Outrageous claim

In his Jan. 1 op-ed titled “Come together to honor emancipation,” The Rev. Joseph Darby wrote, “The sights and sounds of the early Tea Party rallies were chillingly reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan in its heyday.”

What an absolutely outlandish claim. The Tea Party rallies were all about attempting to get our politicians to address the out-of-control spending in Washington and to persuade them to follow our Constitution.

I don’t remember the Ku Klux Klan having the same agenda.

Simply outrageous.

Scott A. Cracraft

Concord Street

Charleston

Overrated

An interesting paean, “Hail to Hillary,” which appeared in your Dec. 28 letters section, contained the assertion that Hillary Clinton “has by all accounts been the best Secretary of State we have ever had.”

I’m not sure which accounts the writer was referring to, but I think it might be instructive to consider some of Mrs. Clinton’s predecessors, who were apparently among the “also-rans” in the “Best Secretary of State Ever” sweeps.

They included Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, William Seward and William Jennings Bryan.

More recently — within living memory — there were George C. Marshall and John Foster Dulles among many other worthies.

Now it’s true, for instance, that John Quincy had the Monroe Doctrine largely to his credit, and Gen. Marshall the European Recovery Program which bears his name, but Mrs. Clinton has several equally memorable entries on her resume, which dispassionate historians will surely note.

They include the Rose Law Firm Records Discovery Program, the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy Proposition, and perhaps her most durable legacy, the Benghazi Doctrine.

The “best Secretary of State,” indeed.

C.W. Watson

Bull Street

Charleston

A price too high

Sens. John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham are saying that Syria is descending into hell.

I wish to tell the honorable senators that the American people are not blind and insensitive to Syrians going about the grisly business of killing one another.

We did the same in our bloody civil war.

More recently, we witnessed the run-up to the Vietnam war and our ignominious exit 12 years later. The corruption and incompetence of our South Vietnamese allies served only to lengthen the pain and suffering, which Sen. McCain experienced as a prisoner in North Vietnam.

The blood and treasure spilled in Iraq and Afghanistan is, perhaps, worth the sacrifice to the honorable senators.

Many Americans do not view our sacrifice in the same manner. We daily see bloodletting, corruption and incompetence in both nations.

The senators seem to understand that American soldiers should not spill blood in order to ensure a desired outcome in Syria.

Nor should taxpayers fund another undeclared war via indebtedness.

The senators advocate sending weaponry to vetted rebel groups who will hopefully eliminate Mr. Assad. We are not told how to ensure the rebel groups remain the good guys.

Our commander in chief has misgivings about arming rebel groups that he knows little about. Vetted participants have a way of changing stripes, not to mention uniforms, as wars unfold.

Just ask Mr. Assad.

The senators mean well, but they should stop pointing fingers at what they view as inappropriate timidity from their commander in chief.

Louis C. Tisdale Jr.

Heron Avenue

Mount Pleasant

Time to pay up

What will it take to get Congress to grow up, stop the partisan bickering and listen to the American people who elected them?

We need to balance the federal budget and stop spending money we don’t have. We need to pay off our $16 trillion debt, not just the interest. We need to extend unemployment benefits to those in need

We need to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medigap programs and provide for those who need it. There are promises to keep.

How to do it?

Raise everyone’s taxes. Not popular but necessary to get our country moving again in a proper direction.

Everyone has benefited and now is the time to pay up.

Phil Siegrist

Plantation Lane

Mount Pleasant

Gun facts

There has been a flood of remarks on this page recently concerning guns, some either lies or a result of ignorance. Most notable were those of Mayor Joe Riley, who should be more knowledgeable of the Constitution:

1) The Second Amendment was for one main purpose, to enable citizens to resist or oust the government should it become oppressive.

2) That it is over 200 years old is irrelevant.

3) Automatic firearms are already illegal.

4) Legal semi-automatic weapons are not capable of firing “many” rounds per second.

The term “assault” rifle is misleading.

In order to be a true “assault” rifle it would have to be automatic.

Banning anything less than semi-automatic with high capacity magazines would defeat the purpose the framers of the Constitution intended.

Everyone hides or omits the fact that all of the mass murders that have occurred were in places that barred legally armed citizens.

Many incidents have occurred in other locations that would have resulted in massacres had it not been for the intervention of a legally armed private citizen.

Simply put, restricting gun laws further will result in the exact opposite of the desired outcome.

The body count will increase dramatically, as it has in Chicago and New York.

Roger Hedges

Willet Drive

Summerville

Ask teachers

Like everyone else, I have listened to politicians, lobbyists, newscasters, journalists and many others give their opinions on how to make our schools safer.

What I find frustrating is that no one seems to be seeking input from teachers and principals.

I am a retiree volunteering four days a week at my neighborhood schools. I have found every principal and teacher to be intelligent, hard-working and possessing a lot of common sense.

The recent heroic actions of the staff at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., support my observation. I believe since they work in the trenches (classrooms) every day, their judgment should be considered in any solution.

I don’t think anyone else, including district personnel, has the experience to understand the total implications of their decisions on local staff and students.

Instead of continuing to have public “conversations,” maybe it’s time for policymakers to listen to those directly impacted by their actions.

Frank Bender

Foxborough Road

Goose Creek

Jealousy revealed

Regarding the Jan. 5 article titled “Scott rejects negative remarks,” citing comments made by Benjamin Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP: Jealous’ statement that Mr. Scott does not “believe in civil rights” is ridiculous.

Sounds like Mr. Jealous’ name fits him perfectly in that he must be “jealous” of Sen. Scott.

Such petty comments like these made by Jealous are immature and show again why the NAACP continues to be a divisive organization.

Barbara E. Boylston

Yeadon Avenue

Charleston