Your July 12 editorial “California, here we come?” was right on target.

I remember in my youth during the ’60s when we easterners used to look to California, the Golden State, as leaders and innovators in almost every category and style, a place everyone wanted to emulate and where everyone wanted to live.

Now look at it.

After decades of liberal politicians giving public sector unions everything they wanted, and those same unions funneling money back to those same liberal politicians’ re-election campaigns, they have financially bankrupted the goose that laid the golden egg, and not just for a few cities and towns, but for the entire state.

President Franklin Roosevelt, that great liberal icon of the 20th century, warned us of the dangers of public sector unions. At least he got that right.

Liberals brought this upon themselves and need only look in the mirror when pointing that angry finger of blame. And don’t come to Washington asking for a bailout. Not happenin’.

Guess what. No one is emulating you now, with the possible exception of Barack Obama.

Ralph McGehee

Mulroy Court

Charleston

I found Rich Lowry’s column in the July 12 Post and Courier ironic in that one in seven Americans are now on food stamps.

While the Agriculture Department devotes two-thirds of its budget to welfare programs, the irony comes from the U.S. Department of the Interior, which reminds us when we visit our national parks, “Please do not feed the animals.”

That’s because they will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.

Douglas Bunch

Stablegate Lane

Hollywood

I believe that a number of people misunderstood the point made in a July 3 article regarding the increased amount of soot/airborne particulate matter being experienced downtown as a result of Carnival Fantasy home-porting here.

The issue is that this is the air we are breathing.

The exhaust emitted by the Fantasy is a proven carcinogen. People are already experiencing bronchial and other health issues as a result.

The local and state medical associations have expressed deep concerns.

Soot from engines idling while in port is evidence of a health issue that alarms the S.C. Medical Association. Our “Soot Away” flags focus on this health issue.

Solutions are possible, but Carnival has not responded to repeated inquiries about living up to policies and practices it uses at other ports as described in its own Sustainability Report.

Unfortunately, the only way you can physically see these emissions is by swiping the black, greasy debris from a window sill or ceiling fan. The winds carry it and deposit it throughout the eastern portion of the downtown peninsula.

The soot does not, as some would like us to believe, just fall “straight down.” The breeze carries it across much of the Charleston area, and many people should be concerned — not simply those of us who live south of Calhoun Street. And it is not, as proven by testing, the same “dirt” caused by cars and trucks on the roads.

Just because we experience other forms of air pollution does not mean we shouldn’t control these air-borne emissions.

The problem can be resolved by using shoreside power — as is used, for example, in Juneau, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Brooklyn.

At what point is the health and well-being of tax-paying residents, business owners and workers trumped by the cost of being pro-active and having the cruise ships utilize shore power as they do in so many other, less residential and historically sensitive places?

Carrie Agnew

Executive Director

Charleston Communities

for Cruise Control

Hasell Street

Charleston

The Town of Moultrieville was the first municipality on Sullivan’s Island. It was incorporated on Dec. 13, 1817, by the General Assembly’s Act 2155.

One of several justifications the act listed for incorporating Moultrieville was the necessity for “... some provision to be made for one or more schools.”

In this context it is baffling that, 195 years later, replacing the island’s only public school should be cause for debate, much less controversy.

Patrick M. O’Neil

Member, Town Council

Town of Sullivan’s Island

Thompson Avenue

Sullivan’s Island

We are undoubtedly naive to think that the Republican reaction to the Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act could have been “OK, now let us work together to make the law better.”

Not with the McConnell-Boehner-Norquist-Romney-Tea Party of today.

In 1965, when President Lyndon B. Johnson got the Medicare-Medicaid Law passed, 13 Republican senators and 70 Republican House members voted for it.

With this far-right fanatic party, the dirtiest word is “compromise.”

The reaction of the right has been to offer lies and to fuel fear that the government is taking over “the best health care system in the world.”

It would be refreshing if Republicans opposing ACA used facts. Many studies have shown that the U.S. system falls well short in many measures of health care including longevity and infant mortality. It leads in costs.

Further, nearly 1,300 private health insurance companies insure nearly 40 percent of Americans, gaining big profits.

Hundreds of thousands of new jobs will be created when 33 million Americans can get affordable health insurance.

Medicare and the 1935 Social Security Law are two of the greatest social programs ever enacted, and ACA will also prove to be so.

Don’t Republicans have compassion for the millions of Americans who now will be able to get affordable health insurance?

Marylou Ielfield

Bob Ielfield

Sequoia Drive

Summerville

I was out of town for a couple of weeks, and when I got back, I noticed that gas prices had fallen about 40 cents a gallon.

So I was wondering if Rep. Tim Scott was seen congratulating the president on the success of his efforts the way he criticized him for the prices when they were higher.

No?

I am not surprised.

The national Republican Party has so little respect for our intelligence that its policies amount to neo-colonialism.

Rank-and-file Republicans — even those with a clear vision and a sense of history — don’t seem to understand the real danger to their own best interests.

Exaggeration, you say? Think back to England’s colonialization of India, and you would basically see the Republican platform.

Colonialization is characterized by disenfranchisement of voting rights, rule by oligarchy, almost complete concentration of wealth at the top, favoritism of big business at the expense of all else, disregard for enviornmental damage, disregard for the health and welfare of the governed, complete lack of compassion and racism.

Colonialism and the Republican platform could not be more alike.

It’s scary.

Richard L. Beck, DMD

Folly Road

Charleston

Summerville

The headline reads “Allstate drops 10,000.”

“You’re in good hands” is a joke.

I could have told everyone many years ago to get insurance from a “good neighbor.”

Dan Cross

Mahan Drive

Mount Pleasant