A few 'civil' questions for Pastides
While on the surface the call of USC president Harris Pastides made to engage in civil, and only civil, discourse seems like something all of us can support and certainly something in which we want our students properly schooled, I have to ask what this civil discourse will cost us.
Will the claim of incivility be the justification for silencing some? Who will decide what is truly uncivil and what is simply unpopular? What is the value of the first amendment if voices can be suppressed on the grounds that they are not polite?
Recall that this is not a debate about yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater or about slander. This is a means of excluding some people from public discourse if their expressions are disruptive. So much for protest, passion, revolutionary ideas, or, as we Americans used to call it, freedom.
LYNDA SLEIGHER STUTLER
Quotas not answer to S.C. jobs problem
The Nov. 10 article, "Questions for Boeing," should have been called "Too Little, Too Late." The Legislative Black Caucus' efforts in determining what kind of quotas are in effect for Boeing's hiring practices fail to help the communities that put them in office.
They also hurt the state's ability to gain jobs from other companies. Companies like Boeing are interested in qualified, educated workers. Productivity, cost reduction, and a dependable labor force are paramount to new jobs in South Carolina.
The state's work force is in competition with workers not only from the United States, but also from the rest of the world. To achieve excellence you have to strive for excellence, not legislate a free pass after the battle is lost in the schools. Entitlements are out while hard work, determination, and education are in.
DAVID L. YOCUM
Terrorist trials new territory for U.S.
The American values of justice and fairness are supported by the Constitution, but the Constitution was written long before the modern concept of terrorism was known - although King George III might differ.
In WWII a formal declaration of war was made by both sides and the winning side executed those of the losing side who had committed war crimes as defined by the winners - a historical tradition. The dastardly act of 9/11 was made with no declaration of war and was no "ordinary" criminal act so we, Americans, understandably have differing views on how the perpetrators should be dealt with.
Since the Constitution is mute on terrorism, we have to rely on time-tested American values. Give them a trial in civilian courts. If we don't do this, then we start down the slippery slope of defining more and more acts for which we do not accept the jurisdiction of the judicial system that - although not perfect - has served us well. Such treatment of "exceptional" cases is contrary to Americanism. Let's trust the system.
LESTER C. WELCH
Easter Seals remains committed to S.C.
In "Don't Forget Children Who Need Extra Help" on Nov. 3, Dawn Darby from The Therapy Place states that Easter Seals South Carolina has closed its doors and implies that Easter Seals South Carolina no longer provides pediatric therapy services.
While Easter Seals South Carolina did close the Rose M. Lowe Center five years ago, we never terminated providing either pediatric therapy or early intervention services to South Carolina's children with disabilities and special needs. We currently serve over 2,700 children in all 46 counties of our state.
Closing the Rose M. Lowe Center was a very difficult decision to make; however, no longer having a physical location eliminated overhead costs, which in turn has allowed us to devote even more of our financial resources to expanding physical, speech and occupational therapy services statewide. We have also added additional services such as reimbursement for respite, recreational/camping activities and ABA therapy.
Easter Seals South Carolina agrees totally with what Ms. Darby wrote and would also like to see more support for organizations that are helping children with autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and other disabilities. However, we would like to make it clear that Easter Seals has been in South Carolina since 1934 and has been and will continue to be committed to serving children with disabilities.
Petition signers' credentials questioned
In a recent letter, Robert D. Degenhart stated that more than 30,000 scientists have signed a petition urging the U.S. government to reject anything similar to the Kyoto agreement.
This oft-referenced "petition" is an on-line survey started by a Libertarian dentist in rural Oregon in the mid-90s. The "scientists" who signed this petition include doctors, dentists, economists and others.
A couple of years ago, I reviewed the names of the individuals from South Carolina who had signed the survey. Very few had any credentials that would qualify them to speak authoritatively about climate change.