Highway 41

On Monday, Aug. 19, the planning group for the widening of Highway 41 and/or redirecting of traffic at the intersection of Highway 41 and Highway 17 announced their plan for comment. For some unknown reason. They feel that a part of this should be the elimination of left hand turns from Highway 17 onto Brickyard Parkway or onto Hamlin Road. Instead, in the case of turning into Brickyard Parkway, drivers would have to make right hand turns onto Hamlin Road and proceed to a traffic circle down Hamlin Road near two schools where they would turn around 180 degrees and the return to the intersection of Hamlin Road and Highway 17. They would then be allowed to proceed on the green light across Highway 17 onto Brickyard Parkway. Those wishing to turn left from Highway 17 South onto Hamlin, would instead have to turn right into Brickyard to a traffic circle and then proceed across to Hamlin Rd. This will cause a dangerous situation near the Brickyard amenities and should a massive morning and afternoon gridlock in Brickyard on school mornings as traffic is already heavy there at those times, potentially cutting Brickyard residents off from emergency services should gridlock occur due to volume or any accidents.

This plan is absolutely ridiculous, inconvenient and costly for no reason. It has no relationship, directly or indirectly to improving the traffic flow on Highway 41 which is the primary problem in the area. I suggest that all residents affected by this boondoggle contact the planning group at hwy41sc@gmail.com. Also I recommend that residents affected by this be aware of and attend the meeting they say will be held in October and make their opinions heard.

Additionally, What is the status of the Billy Swails Parkway extension between Six Mile and Hamlin Road? Is this still planned? Has the housing development behind Home Depot interfered with this plan? When will this be done? It is far more viable and helpful than messing with the Brickyard/Hamlin/Highway 17 intersection.

Mark Palasek

Mount Pleasant

Holocaust anniversary

This Sept. 1 will mark 80 years since Hitler invaded Poland and started World War II. Three years later, he launched the Holocaust that murdered six million European Jews.

A key question facing historians is how could an enlightened society that produced our civilization’s greatest philosophers, poets, painters, and composers also produce its most notorious mass murderers, along with millions of ordinary upstanding citizens who just went along. Was the Holocaust a peculiarly German phenomenon or are other enlightened societies capable? How about our own American society?

Jewish Nobel laureate, Isaac Bashevis Singer, gave a clear answer when he wrote: “To the animals, all people are Nazis.” Singer’s message is that we are all capable of oppressing the more vulnerable sentient beings in our midst, frequently without even thinking about it.

Our own enlightened society has translated the arbitrary Nazi dictum “the Christian lives, the Jew dies” into an equally arbitrary “the dog lives, the pig dies.” Only the victims’ names have been changed. The blissful, self-serving ignorance of the death camps and slaughterhouses in our midst remains.

Our very first step on the long road to end all oppression should be to drop animals from our menus.

Eric McCall


Words matter

I’m a fan of Confucianism, the philosophy. Confucius was sought after by rulers as a sage adviser in areas of management and philosophy. Government of the day was divided among ruling states. He was once asked what he would do first if place in management of a state. He replied he would ensure the naming of things was done properly. Without the proper naming of things, language would not be used effectively, people would become confused, poor decisions would be made, and the state would not last.

In the post-truth era, where feelings and beliefs often hold sway over facts and open debate, we are losing our way in the naming of things. The cry “racist” has lost its primary dictionary meaning and now is best define as anyone who is white and disagrees with me. The word “liar” has similarly lost meaning, now defined to include honest misstatements and more broadly as any statement in disagreement with what I believe. Both terms, and many such others, are typically used in ad hominem attack with the intent to mislead, demonize, or end debate, and as such have no place in rational discourse.

Many important decisions face America. Without open and honest issue focused debate, instead of name calling and shout-downs, I fear people will become confused, poor decisions will be made, and our nation will slide into decline. Perhaps even worse, attack language leads to hate and hate leads to violence. Over 2,500 years ago the importance of honest use of language was know. Civilizations die from suicide, not murder. The choice is ours.

John W. Sneed

Mount Pleasant