Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - September 30, 2008

Driving essential in United States

I'm 17 years old, and I come from Honduras. I have lived in the United States for three years. My country doesn't allow people to drive until they are 21 years old. But I saw in your newspaper an editorial about letting teenagers drive. I agree that letting teenagers drive at 16 years of age would help parents to have some relief. However, I think teenagers should have graduated driving privileges that would help to reduce the chances of risky driving.

We live in a country where driving is essential to move from place to place. Not all public transportation goes where you want, and some are very expensive. Let us drive at 16 years with graduated driving privileges that would help us develop a sense of responsibility and avoid endangering ourselves.

Ana Castro

Fort Mill

USC needs more than teak lockers

I have been a member of the Gamecock Club for over 35 years. I started in the "BAM" (buck-a-month) club. Later, I moved up to the Century Club ($100 per year) and finally up to the Roundhouse club ($350 per year). I had the same two season tickets for over 35 years, and attended most of the games. While my seats are not the best, they are far from the worst.

Eric Hyman is just one of the many ADs I have dealt with over these 35-plus years, but he will be the one that I remember the most. Mr. Hyman has managed to do something that nine losing coaches, countless losing seasons and many promises unkept couldn't do: Make a quitter out of me.

The USC Athletic Department has instituted a master plan for the future of sports at USC. Hyman knows that there are a lot of yuppies in the Columbia area who are dying to jump on the Steve Spurrier bandwagon, and Hyman knows he can get a lot more for my decent seats than I presently pay. Where I now pay around $400 club dues, he could probably get $1,200 for the right to buy my tickets, and he is determined to do just that. He has increased club dues, added a $200 per seat tax, with the hint that in three years this will increase.

Hyman's justification for this extortion, yes extortion, is that USC lags behind many SEC schools in facilities. This summer, he stated that he had visited a SEC school that had teak lockers and numerous plasma TVs in the dressing room, and that USC must keep up.

I attended the USC-Vanderbilt game. I'll bet Mr. Hyman the winner of that game, the same team that won last year, has no teak lockers or plasma TVs, and never will have. I suggest Mr. Hyman visit Vandy, Wake Forest and East Carolina, and instead of looking at their facilities, talk to their head coaches. I think he'll find that recruiting moral kids with character, strict discipline, teamwork -- not individualism -- are why these schools are getting positive national exposure.

I'm going to let Hyman have my seats, but the yuppie who pays that inflated price needs to take a close look. The Spurrier bandwagon has one flat tire and the other three are leaking. Soon, for one reason or the other, Spurrier will be gone. So will Mr. Hyman's yuppies. When USC is playing before a half-full stadium, thank Eric Hyman, who will probably also be gone.

Tal Payne

Great Falls

Democrats pushing socialist policies

York County Democratic Party Chairman Jim Watkins is correct about Barack Obama being too "green." The problem is, in his younger days, Obama became "rotten" while he was still green.

In his recent commentary, Watkins seems very proud that Obama promises socialized medicine, "free" health care from cradle to grave for everyone; free college for all; house mortgages paid for by government. Socialism (communism) has failed miserably throughout history but that doesn't stop those who call it, "democratic socialism" or "New Deal liberalism" from trying to ram it down our throats. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

Every four years, the Democrats, who know that Social Security is in deep trouble, attempt to scare our seniors by claiming that Republicans want to abolish it rather than reform and save it. If the Democrats don't understand the problem, someone needs to explain it to them. Social Security is doomed if nothing is done.

Obama not only wants to give tax refunds to everyone except the very rich, he wants to give $2,000 and more to those who pay no income taxes at all.

Karl Marx called that, "From each according to his ability, to each according to is need," otherwise known as a redistribution of the wealth. Obama and Watkins don't tell you who would really pay for their giveaways -- you, average citizens.

Obama, Watkins and other "Yellow Dog" Democrats are attempting to create a class war. They hate capitalism and free-market economics. They do not want the middle class to be financially successful and will double tax small business people and all enterprises that create jobs.

I am so sorry, but since Ron Paul is out of contention, the only real alternative to Barack Obama is John McCain. As bad as he is, he's a thousand times better than Obama.

Charles Blackwell


Conservative offers narrow views

I read the letter by Patricia Armstrong. Here is another conservative who has a very narrow view of the world and her religion.

There are many conservatives who are pro-war, at present. And we have not fought in a war since World War II, where our freedom was threatened. And most of the wars we have fought in the last century involved little or no diplomatic engagement beforehand.

Although George Bush has used the line about not talking to radicals or terrorists, he has changed his tune 180 degrees with regard to Iran's and North Korea's leaders.

As for Ms. Armstrong's "pro-life" comment, conservatives seem to like to cherry pick through the Bible to find commandments to suit their agendas or phobias. There are commandments to kill disobedient children and permission to own slaves. Are we wise enough to be able to decide which laws we should obey and which ones we don't have to? I much prefer the commandment to love one another.

We need to show tolerance and compassion for each other, not hatred.

Daniel H. Kroener

Tega Cay

Generous people will be blessed

Re. The Kindness of Strangers / Readers bail out neighbor in need

I felt compelled to respond to those who e-mailed or called to tell Andrew Dys that "Jackie had gotten herself in this situation, or not asked for the right help." But for the grace of God, this could be them.

Each and every one of us are only one serious illness away from bankruptcy. How would they feel if suddenly they were left with nothing? A spouse dies unexpectedly, has a terrible accident and is incapable of providing, decides to have an affair, loses his or her job. It's happening everywhere these days. What then? I agree that people's choices, lifestyle, etc., can put them in not only bad situations, but sometimes hopeless ones. Don't they deserve a chance?

Where would so many of our most influential men and women of the world be if someone hadn't given them a chance? Society needs to quit putting "classes" on people and see everyone as a human being -- equals in the eyes of God. Kudos to the ones who stepped up to help Jackie. They will be blessed by their selfless gifts!

Sharon Jackson Gravley

Rock Hill

Why not help those who help themselves?

This is regarding the story Andrew Dys wrote about the woman turned down by disability. I was amazed that she had her hand out, all while supporting her two healthy sons, aged 19 and 22. Why are they not working and helping her pay the small rent of $119? Even working part time, they could pay that, buy groceries and her meds.

I work daily with many of the same medical problems, and am losing my sight, but I pay my own bills. She has been getting government assistance while my daughter, making $9 an hour, couldn't get a child-care voucher because she made too much to qualify for food stamps and AFDC. What kind of system is that if you can't help those who help themselves? Grow up and stop holding out your hand. Again, as long as someone else is footing the bill, maybe they can all afford to go to Ryan's or even Olive Garden with the kind man's donation!

Lisa Brantley

Rock Hill

Thanks for help with school drive

On behalf of the many students who now have school supplies because of your contributions to The Herald's recent school supply drive, thank you. Because of your generosity, we were able to provide each of our schools with a variety of supplies ranging from pencils and paper to composition books to school lockers for those students whose families could not afford them.

I cannot express to you how important it is emotionally for every student to have the basic supplies he or she needs. It's essential for all students to believe that they can be successful in school, and the foundation begins with having the supplies to do the work at school and at home.

To Herald reporter Toya Graham and publisher Debbie Abels, we're truly grateful for this partnership with The Herald.

Lynn Moody, Ed.D.


Rock Hill