GOP betrayal

The Occupy Wall Street activists and the Democratic Party were completely right about the Republican Party: They only represent the 1 percent minority.

The Republicans have decided that the 1 percent of voters who represent the difference between those who supported President Obama and those who opposed him in the recent election are the only voters who matter.

The 49.1 percent who voted against President Obama apparently do not deserve, and will not receive, any support or representation from the Republican Party.

William G. Ethridge

Ethridge Drive

Bonneau

Excellent find

We were in Charleston recently and we paid a visit to La Tabella on James Island in a small strip mall. What a surprise. This restaurant was bustling for an out-of-season weeknight. The staff made you feel as though you had been a regular customer for years.

We had main courses that were unbelievable. The house special was popular with our party. The seafood special consisted of scallops, mussels and shrimp in a light tomato sauce served with a risotto. All of the dishes my party ordered were outstanding.

Another pleasant surprise with this restaurant is that you can bring your own wine. Their pricing is average for a restaurant of this caliber. I highly recommend you visit La Tabella and enjoy the food. Bon Appetito!

Joe Lombardi

Dorset Road

East Hampton, N.Y.

Fiscal stalemate

We are fast approaching the dreaded “fiscal cliff” set to occur on Jan. 1, 2013.

The president and his party want to continue the Bush tax cuts for everyone except the wealthiest of Americans and use the additional tax revenue to pay down the deficit.

A majority of the Republican Party has signed Grover Norquist’s pledge not to raise taxes under any circumstances.

A stalemate means nothing will be settled and the Bush tax cuts will expire, which will raise taxes.

I hope those who have signed the Norquist pledge are smart enough to realize the dilemma they have created for themselves.

I hope the Democrats are smart enough to know the difficult position the Republican signers of the Norquist pledge are in and can get something done.

Gary Finch

Daniel Island Drive

Daniel Island

Keep Christmas

We are entering the season when we celebrate and recognize the birth of Jesus Christ — Christmas. While Christmas is a centuries-old tradition, it was never an official American national holiday until 1870.

Burton Cook, a U.S. House representative from Illinois, introduced a bill to make Christmas a national holiday. It was passed by both the House and Senate in June 1870.

President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill making Christmas a legal holiday.

Forget that separation of church and state thing, better known as the establishment clause; this isn’t about a religion, it’s about the birth of Jesus.

I realize that just the mere mention of Jesus or Christmas can send thousands of ACLU lawyers, atheists and the rest of those folks who can’t grasp the simple fact that Dec. 25 is a national/federal holiday into a state of mental anguish and despair.

Nativity scenes drive them mad. However, I fail to see where the celebration of this innocent child, the son of God, can be such a horrendous occurrence to these, anti-Christmas folks.

I do realize that there are many things about Christmas, like the tree, and the date, that are purely secular if not pagan.

But please, in the spirit of Christmas, let’s take a break as a nation and stop the war on Christmas.

After all, it is a national holiday.

Oh, and Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas.

Samuel Trippi

Beauregard Road

Summerville

Ship emissions

You shouldn’t ignore your doctor when he advises you on your health during your annual physical.

Let’s not ignore his advice when it comes to cruise ship emissions.

Shore power for these ships makes sense.

Russell B. Guerard

Tradd Street

Charleston

Grim evidence

Does anyone really think it is a coincidence that hundreds line up in the Lowcountry and I am sure elsewhere in South Carolina for free cellphones — ID required.

Now isn’t that a hoot?

And records were set for the amount of money spent in S.C. on the Powerball lottery.

Must I explain the connection and the insult to taxpayers?

Seymour Rosenthal

Waterfront Drive

Mount Pleasant

Give Obama credit

I read the Nov. 7 editorial on the presidential election and found your opinion to be, as suspected, hooray for the loser and boo for the victor. The first three paragraphs could have been left off to show some dignity to the president regardless of one’s personal opinion.

According to the editorial, there is no credit given foranything that was accomplished during that four-year period. History has a way of telling it like it is.

History will show a maligned Congress divided by a party determined to have its say instead of pulling together for the common good of the country.

In spite of your criticism of the president, it goes without saying that those who took the time to vote, voted for their candidate, and only one could have won and the majority voted for President Obama.

The government has a mandate from those who cast a ballot for the winner.

I would think that Congress has a mandate to give Mr. Obama a fair chance and work with him to make this nation what it is, the leader in all the world.

Together, we the people (including Congress) of these United States can continue great things if we put away our selfishness and false pride and work as a team.

The time for partisan flag- waving is gone, all Americansshould honor and uphold our country as “One nation under God indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all.”

S. Stephen Matthews

Savannah Highway

Charleston

Support Palestine

It is wonderful to hear that the United Nations now recognizes Palestine as a non-member state. The vote was 138 in favor to 9 opposed.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called this move “unfortunate and counterproductive.”

Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice argued that this vote does not establish Palestinian statehood and places “further obstacles in the path of peace.”

Two women whom I admire, but in this case, they certainly don’t speak for me.

I would venture a guess that the average American citizen has no idea as to the quality of life in the Gaza Strip or West Bank. Before the last cease-fire recently, 150 died in Gaza to five Israelis.

Questions should have been raised: Is this defense or ethnic cleansing?Is how the Palestinians are treated considered apartheid?

On Nov. 30, in retaliation, Israel authorized the building of 3,000 new housing units in the West Bank.

I am not anticipating any negative response from the lips of American politicians concerning this action.

It is amazing the silence when questioning the actions of Israel. The only reporting ever heard is condemnation of Palestinians.

I ask, is it right that the United States gives $2.7 billion to Israel’s military annually? Isn’t America about what is right — ethically and morally?

Why is Israel given carte blanche power?Are its lobbies that strong in this country? Is it the apocalypse connection between religions the cause? Is it the fear of Arabs in general?

Whatever, the reason, America must recognize Palestine, and even more, their citizens. America in general, politicians specifically, must stop their myopic view of the Middle East. The politicians must do what is right, not what they think will get them re-elected.

Debi Galik

Rio Vista Lane

Cottageville

Delay game

The excellent article by Mark Romano on how far insurance companies go to avoid fair settlements should come as no surprise to anyone who has filed a claim.

My son experienced it when his home was destroyed by the Mother’s Day tornado in 2008.

His insurer employed the “wait him out” strategy by proffering a string of offers at a fraction of the policy’s stated value of the home.

Fortunately, he is a knowledgeable contractor and knew better.

It took hiring a lawyer to force the insurer into arbitration. The arbitrator awarded him the full amount of the policy, but it took two years.

The same is true for health insurers who deny 30 percent of claims and rake 20 percent off the top of premiums to pay for marketing, executives, and an endless supply of claims-avoidance specialists.

The people who are so much against single-payer health insurance, i.e. Medicare for all, fall for the “socialized medicine” propaganda put up by both parties of Congress who are owned by Big Insurance.

In 22 of 23 industrialized countries, universal health care is a success: everyone plays, everyone pays and there’s no profit-making insurance company in the middle. The result is 40-60 percent lower health care costs than the United States.

Hardly anyone goes bankrupt from health care costs; emergency rooms handle true emergencies; there are few malpractice claims; and people who don’t have coverage don’t die.

It’s all so sensible, but those 22 countries must be doing something wrong and don’t know about American exceptionalism.

Michael Griffith

Sterling Marsh Lane

Johns Island

Cyber security

With 40-plus years of computer experience under my cap, I find the barrage of complaints against our state for exposing our Social Security numbers unfounded.

Those who work with electronic file security understand a few basic facts. No file, electronic or paper, is 100 percent secure. Hackers, criminals, will always find a way to compromise them.Electronic files can be very secure only by making those who depend on themvery inefficient. There is always a balance between security and efficient access, the latter needed for the file owner, our government, to respond to our needs.

It’s a trade-off, a calculated trade-off between security and usefulness. Even the most vigilant file owner, my highly regarded security conscious bank, for instance, gets hacked as do our federal security apparatus, Homeland Security and Department of Defense.

Our most egregious error centers on using our Social Security numbers for anything but Social Security as the original law specified.

The more agencies and firms that use the Social Security number for electronically identifying their clients and customers, the greater the risk for us all.

Roper/St. Francis, for instance, does not, creating its own identifying number which, if blown does not risk their patients’ identity in other files and vice versa.

Most electronic and manual information violations are inside jobs. It’s the clerk in the cubicle who most likely violated the privacy laws, not the outside hacker.

May I suggest that The Post and Courier delve deeper into the reality of computerized file security, informing your readers of the trade off, the balance between usefulness and security.

You may find that our state government did not do such a bad job, after all.

Frank Leister

Archdale Street

Charleston

Natural risks

Remember when Hugo came through? At any time afterward did you feel a sense of entitlement or feel like a victim?

I have empathy for the folks up North who are troubled by Sandy. However, it is disturbing that so many believe that some/any level of government is responsible and therefore owes them.I recently watched a community forum on the news, and comments included: “Who is going to pay my mortgage?” “The bank won’t work with me.” “Who is going to replace my car?”

Hey, folks, if you live on the East Coast, prepare for storms from the Atlantic. Kansas, prepare for tornadoes. California, prepare for earthquakes.

Rebuilding the infrastructure is the job of “government.” The rest is personal responsibility.

Amy C. Korngiebel

W. 7th North Street

Summerville

Cost benefit?

A reader is suggesting we give more aid to Third World countries to fight AIDS.

I recall that George W. Bush gave well over $25billion to do just that.

Shouldn’t we at least first have some proof that the last batch of cash did in fact do what it was intended to do?

Greg Firpo

New Castle Loop

Goose Creek