Look at history
Since 2001 federal revenue has decreased because of the Bush tax cuts and losses caused by the financial meltdown and resulting recession. Spending has increased due to multiple wars, bailouts, the prescription bill and, of course, the Department of Veterans Affairs for our returning warriors, to say nothing of the rebuild of Iraq and Afghanistan.
There was little outrage about any of this until 2008 when President Obama was elected. Since then the only focus of the Republican Party has been to defeat him or oppose anything he proposes.
Health care reform has been a priority of both political parties for some time, and the ACA has become law. If we can afford the above we can afford health care. To shut down the government and cause a default on our debt is proof of insanity.
We are no longer governed by common sense and integrity. The Republican Party is controlled by greed and spin.
Money isn’t free
Melanie Balog wrote in her Oct. 6 column, “But it’s still perplexing that all those (mostly Republican) states would turn down the federal government’s offer of free money for three years.”
Where does this “free money” come from? That “free” money is collected from that ever-shrinking number of us who pay federal taxes.
Ms. Balog suffers from the typical left-winger mentality that feels the Treasury can just keep printing money without consequences since there seems to be no requirement to balance the books.
Colonel, U.S. Air Force (Ret.)
W. 9th North Street
Brian Hicks is a perceptive journalist who often targets important yet difficult subjects. One of his latest was regarding the “perception of racial trouble that lingers today.”
It is difficult for me to imagine what African Americans dealt with in the past. Although I like to think race relations are infinitely improved, I wonder how we get to the point where we can, as Hicks writes, “remember our history, and do everything we can to distance ourselves from its uglier attributes.”
One thing I suggest is for everyone to see the movie “The Butler.” We found it enlightening, disturbing and beautifully acted by a host of talented actors. It also serves as a powerful opportunity to spark conversation.
After the movie, I spoke with a young African-American woman, and she shared that what struck her about the movie was the need for African Americans in the past to put forth two faces — one for whites and one “for their own.” It seemed like an affirmation to her, and when I asked her if she felt the same way, she said she did.
I felt disappointed for us all, and so I hope everyone who cares about our history and our future sees this movie. Then I encourage you to engage in conversations and see if you can reach minds and hearts in a way that will continue to move race relations forward in a positive way.
Our young people more than deserve the right to be “judged by their character and not by the color of their skin.” Perhaps this young woman will be her generation’s version of Louis Gaines (played by David Oyelowo), striving to improve life for all Americans and African Americans in particular.
Thank you to Brian Hicks for his efforts to encourage us to be better citizens.
Carmel Bay Drive
Fix the greens
I have been told that the City of Charleston is scheduled to close the Charleston Municipal Golf Course for nine holes starting Nov. 4. This is so that new irrigation can be installed. I know this is probably needed; however, what is needed far more is a redo of the greens.
That they are in sad shape is not a reflection of the course superintendent and his staff but more a reflection of total neglect over the years due to an inadequate budget for the required maintenances. The soil is so compacted under the greens that even plugging the greens (aerification) offers little relief or a chance for growth. The greens are almost unplayable in the summer months and right now they are very spongy.
I grew up on this golf course, and in 53 years I do not believe I have ever witnessed the greens being reworked. This is with the exception of holes No. 3 and No. 10 being done a few years back. If the number of folks who play and practice at this facility is any indication, this golf course has to be a revenue producer for the city; therefore, it deserves to be taken care of.
I can tell you firsthand that many of us who love playing this golf course do it much less than we used to simply because of the poor condition of the greens.
While the golf course is closing nine holes for irrigation, doesn’t it make sense also to address that which makes every golf course unique — the greens themselves?
Extra water will help but not if the foundation is so old the grass can’t rejuvenate and grow deep healthy roots to help survive the hot summer months in the Lowcountry.
October is Let’s Talk Month, a good time for parents and teens to start or continue crucial conversations about sex and sexuality.
Communicating about sex and relationships is a wonderful way for parents and teens to connect and learn about each other’s lives and feelings. Studies have shown that teens who report having meaningful conversations with their parents about sex wait longer to begin having sex and are more likely to use condoms and other birth control methods when they do become sexually active.
Teens need to know that talking with parents and asking questions about sex doesn’t have to be awkward. Teens may worry that parents will react negatively, but most parents welcome the chance to talk about these issues.
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest provider of sex education, offers resources, guidance and encouragement to teens and parents who are unsure about how to start a conversation about sexual matters and relationships. For more information visit their website at http://www.plannedparenthood.org/ or contact the local office at (843) 628-4380.
P.B. Travis, Ph.D.
East Cooper Street
I was happy to see positive information regarding exam scores for South Carolina students. Credit is due to our fine students in Dorchester 2 and their top scores for the area.
We don’t hear enough about this district and its accomplishments. Congratulations are due Dorchester 2 students and especially the hardworking, dedicated teachers.
We recognize and appreciate the important work you do.
I’m glad to know who is behind the no-smoking effort at MUSC. The health promotion director shows utter disregard for a small but very significant courtesy to extend to family and friends of patients.
These people are in duress over their loved one’s need for care. Putting another stressor on them by banning smoking is galling. If I saw anyone crying, the last thing I would respond with is “you just need to quit smoking.” That’s what she seems to suggest.
Instead of supplying a small area for these folks, she chooses a policy that is insensitive to those who are already suffering.
I will make sure to wear a sign around my neck instructing emergency personnel not to take me there, no matter what.
Vote them out
My mantra on this whole government fiasco is: I will work for the next few years to defeat every incumbent in Congress. They are destroying our country for their own benefit.
Mary E. Gallagher