As a Marine Vietnam veteran, I have never been more ashamed of a country and its president than I am now. President Obama's attempt to stay out of the chaos in Iraq reeks of ego.

His bogus excuse to give humanitarian aid with minimal military support and not put troops on the ground is despicable when you consider that his reasoning is he doesn't want to fight another war in Iraq after running out of the country, leaving it undefended against insurgents and anarchists from within.

He takes no responsibility, blaming the Iraqi government for not allowing him to leave a small force there as a deterrent. We fought and died there and in essence owned that country. He could have stood his ground and made the issue non-negotiable but he didn't.

Now he has placed this country in a moral dilemma, telling us that he will not put boots on the ground while thousands of people are tortured and mutilated and murdered.

Obama's big accomplishment to end the war in Iraq was just a sham. The blood of thousands of victims is on Obama's hands. It's his fault for the outcome he now faces. The threat by ISIS to destroy America should be the president's priority but he would rather play golf.

Gregory J. Topliff

Glenwood Drive


I have been a patient of Dr. Charles Bickerstaff for over eight years. I personally have been around at least six of Dr. B's and Dr. Barbara Magera's dogs at the office every month. The dogs are their babies and Dr. B and Dr. Magera must be in breakdown mode. These dogs were treated better than some people.

Dr. B was proud of their babies when they were in dog shows and placed as some of the best in the world.

I know their heartache because I went through a situation that most people would not understand when I lost my only child in an accident when he was only 8 years old.

If people could only know them as I do, they would understand that this must be devastating to both doctors.

They didn't leave their babies at home when they worked. No, they had them with them everywhere. Dr. B had his babies with him.

Janice Oliver

Grimsley Drive


The Charleston Catholic community, the city and generations of children have lost a great lady. Mary Alma Parker, wife of the Rev. James Parker, passed away in Atlanta on Saturday after a short but valiant battle with lung cancer.

In life she was a stalwart helpmate, nurturing mother and teacher. She pursued a teaching career while following her husband to his posts as an Episcopal and Catholic priest.

Her loving support of her husband's work was never more evident than when she followed her husband when he embraced the Catholic faith and continued his ministry in the Catholic Diocese of Charleston. Father Parker said on many occasions that he would be at a loss if Mary Alma were not at side.

While she was a quiet and deferential woman, she was always at her husband's side, a vital part of his ministry. For many years she would be seen preparing meeting spaces for Mass at many Knights of Columbus functions. She always blessed the day and those around her with a smile and a wry comment or word of encouragement.

In death she will be sorely missed but will continue to inspire those of us who knew her. She truly was the portrait of a loving, supportive wife, mother, teacher and shining role model for generations of those who knew her.

Philip A. Stiles Jr.

Putnam Drive


There seems to be a letter-writing campaign to make obvious the lack of congressional action recently, more directly the Senate chambers, even more directly - Big, Bad Harry Reid.

I read with amusement the recent letter saying the Senate has not acted on over 290 bills that the House has passed and sent to the Senate. The full list can be found with any generic Internet search, and you can decide just how critical these bills are in the overall scheme of things.

The letter does not list the 90 bills that did pass nor the 40 Obama nominations still stalled. Nor is it mentioned the Senate had to call for cloture almost 70 times just to accomplish what little business they did.

Americans today are seeing the results of an entrenched two-party system as the parties drift farther apart on ideologies for this country. We are heading to a no-holds-barred political system where any kind of compromise is seen as weakness.

I, for one, am very disturbed that our nationally elected leaders insist on staying in silos with birds of the same feather while the farm burns down around them. We are working toward a society where the actual location of your residence will dictate your political party and beliefs. Congress is extending its blind eye to its constituents, and we are eating it up.

While there has always been debate on the Hill, can anyone remember a time when there was so much stubbornness and ill will from our leaders?

I believe it is time for a national question on elected officials' time of service. We should treat their service the same as we do most government employees' and start packaging them out after 20 to 25 years.

We, the American people, should decide how long elected officials should be influenced by the lobbyists and special-interest groups in Washington.

Term limits for congressmen would make it that much more expensive to "buy" elected officials, thereby influencing their policy-making votes. It is time for a national debate on capping the number of years of service an elected official may serve.

Scott Van Buren

Toomer Kiln

Mount Pleasant

I recently read an op-ed in the New York Times about the sad state of future Olympics. Few cities or countries want to risk the expense or potential loss for hosting these games.

With tongue in cheek, I would like to suggest that the state of South Carolina put in a bid for the next available games. The venues would be placed all over the state including Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Clemson, Myrtle Beach, Florence and other potential towns or cities.

Charleston could host boat races, ping pong, wrestling, weight lifting, bridge runs and others. Columbia, with Williams Bryce Stadium, could host track and field, Clemson could host basketball or baseball, Myrtle Beach could host beach volley ball and swimming events.

There are many hotels and good restaurants in the major cities. We have major corporations that might be willing to help sponsor the games.

While this may seem far-fetched, so is building the I-526 extension to Johns Island and James Island, which I support. Neither is likely, but dreams are fun.

William D. Hilton

Capri Drive


I read with interest John McDermott's article on the port's double-digit increase in earnings this year. Unfortunately, this profit comes at a high cost to Folly Beach.

The jetties that create and sustain the port form a wall that blocks the sand that would naturally flow to Folly Beach. I believe my counterpart on Sullivan's Island would agree that the jetties have caused their beach to grow and grow and ours on the south side to shrink and shrink.

Perhaps future annual port budgets could include mitigation to Folly Beach and Morris Island for the damage?

Tim Goodwin

Mayor of Folly Beach

Center Street

Folly Beach

An Aug. 10 article stated that rents in the Charleston metro area are rising faster - 5.9 percent - than all but three other metro areas. It is just behind San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle.

Last year my rent increased 2 percent. That was fine. But now the rent just went up 10.3 percent.

I love where I live, and the property staff has always been the best. I hope this is not another first that the city I have loved and lived in for 50 years is trying to achieve.

Rick Clifford

Johnnie Dodds Boulevard

Mount Pleasant