This happened on Republicans' watch
I don't understand why corporations can make bad decisions that ruin them and yet still get a $700 billion dollar bailout at taxpayers' expense, but homeowners are having their homes foreclosed with no similar bailout from the government. Why does this administration, the Bush administration, side so often with corporations and leave regular non-rich Americans high and dry?
I hate that both of my senators are Republicans because that party is not a fiscally responsible party, and they only care about helping rich Americans get richer. If they're so fiscally responsible, why did this mess, which has the potential to usher in the Great Depression II, happen under a Republican watch? Why did Phil Gramm, a Republican, ram through legislation that allowed this mess?
Republicans lie, lie and lie some more. Eight years of President Bush have destroyed this country. He inherited a budget surplus when he took office, and now he's got the worst financial mess since the Great Depression on his hands. I'm making my voice heard with this message, but I'll really make it heard come Nov. 4.
Are smokers' rights unlimited?
Hugh Haynsworth IV gives new meaning to un-American activities in his recent letter to the editor regarding smoking bans as un-American. Since dope dealers contribute to fewer deaths than smokers, locking these people up would be un-American also. He speaks of rights enjoyed by Americans over 21. Do these rights include poisoning the air for people in the proximity of their toxic smoke? Is it a right allowed when they grind their butts into a nice floor? Is it a right when they toss their cigarette stubs out the window of a car and cause forest fires.
I wonder how many people have died from fires caused by smoking, not to mention more than 50,000 lives lost from secondhand smoke each year. How nice it would be to go into any establishment serving the public and enjoy clean air and go home without the stinking odor of cigarette on their clothes.
How could a law that protects the health of the American public be anything but the right choice? God bless all smokers who are trying their best to quit, knowing the consequence of smoking is a serious threat to their health and continues to increase health insurance premiums to a point when close to 40 million people in American can't afford the cost.
Many places serving the public have voluntarily banned smoking and have seen no loss of income as a result. Their thoughtfulness is very much appreciated.
Harold E. Martin
Mother sets bad example
A week or so ago, my husband and I took our two children, ages 2 and 5 months, to Cherry Park. We wanted to be sure to take advantage of of the unseasonably cool weather before it turned hot and humid again, as is the norm for South Carolina.
The playground area at Cherry Park was full of children running and playing. I was helping my daughter down one of the slides, being thankful for this lovely cool fresh air, when I noticed a mother on the other side of the slide doing the same thing. With one hand, she helped her daughter down the slide. With the other ... she was holding a cigarette.
While mothers should be commended for their great multi-tasking skills, smoking a cigarette while simultaneously playing with your child at the playground is appalling. I realize smokers should be able to smoke outdoors but on the playground? With dozens of kids running around breathing in that cigarette smoke? Not only is she endangering all of the children playing near her, she is setting a bad example for her child ... and mine.
I guess my next letter will be to the city to ask them to post no-smoking signs in the playground area. While I would have thought it would be a no-brainer to keep your cigarette smoke away from playing children, I guess some people are just oblivious to the obvious.
Some animals are chained humanely
I have dogs that are on chains. They are fed, walked and not mistreated. They actually belong to a family member who had no other place to keep them.
They do not run loose! I have another dog, which is mostly inside, and a cat, also inside. I have no other way to make sure they are not loose. They all have a house and water. I have had dogs before that did run loose, before the leash law.
People should be allowed to do what they need to do on their own property. I can see that if someone is not feeding and watering the animals, something needs to be done. But as long as they are not starving or being used for fighting, leave people alone. Like the lady who said she has a fence but they dig out, so she needs to chain them: That's her right -- and she is right to do it so they don't get hit by a car.
Laws would make teen drivers safer
I am 14 years old. I'm a freshman at Nation Ford High School. I read your opinion about the driving age. I mostly agree with your opinion, because if you got locked up by your parents until you were 18 years old, then you won't have any driving experience at all. In my opinion, graduated driving is a good idea, so teens can get a lot more experience. I know that many crashes are because of young drivers, but if they don't drive at an early age, there still will be a lot of crashes when they turn 18.
If there are young teenagers driving, our government should make more laws. If the laws are harder and there are more police, then there won't be a lot of crashes on the road. One cause of crashes is because it is so easy to get a driver's license, so teenagers don't study the laws of driving that much. I think that if we had more laws preventing cell phone use, too many passengers and restricting driving at night, teenagers would crash less.