Cruel 'sport'

A writer in your July 24 edition asked "why people get jail terms for cockfighting, yet boxing is still a legal sport." I include fighting dogs as well as fighting gamecocks.

The writer fails to distinguish the difference between boxing and blood sports.

Humans box by their own choice. Choice being the gift God gave humankind, thus elevating man above lower animals. Animals are guided by instinct. They have no choice but to fight until death or to retreat, in which case they are shot or otherwise disposed of.

Boxers may elect to throw in the towel any time and live to fight again. If the fight is too one-sided, boxers don't die. If they do well in their chosen careers, they can live in luxurious surroundings with beauty queens vying for special moments with their "heroes" as in the gladiatorial schools of the Roman empire.

And we mustn't forget the other dark side of animal fights - the plenteous flow of cash and the natural accompaniment of the best the drug world has to offer. All sports may have a darker side, but I'm talking about "choice" here and other basic differences.

Fighting animals live wretched lives, unloved, never feeling a kind touch, goaded to kill or be killed, and never knowing why that is their destiny. Just look in their eyes, and see the fear when they know they are mortally wounded and the end is near.

Sometimes if you look very closely, you might notice a look of resignation as if knowing that death is a breath away, and with it will come a realm of peace and comfort at last.

I care not one whit for banning boxing, but it tears at my soul to think of the bestial treatment we inflict upon those creatures God placed on Earth for us to care for and protect. Those innocents who spend their lives in nothing but misery when they have locked inside them so much love and happiness to give.

June Waring

Commissioner

James Island PSD

Parkway Drive

James Island

Once is enough

On at least four separate occasions in just the last few weeks The Post and Courier has run the same story more than once in the same day's paper.

We now receive stories in excruciating detail that in the past would have been chopped to make room for more local news if even being printed in the first place. And that local coverage is given scant space compared to your news service stories.

It might be more economical, but it is certainly not better. The new website doesn't allow readers to see the entire contents of a day's paper if they're out of town and want to know the local goings-on.

What's going on, Post and Courier?

None of your readers clamored for the "South" section - we don't care about local events in Arkansas and the politics of North Carolina. That's a business decision on your end that is turning off readers.

You're supposed to be Charleston's daily paper. In an age where you have to compete against the onslaught of digital media you can't get away with all this filler. You've got great columnists, great feature writers, a great food section - but I ask you to compare what's available now to what used to be in this paper.

Please return to more local coverage - Charleston metro area and South Carolina first - and end this slide.

Willie Dasinger

Trevor Street

North Charleston

Arthur Bailey Jr.

A product of big Edisto Island, Arthur Whaley Bailey Jr. was born and educated there. He went through 11 grades on big Edisto and worked for Bell South until his retirement. He was married to his sweet wife, Rubelle, for over 60 years.

Arthur loved to hunt, fish, and cook. He shared his knowledge of cooking with all he knew, including his fellow sportsmen and church members at Old St. Andrews Episcopal Church.

His tales were legendary as was his Edisto brogue. He'll be missed by many who knew and loved him.

In time all things pass and nothing is forever.

Oscar N. Vick III

Sheldon Road

Charleston

Boat access

I've been made aware of potential access issues off of Bulow Landing Road to both a public cemetery and a public boat landing. The developer of Poplar Grove has indicated that he would like to limit public access to the boat landing.

I met with citizens in the Davison Community to understand their concerns and with Charleston County staff regarding these access issues.

I can tell you that I support public access to the Bulow boat landing, Bulow Landing Road and the Lowndes Cemetery off of Bulow Landing Road. County staff has indicated that it will work with the developer to resolve the dispute. County staff and I will continue to monitor the developer's effort to limit public access. I have met with county staff and the Town of Hollywood, and we are coordinating the discussions with Poplar Grove.

Anna Johnson

Charleston County Council

Bridgeview Drive

North Charleston

Power sharing

Jeremy Borden's July 20 article should put every South Carolinian to shame. With women making up "24.2 percent of all state legislators nationwide," South Carolina ranks second to last (just ahead of Louisiana) in the number of women (22) serving in its Legislature.

The greater shame is what is lost when women are not sitting at the political table. It is the loss of another perspective that generates creative and different ways of thinking and problem solving.

It is the loss of hard-working team players and supportive collaborators.

It is the loss of those who are intimately and deeply connected to the issues that affect the social and economic fabric of families and communities. It is the loss of those who instinctively sense the bigger picture.

It is the loss of those who remind us that educating women and providing them with resources are undeniably key to reducing poverty and oppression and stabilizing whole countries - one community at a time.

So, let's turn our shame into pride and add one more gifted and capable woman to the mix. Let us elect Ginny Deerin secretary of state so that she can breathe new life into the office with her talent, intelligence and innovative ideas and commitment to saving us all from one more day of wasteful spending for little return.

What a breath of fresh air. What an opportunity. What a boon to us all. What have we got to lose except second-to-last-place?

Tish Lynn

Queen Street

Charleston

Bank not needed

Your July 14 editorial on the little-known Export-Import Bank accused "hard-right Republicans" who want the bank to expire of being "guilty of mistaking rhetoric for reality." In doing so, however, you embraced the rhetorical arguments used by lobbyists in Washington while ignoring the bank's real purpose, and what will actually happen when its charter expires on Sept. 30.

The Export-Import Bank is commonly referred to as Boeing's Bank because Boeing, a tremendously successful American company that employs thousands of hard-working South Carolinians, received two-thirds of the loan guarantees issued by the bank in 2013.

Boeing explained last year, however, it could secure alternative funding for its international customers in the bank's absence. A recent S&P analysis found Ex-Im's expiration would not hurt Boeing's "ability to make planned deliveries in 2014 and 2015," because of "the development of more and deeper sources of aircraft financing." Boeing accounted for 65 percent of all Ex-Im financial assistance in South Carolina last year.

Caterpillar recently used the taxpayer-backed bank to sell its equipment to an exclusive Caterpillar dealer based in the Netherlands. The company has also used the bank to subsidize the sale of mining equipment to Australia's richest person, a move which will contribute to an iron ore glut that harms U.S. steel workers.

For all the talk about small businesses, the bank is really about big businesses and subsidizing their foreign customers.

There are real consequences to the bank's activities, including to the taxpayers who will lose at least $2 billion over the next decade.

Not to mention there have been at least 74 cases of fraud and corruption since 2009, and the bank only supports 2 percent of all U.S. exports. The economy, and South Carolina, will be fine without it.

Katie Spee

Coordinator

Southeastern Region

Heritage Action for America

Taylor Valley Way

Milton, Ga.

Slow machines

Mopeds, those annoyingly slow machines, rate a respect just slightly above bicycles when they can't keep up with the 45 mph speed limit. Drivers do all they can to preclude close encounters with these slow machines - but there is a fix.

The law should be changed so that:

1) All mopeds can do 45 mph. This would assure that they could keep up with the traffic on most secondary roads and not be allowed on roads with speed limits over 45 mph.

2) Every moped user must have two hours of Department of Transportation training to ensure that the mopeder knows the laws and the limitations of his machine. Each moped should also be licensed.

3) All moped users must wear a helmet. This should be required for all two-wheeled modes of transportation. This would be a common sense approach that would probably change how mopeds are perceived.

Pat Kilroy

Milton Drive

Goose Creek

The big stick

President Obama seems to have mixed up the words in the Teddy Roosevelt quote "speak softly, and carry a big stick." In President Obama's version it is "speak big and softly carry a stick."

With Syria there was a "red line" of chemical weapons use, and now his "softly stick." In Iran the "red line" was uranium enrichment potential for nuclear weapons, and again his "softly stick" was on display. With Boko Haram, his warnings have hardly caused their leaders to pause.

Rest assured that I am no fan of Vladimir Putin. However, I feel that the Ukraine crisis could have been avoided if President Obama had used diplomatic skills instead of his "speak big."

The origin of this crisis seems to have been with European NATO feelers for the Ukraine to join the alliance. President Obama should have engaged Putin and toned down the Europeans; a neutral Ukraine, with support and defusing from both the United States and Russia, is certainly more favorable to world peace than a divided Ukraine and an antagonized Russia.

And now we come to the current Hamas-Israeli conflict.

The United States has tried, and failed, in multiple attempts to broker a peace arrangement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and we likely do not enjoy the full trust of either side. So with the current Hamas-Israeli conflict, Egypt, with the support of the Arab countries, offers a peace proposal; perhaps this could be a first building block to a lasting peace.

But instead of supporting Egypt and letting them work it out with both sides, the president decides to undermine Egypt by sending clueless John Kerry to meddle.

There are those who think that President Obama got off to a bad start due to all of the problems he inherited from President Bush.

It is now apparent that those problems will look like "child's play" compared to the problems that the next president will inherit from Obama.

Sig Schildcrout, Ph.D.

Appling Drive

Mount Pleasant

River levels

Recently an alarming article appeared on the front page of The Post and Courier about falling river levels in South Carolina, and pointed a guilty finger at agricultural irrigation draws as a main cause of depletion.

I would respectfully point out that pine trees and regulations are a bigger problem than productive farms. Ten and 20-year-old pine trees suck up a huge amount of rainwater. Pines are quite often planted on poor sandy soils. Rain soaks into these soils as if they were gravel.

Pines can have a 10-foot tap root. All of that green canopy pulls the water up and transpires it into the air. The pine tree straw further mulches the land preventing run off.

Point and non-point source pollution regulations really do prevent or slow down runoff into rivers.

Retention ponds and porous parking construction reduce supposed pollution but rivers need to have water come from rain and runoff. It's all going into the ground or into the forest.

Lastly, we are still recovering from a multiyear drought. The land requires a huge amount of water to fill it up again. We see that on our farm in our dry drainage ditches.

Most of these problems fall under the Law of Unintended Consequences, caused by government, not by hard-working, job-creating food farms.

C. Allen Henry

Tom Fripp Road

St. Helena Island