James AMallory

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there of; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

– The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

Once an easily dismissed phrase, fake news is now embedded in our public discourse. It is a political weapon whose repetitive use chips away at a foundation stone of our democracy – a free and independent press.

marc janHilton Head Island and Bluffton started as small towns and the “weak mayor” system seemed sufficient. Since then, however, both have experienced major growth and a “strong mayor” system might serve us better.

There are challenges and advantages with each system. Let’s focus on the council-manager system in place across the Lowcountry. The biggest advantage is the lack of partisanship, which should not be undervalued. The professional town manager can make decisions without the political calculation of elected officials. But this benefit often comes at the cost of dynamic leadership with the “mayor effectively reduced…to the role of cheerleader and external promoter of his city’s image and interests.” It is hard to tell who is in charge when an unelected manager has more power than the elected mayor.

marcfreyprI venture to say the Lowcountry would rank very high nationally if measured by its citizens’ giving per capita. In addition to writing large and small checks, many people in our region donate countless hours of volunteer time to raise money, organize events, direct aid, build homes and provide other services to those in need. Then there are the countless in-kind donations from local businesses and the never-ending coverage by local media of the area’s thriving nonprofit community.

marcfrey nov2017LETS MAKE SOME TIME FOR TIME.

Imagine, if you will, that you are reaching the end of the road. It’s time to prepare to say farewell to your life on this planet. If someone asked what you would change if you could do it all over again, what would your answer be? In all likelihood, you wouldn’t wish you had bought a bigger house, added one more car to your collection, or anything like that. Most people probably would answer, “I wished I found more time to talk to my children, spent more fun nights with my friends, took one more trip to Italy, read the book I bought a few years back.” In other words: We’d all want more time. Time to discover ourselves, time to discover new places, or time to simply cherish the people who we appreciate.

MarcfreyThe internet is a technology breakthrough that has the power to change everything: The way we communicate, the way we interact with each other, the way we do business and even the way we think.

Yet with all it offers, there is no enforceable ethical or legal framework that protects individuals. Most thinking and writing on the matter is focused on technological prowess as we blindly admire its constant growth and growing influence; but not enough has been documented and agreed upon regarding how we should harness its power while curbing its capacity for harm.

marcfreyIn 1967, it was The Summer of Love. What is it now?

A half-century ago, the hippie movement reached a milestone when roughly 100,000 people converged in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood for the Summer of Love. The cultural movement of the “flower power people” promoted peace, love, sharing, caring, meditation, anti-consumerism, suspicion of government, “dropping out,” the use of mind-altering drugs and Vietnam War protests. The creative works developed during that period — songs, poetry, art, fashion — are instantly recognizable and still reverb to this day. The greeting “peace” and the peace sign — holding up the index and middle fingers in a V — have been passed on to the next generations. The peace symbol, adopted from Britain’s Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the 1950s and ’60s, has become one of the most globally recognizable marks. Ultimately, the outpouring of resistance against the war in Vietnam helped turn the tide and end the direct involvement of U.S. troops in that conflict.

MarcoFreyIt’s the time of year when I misspell ‘days’. We’ve crossed the solstice, that midpoint in the earth’s lap around the blazing sun, and when’s the last time you checked in on New Year’s resolutions? I think we all can relate to slacking the rope during the hottest months. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But for those of us who are trying to push through past year mediocrities into our best selves, here are a few things I do to stay motivated in the mind-numbing heat.

A Father and Son Reflect on the Smartphone Revolution

marcfrey 2017

MARC FREY
mfrey@freymedia.com

The first iPhone went on sale at 6 p.m. Friday, June 29, 2007, “and suddenly the world was in our pocket.” The device created the i-generation: i-centric and i-absorbed. It created a new cult and culture. A new language (apps, clicks, texts, likes, selfies, swipes). It turned us into an always-on society. It brought us the term FOMO, or fear of missing out. Millions started to measure their self-worth through clicks and likes. The urge to check the latest news became uncontrollable. We were consumed with capturing and sharing every moment with anyone who would “follow” us. The iPhone changed the way we communicate and the way we interact with each other, like breaking an engagement via text. While they seem to connects us, smartphones often leave us feeling empty and alone — even when we feel naked without them.

marcfreyThis spring, I was honored to sail with veterans as part of the “Warrior Sailing Program” during the venerable Charleston Race Week. I met some of the most high-spirited young women and men you can imagine, and no matter if they lost their eyesight, a leg, or got shot several times, they demonstrated dignity and a positive attitude I sometime miss among their more self-absorbed peers. If their smiles and can-do attitude could resolve conflicts, then this is all it would take to make this a more peaceful planet! It could be reasoned that their sacrifices have made this a better world or made America a safer place, but the question that came to my mind is how much say did these young citizens have in deciding how invading Afghanistan and Iraq was going to benefit us?

is that something terrible happens to one of their offspring. After all, as parents we only want three things for our children: that they become independent, that they are happy, and that they stay alive.