Don’t develop

I would like to comment on the April 28 letter in The Post and Courier from John C.L. Darby. As we all know, The Beach Company is in business to develop, but I do wonder when enough is enough.

Mr. Darby writes about development of 2,004 acres on Johns Island and asks, “Do you believe another company will bring the same level of care, concern and longevity to the future of this property?”

Has Mr. Darby not heard of the Lowcountry Open Land Trust, Nemours Wildlife Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service? I am sure any one of these would be happy to contribute to the longevity of this property.

A quote from Albert Einstein seems appropriate: “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”

Betty Rosen

Sheridan Road

Charleston

Attacking Syria

Sen. Lindsey Graham loves war, and his latest desire is to attack Syria. Since the senator is a reserve officer, he could show the voters of South Carolina how tough he really is by volunteering to be the first one in.

He could form and lead into battle a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, of South Carolina pro-gun patriots who want to exercise their right to keep and bear arms, especially those who own AR-15s and the like.

Before he leaves for Syria, he and his fellow Republicans who are so worried about the debt, should provide funds for this war, unlike the last two, which were unfunded and even accompanied by a tax cut. They could raise taxes on everyone but the 1 percent, the job creators, if Grover Norquist agreed. Otherwise the money could come from cuts to food stamps, Medicaid, unemployment, Medicare, and Social Security.

Michael Griffith

Sterling Marsh Lane

Johns Island

‘Without grace’

As a Christian, as well as a former member of St. Michael’s Church, I find the Rev. Alfred Zadig’s observations about both Islam and Christianity to be without grace. Zadig’s condemnation of Islam finds its counterpoint in the movie “Animal House.” Substitute “religion” for “fraternity” in Otter’s defense of his fraternity and you find the antidote to Zadig’s venom: “But you can’t hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals.

“For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then ... isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.”

As for Zadig’s description of “extreme Christianity” as “most loving and most lovable,” we may strive for this peace, but unfortunately, painful examples of “extreme Christianity” surround us.

Zadig need only look at St. Michael’s balcony to see where slaves were forced to sit in the era of Christian-defended slavery. Huguenots, my ancestors and the ancestors of many other Charlestonians, were displaced and killed by fellow Christians.

Rev. Zadig is correct in one sense: Apologies are in order to many people in many places over many time periods for the pain inflicted on them in the names of religion, including both Islam and Christianity. Our lesson from this is biblical: We are all sinners, and it is only through God that we receive grace.

Warren Mersereau

Sea Marsh Drive

Kiawah Island

Hollings’ VAT

The one-idea pony named Fritz Hollings has resurfaced again. The VAT (Value Added Tax) will not grow our economy.

Why are Washington politicians so afraid of the FairTax?

Dennis Compton

Filly Court

North Charleston

Dubious data

While Gene Budig describes 2011 NAEP test results as “pretty damning evidence” of the failure of public schools, a closer analysis reveals a much less gloomy picture.

Though he did not state the size of the sample, it’s reasonable to assume it was substantial and the data almost certainly were normally distributed. Data with these characteristics behave with near absolute certainty.

Let’s compare the NAEP results to the expected normal distribution.

About 68 percent of normally distributed data fall in what is best described as the “average range.” In the NAEP study cited, the combined total of “basic” and “proficient” was 75 percent. Pretty close to what we would expect.

What is more instructive is to look at the difference between the advanced and below basic numbers. Those two values should be more alike than 11 points different. So, all in all, not too bad. Certainly not “damning evidence.”

Rather, it’s pretty close to normal. It’s true that “if you torture statistics, they’ll tell you anything.’ ”

Gary Brown

Ruby Drive

Mount Pleasant

Poor decision

Many years ago when the Supreme Court in its almighty wisdom took prayer out of the public schools, I was disturbed and found their decision incredible. After Roe vs Wade, I said that the United States was on a bobsled to hell, morally speaking.

Well, the straw that broke the camel’s back came down May 1 when I heard that our liberal/socialist president made a phone call congratulating Jason Collins on his coming “out of the closet” as a homosexual.

The president of the United States using the influence of his office in advocating and encouraging homosexuality is not only morally wrong but divisive.

This action is out of line with the good character of the office of the presidency. I find it unbelievable that even Obama could stoop so low. And to top it off his wife told Mr. Collins that “we have your back.” Also, the president has openly favored gay marriage. Is there no end to this madness?

Where is God and adherence to His laws in all of this? No wonder so many people in this great country of ours are fed up with Washington and the total lack of character, leadership and morals from the office of the president.

Well, the bobsled has arrived. May God help our nation.

Mike McInerny

Myrtle Avenue

Sullivan’s Island

Good call

I am sending copies of the May 5 paper to all my out-of-state friends to prove South Carolinians are capable of making reasoned voter decisions. The Post and Courier took a bold step in endorsing Elizabeth Colbert Busch. In a district where many voters were shocked that Mark Sanford was selected as the Republican candidate, it was even more disturbing that a number of voters felt they couldn’t vote for another party, no matter how much they disliked Sanford.

With the Post and Courier endorsement, we can hope that voters will think independently and vote for a candidate who is thoughtful and willing to compromise.

South Carolina will benefit if we have a strong two-party system that can attract the strongest candidates. Competition is healthy in business and politics. While it was another dismal weather day in Charleston Sunday, it felt like the sun had come out when I opened the Opinion page.

Deborah Akins

Towne Street

Johns Island

Bad call

We disagree 100 percent with your endorsement of Elizabeth Colbert Busch in the May 5 Post and Courier.

After over 35 years of subscribing, we are fed up with columns such as those from Brian Hicks and other liberally biased writers.

We are very disappointed at the current direction of The Post and Courier. While not fans of Mark Sanford, we are tremendous fans of fiscal sanity. And we disapprove of negative campaigning, which is all we’ve seen from Busch.

Freda and Ron Mixson

Eston Drive

Goose Creek