All in the families

Thanks for The Post and Courier's profiles of the 13 U.S. Senate candidates in the June 10 primary election. The article also alerted us that a 14th candidate might be invisible (Randall Young).

Of the visible candidates, many say their "proudest accomplishment" is having a wife, children, husband, grandfather and mother. These candidates want us to believe that this makes them exceptionally qualified to be a U.S. senator.

If having a spouse and children is the best reason candidates Moore, Mace, Cash and Bowers can give us to vote for them, they should ask for their filing fees back and return to their domestic bliss. Based on that one and only "proudest accomplishment," I don't think any of them is up to the serious job of senator, which requires thoughtfulness, intelligence and, one would hope, some serious work-related accomplishments.

Candidates Bright and Dunn also led with wives and children as their proudest accomplishment, but added one "unrelated" accomplishment. Candidate Scott claimed his faith first, followed by having a mother and grandfather. Give me a break. The only reason I can imagine that so many opponents of incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham bragged about their spouses and children is because Sen. Graham doesn't have those. Well, good for him. That gives Sen. Graham more time to concentrate on his demanding job.

Sharon Fratepietro

George Street

Charleston

Tax breaks

The May 29 article titled "Some beach residents might get tax break" really upset me. We don't live on the beach or on a body of water, and so far we are not paying the high insurance premiums that these people pay. Some of the barrier island residents had beach renourishment at the expense of taxpayers.

Now the powers that be in Columbia are voting to give these wealthy individuals a tax break which will allow them to rent out their home for up to 72 days to recoup the cost of their high premiums while retaining the more favorable residential tax status.

Give me a break. They can claim deductions when they file their taxes. Why should they be treated any differently than the rest of the folks who have to pay high premiums for flood and hurricane insurance and can't afford to rent a second home to move to for those 72 days?

If you build on the beach you take the risk of Mother Nature causing damage. What a crazy and unfair idea.

Joan Walter

Beliks Way

Summerville

Sincere memorials

Memorial Day is a somber day set aside to ostensibly express heartfelt remembering. A day for homage and respect to those who died or were severely injured for our country, physically, mentally or both - even when more recently the "war cause" was elective.

Given the prolific neighborhood flags adorning porches on homes, the cookouts, the retail sales deals, one has to ponder if these are appropriate. Are these externally demonstrative symbols anchored in the sincerity they purport to manifest?

Sadly, only 5 percent of our population attend memorial ceremonies.

Are these intended only for those who grieve a lost loved one?

How do we assist those who have served, survived, but are now in need of a job?

Too often once the uniform is removed, our warriors are reclassified as part of the unemployed mooch brigade.

Pageantry is good so long as it is absolutely sincere. If not, have the cookout, shop the deals, but don't salve your conscience with a fluttering flag - to feebly and insincerely try to publicly demonstrate your gratitude to our armed services. That's too easy.

David J. Waldron

Galera Lane

Mount Pleasant

Jewish refugees

I feel compelled to respond to Robert Rosen's (no relation) misleading defense of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's actions regarding the 900 Jewish refugees aboard the S.S. St. Louis in 1939.

Although the gas chambers were not yet in operation, it was well known to the American administration that thousands of Jews in Germany had already been killed, their property confiscated, cast out of their jobs and professions, and taken to so-called work camps. After the St. Louis had been turned away from Cuba, FDR steadfastly refused to allow the ship to dock at any American port.

I applaud the efforts of the American Jewish community for their hard work and perseverance, which finally persuaded England, France, Belgium and Holland to accept the refugees.

Mr. Rosen minimizes the fact that 254 of the Jews who were allowed to disembark in France, Belgium and Holland, ultimately perished in the Holocaust.

He goes to great length to justify why FDR refused to accept even a single Jewish refugee. This great nation could easily have given asylum to 900 Jewish refugees in 1939, thereby saving all of their lives.

Howard S. Rosen

Shadowmoss Parkway

Charleston

State of shame

It is with appalling frequency that I read distressing articles in The Post and Courier about the state's standing in matters of health, safety, education and government.

Regularly the state ranks near the top of standards considered bad and near the bottom of things considered good.

The latest example, yet not the most imposing, in the May 20 edition: South Carolina ranks fourth in the nation on a "pedestrian danger index."

The deplorable truths about the standards of living, well-being of our citizens and functioning (or lack thereof) by our government are abundant, if not overwhelming, to anyone who thoroughly reads articles in the paper.

They include infant mortality, violence against women, venereal disease, heart disease, incarceration rates, educational standing, antiquated and arcane laws or rules of governance. The list goes on and on.

At the heart of it all is a failure of governance by elected state officials. South Carolina has historically typified the two-class system. Landed gentry and indentured servant, plantation owner and slave, landowner and tenant farmer, mill owner and worker.

Our state government is simply an extension of these failed systems, giving the paternalistic "good old boy" and his cronies an advantage over the rest of the citizenry.

It is time for the citizens of our state to take a long look at who we are, what we represent, where we are going and, most importantly, what future we have to offer our children.

Let us take a long and serious look in the mirror, not at what we want to see, but at what is actually reflected by reality and is seen by others.

Robin K. Currie

Castle Pinckney Drive

Charleston

Tourist town

Our mayor, Joe Riley, has moved Heaven and Earth to turn Charleston into a tourist mecca. He has succeeded. Now it seems he is having second thoughts about what he has wrought.

By championing an entertainment district 12 a.m. closing overlay for all new businesses, he shows that he wants only tourists who fit Joe Riley's vision of what a Charleston tourist should be.

This new law will give some businesses an unfair competitive advantage over new businesses that must close two hours earlier.

It will keep some businesses from opening, causing a loss of jobs and tax revenue to the city. Joe Riley and City Council better decide if Charleston is to be a tourist town or not. You can't have it both ways. Sending this message is the height of hypocrisy.

Promoting tourism has been the mayor's major policy since he took office. Now, all of a sudden he is concerned about the livability of the city?

The problems he says Charleston is facing with more and more tourists is his doing.

It's a little late to try to stuff the tourism genie back in the bottle. Will he next demand the closing time be rolled back to 12 a.m. for all businesses downtown?

Once a city administration, especially one headed by a mayor who treats the city as his personal fiefdom, decides it and it alone knows what's best, watch out.

STEW WILLIAMS

Chisolm Road

Johns Island