Stay out of it

Why is it immoral to kill 5,000 people with poison gas, but not immoral to kill 90,000 with guns and bullets? Assad has done both.

This reminds me of an argument that Albert Einstein had with the German chemist Fritz Haber, who brought poison gas to the modern battlefield during the first World War. In three horrific days, his chlorine gas killed 15,000 French and German soldiers on both sides of no man’s land at Ypres, Belgium.

Einstein was horrified that a brilliant chemist would use his God-given gift to kill more people more quickly. Haber argued that the new weapon would shorten the war, which would be a humane thing to do. Einstein disagreed. War, he said, is inhumane by nature; it can only be abolished.

We should not kill more Syrians and devastate so many families and communities because their dictator used poison gas on them. We should go to war only when we need to kill them before they kill us — not to defend someone’s definition of morality.

Ed Gold

Laurens Street

Charleston

Motive exposed

Economist Paul Krugman has severely criticized, and with good reason, the “deficit scolds” who have “tried to exploit an economic (not fiscal) crisis on behalf of a political agenda that has nothing to do with deficits.” That agenda, Krugman says is becoming more transparent. He gave several examples, one being “the decision of David Walker, alleged crusader for sound budgets, to endorse Mitt Romney and his budget-busting tax cuts for the rich.”

The Post and Courier ran an Associated Press interview with Walker (Aug. 26) that bears on Krugman’s disdain for him. In the interview, Walker says, “Prices are going up faster than what the government tells you because they don’t consider food and energy in the index. Last time I checked you can’t live without food and energy.”

Unfortunately for Walker, and any notion that he is a serious commentator on matters economic, though there is a Consumer Price Index of “all items less food and energy,” the costs of food and energy, e.g. gas for the car and fuel for the home, are included in the overall Consumer Price Index. See http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpifaq.htm#Question_7

That’s a fact, and the Walkers of the world are too ready to dismiss facts out of hand to further their agendas.

Running the interview was a bad choice.

DAVID D. PETERSON

Mariners Court

Port Royal

Support president

As an independent voter deeply upset by the horrors of war, I feel we must ask a basic question: Isn’t it of vital importance to back the president at this dangerous moment despite all the risks and despite the mistakes of the past?

Perhaps we should have acted sooner. Perhaps the financial and human costs create too big a risk. Perhaps the line in the sand should not have been drawn.

But the ripple effects of doing nothing would spread throughout the Mideast all the way to North Korea.

A man must keep his word and as a nation we need credibility. Sen. Lindsey Graham is right to consider backing Barack Obama.

John Winthrop

North Adger’s Wharf

Charleston

Admirable judge

After observing Judge Thomas Hughston Jr.’s firm control and sound judgment in his courtroom, I was astounded to read a recent article in The Post and Courier questioning whether his sentences were reasonable.

In this article I saw no evidence that the author had even been in that courtroom, or sat through a trial.

The conclusions were based on one case, and the story did not specify how the impact of Judge Hughston’s ruling compared with those of other judges in similar cases.

In a subsequent column Brian Hicks cited a case in which Judge Hughston sentenced a criminal to time served in jail, which Hicks called “pretty stiff punishment.”

Judge Hughston did not put that person on probation, but Hicks admitted that would not have done any good.

What Judge Hughston does is to apply the law with reason and understanding. If reporters have a problem with this, they should look to the laws that are on the books.

Gary Nichols

Cecilia Drive

Charleston

Grateful patron

After reading in The Post and Courier about the new Southern Season opening in Mount Pleasant, I drove over on Labor Day. The restaurant was having a “soft opening.”

I suddenly became ill. Within minutes, the hostess seated me and offered me water and fruit. Others, including the manager, helped. But when I became violently ill, 911 was called and I was admitted to Roper Hospital.

This had to be a very difficult situation for the Southern Season staff, but not one of them displayed anything other than concern, competence and caring.

So, Southern Season, welcome to the Charleston area, home of the friendliest people in the United States.

You fit right in, y’all.

Mary Martin, Ph.D., R.N.

Folly Road

Charleston