Domestic abuse

Responding to the first article of the series on domestic abuse in South Carolina: Taken separately, these incidents are sad and appalling. But taken together, they are a scathing indictment of the mentality and culture of this state, which apparently sets stricter laws on the abuse of animals than of women.

What I want to know is: Exactly what measures have been introduced to toughen our state's domestic abuse laws, and why haven't they passed?

I call on this newspaper to investigate and publish a list of all such proposed legislation and to provide a list of how our lawmakers voted.

I want names, and I want us as voters to hold them accountable.

I also call on our current legislative body to correct this travesty by creating laws that protect women with far tougher sentencing for first offenses, high or no bail, and redirection of funds to create safe shelters for women and children.

There is no beautiful historic streetscape, Upstate mountain vista or sandy ocean view that can "pretty up" the dark malignancy at the heart of a state culture which tolerates the abuse and violence toward women that is represented by the facts in this article. We should hang our heads in shame.

Diane Rice

Bidwell Circle

Charleston

Whose irony?

Having read the precise and extremely short language of House Resolution 676 authorizing the House to sue President Obama, we were utterly mystified to read the Aug. 12 column by Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., in which he stated, "It is particularly ironic that the actions for which President Obama is being sued and I maintain, may be impeached, have been supported by the speaker and other Republicans.

"All of this would be moot had House Republicans done their jobs when the Senate sent us that bipartisan [immigration] bill."

The succinct text of the one-page resolution authorizing the suit can be read in vain for any reference to immigration.

Rather, the resolution clearly states that suit is authorized only "with respect to implementation of any provision of" Obamacare. There is simply no mention of any immigration bill in the resolution on which Mr. Clyburn ostensibly voted.

While Mr. Clyburn laments alleged Republican "misinformation," it seems Mr. Clyburn is trying to ignite a straw man when he holds but a book of soggy matches.

Elizabeth VARY George Vary

Black River Drive

Mount Pleasant

Healthy fisheries

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) is considering whether to protect known sites where over-pressured snapper and grouper species gather to spawn. They should hear a resounding "yes" from South Carolinians, given the importance of fish and fishing to our heritage and economy.

SAFMC's decisions could create a legacy of healthy fisheries for future generations, or may be remembered as a missed opportunity to do something meaningful for the health our oceans.

Fish spawning aggregations are reported to take place in unique and rare places in our oceans, often along shelf edges. Some species may only gather once or twice a year to reproduce.

Not all fish aggregate to spawn, but many of our most important South Atlantic fish do, such as gag grouper, scamp, gray triggerfish and greater amberjack. Protecting the areas where they spawn can help healthy populations thrive and struggling populations recover.

Much research, input from fishermen and debate has gone into this strategy in our region. This research is facilitated by the SAFMC, the Marine Resources Monitoring, Assessment and Protection agency and the S. C. Department of Natural Resources, which has been collecting hands-on fishery data for almost 40 years.

South Carolina is blessed with a conservation ethic that fuels our coastal economic engine. It begins with sustainable fishing, smart seafood consumers (local residents and tourists) and local chefs who are building a world-renowned image of fresh, sustainable local foods.

Healthy fish is the connection between fishermen, chefs, local consumers, tourism and coastal businesses.

Research that pinpoints where these fish gather to spawn allows us the opportunity to protect them without cordoning off huge swaths of ocean.

I love living in coastal South Carolina for many reasons. Among these are going out fishing and enjoying the diverse harvest of the Atlantic. I support our local efforts to preserve, protect and also enjoy our fishing resources.

I encourage fishermen, sportsmen and seafood lovers alike to visit safmc.net and add your voice to this important issue.

Ross Rames, M.D.

Ashburn Lane

Mount Pleasant

Tax bias

The writer of the Aug. 18 column titled "Scrap the S.C. income tax" claimed that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was non-partisan. I'd like to know on what basis that claim is made.

At its website, ALEC claims to be non-partisan and then right away says that it supports "free markets, limited government and constitutional division of powers between the federal and state governments."

That, and every reference I have even seen to ALEC's influence is conservative claptrap. ALEC, like Americans for Prosperity that the writer works for, is funded by the Koch brothers and is designed to dissemble the American middle class and the workings of government that make this a country and not an ungoverned wilderness.

The freedom I would have if South Carolina abandoned virtually all taxation would be to ride on deteriorating roads, live among children who attend Third World schools, and wait for hours for an ambulance or a fire truck to deal with an emergency, which is only to mention the most visible of services provided in civilized countries.

The Post and Courier gave prominence to a column that did not deserve it.

Anne Knight WAtson

Pinckney Street

McClellanville