On Oct. 1, I attended what was to have been a debate between candidates for S.C. House District 115 — except that the incumbent, Peter McCoy, declined the invitation by the League of Women Voters, so it was Carol Tempel alone, stating her proposals should she be elected and taking questions.

McCoy’s excuse: The site was too far from his constituents.

The fact: The site was just about halfway between the two groups of constituents, those of Kiawah/Seabrook islands and those of James Island/Folly Beach.

McCoy may be thinking those district lines are too inconveniently drawn to meet with all his constituents in one convenient location. But the fact is, it was McCoy and his Legislature that drew those lines.

I have now learned that 1st District U.S. Rep. Tim Scott has also declined to debate his opponent Bobbie Rose.

What has happened to our democracy, when those elected to office feel they have the right to refuse to meet their constituents, engage in debate and answer questions prior to election?

If this is the level of commitment to our community that our incumbent candidates show prior to election, can we possibly expect them to respond to our issues and needs after they have been re-elected?

Agnes F. Pomata, Ph.D.

Foxfire Road

Wadmalaw Island

Every evening you will find me at our farm giving the pigs their supper and shutting them in for the night. For some time I have had the company of some amazing birds that I somehow correctly identified as nighthawks.

I have so enjoyed their aerial displays as they swooped close to the ground and right over my head scooping up insects such as mosquitoes and gnats.

I consistently counted between 12 and 20 birds. My National Geographic Field Guide states that these birds are in decline, especially in the East.

I felt so grateful that they found the farm, which offers a wide-open, pesticide-free, bug-filled space to fly over and catch their dinner with woods on two sides offering daytime cover.

In the wee hours of the morning the mosquito abatement truck, spewing pesticides over the area, awakened my husband and me from a sound sleep. In the evening, I was not bitten by one mosquito or gnat; neither did I see a single nighthawk.

Coincidence?

Celeste Albers

Leadenwah Drive

Wadmalaw Island

An Oct. 5 Post and Courier article, “Free birth control’s impact,” suggests that providing free birth control can dramatically reduce abortion and teen pregnancy rates. Laudable goals, both.

However, generally speaking, women or girls who need these things are acting irresponsibly by having sex that can lead to an undesired pregnancy. There is another free alternative.

But why stop there? A great many traffic deaths are caused by irresponsible people driving while drunk. Why not create a government-financed valet service? If you are too drunk to drive, just call your local Drunk Transportation Department and it will dispatch a car and two drivers to drive you home (the second driver follows, then picks up the valet for the next assignment).

And what about litter? Surely it would be good to enlist a corps of government workers to constantly scour the highways, picking up refuse? Don’t worry. Just roll down that window and fling it out. Uncle Sam will take care of it.

We appear to be heading toward a society in which we can pretty much do as we please, without a thought of the consequences, and someone else will take care of the problems.

Gary Heidebrecht

Ruple Drive

Orangeburg

Have you ever felt like you’ve been let down by someone you trusted? That’s where I am, and it appears to me that all of our elected officals are part of the problem.

I am a veteran. I am proud of my service, and realize that I am not promised anything for it. However, when I enlisted I was told that if I did 20 years “they” (a grateful nation) would take care of me and my family for the rest of our lives.

Well, that changed.

They told me that they would not raise our rates for medical care, but they did.

Now I pay an ever-increasing price for care and prescriptions. I pay taxes, and my money is put into a black hole called a federal budget.

Our nation has a massive debt to the tune of $16 trillion and rising. Everybody in this society has his hand out, myself included, expecting my military retirement check and questioning loudly every time they raise my rates for the medical and dental program.

We need to wean ourselves from the government teat and expect our elected representatives to work for free (the love of nation or the work) because they are all fairly well off by public record.

Chris Hamilton

Rumson Road

Goose Creek

A letter to the editor published on Oct. 8 stated that only property owners should be allowed to vote, as renters “have no vested interest, since they pay no property taxes.”

That actually was the situation at the beginning of our country, as the leaders were all aristocrats. However, our Constitution now provides otherwise. Amendment 14 provides: “But when the right to vote at any election ... is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such state, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such state.”

The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote, and the 26th Amendment lowered the voting age to 18.

However, it is not true that renters pay no property tax. They do indirectly through higher rents.

Irving S. Rosenfeld

Simpkins Street

James Island

These are disturbing times for our nation. Our relationship with Middle Eastern nations, Muslim nations in particular, are dismal. We don’t understand them, and they don’t wish to understand us.

We are guided by a government that doesn’t seem to know what to do except to spend more money to “help develop democratic ideals” in these volcanic tempered countries.

The last time I heard a discussion on NPR about our funding of Egypt, the Egyptian ambassador to the United States quietly mentioned $1.3 billion. Even more quietly he added, “and about $300 million additional to the support of the Egyptian army.”

The average citizen would shout “Stop the money.” We certainly need it here at home, and it currently is helping stoke the fires of anarchy in the Middle East. Other countries in the area will see this and reconsider whether they need to rein in the militant “crazies” in their own countries.

Several months ago a retired former diplomat said, regarding this issue, that it wasn’t that much money. I challenge The Post and Courier to find out what the total numbers and organizations receiving our aid in the Middle East are. Those numbers might startle the public and even impress our legislators.

E. David Griffin M.D.

Greensward Road

Johns Island

I am a retired senior citizen. My medical insurance is a Medicare Advantage plan with a large medical insurance company. Last week, I received notification from the insurance company of what my costs will be under the plan for the year 2013, the year that Obamacare really begins to kick in.

My monthly premiums increased 27.5 percent. The yearly maximum out-of-pocket amount increased by 36.7 percent and my co-pay, daily in-patient hospital stay (days 1-7) increased 28.2 percent.

John H. Gallagher

Sovereign Terrace

Mount Pleasant