Sex ed debacle

Ah! Another great and intelligent move on the part of our governor’s henchmen — just say no to sex and it will go away. Reminds me of the days when we were told — just say no to drugs. That never worked.

For years some of us have struggled with attempts to incorporate scientific sex education into our school curricula taught by certified teachers while still encouraging abstinence. We continue to see high rates of pregnancy in our teen-age girls.

On top of this we refuse to accept the expansion of Medicaid money from the federal government, some of which would go for the provision of prenatal care.

Thus, in addition to high pregnancy rates among our teens, we also have some of the highest infant death rates in the country.

In addition, we watch as the Department of Health and Environmental Control is eviscerated. There is an obvious move to greatly diminish the positive effects of regulations designed to safeguard our population and environment.

Will anyone come save us from our stupidity?

Joe Chambers, M.D.

Albemarle Road

Charleston

Buying a gun

Our two senators both voted against the recent bill that would have expanded background checks for people who buy guns at gun shows or over the Internet.

Let me understand. If I want to vote, I have to show a photo ID. If I want to purchase cigarettes or alcohol, I have to show proof of age. If I want to drive a car, I have to wait until I reach the legal age, apply for a driver’s license, and demonstrate my proficiency at driving.

But if I want to obtain a gun, I don’t have to do any of these things.

Does this make any sense?

Skip Crane

Seabrook Island Road

Johns Island

Outdated strategy

An April 9 column by Peter Wertimer, chairman of Charleston Metro Chamber Military Policy Council, supports bringing Africa Command to Charleston, but it neglects the reality of today’s military budget reductions. AFRICOM is a shell of what was initially proposed. Some general officer positions have been removed and many staff positions reduced.

The Air Force Command at Stuttgart, Germany, using reservists, performs many of the duties of AFRICOM. The Secretary of Defense said to leave it at Stuttgart because of costs associated with relocating.

Instead of considering bringing AFRICOM to Charleston, our Metro Chamber should be working to retain the military units presently located here. Months ago, Sen. Lindsey Graham cautioned about possible reductions at Joint Base Charleston and SPAWAR. I had suggested methods to reduce military operating costs and hopefully insulate our military units from major reductions. None was taken, and it may be too late to avoid major reductions.

The hard fact is that with the Army and Marines facing troop reductions, the need for C-17 Airlift will also be reduced. Already, the Air Force has announced it will idle a third of its combat aircraft to reduce costs. The new Secretary of Defense, in his first public speech, stated that large commands and supporting staffs have grown out of proportion with combat forces and must be significantly reduced.

Also, the need for major technological advances of the past will be reviewed, and more realistic research and development efforts at lower costs may result. Will the Navy need five SPAWAR development centers?

The Chamber’s Military Policy Council must realize the realities of today’s defense budget reductions and worry about what we have today and not try to relocate AFRlCOM to Charleston.

Al Hansen

Gen., U.S. Air Force (Retired)

Dalton Street

Daniel Island

The choice is clear

Eugene Platt is a veteran, both of the armed forces and our government. Serving for years on the James Island Public Service District Commission, he has been one of the people the voters have entrusted with running the day-to-day operations on James Island.

While it may seem insignificant to be in charge of garbage collection, go for a week or two without that service and I think you’ll see the value in having a steady hand at the helm. And of course, that is but one of the many tasks the commission must handle.

We need a steady hand. As the federal government makes decisions which will impact our state and the coast for generations to come the Republicans have a candidate for Congress with more baggage than a royal family.

The Democrats have nominated what amounts to a political novice with a famous brother and seemingly little more in the way of government experience to recommend her.

I am sure that both Sanford and Busch are dedicated politicians who have plans for their future. I am equally sure that Eugene Platt will offer real leadership based on real service to the people.

If Sanford or Busch is elected, what will change?

If Platt is elected, a lot will change.

Gregg Jocoy

Polaski Court

Simpsonville

Moral character

If a person is going to run for public office in our great state, I believe he should be responsible, have high ethical standards, and be of high moral character.

Your personal life is a direct reflection of how you would handle public office.

Adultery is a one-way street to hell and one of the ultimate lapses in moral structure.

We need to run a good person in office May 7.

Now, dear public, please vote responsibly.

James Brumley

Slate Lane

Mount Pleasant

Energy research

I found it curious that a recent letter writer cited Thomas Edison’s amazing work at Menlo Park as evidence that the government should be investing in more energy research.

Thomas Edison received no government funding for his work at Menlo Park. Nor did the Wright brothers receive government funding for their research. Nor did Alexander Graham Bell and many other great inventors.

Apparently the government “bean counters” actually were around back then and did not find it necessary to fund all of these ideas. Our country has always promoted vision, goals and greatness through an environment that encourages new ideas and rewards success through private enterprise.

As our country faces an ever-increasing debt, it might be wise to let free enterprise do its job and let the government get back to governing.

Jill Crocker

Timber Race Course

Hollywood

‘Nanny state’

Oh, the irony. Fresh on the heels of New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s failed attempt to limit soda intake we were treated to Sarah Palin’s defiant celebration of the “Big Gulp” at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

The crowd roared in unison. That Sarah Palin is the Tea Party icon who arguably provided then-candidate Nikki Haley with the embrace that greased her path to the Governor’s Mansion.

Now from this mansion comes a proposal to eliminate the power to use food stamps to purchase sodas (of any size) as well as junk or snack food.

So where are the cries of “nanny state” so on view at CPAC? The rationale we are told goes like this: We taxpayers in South Carolina shouldn’t be bankrolling and thereby abetting obesity in our state.

The upside: that sodas, sugar-sweetened liquid calories and processed snacks are now a recognized front-and-center enemy in the battle against obesity.

The downside: It’s only acceptable to wield a heavy nanny hand when the dependent poor are involved.

So if receipt of tax money gives us taxpayers the right to dictate how our money is spent, and we really don’t want any of it going to sodas and junk food, then we might do well to consider expanding that dictum.

Maybe let’s start restricting food choice with the occupants of the Governor’s Mansion and work our way down the line of tax dollar recipients from there. This really might work.

Lowrey P. King, M.D.

Charlie Hall Boulevard

Charleston