Time to slim down

The wheels of the federal government have never been known to turn very fast; however, the latest visual and audible effects of the recent shutdown happened at the “speed of Internet.”

Signs and barricades were up before our dysfunctional officials went home to bed. This, I am sure, to ensure that when the sun came up the media could be ready to record how awful a shutdown will be for everyone. Heart-wrenching stories of Johnny being shooed away from getting too close to the Lincoln Memorial.

If ever there is a time in our history to slim down, it is now — a $17 trillion debt is a very large number even to Donald Trump. We could survive on half the inflated bureaucracy we maintain.

With an average federal employee making around $75,000, some time off will hurt neither them nor us. Anyhow, tax-funded unions will demand back pay on any furloughed time for the poor folks. The beauty is working for the federal government. The beast is paying for it.

Lawton K. Grimball

Meeting Street Road

Charleston

Say no to tax hike

Dorchester County voters have voted down a sales tax increase four times. Now we have to vote on it again. I guess county government thinks we are too stupid to get it right. If the increase had passed do you believe we would get to vote on it again? Heck no.

To make things worse, the county is spending our tax money to send us post cards supporting this sales tax increase. The card tells us that our property taxes will be lowered if we pass the sales tax increase. Do you think we will get a post card saying do not vote for the increase? Heck no.

Does the county guarantee that the property tax will stay reduced forever or as long as the sales tax increase is in effect? Again, heck no.

If the sales tax increase passes and property tax is decreased as a result, how long will it be before some politician will say that the property tax is lower than our neighbors and should be increased?

How long before the school board cries for more money? How long before wackos want more parks, hiking trails or green space?

Send me my dunce cap. I am going to stay “stupid” and vote No.

Bruce Bates

Della Lane

Dorchester

Charleston storms

The writer of a Sept. 25 letter titled “Storm hype” said that local TV stations are so desperate that they hype their hurricane coverage.

Allow me to tell you about Charleston and the Atlantic Basin’s hurricane history. National weather services only started keeping records of these storms in 1852.

Since then Charleston has been hit by 96 storms, 28 of them hurricanes, ranging from Category 1 to 4.

Hugo was downgraded to a four just before hitting us. The death toll here has been in the hundreds. During the same years the northern East Coast, from New Jersey to Maine, has been hit by only 17 hurricanes.

If we discuss storms in the Atlantic Basin, which includes the Gulf of Mexico, there have been 289 hurricanes that affected every state from Maine to Texas, including Pennsylvania (in 1878). Total deaths from 1852 to the present exceed 106,846 and damage estimates are $74 billion.

How can we say that we don’t need every scrap of information to save lives and property?

I am glad to know when there is nothing threatening us.

Phyllis Sweatman

Cheves Drive

Charleston

Reject sales tax

I recently received in the mail a slick advertising piece that is one of the most obvious distortions of the truth to get a vote that I have ever had the displeasure to read.

This “apple pie and blue sky” mailing with fake families depicted in affluent neighborhoods of nowhere in particular came from the Charleston Trident Board of Realtors about the referendum question on the ballot Nov. 5 in Dorchester County.

It says County Council is giving us po’ folks a chance to vote ourselves a tax break in the form of the local option sales “tax.”

However, the same special interests that keep telling us we’re gonna see lower taxes keep raising them on every tax bill we get (as they have again on our most recent property tax bills) to provide them more money to spend, and to service more debt.

Well, it won’t lower our total tax bills, and it’s a tax increase, not a tax decrease. The tax on groceries and everything else we buy at retail in Dorchester County will increase.

It’s a permanent sales tax increase in our already top-10-in-America sales tax rate so that the larger property owners (another way of saying “developers” and their out-of-state clients) can lower their property taxes by a huge amount at the expense of our renters and those with modest homes (most retirees, most senior citizens, most working people and the unemployed) who are struggling to make ends meet.

Think of it, renters: If you don’t vote “no” in large numbers on Nov. 5, you get to pay higher taxes so that the rich folks get thousands yearly in tax breaks.

I noticed the other day that the Democratic Party has asked that the citizens of Dorchester County vote “no” on the local option sales tax but the Republican Party has not. What’s that tell you, folks?

Put a pen to paper, and I bet you’ll find you’re getting ripped off, unless, that is, you like higher taxes or live in a great big ol’ house in Summerville. Putting a pen to paper at our house proved that we’re getting ripped off, so I expect we’ll be voting “no.” In fact, you can count on it.

Vote “no” on the local option sales tax (L.O.S.T.) on Nov. 5. Thanks.

John Braund

Dorchester County Taxpayers Association

Bertram Road

Summerville

Citadel board

It’s the law, stupid. Nikki Haley can appoint whomever she wants to The Citadel board but it’s against the law.

The merit of diversity on leadership boards has been proven over and over again in research labs and in the real world. As Warren Buffett says, “Do it because it works.”

But even if Haley chooses to ignore science, she is not above the law. The S.C. Code of Laws, Section 59-121-10 directs, “The Governor shall make the appointment based on merit regardless of race or economic status and shall strive to assure that the membership of the board is representative of all citizens of the State of South Carolina.”

One could make the case that “strive” does not mean “must.” But in a court of law, it would be impossible to prove there is any striving going on with 100 percent white people on The Citadel board when our state is made up of 36 percent non-white citizens.

When will the governor and the General Assembly do the right thing for our institutions and hold themselves accountable to the law? The answer: when we hold them accountable.

Ginny Deerin

Co-founder

Project XX SC

Atlantic Avenue

Sullivan’s Island

Abstinence works

Not sure who Brian Hicks has been talking to, but there are no abstinence-only members on the Health Advisory Committee. Condoms education is absolutely important. Let’s get the facts straight.

The controversy is about a curriculum that avoids telling the full truth about condoms and sexual activity. The logic of the “politically correct” is: Don’t teach anything negative about condoms, even the truth, because it may stop kids from using them.

For example, a study by the National Institute of Health, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control, and the U.S. Agency for International Development states when used “correctly and consistently,” condoms were found to reduce heterosexual HIV infection by 85 percent. Great, but that means a 15 percent ineffective rate. We should tell them.

I spent a year in Africa teaching about HIV/AIDS and spoke with a man who pleaded with me to tell people that even with condoms you can catch AIDS. This man lost his wife, children (born with AIDS) and eventually died of AIDS because he heard it was “safe sex.” South Carolina ranks eighth in the nation for contracting AIDS. Our youth should know.

The “politically correct” argument is that many youth are raised in single-parent homes, so don’t teach the benefits of sex in marriage only. However, that’s the very reason we should teach it. The facts of social science support the tremendous advantage of marriage. Hicks is against clergy on the committee. However, 75 percent of our culture identifies itself as Christian, about 2 percent Jewish and 2 percent Buddhist, Islam and other.

Interestingly, the findings of social scientists line up with Judeo-Christian teaching on the advantages of abstinence and marriage. Unlike Hicks, I believe our youth can learn and change. The facts taught fully help our youth understand. They can learn healthy behavior and have a bright future. That’s what the HAC is designed for.

Al Schirduan

West Hudson Avenue

Folly Beach

Be understanding

I think it’s time to cut Dana Berlin Strange of Jestine’s Restaurant a much needed break. We all have heard how she closed the restaurant during lunch service.

No one knows what happened to her that day, and is it really any of our business? It could have been any number of things, and I am sure they are all personal.

Being in the food and beverage customer service business, as I am, is sometimes very tedious. We are not able to show our emotions when we are having a bad day, when we are told a family member is ill, when an employee just stole money or goods from us, etc. Unlike other business people, we cannot just shut our office door and regroup.

I am not whining about the limitations in our chosen professions. I just think everyone should be more understanding and not get so much joy out of another person’s moment of frustration.

Kim Hanson

King Street

Charleston

Setting standards

Obviously, the editorial board writers need a refresher course in parenting. It is the role of a parent (president) to set standards and not succumb to the infantile whining or negotiating of children (House).

The mere fact that the House proposed bills to open parks, etc., illustrates the fact that perhaps big government has something to offer after all. But who among us is a Solomon who can pick what program deserves to be exempt from the shutdown? As a cancer survivor, I vote for cancer trials from the National Institute of Health to be one of the chosen. A piecemeal approach to government is ludicrous and ineffective.

Obamacare is the law of the land. The president was re-elected and even the Supreme Court approved. The concerns that it will affect our economy seem self-serving in that a government shutdown isn’t exactly priming the economic pump.

Give the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act a chance. Let it stand or fail on its own merits .

Linda Bergman

Willowick Court

Mount Pleasant