Give them weapons

The fact that nearly 1,500 Syrian civilians were killed by poison gas is truly sad, but it is perplexing that only now have we awakened to this realization — after 100,000 people have died and over a million made refugees.

Is the art of killing more important than the number killed? Why didn’t we supply Syrian rebels with anti-tank and shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles to match the tons of sophisticated weapons supplied by the Russians?

Looking back over past travesties in the Sudan, central Africa and the Balkans, we either we failed to act or waited too long. Our country’s ideals should be based on principles, not on oil. The president should not look to Congress to cover his backside. What has happened in Syria is truly sad, but it may be too late to help.

Let us supply arms to the Syrian rebels that match what the Russians have supplied. Delivering Tomahawks would bring nothing but an expanded war, which would include Israel.

Congressmen, vote no.

Pat Kilroy

Milton Drive

Goose Creek

The will to win

In response to Gene Sapa-koff’s insights about the college football bowl business, it’s best to never underestimate the resiliency and will of an amazing community.

He seems to feel there will not be a football event coming here anytime soon.

There are those here, like me, who have profound respect for the opinions of others, yet know that there is a sense of destiny to command.

Stay tuned.

Tommy McQueeney

Mazzy Lane

Mount Pleasant

Price of shrimp

A recent article suggested that local shrimpers are not getting market price for their product. This may be true, but pricing is based on the needs of processors.

Both King & Prince Seafood and Rich Products in Brunswick process and sell added-value shrimp in chain supermarkets, restaurants and club stores nationwide. However, the raw material they handle has to be shelled, headed and, in some cases deveined, and uniform in size.

Producers in South America and the Orient have a long history of supplying the sizes and quality processors need.

Processors don’t decide what is acceptable. Their customers do. The fact is that the wild shrimp caught in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia do not present a reliable product for processors.

If a market for wild caught shrimp is to be established then the catch should be cleaned, sized and frozen so that a commercial inventory could be established. There would probably need to be a three- or four-state co-op established to generate a commercial inventory.

When the cost to do all this is taken into consideration, I doubt that local shrimpers would receive much more than they are getting now.

A quicker market could be established by asking retailers like Piggly Wiggly, Food Lion and Harris Teeter to carry Carolina and Georgia wild catch in their seafood departments. While their standards are strict, they could require less uniformity and even sell shell-on shrimp.

Ed Dennis

Five Pounds Road

St. Simons Island, Ga.

A difficult role

The Post and Courier’s recent article on the integration of Charleston schools, in particular the mention of Millicent Brown and Jacqueline Ford at Rivers High School in 1963, brought back memories of those two young ladies and momentous events. I attended Rivers High as a ninth grader that year.

The two young ladies chosen to integrate Rivers were courageous, poised, intelligent and supremely well-suited for that difficult role. I came to better know Millicent, a young woman whose dynamic personality and intelligence generated in many of us a respect and admiration for her that we enjoy to this day.

It was a tumultuous time that, even in our immaturity, we recognized as very important. Despite bomb threats, life-threatening telephone calls and the animosity of some students, those two young women, by the dint of some inner strength, prevailed.

It was the first time many of us developed a one-to-one relationship with a black peer. Yes, we knew our maids and yard men, but we had very little contact with black students our own age. It was an enlightening and life-changing experience.

Intellectually we knew that integration was right, but actually being involved with those two decent human beings opened our minds to the reality of the struggles of our black neighbors. We were accustomed to different seats on the bus, different seating in theaters, different bathrooms and different water fountains. But not for long.

I am grateful to have shared that experience with my friends, Millicent and Jaqueline. I admire them both and wonder how it happened that they and other students who were the first to integrate South Carolina schools were approached and asked to bear that burden, which opened the doors to equality for so many others. Also, why did they individually accept the challenge? Perhaps Millicent’s book will answer those questions.

Charlie Moore, CCIM

Sea Island Crossing

Mount Pleasant

Clinical trials

Rep. Jim Clyburn’s Aug. 30 op-ed titled “Clinical trials are good for S.C. health — and economy” describes how important South Carolina’s clinical trials of new medicines are to patients and to the state’s economy. It tells a powerful story about improving health and adding quality jobs.

S.C. Biotechnology Industry Organization represents the state’s innovators of medicines and medical devices. We joined the congressman for the recent rollout of “Research in Your Backyard: Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials in South Carolina,” which details contributions of medicine development to the state.

South Carolina is having a breakout year in life sciences and biopharmaceutical sectors, already a $4.2 billion industry. We are positioned to see even more in the coming years across the state.

This helps patients, but also the state’s economy — biopharmaceutical companies in 2011 supported more than 18,000 jobs, including more than 13,200 with vendors and suppliers such as construction and I.T. companies.

That employment has brought good salaries and millions of dollars for state and federal governments. But the greatest benefit is what life science and biopharmaceutical research does to help relieve suffering and extend lives.

Wayne Roper

President, SCBIO

University Ridge

Greenville

United we stand

Our once great county can come back from the abyss it is falling into, but the people and politicians must fight for it. Hate groups need to go. We need to stop calling people African American, Chinese American, European American, etc., and just call ourselves Americans.

America would be better if we had politicians who put country first, ahead of political parties or special interest groups. The IRS needs to be replaced with a FairTax so we can keep more of our income. Obamacare, foreign aid and other wasteful spending need to be eliminated.

The welfare system should help only the truly needy and the truly disabled.

The U.S. corporate tax is the highest in the world and should be cut in half. The EPA is a useless, anti-business, illegal organization and should be reorganized. The education system should return to the style of the ’50s.

I remember when, as kids we would leave in the morning and be home at dark. Our parents did not have to worry about us. We could pretend to shoot each other with our fingers without being expelled from school.

We could daydream at school and not be put on Ritalin. We said the Pledge of Allegiance each day. We did not have to worry about somebody coming to our school to shoot us. Many of us kept our hunting guns in our vehicles even on school property.

This country is at great risk to become another Third World country, if many things do not change soon. Many are saying that we need a third party. We really only need one, one party that places America and God first.

Bruce Bates

Della Lane

Dorchester