Turning gun tide
I don't want to live in the Wild Wild West. I'd rather just watch it in the movies, but there are consistent media reports of shootings. Every time, my stomach churns.
My son was in a nightclub in Columbia when a gun went off. He was at Five Points, not in some joint on the edge of town.
The closer to home the events, the more my stomach churns. The recent killing of April Infinger in Goose Creek could have been my son.
Fifty years ago we feared guns in this country because we knew they were life-ending instruments. I used my gun to hunt ducks, quail and doves. I was told how to carry the gun so as to not end my life or the lives of those I hunted with.
Today, if you checked 100 people at rough nightclubs or just on the streets at night, you would find guns and no permits.
There are no quail or ducks in nightclubs. The guns you would find are being used to harm helpless people, sadly like April Infinger. They are used by cowards who don't have the intelligence to act humanely.
In the Wild Wild West, the sheriff was the boss, and he usually did OK keeping peace and order even with people carrying their own guns. There were fewer bad guys then too. We have reached the point in our society where our "sheriffs" need to do something radically different to turn the tide on gun violence or many of us might have to tote our own.
That, friends, is a sad state.
L. Banks Wannamaker
Cooper River Drive
Recently some of the media have been comparing the fiasco of Hurricane Katrina under George W. Bush and the debacle that is Barack Obama's Affordable Health Care plan. There are similarities.
The plummeting poll numbers of the two presidents are almost the same during these two snapshots in time.
Meteorologists predicted for decades that New Orleans would be devastated by a hurricane.
Tea party and other conservative groups warned that Obamacare would be a disaster and that it could not work as written.
Both predictions were ignored by far too many.
There are some good things in Obamacare and government did some good things in dealing with Katrina. In both cases, presidential appointees clearly were not up to the job they were assigned.
Both presidents showed poor leadership; billions of taxpayers' money was spent and resulted in both new lows in the citizens' confidence in our government.
However, major differences exist between the two events. Nature, not President Bush, was the cause of Katrina. He did not rush to the disaster for a photo op. He rightly decided that his visit would hinder efforts to save lives and deal with the aftermath.
President Bush was dealing with a mayor who was a buffoon and a governor who was incompetent.
President Obama was directly responsible for Obamacare. This act is his legacy. He misled the public and sold it to those who still think a free lunch exists. Repeating over and over that those who had health insurance would not be affected was a lie, and he knew it.
Now President Obama is scrambling to make changes in the law he fought so hard for, even though he has no authority to change laws.
President Obama ignores the Constitution and thinks he can rule by fiat and bypass Congress. He is our president, not our dictator nor our king.
Many members of the national media know President Obama's health care plan is a total failure, and yet they try to deflect blame by comparing this disaster to a hurricane.
There is no comparison.
Stockings for troops
On Dec. 4 Tricounty Blue Star Mothers and Families mailed 45 boxes filled with 823 Christmas stockings to our troops stationed in Afghanistan, North Korea and Italy. In addition we mailed four flat-rate boxes filled with candy and books for a grand total of 2,056 pounds.
None of this would have been possible without the generosity of family and friends, Scout troops, schools, H2U, the Del Webb Community, and Shield of Faith Church, who collected items for our troops. The Navy Nuclear Power Training School helped with the heavy lifting.
Tricounty Blue Star Mothers is non-profit and depends on donations to support our troops overseas and at home.
For more information, our website is tricobluestars.org.
TriCounty Blue Star
Mothers & Families
Egret Creek Court
There is nothing new about Common Core. It is still the Clinton "School to Work" and the Bush "No Child Left Behind" program.
The government education system just keeps re-packaging and labeling to make parents think it is new and improved.
It is the same dumbing-down of education and federal control over the students. Individuals don't matter. Students will become another "human resource."
In 1943, William Pearson Tolley, who was the Chancellor of Syracuse University, wrote of worker bees: "cooperative, collaborative, team players, not too well educated but willing to work for a pittance for the good of the collective whole state."
The government has a pre-determined outcome, and parents are being led down the Yellow Brick Road to that outcome.
Common Core standards are still all about group think, feelings and diversity, and tolerance for everything but Christians. Facts may not matter and two plus two may not necessarily equal four.
North Highway 52
The U.S. Air Force recently drew controversy for its decision to relocate a Nativity display from the entrance of its Sumter base to the chapel following a complaint from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). Some people suggested that this was somehow a threat to religious freedom. We in the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry (SHL) see it differently.
First, nobody is trying to discourage or eliminate Christmas displays from private homes, businesses, or churches. We are happy to see those displays, not only because they are pretty, but because we believe in the right of individuals to have public displays reflecting their religious beliefs.
The thing that makes this situation different is that the USAF is a governmental agency. The U.S. Constitution's non-establishment clause is interpreted by the courts as requiring the government to remain religiously neutral. The writings of Madison and Jefferson make it clear that this is exactly what they intended. However, it is not because it is written or because it was the intent of the Founding Fathers that we support the separation of church and state; it is because it remains important in ensuring religious freedom.
If a family places a Nativity scene in front of their house, it is reasonable to assume that they are Christian. The problem with the display at Shaw AFB was that it implied that the Air Force itself is Christian. The MRFF deals regularly with real and serious problems that follow from this assumption: high ranking officers claiming that ours is a "Christian army" fighting against Islam, officers who order soldiers to participate in Christian prayer regardless of their beliefs, and institutionalized harassment of non-Christians. In fact, the U.S. military belongs equally to all Americans (including non-Christians) and fights with our allies against our enemies (neither side being identified by their religion).
Our view is that for each individual in the military to have religious freedom, the military itself must not endorse or reject any religious view. Even if they do not entirely agree with us, I hope that those upset by this news story may be comforted to realize that this is not at all a threat to the religious freedom of individuals or private businesses, and arguably helps to protect those freedoms.
SHL Board Member