Thanks to The Post and Courier for identifying $37 million (and counting) of our taxes that legislators treat like it’s their pocket money to hand out at their personal whim.
In our state, where Medicaid was not expanded to insure working families, a lawmaker has the arrogance to find $100,000 for a private family counselor? With our crumbling roads poorly funded, how can a politician get a half-million dollars for a walkway in Columbia? Does an equestrian center need $750,000 more than our teachers and our underfunded public schools?
These sickening versions of public servants not only give away public funds for personal political gain, they do it secretly. Taxpayers don’t even know how much money is involved and who’s getting it.
They do it in secret because they know it’s wrong.
If these politicians really believe in fiscal responsibility and integrity, our public funds would be detailed in our state budget with the names of those who are giving away our money to their favorites.
I hope The Post and Courier releases all the names of those involved with the $37 million identified so far. They should be publicly embarrassed and kicked out of office.
We can see with our very own eyes that climate change is here. Moreover, experts warn that climate change is only going to get much worse. But worst of all, it is our grandchildren who will truly suffer the effects.
To those who say, “Yes, but what can we do?” there are only two basic answers. We can lament that there’s nothing we can do and therefore do nothing, or we can set aside our diversions and actually do something.
To those who say, “It’s useless for us to lessen our carbon footprint and burden our economy when countries like China and India do not:” That is exactly the reason we need to elect leaders who can not only inspire us toward a new way of conducting our lives but who can set the conversation with the rest of the world.
To those who say, “The place to start is for each of us to reduce our personal carbon imprint,” the answer is, there is actually something that we can do that is vastly more effective. We can vote to replace leaders who claim that climate change is a hoax.
If we don’t want our grandchildren to curse us, the reality is that we must change the way we live our lives and the people we elect. If we do it right and if we do it now, it is possible to avert the climate disaster we are leaving for our grandchildren.
Creek Landing Street
Open carry bill
If you don’t want to see people walking around with handguns strapped to their hips, make your voices heard now. The bill S.139 to permit open carry of firearms is now before the state Senate.
In the previous legislative session, it was abruptly snatched from committee before public input had been solicited. Now the Senate is poised to debate and vote on this bill, again without regular public input.
Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds opposes open carry, as do other top law enforcement officials across the state.
When private citizens take matters into their own hands, it complicates the job of police officers. Especially in dense urban settings, it is hard to differentiate the bad guys from the good guys when everybody starts shooting.
The average gun owner does not usually have the training or experience that professional officers bring to the job.
Let’s leave the fantasy of citizen sheriffs to the frontier days of the Old West and let our professional police force keep us safe.
Wexford Sound Drive
I am writing in response to the Jan. 17 Leonard Pitts Jr. column, “It’s past time for slavery, in all its permutations, to end.”
Thank you, Mr. Pitts, for bringing our attention to the ridiculously harsh sentence against Mr. Willie Nash.
Nash was sentenced to 12 years in a Mississippi prison simply because he possessed a cellphone while locked up in county jail on a misdemeanor. Nash, a husband and father, asked a guard to charge his mobile phone and wound up facing a criminal charge.
I am brokenhearted that the Mississippi Supreme Court recently upheld this sentence.
No one claims that Mr. Nash is perfect. He has been convicted on two burglary charges. If Mr. Nash were a white man, would he have received 12 years simply for possessing a cellphone? How can we expect African Americans to trust our nation’s system of justice when people like Mr. Nash are treated like this?
There is still hope yet. I ask readers to contact Mississippi’s new governor, Tate Reeves, and ask him to intervene on behalf of Mr. Nash. Find him on Twitter @TateReeves, or sign a petition at change.org. Let’s speak up.
Puppy mill dogs
Beware the heartache of adopting a puppy mill dog. There are about 50 being physically rehabbed locally for people to adopt.
I commend the groups that are working so hard to prepare these abused animals for a loving home. This letter is to warn prospective adopters that some of the dogs are so messed up mentally that they may not be able to transition into a loving environment.
My family adopted a female Maltese mix four years ago. When we first saw her, she was totally antisocial. We were told she is so skittish because she was a “puppy mill” dog. Since we had no idea what that meant, we adopted her with the hopes that she would respond to our love.
You can spay or neuter, give vaccinations, cure skin diseases and any other physical illnesses. But you cannot do brain surgery and make these animals forget the ungodly abuse and neglect they suffered prior to their adoption.
I hope that those who wish to adopt one can get a dog that wants a loving home and that is able to adjust after being in such a traumatic environment.
We had a lot of frustrations and tears because our dog was unable to accept the love we wanted to give her.
You need to scrutinize the animal as closely as the adoption agency evaluates you.
South Gum Street