. His track was the pavement in front of several houses on my block.

I stood at the window sipping a cup of coffee, watching his progress as he got the hang of his new gadget.

Back and forth, back and forth he went, the clattering sound of skateboard wheels on the rough pavement reaching into my living room. The expression on his face showed how much he was concentrating – how fast can I go, how fast can I turn, can I do a flip – normal stuff for a kid when there’s no skateboard ramp nearby.

He was still focused down at his feet when the car came up behind him. There were no sidewalks in our neighborhood, only a few cement driveways. Any of those would have been safe for him to swerve onto to get out of the car’s way.

But he was facing the wrong way, he didn’t hear the car, and so he didn’t swing onto the nearest driveway. He kept right on pushing, right in the street, right in the path of that oncoming car.

There was a posted speed limit but our street being a short cut between two major roads, many drivers ignored it. They often speeded up instead. Still watching, I frowned as I realized that the driver didn’t see the boy. In a minute it would be too late for him to stop.

What should I have done? It wasn’t my problem. That wasn’t my child. I didn’t know his family. They shouldn’t have let him play in the street anyway. Is that what I should have thought?

No. I jerked open the front door and ran outside yelling at the top of my lungs. Hey! Hey? Car! Car!

Both boy and driver saw my flailing arms, thankfully. The car veered into the other lane – good thing there was no oncoming traffic – and the boy jumped for the shallow ditch in front of my house. The car kept right on going, tragedy averted.

Had I been acting in “love,” the way some well-meaning folks seem to define it, I would have simply smiled and kept silent. I would have let the boy continue on his way, oblivious to danger. Would have let the driver commit vehicular manslaughter. Heaven forbid that I should offend somebody with harsh words, hurt the feelings of someone going down the path to eternal destruction.

But that’s not my heart. Not Holy Spirit’s heart, either.

If I see someone who is being deceived (and/or deceiving others), I will probably say something. Write something, maybe. Something, like Hey! Hey! Danger! Danger!

Offensive? Well, “offend” means to stop someone, to turn them out of the way they’re going, so yes. Out of the path of the deceiver.

That tendency has sometimes gotten me into hot water. It has made me the target of sarcastic words to my face and worse words behind my back. Rude online articles sometimes. Or passive-aggressive hostility, the silent treatment from friends who don’t know me or my heart very well.

But it has also gotten some folks free of deceptive entanglements that could have ruined their lives, and helped others avoid that path in the first place.

Proper Semantics About Terrorists

Shootin' the Breeze

I listened to President Obama give an address in the aftermath of the terrorist killings in San Bernardino.  Let me see whether I followed his message.

President Obama does not want to call this terrorist act as an act of Islamic terrorists because Islam is a religion of peace so these particular terrorists cannot be Islamic terrorists, by definition, because they follow a perverted version of Islam that is not true Islam.

He is unwilling to accept that these terrorists themselves apparently thought (mistakenly, it now seems) that they were followers of Islam.

Therefore, he does not believe groups that use “Islamic” in their names, such as the ISIS and ISIL, are accurate in calling themselves Islamic.  It seems that he is the person who gets to decide who is Islamic and who is not, regardless of what they call themselves.

He ought to know, better than I, what constitutes…

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Persecuted

Have you ever been persecuted for your faith?

Not beaten up or shot, imprisoned and tortured as many believers in Jesus around the world are suffering. But maybe just annoyed, aggravated, irritated, made nervous and hesitant about sharing your faith any further in public?

Whenever you’re in the public eye, small or large public, you make yourself a target. In the late 1980’s, many right-wing pro-life Christian activists worked in the political arena and thus made themselves visible targets. I was one of them.

A United States Congressman from my state was running for re-election. He was a left-wing liberal, pro-abortion and pro-big government, and yet he called himself a Christian. (He wasn’t. No fruit.) He was well funded.

Tim and I supported one of his several opponents, one whose beliefs and stances on the issues were in line with ours. He was not well funded.

A debate was held in the local library meeting room. It had been publicized throughout our multi-county district and was attended by several hundred citizens, plus a few TV and print reporters.

Tim and I arrived early and took seats on the front row nearest the entry. As we were already known in the district for community and political volunteerism, a number of people came over to greet us.

When it came time for comments from the candidates, the US Congressman looked straight at me. He did not call my name, although obviously he knew it. He bluntly called me a Nazi, because I so publicly and vocally disagreed with his position on abortion. Taken aback at how ugly and vicious his words were, I could feel my face turning red.

He went on to recount his voting record, his support of the liberal agenda in Washington, and promised more of the same if re-elected.

Our candidate was an older man, a lanky, “red-neck” farmer, not sophisticated in his appearance or manner, but nevertheless he eloquently stated his belief system, his reasons for running for office, and his positions on the issues that affected our district.

It was quite an educational event. Many of our friends came by afterward to sympathize and commiserate on the verbal attack from the platform. We just thanked them for their attendance and asked them to vote for our candidate.

But, the Congressman won in that election, and the next, and the next. After a while no-one had guts enough to run against him. He became a polished, professional politician, racking up many thousands of left-wing dollars along the way.

Eventually our congressional district was split and my town became part of a new district. Our current Congressman is one with high moral standards and one I am very comfortable supporting.

That wasn’t the only time I faced disagreement on the issues, but it was the first from such a public figure, in such an ugly outburst, in such a public forum. I realized then that when you put your name and your face and your voice and your hands and feet out into the public arena for a cause you believe in, you need moral and spiritual guts. You need a thick skin!

You need to determine how much you’re willing to risk, ahead of time. The only way you can stand up and continue to stand, speak out and continue to speak, is by knowing that the Lord who called you to do this assignment lives inside you where it matters.

When someone who disagrees with you calls you a Nazi, Jesus calls you his beloved.

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