Letters to the Editor

Friday's letters to the editor

McMaster sounding like Sanford

So Henry McMaster won't be returning questionable contributions he received from the same attorneys that he hired for the Eli Lilly Case.

Even though there will be no direct payment to the attorneys in question, there is the opportunity to earn significant contingency fees should the state win its case against Eli Lilly. The few thousand dollars in campaign contributions might turn out to be a small fraction of what they can potentially earn in legal fees, and it might illustrate how much of a conflict of interest really exists.

McMaster's stubborn position on not returning the contributions shows an unacceptable level of arrogance and/or poor judgment. In arguing the contributions were acceptable and cleared by the court, Deputy Attorney General Bob Cook states, "We respect the Ethics Commission, but they don't trump the court." Here again is a clear example of how elected officials feel it's OK for something to be unethical as long as it's not illegal. McMaster and Cook need to learn that the voters can trump all of these entities. We already have a governor with some of these qualities; we don't need another.

JERRY REGA

Blythewood

History's lessons in Afghanistan

Mary Duvall's letter Wednesday comparing the situation in Afghanistan to the situation in pre-WWII Europe shows a kind of willful historical ignorance that already has cost the United States thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From Alexander the Great to the Soviet Union, no nation or empire has ever been able to impose its will on the Afghan people. We were right to seek to kill al-Qaida fighters and their Taliban sponsors in Afghanistan. Yet our leadership's willful disregard even of recent events allowed the vast majority of our targets, including Osama bin Laden, to escape by trusting tribal and Pakistani forces to "block" their escape - a predictable outcome to those with actual experience in Afghanistan, or a modicum of common sense.

The more troops we send to Afghanistan in an inevitably doomed effort at nation-building, the more troops will die before we, too, realize that the lessons of history have relevance not just to other nations but to us as well.

FRANK OAKLEY

Lexington

Sandhill needs alternative for teens

I am in agreement with J.T. McLawhorn, president and chief executive of the Columbia Urban League, that some place or places need to be developed for the teens to assemble. You should not take away an option without providing something else to take its place.

Village at Sandhill developer Alan Kahn wants the teens to spend their money at the theater and restaurants, but what happens if they don't want to go to those facilities? Open a teen club for ages 13-19, and that would give them an alternative. Taking away their only option is not good business sense.

WILLIE AMAKER

Columbia

Current health care system can work better

As a 36-year health care professional who will soon be at the mercy of whatever system of health care the government imposes upon us, I have some observations and suggestions.

I have treated children under the Medicaid program, but discontinued my participation because of the extra time required of myself and my staff to deal with the bureaucracy. However, I have continued to donate my time to a free clinic for children of the working poor who do not qualify for Medicaid. I would rather work at the free clinic than get paid to participate in the government-run program because 100 percent of my time is dedicated to caring for children who need my help instead of having to spend it dealing with bureaucrats who know nothing about dentistry.

What would be wrong with requiring all health care graduates who receive government loans or attend a government-subsidized school to participate in free clinics? If everyone served only one day a month, the clinics would have plenty of manpower. This system also would utilize retired doctors and other health care workers who want to donate their time and knowledge. For people who still choose to use our emergency rooms for minor problems, a triage system could be utilized, and the non-emergency patients could be referred to a free clinic for medical treatment. My proposal would only modify, not dismantle our current health care system.

CARLOS SMITH, D.M.D.

Lexington

Racism flap eases pressure on Obama

I have a belief concerning the Joe Wilson situation that I have neither heard nor seen.

The people who are calling Joe Wilson a racist believe that President Obama cannot continue to withstand the pressure of the criticism he is receiving. Therefore, they are using racism as a means of silencing Obama's critics before the president crumbles under the pressure.

CHARLES A. BRADLEY

Cassatt

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