Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Our country has broken another promise.
How many times has our president and our Congress promised that we would never negotiate with terrorists?
Why have Americans lost faith in our government?
This latest abuse of power and lost direction was as we released five of the most notorious terrorists held at Guantanamo. Even more abusive is the fact that these terrorists are the very ones that have repeatedly resolved to kill Americans. Why also did the American soldier Bergdahl walk away from his buddies in a combat zone in the middle of the night armed only with water and a flashlight? What were his intentions and where was he going?
We may never know the answers to these questions, but we will suffer the consequences.
I am ashamed that our leaders do nothing to prevent these wrongs. I hope that all American voters will outcry at our lack of government leadership and thoughtfully go out and vote for the best candidates America will offer. I, for one, will not give up and hope that all citizens will do the same.
We must go back to the honest and strong leadership that has made us proud to be Americans. We can do better and should hold to our commitments to regain our respect in the world.
The slaughter with guns goes on and on. The politicians wring their hands and do nothing meaningful. The people rail. The pundits pontificate.
However, certain state and federal politicians are correct. Without limitation, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the enactment of any law that infringes the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Therefore, any and all current restrictions on guns and gun ownership should be immediately and entirely repealed. Any and every person, no matter age, mental instability, infirmity or shortcoming should be able to carry a gun any time, under any condition, without government restriction.
How then does the public in gathering places protect itself? An expansive implementation and use of active and passive guarding, such as present at the nation’s airports, is the answer. This would be inconvenient, but the alternative is more slaughter.
Unfortunately, the many must suffer for the wrongdoing of the few. All places open to the public (whether publicly or privately owned or operated) should have such elaborate guarding or at least the option to have such guarding so as to block entry, if desired, of those who are armed.
By way of example, this would include schools, colleges, universities, churches, theaters, restaurants, shopping centers, community centers, multi-unit housing, parking lots, galleries, boat landings, beaches, marinas, stores and shops of all types, playgrounds, parks, office buildings, financial institutions, recreational facilities and areas, car lots, gyms, factories, manufacturing facilities, tourist attractions, transportation stations, shipping and port facilities, government buildings and facilities, hotels, motels and so forth. The expense would be enormous. Who should pay? The taxpayers, of course.
However, the funding for such systems should not come from the general taxpayer funds. Instead of tax-free gun days (South Carolina), all aspects of the gun industry should be levied a very special gun tax by the state and federal governments, and those discrete tax revenues should be used solely for the establishment of the guard systems necessary to protect the public from the gun wielders. Citizens who are not involved with the gun industry would pay no tax.
This taxing system should include taxes on every stage of gun production, transfer and sale.
This includes, for example, taxes on all raw materials used by the gun industry; taxes on every stage of gun manufacture; taxes on material acquisition and use in gun, ammunition and equipment manufacture and production; taxes on sales of all guns, ammunition, hardware, targets, equipment and gear; taxes on gun ranges; taxes on practice facilities; taxes on any and all other aspects and features of the gun industry. (This concept is not without precedent; for example, the trucking industry pays enormous use taxes to the federal government because some heavy trucks damage the public roads. Non-truckers do not pay those taxes.)
Importantly, this gun-taxing procedure would leave intact the multi-billion dollar gun industry (which uses the Second Amendment as both a sword and a shield to protect its profits); the right to bear arms would not be infringed and would remain secure, and the public would have at least some improved measure of protection.
Simple, fair, reasonable. Who could complain?
A. Elliott Barrow, Jr.
The high-rise complex built along Coleman Boulevard is attractive and suits that area, but to continue that concept to the area of Shem Creek is a real shame. It will forever change a landscape that is not only unique but irreplaceable.
Makes me wish that Beaufort City Council would replace the one in Mount Pleasant. Faced with high-rise development on their waterfront, they opted for a park rather than acquiesce to big dollars from big developers.
Laura S. McMaster
Isle of Palms
More Than Meets the Eye
As many have read, Judge Dennis ruled against Sullivan’s Island residents in his written order regarding the petition lawsuit. Islanders for a Smaller School were absolutely stunned to read the written ruling because it appears to contradict the oral ruling Judge Dennis made in court on May 16. That is truly baffling, particularly to those who attended the court proceedings and heard the oral ruling. While we disagree with the written ruling, however, we certainly respect Judge Dennis’ authority to make it.
Much of what Judge Dennis said in court is not reflected in the written ruling. In his courtroom remarks on May 16, Judge Dennis commended the islanders who signed the petition. He stated that they had followed state law in circulating and submitting the petition, and emphasized that citizens who question the actions of elected officials have a right to do that.
Judge Dennis did rule that the petition, on its face, was defective. He noted, however, that upon receiving the petition, Town Council could have chosen to work with the 261 petitioners to craft mutually agreed upon language. A vote could have then been held and the issue resolved at that time. Rather than take advantage of an opportunity to work with the citizens of Sullivan’s Island, Town Council chose instead to use legal and administrative maneuvers to avoid holding a vote or going to court until the school was built.
Islanders for a Smaller School can be very proud of what was accomplished with the referendum lawsuit. This case was always about abuse of power, holding our elected officials accountable and giving all citizens a voice in their government.
As a result of this effort, Sullivan’s Island residents are fully engaged in the many ongoing efforts to protect and preserve our historic, residential island.
We will continue to follow closely what our elected officials are doing, and will continue to keep all Sullivan’s Island residents fully informed about decisions being made by Town Council and the impact of it all on the entire Sullivan’s Island community.
Many, many thanks to all who signed the petition and who supported this very worthy effort to protect and preserve the island we all hold so dear.
Ripe with emotion
The subject of immigration reform is a topic ripe with emotion and political intrigue. A veritable soup of confrontational arguments and agendas. The ideological divide in this country of ours hinges on the interpretation of the word “immigrant” and all that word entails. There is the historical relevancy of this country’s origins and evolution as it relates to people coming here on boats, and later ships, to escape persecution and to pursue freedom of religion and personal achievement.
The constitutional republic that defined our system of laws welcomed the new arrivals even as the already entrenched citizens expressed their unwillingness to share what they already had with ethnic and religious outsiders. Many a head was stove in as rivalries and unrest preceded the assimilation of these immigrants.
That assimilation was engineered by a legal system that processed, culled, educated and enrolled the newcomers in such a manner as to enforce the rule of law and engender it into the psyche of the newly minted citizens.
These new citizens accepted their roles on the lower rungs of the economic ladder, and generationally ascended the same.
The argument for the current situation is intellectually dishonest when it equates the two. The USA has endured a generation of infiltration by people who have trespassed their way into our country without the qualification of legal immigration. They have misappropriated our resources of education, medical treatment and social services, and dumped huge amounts of economic waste into our system by working off the books and driving down the wages of the existing citizenry.
This infiltration has been welcomed by two distinct groups within our borders. The first being the agricultural, construction and hospitality industries within our diverse economy who bolster their profits off the cheap, illegal labor that they siphon from this disparate group.
The second being the Democratic Party that panders to the liberal elites who seek to consolidate and secure their power and control of government, and thus the population of this country, via any means that artificially inflate the number of votes cast in their favor in any and all elections, now and well into the future.
Paradoxically, the parasitic employers of illegal labor are endorsed by the once staunch ally of the Republican Party, and its ideology of self-reliance and limited government, the Chamber of Commerce.
Thus, the confusing cacophony of competing self-interests that by and large allow the average citizen, and the true backbone of this great democracy, to suffer the downward spiral of their God-given freedoms, and the decimation of their self-motivated economic progress and success.
A quote oft attributed the the Great Emancipator is “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” The current debate over “comprehensive immigration reform” is a fool’s argument.
We know that what is being done is a full-scale infiltration and systematic destruction of the middle class in order to ensure the generational wealth of the elites who view us as fodder for the benefit of their trust fund children and tuxedo-wearing cronies.
I can hear Roger Daltrey wailing over the beat of the drums and the scream of the guitars: “We won’t be fooled again!” Will we?
Mark R. Shields
On Saturday, June 28, the submarine USS Clamagore will be celebrating her 69th birthday and what appears to be her last at Patriots Point.
If you have not visited the Clamagore, I hope you and your family will make time to do so.
She is the last of her breed, and if you are lucky, you will get a tour from my friend, Senior Chief Sid Bush (ret.) who served on the Clamagore and can tell you, your children and grandchildren first hand what it was like.
Sid, like all of the Patriots Point volunteers and employees add an extra dimension to the experience that you will not forget.
Patriots Point Foundation