Lobbyist regulator

Talk about a classic fox watching the hen house — that’s what happened in Columbia recently. Nikki Haley appointed a former insurance industry lobbyist to be the state’s top insurance regulator.

Common sense says he has to be influenced by former business relationships and people he worked for over the past 40 years. What was our governor thinking? The appointment is to the S.C. Department of Insurance not the S.C. Department of Insurance Companies.

I’m sure the gentleman is a fine person, but his background is absolutely wrong to lead the Department of Insurance. The S.C. insurance chief needs to look out for consumers not insurance companies.

He needs to balance and facilitate the needs of consumers with our insurance-providing companies. It’s hard to believe he’ll be a watchdog and advocate for consumers when his work experience is lobbying for insurance companies.

In a state that is very favorable to the insurance industry it is imperative that our insurance chief advocate rates and policy from the eyes of consumers.

Fortunately he has to be confirmed by the S.C. Senate so there is still a chance we’ll get someone who understands insurance, rates and policies from a consumer’s perspective.

Charles Thompson, Jr.

Country Club Drive

Charleston

War on women

President Obama’s election ploy accused Republicans of waging a “war on women.” The real war on women is his championship of abortion. Fifty percent of the victims of this lethal violence are baby girls.

Clare K. Richter

William J. Richter Jr.

Eades Lane

Charleston

Bad examples

I do not have a stake in the Goose Creek High School football team fight, as my children attend private schools and are governed by SCISA and/or the Trident League in their athletic endeavors. But I cannot let the injustice of what the South Carolina High School League has done to these young people at Goose Creek High School pass without comment.

The High School League executive committee had four opportunities (not counting the initial review by Executive Director Jerome Singleton) to exercise common sense and good judgment, traits astonishingly lacking amongst the 14 public school educators in their review of this situation.

They delivered two messages to their fellow educators and citizens of South Carolina: Tread very carefully in the athletic area when attempting to do a good deed for someone whom life has dealt a series of adversities; and self-reporting an issue of eligibility that might not otherwise be detected may result in draconian punishment. What wonderful messages for our educators to send to our youth.

It is said that when we meet our Maker, we will be judged by, among other things, what we have done for the least among us. I am satisfied that the officials at GCHS will measure up well for what they have done for the young man whose eligibility was in question. Can the same be said for the officials at the SCHSL?

Thomas B. Pritchard

Broad Street

Charleston

USC’s victory

Congratulations and thanks to the University of South Carolina’s football team, coach Steve Spurrier and his staff for a most thrilling and deserving way to end our 2012 football season.

It takes a special team to overcome such adversities as losing our starting running back, Marcus Lattimore and our starting quarterback, Connor Shaw. Some starting players were not 100 percent going into Clemson’s Death Valley, full of orange fans. Still, they gave us Carolina fans an awesome record fourth win in a row.

I commend this Carolina team for the hard work, dedication, spirit and unity with which they have played this entire year. They have shown us what true talent and character they are built on and have made us proud.

Coach Spurrier has earned the title of South Carolina’s winningest coach. Since the time he arrived at Carolina, his presence has made such a difference, instilling confidence, guidance, leadership and ethics into our players, which are qualities that they will take with them long after they leave the football field.

Barbara Boylston

Yeadon Avenue

Charleston

First responders

My wife and I moved into our apartment when this complex was completed early last year. We feel safe because the building is up to the latest standards for security, fire, etc., and is restricted to senior citizens.

Recently an overloaded circuit ignited a fire in one of the third-floor units. It was almost midnight when the alarms sounded, and you can imagine the problems that arose.

Many residents are physically challenged — some wheel-chair dependent, others reliant on walkers and canes.

A full evacuation was mandated, and here is where the first responders came to the rescue. The fire departments from Charleston and St. Andrews arrived en masse, as did the Charleston Police Department.

The men and women of these departments went to each unit to ensure that all were out and safe. Many people needed to be carried, and all were accompanied to safety in the garage below.

I am a former U.S. Marine, and appreciate order and discipline. That night I was in awe of the men and women of the fire department and police department. The fire chief had the residents gathered together in safe areas, and they were told about the “chain of command.”

What could have been an organizational disaster was an “orderly inconvenience.” I cannot say enough about these brave, dedicated first responders. Too often we take them for granted, but instead we should salute them as we salute our men and women in military service.

Jack Kingston

Magwood Drive

Charleston

Castle Pinckney

“Don’t let the facts stand in the way of a good story” —Horace Greeley (1811-1872), journalist and founder of the Liberal Republican Party.

A recent article concerning flags at Castle Pinckney was headlined, “Confederate flags to fly over Castle Pinckney.” The article was somewhat different.

Philip A. Middleton was quoted as correctly stating that flags historically significant to South Carolina will fly over the castle. This includes the Confederate national flag, but does not exclude other flags in regard to U.S. history and South Carolina’s relationship to that history.

A more correct headline would have been “Historic flags to fly over Castle Pinckney.” However, that would not be the eye catcher that the headline used was. As it appeared, it seemed to suggest that the castle is soon to be festooned with Confederate flags. Not so.

Greeley’s quote is the standard by which the printed word is manipulated to create possible controversy where there is in fact none.

Controversy sells more papers. Selling more papers begets more revenue, which of course begets a more comfortable lifestyle for the top echelon of the tabloid.

Sleep tight, Mr. Greeley, wherever you are. Your maxim is alive and well here.

Thomas P. Lowndes Jr.

Meeting Street

Charleston

Help those in need

Hurricane Sandy destroyed and disrupted a lot of lives. Meanwhile, people all over the world are dying from HIV and other diseases. Some countries have no food and clean drinking water, including places in the USA.

Instead of caring about these issues, we are concerned with politics. “Four more years.”

Let’s turn that around to a positive: four more years of helping a neighbor, feeding the hungry and caring for local citizens in need.

A lot of problems could be solved using positive thinking.

Let this holiday season be a blessing to us all, and let us be grateful that we are in a position to help others.

Robert L. Royall

Dupre Lane

Mount Pleasant