No negotiations

Our country has broken another promise. How many times have our president and Congress promised that we would never negotiate with terrorists?

In the latest abuse of power and lost direction, we released five of the most notorious terrorists held at Guantanamo. Even worse is the fact that these terrorists are the very ones who have repeatedly resolved to kill Americans.

I hope that all American voters will decry our lack of government leadership and thoughtfully go out and vote for the best candidates America will offer. I, for one, will not give up and hope that all citizens will do the same.

We must go back to the honest and strong leadership that has made us proud to be Americans. We can do better and should hold to our commitments to regain our respect in the world.

Gwen Siegrist

Plantation Lane

Mount Pleasant

Lay off Fritz

Some of your letter writers need to stop their negative comments about former Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings.

His letters to The Post and Courier reflect knowledge of national government now and in the past. His writings are interesting and enlightening.

I, for one, am seriously concerned about the lack of capabilities of some of our present representatives to effectively govern. In my opinion we haven't had effective representation in the U.S. Senate since Sen. Hollings retired from that body.

Hopefully, Fritz Hollings will continue to share his experience and leadership with South Carolina and the nation.

Gene L. Lewis Sr.

Allison Avenue

Hanahan

Beauty vanishing

Goodbye, old friend. When I met you in 1971 you were a faded flower waiting to be reborn. In time you regained your beauty, your grace, your charm, and you became the epitome of ageless Southern magnificence.

But then something happened. When you looked in the mirror you saw something I never saw. Where I praised your beauty you saw lines, creases and small signs of decay. You believed the sycophants who told you your beauty could be reclaimed. So like someone addicted to plastic surgery you altered, you snipped, you tucked until you became a grotesque facade of your former self.

Here's to the Charleston I grew up in - the jewel of the South. Now your skyline is beginning to disappear behind high-rise hotels and condominiums. Your quaint suburbs are being surrounded by cheaply built apartments. Your roads are becoming clogged and impassable.

The decay you feared is accelerating because of people whose only concern is themselves.

Like a faded star who laments her loss of fame, you will vanish into oblivion after those who pretend to protect you have made their money and have no further use for you.

Steven McLees

Ashley Villa Circle

Charleston

Stop appeasing

I wonder why Henry Darby feels the flag in The Citadel's Summerall Chapel is more offensive than the statue of Denmark Vesey in Hampton Park. Vesey was a man who plotted to murder men, women and children.

Although I have been (and am) greatly offended that the statue has been allowed on public property I haven't tried to get it removed, although I cannot understand how anyone can possibly worship a man who plotted murder.

I am sick and tired of those who try to diminish my heritage, of which I am very proud. Perhaps it is time to put a stop to our trying to appease and understand the people who hate our heritage and let them begin to understand ours.

Mary Truett Spence

President Circle

Summerville

No texting teeth

What is the General Assembly thinking? The so-called texting ban is no deterrent to the dangerous habit of texting while driving. Legislators should not be proud of this ban. On the contrary, they should be ashamed of themselves.

Drivers can still text while stopped at a red light, which leads to distraction and delays traffic flow. Six months to allow drivers to adapt to the law? Apparently the General Assembly believes that S.C. drivers are too stupid to understand a new law. Ridiculous! Pass a law and put it into effect, preferably the first of the following month. The other laughable portion of this law is the fine. Let's face it, $25, with no loss of driving privileges or points on your license, is not going to stop many people from texting.

I urge Gov. Nikki Haley to veto this bill and to instruct the General Assembly to put together a bill that will actually be effective. No texting at red lights, a fine with impact (say $100), perhaps an additional penalty such as a point on a license, and subsequent increased penalties for future offenses by the same person.

LINDA M. SPATES

Macbeth Creek Drive

Charleston

Book banning

As a college student, I was dismayed to watch some in the S.C. Legislature attempt to cut funding to the College of Charleston and USC Upstate for assigning books they considered inappropriate. Their punitive actions amount to nothing less than government censorship, worthy of the foulest totalitarian regime.

I love this state, yet our legislators often make a mockery of state government. Their attempts to erode academic sovereignty are shameful.

However, I commend Sen. Brad Hutto of Orangeburg, Sen. Marlon Kimpson of Charleston and others for opposing the cuts and rising to defend academic freedom. Thank you for being voices of reason in the Statehouse.

We cannot let politicians wield their moral authority over our institutions of higher education. Allow colleges to decide what they think is best for their students. Let professors and trustees make those decisions, and leave the government out of it. Period.

Why would our elected leaders choose to embark on an academic witch hunt when there are dozens of other pressing issues affecting real South Carolinians? I doubt anyone was harmed by the reading.

In the real world, we are presented with things that will undoubtedly make us uncomfortable. College is the perfect forum for an honest and open discussion about these issues.

College is the time and place for free-thinking adults to be challenged and exposed to diverse opinions. Meaningful conversation is stifled when course material is restricted.

Remind your representatives what it really means to live in a democracy. They must protect our ability to speak and teach freely without fear of retribution.

Wes Floyd

Rice Pond Road

Charleston

Yoga 101

I was amused by David Quick's June 3 column "Is local yoga too affluent, white and cliquish?"

Do we have an anti-yogite in our midst? Is this "fair and balanced" reporting? The Post and Courier's readers deserve better.

Yoga means yoke, union, to join together as one. It is the practice of striving towards the ultimate goal of uniting individual consciousness with universal consciousness. Enlightenment.

It also means the uniting of individuals, the coming together in the quest for peace, non-judgment of others, acceptance and love. These are the same teachings of Christ and Buddha. Yoga is a moving meditation. It is not about the yoga butt. Check out www.morethanposes.com.

In my experience, the makeup of any given yoga studio reflects the community that it serves just as the makeup of most businesses and churches in Charleston reflect the makeup of the communities that they serve. None of us is perfect, but don't hate those who recognize their imperfections and are working to improve themselves.

Every yoga teacher and avid yogi I know strives to practice non-judgment, acceptance and love of others, regardless of race, religion, social standing or size of bank account. To suggest otherwise in your article is a disservice to us all.

Namaste (the light in me recognizes and honors that same light in you).

H. Blair Hahn

Chuck Dawley Boulevard

Mount Pleasant