Congratulations to the General Assembly and Gov. Nikki Haley for establishing college grants for students with intellectual disabilities. After all, learning is for everybody, and all should have access to public funding sources to make post-secondary education possible.
South Carolina is already recognized nationally as a leader in post-secondary programs for students with a intellectual disabilities at five major universities. Now, we are one of the first in the country to have tuition assistance for courageous young adults to make the dream of independence and meaningful employment a reality.
These new college grants provide up to $7,000 annually for in-state students and can be used along with Pell grants and other private funding sources.
To determine eligibility, families should contact the universities now so they don’t miss out on these new grants, which are already available.
The next important step for our state is to continue the path of including students who have alternative learning abilities into K-12 general education classes so these college-bound students are better prepared to take advantage of post-secondary education.
Because of what our state has achieved so far for these young adults with intellectual disabilities, anything and everything is possible.
When you let a snake into the house, it will lay eggs.
A federal judge has now overturned an amendment to Oklahoma’s Constitution banning Shari’ah law there.
Last I heard, Oklahoma was still a state in the union of the United States of America governed by the Constitution of the United States.
Looks to me like there needs to be a house cleaning, or at least keep the snake securely in the cage.
The people whose letters, “Disobeying orders” and “Policy reload” were published on Aug. 5 appear to be wedded to their own axioms about how things work, and they draw conclusions assuming their axioms are true.
The first writer observes that the armed forces can’t function if officers regularly disobey orders. Sheriff Al Cannon is not a proponent of regularly disobeying orders, just disobeying ones that are obviously unlawful. The Article 15 and court martial procedures mentioned by that writer are designed to handle extreme cases in military justice. Unlawful orders do exist — think My Lai in Vietnam and the Nuremberg trials in World War II (where defendants were very good at always following orders).
Also, people make mistakes and can issue patently stupid orders that need to be challenged. The Article 15 process can sort that out and render a no-fault decision to the accused. I’ve seen it happen.
The second writer, who made an attempt at witty sarcasm by saying that he had not seen any Redcoats or Russians lately, used the false axiom that the Second Amendment was enacted to allow people to defend their homes and country.
At least he didn’t mention that people could go duck hunting. (OK, I can be sarcastic, too.) The founding fathers feared a powerful central government and wanted citizens to be armed in case the government becomes repressive. (You know, the idea behind the Revolutionary War.)
They carefully crafted a structure with checks and balances to protect citizens from the power-seeking instincts that naturally befall politicians. And as expected, power-seeking politicians tried to circumvent the limits specified by the Constitution.
The last few years have been particularly rife with examples of the national political class acting in contravention to the Constitution.
As to Sheriff Cannon, law enforcement officers have to be very careful about what they can and can’t do when enforcing the law.
A recent article said that Sheriff Cannon has read the Federalist Papers. From what I’ve read about him, he gets it. Some pieces of legislation are obviously unconstitutional to those who really understand the axioms of the country.
Lax data security
It’s good news that, almost a year after the S.C. Department of Revenue data breach, other departments have been instructed to tighten their online security as well.
Oct. 2012: SCDOR is hacked. Response: “Gee, the horse is out of the barn. Better close the barn doors.”
Nearly a year later, Gov. Nikki Haley: “Hey, any other doors to check?”
But no worries. The governor and her band of security experts say the security in other departments will be tightened up “by sometime next year.” Unless the barn burns down before then.
The Keystone Kops apparently now work for the governor.
E. Edgefield Drive
I would like commend the writer of an Aug. 14 letter titled “Common Core” regarding the education system that seems to want to “dumb down” our children.
Case in point: Why in the world would my niece, a second grader, be required to have a calculator to attend the St. Andrews School of Math and Science?
One would think that, of all the schools in the area, a magnet school would want its students to learn to add, subtract, multiply and divide without relying on such an aid.
There’s a lot of talk about texting and driving bans; I’m all for it. In fact I’d outlaw phone use in cars period.
But just as dangerous, and not talked about, are trucks on the road carrying items in the back that are not secured.
Twice in four years I have had a very serious incident with something flying off a truck because some moron had not secured it.
The first time a piece of rebar flew through my windshield at 70 miles per hour. I required six hours of facial surgery.
Just recently a ladder was not secured to a contractor’s truck.
I stopped when the driver in front of me did, and another car hit me at almost full speed sending me into the car in front of me. Thank God none of us was hurt.
But what about the driver of that truck? Let’s hope DOT cameras can spot him and bring action.
Can we all please drive responsibly, secure what we are carrying and put our phones down?
Lucky to have him
The attacks on Charleston County Aviation Authority Chairman Andrew J. Savage III by a few of its members are absurd.
Charleston is blessed to have such a man of integrity, devotion to duty, intellectual ability and fairness.
I’ve known Mr. Savage for more than 30 years. I’m proud to say that he is my friend and I respect him in his efforts to clean up “the good ole boy mentality” of the Aviation Authority board.
Andy is a no-nonsense kind of guy, and as you can see from the bickering of a few, he doesn’t waste time or public funds unnecessarily nor will he tolerate corruption on his watch.
It is my hope that the legislators, who make these appointments, realize that the “what can you do for me?” attitudes must go from the board, which needs its members like Andy Savage, Keith Summey and Joe Riley, and its attorney, Arnold Goodstein, who have and always will have Charleston International Airport’s best interests in mind.
ROBERT L. MINTER