We’re not ‘mutts’

David Brooks’ brain must be on vacation. As much as I enjoy reading his column, I must express my fervent disagreement with his choice of the word “mutt” to describe U.S. citizens in the future.

On the contrary, the United States could be the world’s greatest alloy — harder to break, damage or melt — if we recognize the opportunity facing us in the brilliant guise of immigration reform.

Right now, “opportunity” herself is knocking loudly at the country’s front door. She is standing on the welcome mat waiting for someone to open the door so she can clear the path for us to continue on in scientific innovation and economic success.

Standing politely behind her on the porch are biochemists from Mexico, surgeons from Turkey and entrepreneurs from China, who want to get up early, work hard, learn English and build a better life for their families. Are we just going to say “No, thanks. I’m good”? Just let the screen door slam shut? If we aren’t creating new medicines with fewer side effects, designing safer, less invasive forms of surgery and coming up with crazily inventive renewable energy sources, are we lazing in the afternoon sun or leading the pack, to use Brooks’ analogy?

Luckily for us, Lady Opportunity, is looking up and not down at the print on the mat that reads “Go away.”

Hayden D. Shook

Regatta Road


Island hopping

Where does Brian Hicks get off implying the city of Charleston is perfect? The city apparently does not even know the meaning of contiguous.

Daniel Island is in the city. How in the world did this happen? Daniel Island is in Berkeley County, and it is not contiguous to the city. Charleston had to jump a river to get this one.

If I remember correctly, this was handled on a Saturday, behind closed doors. Somehow the city can jump marshes, creeks and rivers to get anything it wants (this has been going on for a long time); however, when we try to do any of these things, the same rules don’t apply. Tell supreme Joe Riley to leave us alone.

And Brian Hicks, stay in your city.

Jackie Hughes

Hampshire Road

James Island

Poor service

SCE&G still can’t seem to get it right on supplying power to parts of James Island. Power outages have occurred this week about 6:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. almost daily on Burnett Drive. I wonder how bad it will really get when a storm actually arrives?

James Thornal

Burnett Drive

James Island

Double standard

I don’t understand all the commotion about Paula Deen and something she said 30 years ago. The late Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia was eulogized by President Obama. Sen. Byrd had not only been a member of the Ku Klux Klan but had recruited 150 members.

Some of the stores dumping Mrs. Deen are selling CDs by rap artists who use the word that she used long ago quite freely today.

It boggles the mind.

Ray Montminy

Foxborough road

Goose Creek

Veronica’s feelings

In the legal battle over raising Veronica, the primary question should be, “What is best for Veronica?” In the final analysis it is about a child with feelings and an impressionable mind.

I can empathize with the Capobianocos. I have been raising a Native American child for 15 years. It would have been earth-shattering to have had to let her go. But, had she left me to live with her Kiowa/Apache family in Oklahoma, I now know that moving her again would not have been good for her.

What is best for Veronica, or any young child in foster care or up for adoption, is stability. Moving a child from one home to another is traumatic. Children can be left with unresolved issues that affect them as they become teens and begin life as an adult.

Between the ages of 3 and 4, my daughter went from living with her mother to living with a foster family to living with me in another state. It left a mark on her, but she was my sister’s daughter, and I felt it important to keep her in the family. A few years after she came to live with me, I gave up the best job I ever had to avoid uprooting her again. Her needs were more important than my desires.

Today, my daughter is 19 and yearns to know about her Native American heritage. She knows nothing about that part of herself except what she picked up during a brief summer trip to visit her tribal museum and to at look the grave of Geronimo (who is, I am told, a blood relative).

I see a hole in her that needs to be filled with experiential knowledge of her heritage. One day, hopefully, she will fill it with memories of her now unknown family and tribe.

Barbara Wojciechowski

Walter Drive

Johns Island

Friedman slighted

John McDermott’s fine column about Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke in the June 30 Money & Jobs section unfortunately gives Dr. Bernanke a little too much credit regarding the Great Depression.

Mr. McDermott refers to Dr. Bernanke’s “groundbreaking research on the Fed’s role in causing and prolonging the Great Depression.”

Please note that years earlier Milton Friedman (Nobel Laureate, 1976) and Anna Schwartz outlined the fed’s errors in the Monetary History of the United States 1867-1960. Indeed, in a speech celebrating Dr. Friedman’s 90th birthday, Dr. Bernanke referred to Friedman and Schwartz by saying, “You’re right, we [the Fed] did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.”

Richard A. Bilas, Ph.D.

Oakhurst Drive

Mount Pleasant