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LETTERS to the Editor

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Atheists On a Mission

After reading Will Moredock's piece on atheists ("The Bright Revolution," Cover Story, Jan. 24), I got a great idea. Why not send the three percent of atheists in this country to Islamic extremist hotbeds all across the world and have them convert Islamics into atheists? This might solve our war on terror crisis and we might appreciate the plight of an atheist in this country more. They can convert more people into being atheists missionaries ... (oxymoron intended).

James McLendon
Mt. pleasant


Cold Reception

Michael Graham's article calling Mark Sanford a traitor to libertarianism ("Sanford's Heat Stroke," Views, Jan. 31) for appointing a commission to address global warming provokes the long-coming comment from me that the City Paper needs an intelligent conservative commentator. I agree with the CP's idea that liberal commentator Will Moredock should be balanced, but let's not satisfy this objective through affirmative action. Mr. Graham says the climate has been changing from time immemorial, so what's the big deal. The big deal, Mr. Graham, is that humans are now making it happen almost instantaneously without enough time for animals and plants to adapt. An additional human-induced change of a couple of degrees will blow down your house and flood it, to boot, if you live in Charleston. As to Governor Sanford abandoning his libertarian ideals, the best kind of libertarian believes in limiting government to just those functions that it is uniquely capable of performing (e.g. criminal enforcement) and staying out of everything else. Otherwise, you're advocating anarchy. The invisible hand of the free market can accomplish a lot, but it's going to take government intervention to deal with global warming. Even George W. Bush now seems to recognize this.

Billy Want
Charleston


Smoking truth

With reference to Michael Graham's diatribe ("Smoking out the Truth," Views, Jan. 17) at least one of his 'truths' isn't. He quotes from the Surgeon General's report: "even brief exposure to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and increases risk for heart disease and lung cancer." He then states that "there is not one finding in the report -- none -- to back this up." This is not true. The statement Mr. Graham quotes is one of the major conclusions of the report and is found in Chapter 1, which is titled "Introduction, Summary and Conclusions." This is a summary chapter and does not give the details on the studies reviewed. Those details are found in subsequent chapters. In Chapter 7, "Cancer among Adults from Exposure to Secondhand Smoke," Table 7.1 lists 34 references; in Chapter 8, "Cardiovascular Diseases from Exposure to Secondhand Smoke," Tables 8.1 and 8.2 list 23 studies. Here are the studies which back up the Surgeon General's report. They were there all along! Mr. Graham needs to stick with matters of opinion -- and leave the presentation of truth to more truthful folk or at least to those who read beyond the first chapter of a scientific report.

P.B. Travis
Charleston

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