Columbia officials should do their jobs
A couple of weeks ago, there was an article about the city of Columbia hiring a consultant to help with the budget issues. The estimated cost would be around $150,000. City officials noted that funds were not available for this project, but they were searching the system to see if the monies could be provided.
The voters of Columbia have elected officials to be responsible for the management of all business affairs for the city. If Columbia needs consultants to inform it on how to run the city's business, then why does the city need the current elected officials and management personnel?
As trite as this might seem, it doesn't take a Harvard graduate to come to this conclusion. Whoever is in charge should be doing their job. Otherwise, they should be replaced by the supposed experts (the consultants). Nothing personal; it's just good business.
Recognizing bigotry when you see it
In his Friday letter ("Comments weren't anti-Semitic"), Michael J. Walter stated he did not see any anti-Semitism in the written comments of two Republican leaders. That in itself is a sign of anti-Semitism and, in the bigger picture, passive bigotry.
Characterizing any group of people with a certain trait or behavior is known as bigotry. Saying Jewish people are "cheap, tight-fisted, Scrooge-like" is anti-Semitic. If that is not obvious, substitute "blacks are dancers," "Asians are smart," "Irish are drunk," "English can't cook." You get the picture.
All these characterizations are innate bigotry. If one cannot judge people on their individuality, then one can be seen as being bigoted. If that offends you, re-examine your feelings toward different groups of people and see if you do not prejudge them.
Delay on Afghanistan questionable
After weeks of vacillation by the Obama administration, while our troops in Afghanistan remain in harm's way, the spin now being floated by the White House to mask its procrastination is that Obama is merely being solemnly responsible, that he can not formulate a plan while, as an Associated Press story put it, "wedded to a shaky government in which corruption has become second nature" and that any plans "rely on a 'credible partner' in Kabul."
Since the "corruption" part cannot be the problem for this administration - spawned as it was from the Illinois, and specifically the Chicago, political swamp, where such practices are the expected norm - it must be the "shaky" vs. "credible" parts.
To help Obama finally make a decision, it seems all the Karzai government need do is figure out how to buy or steal enough votes, and how to stuff enough ballot boxes so as to merely appear "credible," but this time without getting caught.
Sounds to me like a job for ACORN. For the sake of our troops, perhaps the White House could pass along that phone number to Karzai.
ROM A. MASON
Barrett took cheap shot at Obama
In my long life, I have never heard such a vituperative cheap shot as the one that Rep. Gresham Barrett delivered with regard to the president receiving a Nobel Peace Prize.
The president never asked for the prize, never expected it and certainly did not run for it. So what did he do? The only thing he could do: accepted the prize with gentlemanly modesty and donated the million to charity.
If Barrett has a bone to pick, tell him to take the matter up with the Norwegians.
Better yet, tell him just to move to Norway - and I'm not talking about Norway, S.C.
DAVID H. CRUM
Demand tougher financial regulation
It's happening again. Billions in bonuses to companies, banks and insurers that have accepted TARP (taxpayer) money.
What can we do? Give Congress, regulators, banks and insurance companies until Jan. 1 to change, regulate and stop this disgraceful use of taxpayer funds.
If it's not fixed by Jan. 1, all of us - not just 10 or 1,000 - should escrow payments or refuse to pay any banks, credit cards or other companies that have received TARP funds.