Euro-style tax

I laughed out loud when I read Sen. Fritz Hollings' call for a value-added tax (VAT) in his April 1 column.

So now that the Democrats have succeeded in ramming through a Euro-style nationalization of the health care system that most Americans don't want and subsidizing Euro-style high speed rail that few Americans want to ride and raising our debt level to heretofore unseen Euro-style levels, they want to impose a Euro-style VAT to pay for it all? I suppose that next they'll mandate the wearing of berets and the carrying of man-purses.

With this Democratic desire to emulate the Europeans, one wonders if it might not be cheaper to send our legislators there on a nice, long, all-expense paid vacation for the rest of the year before we end up with our sovereign debt listed alongside that of the PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain).

November cannot come soon enough. I hope the nation collectively decides to send to Washington legislators who understand the peril of our current course.

Dave Brumbaugh

Nassau Street

Charleston

No condemnation

The March 11 New York Times carried an article reporting that the Palestinians named a square in Ramallah, the administrative center of the Palestinian Authority, in memory of Dala Mughrabi.

She was the leader of a Palestinian squad that landed on a beach between Haifa and Tel Aviv in 1978 after sailing from Lebanon. This squad killed an American photojournalist, hijacked a bus and commandeered another. They killed 38 Israeli civilians, 13 of them children.

Ms. Mughrabi is glorified by the Palestinians as a courageous fighter who holds a proud place in Palestinian history.

Could anything better define the difference between Israel and the Palestinians? This is no "freedom fighter" who should be glorified, but an outright terrorist who in any other civilized country would be condemned for the murder of civilians. Where's the moral outrage?

The U.S. government is quick to condemn Israel for expanding building in settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, even though these entire settlements could be abandoned in a land swap for true peace with the Palestinians.

Where is the condemnation by our government of the glorification of terrorists by the Palestinian Authority? The silence is deafening.

Stanley B. Chepenik

Buckingham Drive

Charleston

Skateboard park

After reading the article about the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission wanting to build a $2 million skateboard park, I had to ask myself, could there possibly be a better use for this money?

Let me see: feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, education, downtown drainage. I could go on and on, but I think you are beginning to get the picture.

One person interviewed even stated he fully intended to go on using the city streets illegally for skateboarding.

Is this the type individual we plan to spend this enormous amount of money on?

God help us!

Earl Thacker

Gray Marsh Road

Mount Pleasant

Quake potential

Where is the Charleston County School Board's urgent need to spend $500 million coming from?

Don't our board members realize that we are in the middle of the worst recession since the '30s? In a recent letter to the editor, the writer said there was a 2 percent chance of an earthquake in the next 50 years.

The school board should wait until jobs and the economy have rebounded before making a dubious decision to spend taxpayer money on the outside chance that a quake might strike downtown schools. There must be some other motive, because the earthquake possibility is very remote.

Any elected or appointed government officials who would recommend a tax increase of any kind while we have one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation should rethink their motives.

These people have no idea what it is like to try to pay bills on South Carolina's average (or less) income. Our property and sales tax rates are already disproportionately high.

Adding to this burden at this time is an example of insensitive bureaucracy in action. I will certainly vote with this in mind in the next elections.

Meredith E. Going Sr.

Delhi Road

North Charleston

For the birds

Recently I sat helplessly watching old-growth trees as they were butchered by crews sent by SCE&G to clear the power lines.

Moments before the roar of equipment, my feeders were all but covered by adult and juvenile birds. As the crews invaded, I sat atop my stairs watching the devastation and worrying about nearby nests.

I question why this could happen anywhere, especially in a bird sanctuary. The City of Folly Beach, a designated sanctuary, has ordinances that state "all birds are protected."

SCE&G has wholly disregarded that the nesting season has begun. Moreover, the trees look as if a drunken and blindfolded "Edward Scissorhands" did the hack job.

Leslie E. Sawyer

E. Cooper Avenue

Folly Beach