Knives a danger

In response to the March 17 column “TSA makes right call on knives” by David H. Schanzer, I would like to state an opposing opinion.

As a retired international airline captain with over 31 years of service, I would say that Mr. Schanzer is speaking like a typical bureaucrat landlocked in an office of statistics behind a computer screen, but not recognizing the operational threat to flight crews.

Delta Airlines CEO Richard Anderson supports the ban on pocketknives. Why? Because he has listened intently to the concerns of his flight crews and he understands the limitations and weaknesses to a flight crew’s airborne threat countermeasures.

I suggest Mr. Schanzer spend some time interviewing flight crews for their input or perhaps ask Mr. Anderson if he could sit in on a Delta Airlines security class.

Tom Valenzia

Pier View Street

Daniel Island

Weapons permit

I read a March 4 letter to the editor and was dismayed. Concealed weapons permit holders just want to be able to walk into a place without having to take off their guns. S.C. Section 16-23-465 states, in short, if a person is found guilty of carrying a firearm into a place of business where alcohol, beer or wine are consumed, he must be fined two thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than three years or both.

For restaurant/bar owners, sign requirements are found in S.C. Section 23-31-235.

So why would a permit holder risk all this just for a drink in a restaurant/bar with a gun?

Robert Scargill III

MSgt. U.S. Air Force (Retired)

Cobb Court

Summerville

Baffling choice

Let’s be perfectly clear on this: Sequestration means an end to school children’s tours of the White House, but has absolutely no effect on the $250 million giveaway to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

It is reassuring to know my tax dollars are going to the right places.

Will this insanity never end?

Earl Thacker

Greymarsh Road

Mount Pleasant

Minimum wage

A recent letter writer is opposed to raising the minimum wage. I admire his work ethic and his love for our country. However, I must respectfully point out that he has omitted an important component. He states that if we raise the minimum wage, businesses must then adjust their prices to reflect the increased costs, thereby negating wage gains made by workers.

The fact is that we have less buying power for our dollar today than we have had at any time since the late 1980s. A raise in wages would merely keep workers from falling further behind.

Profit margins rise with every increase in prices. Over the last 20 years, the compensations of CEOs, in turn, have skyrocketed. Five percent of our nation’s households now control 72 percent of our nation’s wealth. This is where those price increases are going, to the detriment of hourly workers. This skewed concentration of wealth is unprecedented in the history of our country. Think about 95 percent of our households toiling for 28 percent of our wealth.

Raising the minimum wage makes more sense than allowing the middle class to continue falling down the economic ladder. The middle class represents our biggest demanders of goods and services. Families with a few extra dollars will spur an increase in demand for those goods and services, a demand that is now stagnant.

A robust middle class equals a robust economy, and raising the minimum wage to nine dollars an hour, while not the complete solution, is a good start.

Bobbie Rose

Bennett Street

Charleston

Road bills

Both House Bill 3476 and a similar bill, S. 209 have been introduced involving the S.C. Transportation Infrastructure Bank.

These bills would require the Department of Transportation in South Carolina to put monies into existing infrastructure instead of for unnecessary new projects.

Changes will involve monies for resurfacing, bike lanes, new signal lights, road and curb cuts, bridges, highways, transit projects, life quality welfare and mass transit.

Sandra Grauer

Colony Drive

Charleston

Drug companies

Congress is looking to cut Medicare benefits to seniors and the disabled but will not take a simple step that its own budget office says could save $137.4 billion by 2022.

It would mean offending an industry that has spent $4.4 billion lobbying Congress and federal agencies since 1998.

The pharmaceutical industry has paid $451 million in campaign contributions and PAC money to make sure your congressmen will not overturn a 2003 rule that allows drug companies to charge far more for Medicare drugs than what the government pays to supply drugs to the Department of Veterans Affairs and Medicaid. Medicare is forbidden from negotiating with drug companies for the lowest prices for seniors.

So rather than cut off the money flowing into their own pockets, your congressmen and senators — Democrats and Republicans — want you to pay. In the business world this would be called bribery, kickbacks and payoffs.

This isn’t breaking news. The TV news media know but rarely mention it. Maybe the billions spent on the incessant TV drug commercials have something to do with it.

Do I sound angry? I am.

Randy Beckett

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Wellesley Circle

Mount Pleasant

Aid to Egypt

In his recent column in The Post and Courier, Charles Krauthammer endorsed (with some reservations) the commitment by Secretary of State John Kerry for the U.S. to continue to give financial aid to Egypt, despite President Morsi’s historic intolerant attitude toward Christians and Jews and his current repressive Islamist-based regime.

We should not give financial aid to our enemies, says Krauthammer, but Egypt is not an enemy yet. He points out that our interest is to see a “non-Islamist, non-repressive, non-sectarian Egypt” and that the Morsi regime may not stay in power.

No one wants to see more American “boots on the ground” in the Middle East. But it is clear that we have an overriding interest in seeing that one after another Middle Eastern country does not fall into the hands of radical Islamists.

With the threat of Islamist Iran going nuclear, plus the threat of the Syrian Assad regime falling into the hands of an Islamist-based opposition, and with the current regimes in both countries giving support to anti-Israel Hezbollah in Lebanon, there is much to be concerned about.

Of equal concern is that in pursuing our best interests in Syria, the good choices are few and the bad choices many. However, similar to what Krauthammer suggests for Egypt, we should not walk away from Syria. For humanitarian reasons we should strive to stop the killing of Syrian citizens.

For our own security we must pursue a non-radicalized Syria which would break up the interconnectedness of Iran with Syria and Syria with Hezbollah.

RON SILVERMAN

Watroo Point

Daniel Island

Enter atheists

Blame it on Roman incompetence. If the Romans, the most powerful military and political empire of its time, could have kept one homeless Jewish carpenter in his tomb and not let his scared followers pull off what has to be the greatest conspiracy of all human history, we wouldn’t need all these well-educated and well-read atheist fellows coming to town to help show us “Bible-belt” folks the error of our ways.

And what’s more, the bumbling Romans couldn’t even stop the carpenter’s closest friends from becoming preachers and missionaries in all of their areas of control and even in their capital. Darned old Romans.

Randy Hilyer

Montgomery Road

Charleston