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LETTERS to the Editor

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GASPING! THE OBVIOUS

It is clear from the author's tone and egregious abuse of facts that the author has no idea what it is like to live in a real totalitarian state ("Conservatives, the new Communists," Views, March 29). Perhaps the author would do well to look at real communists, such as Chavez in Venezuela or Castro in Cuba, or a real totalitarian state, such as Iran under its nuclear-enabled theocrats, or a state founded on the ideals of religious bigotry, such as Saudi Arabia. The secret is perspective. Get some. For every one prisoner treated to three halal meals per day and forced to observe (gasp!) naked women in Guantanamo, there are dozens of political prisoners across the Middle East and Asia who face death and torture for the (gasp!) crime of converting to Christianity or (gasp!) not wearing their head-covering correctly.

But then again, why let the facts get in the way of a perfectly good "USA SUCKS AND BUSH IS HITLERSTALIN" rant? Far from being the "loyal opposition," the American Left has decreed that the enemy of Bush is my friend, even if those enemies would line up every single leftist and kill them as soon as the time was right, just like in Iran in 1979.

Ethan Deneault
North Charleston

GREAT LEAP BACKWARD

Regarding your recent article on the “A-Team” running for the CCSD School Board (“‘A’ is for Accountability,” cover, March 29): Last week on a local evening news telecast, Arthur Ravenel Jr. seemed fixated on the political makeup of the Board, and not much else. All he seemed to address was the liberal versus conservative makeup of the Board. When did education become a political football? When asked about the job performance of Dr. Goodloe-Johnson, he responded that he did not know, all he had heard were rumors. It seems to me that as a declared candidate for the position he would want to investigate the status of the Superintendent and be familiar with the facts. This is similar to his response as to why the district is so expensive to operate. “Why? I don’t know why ...,”

Add in Ray Toler and Lurline Fishburne to the ever-scary Engelman family and you have a recipe that can set Charleston County back decades. Contrary to their public comments, these folks seem to be all about the money, not the students.

If Mr. Ravenel wants some insight as to why it costs so much to operate the CCSD, he need look no further than his buddy John Graham Altman III. While he sat on the Board he stonewalled almost every expenditure for capital improvement that was ever proposed. By the time he left, the physical facilities were in such generally deplorable condition that it has, and will, take decades to bring them up to modern standards. Like it or not, this is quite a costly endeavor. This does not even address the issue of historically underpaid educators.

As for former Congressman Beard, who knows? How long has he been here? What does he know about our situation and issues? Where does he stand on public education in general? I guess (hope) we will get the answers to these questions during his campaign.

We need to (re) elect forward-thinking, pro-education people to the CCSD. We need to take steady, consistent steps forward, not great leaps backward.

For the record, I have not had any children in Charleston County schools for a number of years.

Michael L. Mintz
West Ashley

PEELING BACK THE GAUZE

I am writing to raise a point concerning MUSC's building frenzy. It seems the medical university's priorities are no longer focused on people's well-being or educating young health practitioners. Looking at the changes in Charleston's skyline, one can't help but notice the impact of the Medical University. With even more plans in the works for a biomedical research center, parking garages, and a bus terminal, it is hard to see the end of boom time.

MUSC is not the only growing hospital. It begs the question, is this what exceedingly high medical bills are paying for? Is the cost of health care rising because of lawsuits, or is it an insatiable appetite for more buildings, more facilities, more research, more parking, more jobs etc.

When a hospital's administration is so focused on building new facilities, what are the patients missing out on? With displaced resources focused on development, are the patients getting the holistic care they are asking for? It seems the status quo is to bill out exorbitant expenses, pop patients full of pills, which doctors receive incentives from the drug companies for pushing, then take the profits and build something. When are these hospitals going to get back to the business of taking care of people first? It is wholly reasonable to expect the state-owned hospital to provide exceptional customer service to its patients at a cost they can afford.

Christopher Inglese
James Island

THE LAST STRAW

I would like to congratulate Kirk Gilbert on a fantastically demonstrative use of the nonsequitor ("Abortive Reasoning," Letters, April 5). He was right on target when building the straw-man of Planned Parenthood's goal of "culling the herd." He then goes on adding more straw with such insightful comments such as, "Heck, if we were all dead then there wouldn't be any struggle at all," and "before you praise Planned Parenthood and the like for mercifully sparing fetuses the inevitable burden of life," and then proceeds to burn that straw man with, "After all, do we live in a society so harsh that the best solution to a flawed school system is to strangle the children before they become students?"

Good job Kirk!

Robert Donovan
Isle of Palms

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