Recent editorials from South Carolina newspapers:
The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C., on a monumental statement in Kiev:
Pro-democracy forces in the Ukraine made their strongest statement yet on Sunday when they toppled the Soviet-era statue of Vladimir Lenin and then pounded it with sledgehammers. The monumental stone likeness of the founder of the Soviet totalitarian state had resisted earlier efforts to bring it down by protesters who have gathered in the capital of Kiev by the hundreds of thousands.
Its demise underscores the growing strength of those Ukrainians who want to see their nation turn west, to Europe, and not east, as a client state of Russia.
The pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych made a statement of its own on the growing protest Monday by sending government riot police into the offices of the primary opposition party in Kiev.
The riot police were aptly named - they smashed office equipment and windows after seizing computer equipment that can be expected to yield valuable information about those who formally oppose the government.
Meanwhile, police cordons tightened around camps of protesters who want the Ukraine to join the European Union, not to reassume a subsidiary place within the orbit of Russia's Vladimir Putin.
While U.S. officials urged President Yanukovych to ease the pressure on protesters - by Twitter and telephone, according to The Associated Press - EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso took a strong position in support of the pro-democracy movement. The demonstrators, President Barroso said, are "writing the new narrative for Europe." Let's hope so.
Barroso dispatched EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to Kiev in an attempt to defuse the powder keg.
The largest nation in Europe, the Ukraine should be fully encouraged in its efforts toward a Western-style democracy, instead of the corrupt version it has under President Yanukovych, who steals elections and jails his opponents. And who looks to the autocratic Mr. Putin, who dissolved Russia's state news agency Monday, to solve its desperate economic problems.
That prospect should be treated as rudely as the statue of Lenin in Kiev.
Herald-Journal, Spartanburg, S.C., on curbing domestic violence:
A bill pre-filed in the state House of Representatives would be a good first step in treating domestic violence like the dangerous crime that it is.
The bill would increase the maximum penalty for first-offense criminal domestic violence from 30 days to 180 days. This is an absolute necessity.
The increase would bring the penalty for domestic violence in line with crimes such as failing to pay a telephone bill or defrauding a hotel. The fact that penny-ante crimes such as these carry higher penalties than domestic violence shows that the state doesn't take this problem as seriously as it should.
Light penalties send a message to those who would batter their spouses and partners. It tells them this isn't much of a crime. It tells them they can continue their abuse and at most face a slap on the wrist. Increasing the penalty would correct this message.
The bill also would require those convicted of criminal domestic violence to participate in a domestic violence intervention program, getting them the counseling and help they need to stop their cycles of violence.
The bill also makes it harder for those convicted of domestic violence or released on bond from that charge to obtain guns or ammunition.
These are worthwhile steps that would help bring the state back from its shameful ranking as No. 1 in the rate of women killed by men. Domestic violence is that serious a problem in this state.
Passing the bill introduced by state Rep. Bakari Sellers, D-Denmark, would be a good first step. The next would be to ramp up prosecution of domestic violence by making sure more offenders receive the greater sentences and dissuading prosecutors from making plea bargains that lessen the penalty for this violent crime.
Morning News, Florence, S.C., on Boeing a big chance for state:
Gov. Nikki Haley has a chance to indeed make it a great day in South Carolina and act in her chief role as economic development recruiter by again wining and dining Boeing execs, who are holding one tantalizing carrot in front of the noses of governors throughout the country.
Boeing is contemplating moving its 777x jetliner production out of Washington state because of an ongoing dispute the machinists union there is having. The state that is able to dollop the most sweeteners into the aerospace giant's cup just might secure thousands of highly skilled jobs that would accompany production of the company's next-generation jet.
Alabama, Missouri and North Carolina are among those considering making proposals before Tuesday's deadline. Top officials believe Salt Lake City, Long Beach, Calif., San Antonio and, yes, North Charleston, are the top contenders if Boeing makes the move.
State Sen. Hugh Leatherman told The State newspaper this week he was not aware the state had made any incentive proposal to Boeing execs so far. The state has given Boeing $570 million in economic incentives since Boeing broke ground on the Dreamliner manufacturing plant in 2009 in Charleston.
We like the fact South Carolina has been low key so far in its approach. Boeing already is sold on the Palmetto State, and 777x or not, South Carolina will remain a key cog in the Boeing machine.
But make no mistake, Haley and her team are licking their chops about the idea of Boeing relocating a plant here. Time will tell if anything like that comes to pass, but there is absolutely no doubt that the Pee Dee and every other part of South Carolina would benefit from another infusion from Boeing. The taxes it already pays and the economic growth accruing from its investments and employment reverb throughout the state.
If the 777x doubles that, South Carolina would be flying pretty high.