Putin's arrogance

Russian President Vladimir Putin's aggressive acts toward Ukraine, his support for the rebels and his rebuff of criticism regarding his handling of the Malaysian airplane disaster suggest comparison with the brazen action by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to station ballistic missiles in Cuba.

Emboldened by his belief in Soviet superiority, and with a young American president in office, Khrushchev thought he could slip the missiles into Cuba and checkmate President Kennedy with a fait accompli.

Instead, Kennedy's naval blockade of the island checkmated Khrushchev, isolated the USSR, and caused him to withdraw the missiles.

Now Putin is flush with the apparent success of his annexation of Crimea; he is brimming with assurance that the Western European powers cannot afford to cut themselves off from Russian energy sources; and he is confident that he has recovered the status that the USSR held in the post-World II world.

In the wake of the airplane tragedy, Putin has refused to acknowledge Russian complicity in any form, and his overweening and arrogant self-confidence has led to condemnation around the world.

It is unlikely that we can set up any kind of blockade of Russia, but we can build upon the revulsion to Putin and his response to the tragedy to further isolate Russia and to compel him, as Khrushchev did, to rethink and recast the relationship between his country and the West.

In August 1963, less than a year after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the USSR and the USA signed the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which banned testing in the atmosphere, in space, and under water.

Gary Nichols

Cecilia Drive

Charleston

Dream Center

As a resident of Ardmore, I may be able to provide some insight into the situation involving the Seacoast Dream Center.

One would be hard-pressed to find a worse place to put it than at the end of a dead-end street in the back corner of this neighborhood.

Seacoast has proposed to start a multifaceted clinic to provide services for a large number of people.

Anyone familiar with cul-de-sacs knows that they allow access to a small area for a limited number of people and offer no reasonable way for traffic to flow through.

Placing the Dream Center on or near a major thoroughfare would make access much easier. White Oak would be an excellent choice. Not only does it run from Savannah Highway to St. Andrews Boulevard, it is partly zoned for commercial use.

Ardmore community members are frustrated by outsiders stomping into their community to change their way of life without even asking whether the changes are welcome.

Before you know what's going on, you've got people marching up to your door telling you that they are coming in to "fix" your neighborhood.

They start doing major renovations to their new clubhouse, and inform everyone loudly that things are going to change because they've got the backing of a few city officials and some police officers.

It makes sense to ask people first if they would like your help.

Regarding fears of a drug problem in the neighborhood, one should understand a fundamental issue ignored by the majority of policy makers who have never had drugs impact their lives in frighteningly real ways.

All research on successful drug policies demonstrates that increasing treatment options, while decreasing police involvement and abolishing mandatory minimum sentencing, improves the neighborhoods and the lives of people living in them.

Offering a counseling center might help. Adding a police substation will only increase arrests and perpetuate harassment of community members.

And offering after-school programs introducing children to opportunities and technology otherwise unavailable might help them.

How about enabling the people of the community to change and improve their lives as they themselves see fit?

Sarah Howard

Evergreen Street

Charleston

Crisis solutions

Immigration reform? We don't need it. The problem can be rectified by merely enforcing existing laws. The president and his attorney general took an oath to uphold the laws of the land. But they have no interest in enforcement and pick and choose which laws they will honor.

The border crisis is a perfect example. They might as well be telling illegals to come on in. We will feed you, house you, give you free medical care and even pay your attorney fees.

The administration has spent $890 million on the recent influx of illegals and sent $250 million to Central American countries to assist with the problem.

That money will go in someone's pocket.

Our president is now asking Congress for $4 billion more. The illegals are rushing in believing that Obama will soon declare amnesty by using an executive order to bypass Congress. This situation is condoned because it could mean tens of thousands of votes for Democrats.

While we have an epidemic of illegal immigration at the border, our attorney general is busy investigating a parade float in a town in Nebraska that featured an outhouse with President Obama's name on it.

If our current administration is not a complete joke then I cannot imagine what is.

The solution to illegal immigration is simple - eliminate incentives and the violators will stop coming.

The millions already here will leave when there remains no reason to stay. Or jail the employers and the problem would go away virtually overnight.

WAYNE TALLENT

New England Drive

North Charleston

Change moped law

Moped laws need to be changed. I spoke with the Department of Public Safety, S.C. Highway Patrol, local police and sheriff's offices and none of these departments could give a firm answer as to the requirements, and "rules of the road" for these vehicles. The reply I got was that these vehicles are not to be ridden on roads with speed limits over 30 mph.

Moped usage has gotten out-of-hand. Why is it that driving a car or truck requires a valid license and registration (which means paying taxes to the county and state for the privilege of using roads) and insurance, but driving a moped doesn't?

Those driving a moped should have to meet the same standards as those driving a motorcycle. Mopeds are driven on higher speed roads and thus hold up traffic. Since they are small, they weave in and out of traffic and avoid traffic laws.

The S. C. Legislature must reel in this unregulated moped usage and consider requiring the use of reflective vests and flashing red lights, helmets, licensing and registration.

The increase in moped accidents indicates a need for stricter laws for mopeds, thus making them comply with current traffic laws and making all drivers safer.

Janet Rein

Salem Drive

Ladson

Watchdogs

In a recent editorial, you appeared stressed over the federal watchdog positions that Obama has left unfilled. Yet you further point out how pervasive the troubles are and how arrogant and maybe criminal some federal appointees appear to be.

The lack of new appointments clearly shows that President Obama has no desire to be any more transparent than he has to be. Not unlike President Nixon.

Without federal prosecution no number of watchdogs will end corruption in our federal agencies, leaving the only reasonable alternative of shutting them down or shrinking their bulbous empires.

It is hard to make Edward Snowden into a hero, but it is becoming apparent why more and more individuals are becoming so frustrated that they become whistleblowers.

Larry Wiessmann

Seabrook Island Road

Johns Island