Read the book

With the Russians invading the Ukraine and Russian President Putin thumbing his nose at the West and particularly at the United States, President Obama's foreign policy has been described as "fantasy" by The Washington Post.

Our president doesn't seem to have a clue about how to deal with the crisis (again - please see Syria). But help is available to President Obama this time. Tom Clancy's last book, "Command Authority," deals with the Russians invading the Ukraine.

Please, somebody, send the president a copy quickly so he can figure out what to do before it's too late.

Mark Hammerstedt

Chrismill Lane

Mount Pleasant

Protect animals

Brian Hicks' misguided attempt at humor and sarcasm in his column concerning Ringling Brothers Circus is not only disgraceful to the animals and those who speak out for them, it also highlights the prevailing lack of awareness in the general public of the misery that all animals endure when they are exploited by humans.

There are very few laws that protect animals in the circus. To the animals, there is nothing about their lives that is "good old-fashioned fun."

Hicks also wrote that it's "because people love the circus."

I can tell you that there are multitudes of people who loathe the circus and educating the public is having a huge impact. When made aware, many people challenge their beliefs and make compassionate changes.

Hicks wrote, "And for all those people who will step right up tonight, this protest is nothing but a sideshow."

Yes, for some it will be. For others, though, it is the exact thing they need to see and hear to make a change toward a more compassionate view of the animals who are forced to perform for their entire, sad lives. If just one person is touched by our presence, we have helped the animals.

Patty McBride

Piedmont Lane

Ladson

Extra 'rights'

So the College of Charleston recommended incoming freshmen read a nearly pornographic comic book for the purpose, I suppose, of better understanding the alternative sexual lifestyle of people who have become known as LGBT. There are several issues here.

Professor Christopher Korey, who leads this reading program, states that the book asks important questions about family, identity and the transition to adulthood.

As a justification for assigning a comic book to college freshmen, that just sounds like bull. He can be reasonably assured that such questions have been dealt with by the parents of these freshmen over the span of their lives.

It seems choosing this book is an attempt to present social and sexual behavior as normal and healthy that many find morally destructive and spiritually debilitating.

The action of the Legislature was proper. It is not censorship. Anyone who wants to read the comic book may, but not on the taxpayers' dime. The Legislature simply reminded the College of Charleston that someone has to be the adult.

Of course the ACLU got it wrong. How is it political interference with the First Amendment? The ACLU is attempting to quash any criticism of the LGBT lifestyle by calling it discrimination.

Categorizing groups of people through the use of initials or acronyms is dehumanizing, and those who include themselves in those categories create a self-imposed separation from society.

They have come to believe they are entitled to more rights than the general population. This includes the right to demand others accept them not as people, but as LGBT. But then again, according to the professor, you can learn all about them from a comic book.

Mike Pierce

Walsingham Way

James Island

Moving forward

A recent letter to the editor titled "Pedestrian safety" (Feb. 20) talked about changing one-way streets on the peninsula to two-way. Such changes have been a plus for motorists and traffic congestion relief.

According to the S.C. Department of Transportation website, traffic volumes are heavy in many areas of the Charleston City limits, not just downtown. On a two- to three-mile area close to my home, near Sam Rittenberg Highway and Orange Grove Road, totals outnumber those downtown noted in the recent letter.

The city is going to continue to expand and traffic population is going to increase. Managing and planning for these increases citywide is important. West Ashley accounts for almost half of the city's population, so we deal with heavy traffic almost every day. Even more reason to finish I-526.

Don't raise the gas tax. We already pay enough taxes. If you move downtown, great. Walk. It's good exercise.

But follow the laws: Cross at crosswalks, walk on sidewalks, don't wear dark clothes at night. Walking is already safe if people use the tools already in place.

Michael Allen

Downing Street

James Island

Wise decision

Charleston County Council deserves praise for unanimously voting to conserve the Lowcountry's natural and cultural heritage by contributing to the purchase of the land adjacent to the Angel Oak on James Island.

Thanks also to Save the Angel Oak activist group and the Lowcountry Open Land Trust for their leadership and persistence.

Conservativism and conservationism are siblings in principle, and council was wise to avoid short-sighted frugality. Protecting the Angel Oak is a good use of public money for long-term benefit.

The City of Charleston foolishly rezoned the area for dense development, consequently doubling the market value of the land and leading to proposals for development that would permanently damage this natural phenomenon.

"Leave it as it is. You cannot improve upon it, not a bit. What you can do is keep it for your children, your children's children, for all who come after you," Theodore Roosevelt said of the Grand Canyon, a visionary example for our own conservation in the Lowcountry.

As a natural reserve owned by the LOLT and managed by Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, conserving the natural surroundings of the Angel Oak is vital to maintaining its health and history and the Lowcountry's natural beauty and culture.

LOLT needs more contributions to reach the $3.3 million goal by March 14 to purchase the adjacent land. Please contribute whatever you can to save this gem of American natural history.

Paige Lewis

Stinson Drive

Charleston

Risky combination

The traffic in the morning going into the Google plant off of Highway 52 between Goose Creek and Moncks Corner is an accident waiting to happen.

The speed limit in that area is 60 mph.

If you are in the left lane going to Moncks Corner you will have a surprise waiting for you - brake lights, because traffic is at a standstill.

Tommy Googe

Old Whiteville Road

Moncks Corner

Time to sell port

As a resident of Port Royal, I feel it is important to express my exasperation and disappointment in the way the S.C. Ports Authority has handled the marketing of the Port Royal property.

For 10 years we have lived with an unsightly and perhaps environmentally unsafe neighbor. No one enjoys living with an eight-foot chain-link fence sheltering derelict buildings in the backyard.

Many have called Port Royal home for generations and looked forward to improved living conditions with the development of the port property. Others purchased property at top prices because of the proposed development of that property. Both the state and the town developed plans that encouraged many to invest in the future of Port Royal. Businesses were established and failed because the port did not sell.

These conditions should not be allowed to continue.

Sell the port.

Judy Alling

Cockle Lane

Beaufort