Sen. Lindsey Graham can get things done
As a conservative independent, I would like to add my 2 cents worth to the excellent points made Thursday by Bob Smart ("Fringe politics vs. effective governing") and Patrick Frank ("Attacks on Graham disgraceful") in defending Sen. Lindsey Graham from those who criticize him for trying to work with Democrats to achieve his goals.
Mr. Frank made the point that those who demand total allegiance to the party line from their representatives even if it sacrifices the greater good of South Carolina and the nation were "scary." I'll say. It is not only scary, it is downright dangerous. It smacks of the robotic goose-stepping demanded by Nazi Germany.
Consider this quote from Sen. Jim DeMint: "I would rather have 30 Republicans in the Senate who really believe in principles of limited government, free markets, free people, than to have 60 that don't have a set of beliefs."
Really? Think about that. In other words, he would rather keep the opposition in power and able to pass its agenda, and his own party weak and in the minority, as long as those Republican senators' beliefs and actions jibe with the party line on every single issue. Gee, what would he do if a Democrat offered to work with him, to get one bill he believed in passed? Presumably, toss him out on his ear.
As a citizen who usually votes Republican, thanks, but no thanks. I would rather have a courageous representative with a mind of his own who can get things done, like Lindsey Graham.
Single-payer best option for reform
I strongly support President Obama's efforts to reform our health care system. My only major disagreement is that I don't think he's going far enough. A single-payer system is the only reform that would address all of the serious problems that face doctors and patients today.
Unfortunately, my federal representatives - Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint, and Congressman Joe Wilson - are opposed to changing the confusing web that is our current system. All three claim they are opposed on the principle that private-run health care is superior to government-run health care. While I disagree, I can respect their deeply held opinions.
Since they feel so strongly that private health insurance companies deliver the best possible service to Americans, I am anxiously awaiting a bill that would abolish Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Administration hospital system and the military hospital system. If private health insurance is better than socialist government-run plans, why give a second-rate solution to our brave men and women in uniform? Why would Sens. Graham and DeMint deny what they perceive as the best answer to our deserving veterans? Why would Congressman Wilson want to keep our senior citizens from having access to efficient, private, customer service-driven, market-based care?
I have not heard that any of my three representatives are considering proposing the abolition of these programs, which can only mean one of two things. The first is that they do not want senior citizens, veterans and military personnel to have good medical care, which is unlikely. The second possibility is that while they know Medicare and the VA system are successful, popular programs, and they are using this issue to show their opposition to President Obama and to twist it for their own political gain. Unfortunately, we, the people, will suffer from their intellectual dishonesty.
WILLIAM OWENS, M.D.
Clyburn representing people on health care
On Saturday, Congressman James Clyburn may have been in Washington, but he was looking out for us here in South Carolina's 6th Congressional District.
Congressman Clyburn helped pass an excellent health care bill that will give us more insurance choices, end denials for pre-existing conditions and break the stranglehold the insurance companies have over the system.
In these tough economic times, it's nice to have one less thing for our families to worry about because Congressman Clyburn represented the people of his district and passed a health care reform bill that will truly help us.
Trash around canal, river unacceptable
Thanks to Sam McCuen and The State's Sammy Fretwell ("Trash fouls water at scenic park," Friday) for pointing out something that amazed me when we first moved into the city in 2006 but that I apparently just got used to and accepted, even though I regularly kayak and fish in the Columbia Canal. Well, it's not acceptable.
I first noticed the trash accumulating at the power plant dam behind EdVenture and observed the method for getting rid of it, which was to feed it into a sluice and let it flow into the river downstream. That absurd system apparently had been used for many years, because the investment required for the associated equipment and sluice was not trivial, and it didn't look new.
I hope they have quit doing that and started accumulating the trash at the north end of the canal instead, though that has to be worse for the city of Columbia's drinking water. Sorting and recycling all that trash looks like another employment opportunity for those who are able-bodied but can't afford a place to stay overnight.
SCE&G can drag the stuff to the bank on the east side of the canal, and the sorting can take place there. If it is done continuously, there will never be a huge methane-generating, bacteria-growing mess such as the one pictured in Friday's paper.
DARRYL K WILLIAMS