'Silent victims'

Thanks to The Post and Courier investigative reporters who revealed the disturbing lack of state laws that could help prevent hideous domestic violence toward women.

The indifference of so many state legislators who fail to move corrective bills forward exposes a callous indifference to women victims.

I hope the reporters will follow up with a sequel about the silent victims who were mentioned in the stories only in passing, for the most part. When spousal abuse occurs in a family, children (as well as family pets) are at high risk for frequent physical abuse also, sometimes by both spouses.

These helpless children spend their lives in a brutal atmosphere of family violence that leads to lasting emotional damage, and sometimes they, too, are killed or orphaned.

Perhaps convening a roomful of child survivors of domestic violence to testify at a legislative hearing might finally move our unresponsive legislators to take some preventive action.

Sharon Fratepietro

George Street

Charleston

Come on over

Re the Aug. 18 column "Help lost Obama":

While reading Sen. Ernest Hollings' columns I find myself wondering when and if the Democrats are going to start labeling him as a "Republican."

Sen. Hollings has shown that he obviously is a man of integrity and is seriously concerned about the welfare of this nation and its people. If these are the qualities that are required to be a Republican, then I am honored.

I think that if Sen. Hollings were a Republican, it would be nice.

Bobby Joe Hosmer

Fryes Lane

Cross

'Leftist' history?

After reading the Aug. 17 Post and Courier article titled "U.S. history course framework called "leftist, anti-American," I was not surprised to find failed state superintendent candidate Sheri Few as leading critic. This assault on the AP U.S. history curriculum misses its mark somewhat.

I visited her organization's website to understand what its sees as "leftist" history. Among complaints in their first two posts: that standards fault European explorers for bringing disease and for introducing slavery to the Americas.

In her remarks to the state Board of Education, Few even protested the standards dared to suggest Americans faced moral questions after using atomic weapons in World War II.

For her organization's insistence on celebrating facts and understanding, they struggle with some aspects of historical reality.

Explorers brought smallpox and took home syphilis, and Europeans unequivocally made African slavery an industry in the Atlantic world.

I struggle to find a hidden leftist agenda in these facts. They may be unpleasant but preparing our next generation of leaders means being honest about all aspects of our nation's past - and learning from them.

Few is right that we must teach our nation's best leaders and moments, but solely championing our most triumphant moments is itself politically charged and irresponsible. We can teach our history with both pride and intellectual honesty.

As a former U.S. history teacher at the high school and now the university level, I can say that our high school scholars are asked to learn U.S. history with great haste while preparing for a multiple-choice, standardized, end-of- course test.

Detail must be sped through or omitted. Thus, the system encourages learning trivia rather than a nuanced understanding.

These are troubling concerns for our high school history curriculum across the board, not simply for AP students.

I encourage Few's organization and other groups concerned with U.S. history curriculum to seek standards that give time and attention to a wider range of the American experience and to teach our most patriotic moments alongside our nation's past shortcomings - with a depth and honesty that challenges and prepares students for the future.

David W. Dangerfield

Horseshoe Road

Moncks Corner

Bait and switch

Gov. Nikki Haley and the recent Commentary page column by David Schwartz call for the end of South Carolina's income tax.

Both compare S.C. to neighboring states that do not have an income tax and promote how those states are benefiting by luring new jobs into their state and, of course, all the money taxpayers are keeping in their pocket.

What they are not saying is just how our state government would make up for the shortfall in tax revenue.

Do they propose that the state will scale back spending to match the lost revenue?

I'm doubtful that will ever happen.

Would they shift the revenue to an increase in sales tax?

And just how does that help?

I don't know about Gov. Haley's wallet or Mr. Schwartz' wallet, but I do know that my wallet cannot tell the difference from one tax to another.

At the end of the day it just knows that it is lighter.

When anyone wants to push the idea of dropping the income tax and uses the example of other states as a reason, they need to tell the total tax story of state vs. state and not just a portion of the story.

My wife and I looked into moving to Florida, and I found that when I compared the property tax in Florida to my current property tax, plus S.C. income tax, my tax burden would at a minimum double, and in some cases triple, with a move to Florida.

So much for saving on not paying state income tax.

The income tax story should use four to six "typical" families and list what their full tax impact would be with and without income tax as compared to alternate states and the full tax burden in those states.

I challenge these "drop the income tax" advocates to tell the full story the next time they want to promote this policy and see how good it looks.

Russell Read

Alexandra Drive

Mount Pleasant

Long-term costs

I moved to Charleston from another Southern state 28 years ago. I was a Department of Social Services worker for nearly 15 years in the previous state and secured a position here as a DSS worker determining benefits for AFDC payments.

My pay decreased from $19,000 in the former state to $13,000 yearly here, which was a blow, but I was allowed to be made a permanent worker without having to wait six months.

The building where we were housed was a dilapidated former schoolhouse with bullet holes, and a leaky roof. Workers had to cover their desks every night with plastic to protect them.

Cases were often closed due to lack of verification, which was often found to be upstairs with the food stamp worker.

There have been improvements since then, as best as the agency could do with the finances provided, but it didn't take long back then for me to figure out that the S.C. Legislature seemed to have only a "back-burner" regard for its social agencies and the people they serve.

Is it coming back to bite them and the S.C. population as a whole?

Kathleen Kavanaugh

Pinehurst Avenue

Charleston

Image issue

I wonder if I'm the only one who is offended by the very first billboard on the ramp to the Crosstown that says "wax your lowcountry.com" and shows a picture of a woman's bikini bottom?

What a way to welcome everyone to our city.

Martha S. Cole

Sugar House Retreat

Mount Pleasant