Political correctness alters common sense
I am a veteran of both Iraq wars and have spent more than six years living and fighting in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. I fought side by side with Iraqi Muslims in the streets of Mosul, and I consider them brothers.
I agree with Peter Swanson that we should not ignore Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's behavior ("Complexity of dealing with Islam," Nov. 15), and I agree that he is not a victim. He is an Islamic terrorist, plain and simple. Mr. Swanson points out, very aptly, that radical and non-radical Muslims share many beliefs and can be influenced by the same leaders. It is my opinion that this is exactly what increases the danger of terrorism outside of organized terrorist cells.
The lukewarm politically correct babble creates an environment for inaction. People hesitant to label Maj. Hasan's previous behavior ignored significant warning signs. Colleagues, superiors and investigators hesitant to be labeled as bigots or alarmists allowed many danger signs to continue unchecked. Maj. Hasan is a follower of Islam who committed a pre-meditated act of terror against unarmed Americans. We can't let oversensitivity to this issue override common sense and instincts that can prevent tragedy out of a fear or an aversion to labeling or being labeled ourselves.
New breast cancer guidelines could cost lives
Federal health officials either have lost their minds or suffer from PCD (permanent compassion deficit). To suggest that mammograms be denied women in their 40s for the purpose of saving a few bucks is absurd beyond belief. Even more ludicrous is this statement in the new guidelines: "The value of breast exams by doctors is unknown. And breast self-exams are of no value." That is just wrongheaded, and I can prove it.
My wife was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer at age 43. I discovered the lump. On the advice of her doctor, she had an unscheduled mammogram, which was negative. To be certain, the good people at the Palmetto Health Richland Cancer Center performed an ultrasonic test, and a subsequent biopsy proved positive. This March, she will have been cancer-free for 13 years. All thanks to a system that treats ordinary citizens as our lawmakers are treated.
Where might she be today if she had done what your government now recommends?
America has changed and not for the better
Unemployment is at 16.5 percent, not the 10.2 percent figure the government keeps throwing at us. Look up the jobless rate on the Labor Bureau's Web site. It includes what the government filters out as "discouraged workers" and part-time workers who work less that 40 hours a week because in many cases full-time work cannot be found. That's more than 27 million people who cannot sleep at night for worrying about how to feed themselves and their children, face possible foreclosure and are accumulating more debt.
Out of an estimated labor force of 134 million nonfarm workers, there are only 12 million manufacturing workers, representing just 9 percent of the total. Take a look at any manufacturing state, and you'll see huge factories that once employed, not only assembly and tooling workers but accountants, shipping, delivery, support personnel etc. This is the result when you hand over the keys to the greedy.
In the 1980s there were about 7,000 machine tooling companies in the United States with about $25 billion in annual revenues. Today, the United States is ranked seventh in the world in output at $3.8 billion.
What have the politicians been doing except nothing?
We positively need term limits for members of Congress, along with curbing the benefits that feed their luxuriant living.
JOHN R. MALLOY
WWII vet moved by Honor Flight
I had one of the most gratifying events of my life on Nov. 7, when I flew to Washington with the Honor Flight.
I was totally unprepared for our sendoff from the Columbia airport. We walked through an honor guard at attention and were greeted by a group of well wishers. For the first of many times that day, I felt tears of gratitude in my eyes for their efforts.
We were met in Washington by a crowd of at least 200 who shook our hands and thanked us for our service to the nation.
We first toured the World War II Memorial, which was very impressive and sobering.
From there we visited the Korean, Vietnam and Lincoln memorials, with a brief stop at the Iwo Jima Memorial.
We visited Arlington National Cemetery and witnessed the changing of the guard.
I wish there were adequate means to thank Bill Dukes, who organized the Honor Flight, and those many other volunteers and sponsors who made this trip possible.
With 1,500 of our World War II veterans dying each day, I would encourage any veteran who can make this memorable trip to apply. It is free, and information can be found at www.honorflightsc.com.
MICHAEL C. WATSON, M.D.