Graham's climate effort will be watched
Let's hope Sen. Lindsey Graham's newfound alliance with Democrat Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts on climate change leads to a different approach in Congress on this legislation. A Nov. 8 article, "Graham out in the cold," states that Sen. Graham joined with Sen. Kerry to help expand off-shore drilling and increase nuclear power - both desirable goals that conservatives can stand behind. While some compromise is understandable, we are not willing to tolerate a cap-and-trade or renewable energy standards scheme.
Neither approach will be good for our economy. A renewable energy standard would be particularly detrimental to South Carolina. Democrats want to institute a federal mandate requiring a high percentage of energy come from renewable sources such as wind and solar. Our state will not be able to meet that standard and thus will be forced to buy renewable energy from other states - raising energy rates for all South Carolinians.
Sen. Graham has a history of working across the aisle on major issues, and climate change does deserve a bipartisan effort. That effort, however, must not lose sight of what it will cost South Carolinians in both the short and long term. If Sen. Graham is successful and can put a stop to the Democrat's renewable energy standard and overly aggressive cap-and-trade legislation, he will earn the praise of conservatives. But if he abandons conservative economic principles just to "get something done" on climate change, voters will hold him accountable.
Cockfighting promotes violence
A Nov. 4 article describes the apprehension of a group involved in cockfighting in South Carolina. This state is the last on the Eastern seaboard where cockfighting is a misdemeanor, with minimal punishment attached.
Last year a group of volunteers for the Humane Society of the United States met with representatives of the attorney general's office. We were told that the people who attend these fights come into the state, bringing with them illegal drugs, illegally purchased weapons and money associated with drugs. Unfortunately, they also frequently bring children who become desensitized to violence.
South Carolina already has a problem with gang violence. We do not need any more kids - or adults - exposed to an environment that promotes violence of any kind. It would be a favor to law enforcement if the readers of the paper would contact their legislators, particularly those in the House, urging them to support a bill, which is in committee, making cockfighting a felony offense, as dog fighting already is.
MARY JO NORTON
Honor flight was emotional experience
I want to thank everyone who helped make it possible for me to go on the honor flight to Washington on Nov. 7. I am especially grateful to Bill Duke for starting the program and Terry Pound for organizing the trip and the people who met us in Washington. They waved flags and said thank you and made us feel so welcome. Then when we returned to Columbia, it was a very emotional experience to see that large a crowd shaking hands and saying thank you. And a special thanks to those who contributed funds to pay for all those flights.
Washington action raises questions
First, if ever there were a time for our president to claim "someone behaved stupidly," I believe it was last week following the horrendous shootings at Fort Hood. Evidently, playing the race card trumps a senseless murder rampage.
Second, after reading in the Nov. 4 paper about the abuses of the "Cash for Clunkers" fiasco (except in the eyes of the unions that benefited enormously), is there anyone left who really thinks our government can improve our health care system? Count me out.
An editorial in Tuesday's paper incorrectly said that the public never knows about the majority of ethics complaints because no action is taken. In fact, all but 16 of the 119 complaints the commission handled in fiscal year 2009 resulted in public actions.