Letters to the Editor

Sunday's letters to the editor

S.C. wasting time without energy plan

Critics of clean energy say that that solar, biomass and wind cannot deliver the energy we need to power the state. I have news: We have up to 5,000 megawatts of wind electricity off the S.C. coast. That's half a dozen nuclear plants (or more), without the waste and tedious approval process.

And we have the potential for 20,000 S.C. jobs in energy efficiency, according to a report by the nonpartisan American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. That's six Boeing plants. Without the tax breaks and public money.

Meanwhile, South Carolina still has no comprehensive energy plan to create thousands of jobs in the clean-energy economy. China does. And unless we act soon, the Chinese are going to whip us good.

BOB WISLINSKI

Columbia

Liberal philosophy skews view of charity

Ed Aylward, ("The government and 'Christian values,'" Thursday) provides an interesting characterization of leftist society as a utopian social-state, bringing care to the downtrodden through communal sacrifice. On the other hand, he sees the political right as callous individualists whose "Christian values" have gone astray. This is an uniformed opinion of liberal philosophy in practice and of Christians' care for people.

The Christian does believe that those who are able should be productive. The Bible consistently urges turning from idleness, slothfulness and thievery toward honest, hard work. The reason may come as a surprise, but the apostle Paul exhorts us to "work, doing something useful with our own hands, that we may have something to share with those in need."

Although liberals hail themselves as the defenders of the needy, study after study shows that those professing conservative Christian values actually put this into practice, donating more time, money and even blood than liberals. This fact is a sad indictment of the leftist ideal.

JEFF MULLIKEN

Columbia

Columbia has cried enough about the past

I just read your article touting "Columbia's Longest Days: February 1865." It's been 145 years since the event, and the city is still looking back - way back - for something to cry about.

Just six years after the "War of Northern Aggression," a third of the city of Chicago was burned to the ground by "Mrs. O'Leary's cow." The citizens didn't cry about if for years. They used initiative, brains and muscle to build "the city that works," the nation's third-largest city, a thriving city that's the center of much of American commerce.

Instead of licking our old wounds and crying all the time, why don't we build a business-friendly economy and create something we can be proud of?

A city like Charlotte or Atlanta will do fine.

NEIL MAHONEY

Columbia

Clyburn's earmarks leave state vulnerable

While I do not doubt the good intentions of U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, no one frightens me more. Like a doctor who prescribes only sugar water and honey cakes to an obese patient, Mr. Clyburn seems to be able to find unlimited funding for any project desired by his constituents. Mayor Bob Coble recently wrote a letter praising Clyburn's ability to cause federal money to flow in copious quantities to projects in the city of Columbia that Mr. Coble could in no way justify based on their merits.

Mr. Clyburn's ability to fund any project with little or no regard for future repercussions should cause all of us to demand a sober reconsideration of the destructive power of earmarking, because the debt that is accumulating for our children and grandchildren is a greater threat to their future than all of the dictators and tyrants who threatened the future of our parents and grandparents.

Mr. Clyburn's use of federal money for funding projects that cannot stand on their own merits is helping to do serious and lasting damage to the people of a state that is growing totally dependent upon resources over which they have no control.

DENNIS A TRAFFAS

West Columbia

Smith might not be seeking acquittal

In her Feb. 11 letter, Gail Wiggins writes that if Susan Smith wins a new trial and is acquitted, then we should just open the jail doors and let everyone go. It should be pointed out that not everyone who files for post-conviction relief is necessarily seeking to be acquitted.

It is possible for a defendant to have been guilty of a crime and still have a legitimate claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. For example, suppose an individual pleads guilty to murder on the advice of counsel, but the evidence would only have been sufficient for a conviction of involuntary manslaughter. Surely the defendant would be prejudiced by his or her attorney failing to advise him of this possible lesser included offense.

Should Susan Smith win a new trial, then it will be up to a jury of her peers to determine what, if any, crime she is guilty of.

PAUL SEAY

Irmo

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