Kudos to Graham, Kerry on cooperation
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democratic Sen. John Kerry co-authored a column in The New York Times on Oct. 11 promoting bipartisan approaches to dealing with the world's evolving climate change policies.
Most notably, the two senators agreed that nuclear energy must play an important role in our future energy policy. That alone was music to my ears, but perhaps more importantly, their column struck a chord not often touched in today's vitriolic partisan political environment. The demonstration of cooperation and civil discourse related to pressing issues of our times gives hope that maybe we really can deal with the big problems.
Sens. Graham and Kerry have set a standard for behavior that we hope the rest of Congress will emulate. No matter your political stance, these men deserve our thanks for trying to do what is right for the country.
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Entrepreneurs, profits and jobs
A Scotsman named Adam Smith published a book in 1776 in which he not only asked but answered the question: "What is it that makes a nation wealthy?
No entrepreneur has ever had an objective of "creating jobs." People go into business to make a profit. Everybody is constantly looking for ways to eliminate work. All of the tools and machines that we use are designed to facilitate and abridge labor, i.e. to reduce jobs. However, there is no danger that this country or any country will ever run out of work.
To create more jobs, the sovereign must remove as many obstacles as he can between the entrepreneur and his ability to make a profit. No other stimulus is necessary.
Political candidates race for dollars
Well, it looks as if campaign season is starting again with the media emphasis on how much money candidates are raising. Rep. Joe Wilson and his opponent Rob Miller each seem to be in the millions column, as is Sen. Jim DeMint. State and local candidates are also reportedly bringing in the bucks, and state Republican chairwoman Karen Floyd recently opined that a viable presidential campaign would need more than $500 million.
And what do we the people get as a result of these absurd sums? Annoying automated phone calls, pleas for more donations, and back-to-back TV ads featuring hollow promises, misleading information and slanderous personal attacks.
There is a solution: Declare the candidate raising the most money as winner of whichever race, and assimilate the campaign proceeds of all candidates into the corresponding treasury. Undemocratic, you say? No more voters' choice? As the media is wont to predict victors based on their fundraising, we already have been removed from the process; besides, contributions to a favorite candidate would in effect be votes.
Applying my proposal to the governor's race, according to figures recently published by The State, South Carolina would gain at least $5 million, and Gresham Barrett would be our next governor. Now wasn't that easy? Everyone wins: the best fund-raiser, the people and government budgets.
A fitting tribute for Kate Bockman
As we approached the first anniversary of our daughter Kate Bockman's tragic car accident, our family knew that we wanted to do something for the community that had provided such comfort to us this past year.
Last Saturday we gathered with 50 of Kate's and our friends and fanned out to four of her Columbia schools - A.C. Moore Elementary, Hand Middle, Dreher High and the USC School of Law - to plant trees and gardens. We all met back at Hand for breakfast and a slide show made by the indispensable City Year volunteers who joined us for this project.
There were tears, but also laughter as Kate's spirit was unquestionably there in the joy that her amazing friends brought to the day. Kate herself knew that joy because her life was filled with it. We thank our community for supporting her, and now us, so beautifully.
Our family will never forget the many kindnesses.
ELIZABETH KEVIN BOCKMAN
Comments weren't anti-Semitic
Can someone please enlighten me as to how the remark by Edwin O. Merwin Jr. and James S. Ulmer Jr. was anti-Semitic? This is merely a piece of folk wisdom that points out how many immigrants, Jewish or otherwise, achieve financial security. It stands in stark contrast, of course, to the current political trend of spending taxpayers' money like drunken sailors.
MICHAEL J. WALTER