Fateful decision

The Keystone XL pipeline, which your paper endorsed ("Give OK to Keystone pipeline," Jan. 31), represents a fateful decision. Considering only the short-term goals of job creation and energy independence, you see approval of the pipeline as a no-brainer.

However, when one considers the long-term implications for our climate, it looks more like a bargain with the devil. The problem with tar sands oil goes beyond its extraction and refining.

Consuming all that fossil fuel will add a heavy load of carbon to our atmosphere, making it impossible to stop the runaway effects of global warming.

A draft report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that continuing for even 15 more years on our present path of growing consumption may bring us to a point of no return.

We're already seeing rising sea levels, severe flooding and drought, mega fires and storms. The risks to our economy, health, and ultimate survival are immense.

Will we put on the brakes in time? Or will we collapse like past civilizations who did not heed the environmental warning signs?

Carol Jules

Wexford Sound Drive

Charleston

Bravo to all

It was a privilege to be in the audience recently at the Sottile Theater to see "Take Two" by the Charleston Youth Company. What a delightful musical and excellent performance.

It was a joy to see dozens of young people performing their hearts out with great effort and enthusiasm.

Congratulations and thanks to all the youth and adults who made this marvelous evening possible. If you missed this one, do catch the next one.

Robert F. Holley

Cates Court

Summerville

Helping hands

On Jan. 25 our community came together in support of the Eleventh Annual Evening of Entertainment sponsored by Low Country Aid to Africa (LCAA) as we reached beyond our borders to the "least of these."

Thank you, sponsors and donors, for your support.

Africa and the dreadful impact of HIV/AIDS there has been the focus of LCAA. Because of this, Ikamva Labantu, a private non-profit social organization in Cape Town, has been the main recipient of our support for its program, which provides homes and caregivers for children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

However, because of your support we also have reached out to needs in Haiti through partnership with properly vetted organizations such as Water Missions International and the school and clinics of Harmony Ministries, Port au Prince.

We have shared locally with the Ryan White AIDS Fund, Roper Hospital, Project Okurase, Links, Inc. and MUSC, our local AIDS program and the American Red Cross fund response to victims of natural disasters. Our past contributions have totaled over $87,000.

This year's goal is to move into six figures. You may help us reach this goal by sending donations to our fiscal agent, The Palmetto Project/LCAA, 1031 Chuck Dawley, Building No. 5, Mount Pleasant, S.C. 29464.

Kudos to John Tecklenburg and Friends, Lonnie Hamilton III, George Kenny, Jamie Harris, Jon Thornton, Gerald "Cameo" Williams and vocalist Chrystal Gibson Brown for most enjoyable entertainment.

Local caterers and individual donors of Lowcountry and Caribbean cuisine displayed their culinary talents and skills with delicious dishes.

The volunteers and guests of LCAA enjoyed wonderful entertainment while embracing the spirit of giving.

Lucille Whipper

General Chair

Hallahan Court

Mount Pleasant

Unfair to veterans

There are plenty of veterans and military in Charleston and Columbia, but it seems that our government leaders are starting to push us veterans over the cliff. I believe that those who are taking away our pay and our benefits should be voted out of office.

They disrespect our nation's heroes by punishing us who are retired or who are disabled (lost limbs, blind, paralyzed, affected by PTSD or Agent Orange, etc.) by taking away money that we need to survive. And what do some of those political idiots say? Find a job. Get real. Most healthy people can't find a job (thanks to those leaders again).

Charleston, with all of her veterans should voice her opinions more. Most of what I see is about trees, bike paths, roadways, etc.

Charleston should be especially proud of its military and veterans whose money and service have done good things for the local economy.

Veterans, as Sgt. Carter said on "Gomer Pyle: USMC":

"I can't hear you!"

John H. Bethea

Robin Road

Marion

Spending excess

The House of Representatives passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill that members hadn't read. I became curious about just how much $1.1 trillion really is. Here's a little of what I learned:

It's instructive to note that $1.1 trillion looks like $1,100,000,000,000. No wonder the politicians always write it as $1.1 T.

A trillion dollar bills would weigh about 2,200,000,000 pounds, and it would take 3,121 Boeing 747 Dreamlifters, loaded to the max, to fly it to wherever.

If my wife went shopping and spent $1,000,000 every day, 365 days a year, it would take her 3,013 years to spend $1.1 trillion. (She says she'd like to give it a try.)

Or she could lay out dollar bills end-to-end for about 104,166,667 miles. Then she could wrap it around the world at least 4,183 times.

The 435 members of our House of Representatives will each spend an average of $16,200,000 every single work day to burn through the $1.1 trillion in one year. (This assumes three work days a week, which considering long weekends, holidays, vacations, fund-raisers, foreign excursions and recesses is pretty generous.)

The pressure on them is intense, but I'm sure they will find a way to get the spending done. We should reward all of them with early retirement, starting in November. I know I'll be voting for that.

Terry W. Ryan

Captiva Row

Charleston

Responsibility

I read the Feb. 4 letter titled "Benghazi baloney" which focused mainly on why then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should not be blamed for the leadership failings at Benghazi.

The greater point the letter fails to address, and the one most often overlooked in the pursuit of fault or blame, is responsibility. One of the basic rules of leadership that I learned as a young junior leader and that has guided me well for over 30 years, is that you can delegate authority, but you can never delegate responsibility.

Once you take over leadership responsibilities in any undertaking, in this case the State Department, you own it and everything that comes with it - good or bad.

Secretary Clinton cannot escape that she is responsible for what occurred at Benghazi and within the State Department that led up to it.

Ken Witt

Hogan's Alley

Mount Pleasant

Skilled attorney

I met Arnold Goodstein when he was fresh out of law school. The late Bill Ackerman introduced us at his law firm on Church Street. I was a detective with the Charleston Police Department. We became friends.

Arnold Goodstein is a man with keen skills, an eloquent baritone voice and knowledge of the law. He is a very profound attorney.

In my 50 years in law enforcement I have seen him in action. He won 65 percent of his cases and if he ever got a witness on the stand under cross examination, he would get the truth.

The other side could have four aces and a king, and Mr. Goodstein would beat them to the draw in a legal battle.

Fred Stroble

U.S. Deputy Marshall

(Retired)

Rivers Drive

Summerville