One talks while other listens
The District 7 York County Council race is important to the future of the district and the county as a whole. That is why I'm supporting Chad Williams.
Chad's opponent is a decent family man, as is Chad. The difference between the two is that Chad is a listener and his opponent is a talker. I've watched both the Rock Hill Planning Commission, of which Chad is a member, and the York County Council operate. Most of the time, Chad listens, asks questions, lets people know that they have been heard, and then makes wise decisions based upon what he has heard.
On the other hand, his opponent, with one or two others, seems to monopolize the council discussions. He does more talking than listening. At this critical juncture in the life of our district and county, we need someone who will listen first and talk later. That is the way to build consensus around such tough issues as environmental protection, growth, garbage and cooperation between city and county services.
Bush had a plan for oil
The Bush family made most of their fortune in oil. While Bill Clinton was president, oil and gas got so cheap that oil refineries in Texas were considering closing down because they were losing money.
I believe that when Bush and Cheney took office in 2000, Bush's main objective was to find a way to increase the world price of oil, and Cheney's was to find a way to steer more government contracts to his old company, Halliburton.
After 9-11, their main target was never Bin Laden, al Qaeda or the poor country of Afghanistan. Instead, it was Saddam Hussein and gaining control of one fifth of the world's oil supply in Iraq.
Bush wanted to use control of that oil along with the war to drive up the price of world oil. Cheney also wanted the war, which would mean government contracts for Halliburton.
They used fear from 9-11 along with lies and deception about Saddam Hussein and Iraq to get their war with Iraq. Their planning worked perfectly for them. Oil went from less than $30 a barrel to almost $150 a barrel; gasoline increased from less than $1 a gallon to over $5 a gallon in some places. Everything else has gone higher because of the fuel costs.
Halliburton was given hundreds of billions worth of no-bid contracts for Iraq. They just charged the government whatever they chose, and the Republican-led Congress automatically voted to give it to them.
This is the scam that has been handed to the American people and, I might add, with John McCain's support and blessing.
If McCain not stupid, he should be able to figure out what I have stated to be fact, but he has chosen to support Bush and Cheney in this war in Iraq that shouldn't have been fought in the first place.
I hope you will vote a straight Democratic ticket, because we need to retain control of Congress as well as the presidency in order to get things done.
Wesley M. Rash
Secondhand and workplace smoke
I have read with interest several letters concerning secondhand and workplace cigarette smoke. And I continue to be amazed by the lack of understanding regarding this issue.
In one letter, the writer expressed his inability to find any data that would link secondhand smoke with disease or death in an exposed nonsmoker. I would refer this individual and any interested citizens to the lungusa.org website. There you will learn the following: Secondhand smoke is a known cause of cancer.
Secondhand smoke causes disease and premature death in children and adults who are non-smokers
Secondhand smoke causes 3,400 deaths each year from lung cancer in non-smokers and as many as 69,000 deaths from heart disease in non-smokers.
This is not the debate, though, is it? We all know what smoking does to our bodies, and now we know what it does to those around us.
No, the real debate seems to be the issue of personal freedom and our government's intrusion on our rights to do as we please. And here's where I stand on that. As much as it grieves me to see my patients destroying their bodies, shortening their lives and buying inevitable suffering with each drag from their cigarette, I also believe it is their right to do so. It's my responsibility to clearly point out the dangers of this activity and to do so at every opportunity. But ultimately, it is their choice.
As firmly as I believe that, I also believe that every one of us has the right to breathe clean air in our work environments. A person's right to smoke does not extend to harming his co-workers. This has nothing to do with personal freedom, big government, or a left-wing agenda. It has to do with common sense and protection of our workers. I would hope that those who oppose regulations that would protect our citizens from cigarette smoke would not also oppose our cotton dust standards, and the elimination of asbestos from the workplace.
This debate calls for an objective evaluation of the medical data, and a reasonable measure of common sense. And maybe a small dash of civility.
Robert Lesslie, MD, MPH
Riverview Medical Center
Obama started it
I agree, the graffiti on the GOP office door is childish. So is Obama's lipstick on a pig statement. He started it this election year. I have been voting since 1948. I am getting to where I am not the least bit surprised at anything to which the Democrats stoop to get elected.
I'm thankful the lipstick on a pig did not occur in international affairs.
Gardner C. Koch
Spratt acts in best interests of state
Ron Bagwell and Joanne Thomas must not get out much or keep up with what's going on with John Spratt.
If they really knew the John Spratt who stood out in the sun during a recent rally in Rock Hill, to greet, meet, shake hands with and answer questions from the common people like me.
Spratt is always available to help anyone who have a problem with the government. Evidently Bagwell and Thomas has not been on the receiving end of Spratt's help.
I saw in Spratt, a man whose love is pure and sincere for people. I saw the smiles on his face each time he greeted a new person in line. I saw his wife, Jane's, concern each time she took him a glass of water when he was in the sun greeting anyone who came.
I am living below middle-class level, retired, but I will gladly try to borrow enough money to buy Bagwell and Thomas a cup a coffee, if the economy would allow me to, to take time for me to explain to you how Washington works.
I am a 110 percent supporter of John Spratt and a 100 percent Democrat. I am also 100 percent for common sense and what's in our best interest.
Look at all the success we have had because of Spratt's seniority. John loves South Carolina, and if you don't believe it, just start talking to him about South Carolina and see how he light up like a Christmas tree.
South Carolina should stop the "I am a Democrat" or "I am a Republican," wake up to the facts of life and do what in the best interest of South Carolinians.
James E.Lindsay Sr.
Sabrina Gast is best choice
I beg to differ with Zan Baity's position on the coroner of York County. Sabrina Gast has done a superb job as interim coroner for the last two years. Gov. Mark Sanford appointed Ms. Gast in 2006. He believed in her as I do. She has brought integrity to this position.
Last year, she reduced the budget by $80,000. She improved the investigative procedures of the coroner's office. Gast has a Master's Degree in Forensic Nursing. She is certified by the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI) and a certified Forensic Nurse. (CFN). Gast teaches forensic techniques to other health care professionals in the surrounding areas. She is very active in community education events that teach to be proactive to prevent accidental deaths.
Gast's medical knowledge has enabled her to determine causes of death without having to go to private contractors. This helps save the county's tax dollars. The coroner's job is to determine the cause of death, not if a crime was committed. The coroner's job should be an investigator with a medical background.
Gast has the better skills for this important job. A private investigator with a limited legal background and no medical background is not the better skill set for this important position.
Graffiti vandals don't know their history
Regarding those who the Republican headquarters and left behind the remarks that Republican means slavery, these people do not know their American history. Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
Under George H.W. Bush, Clarence Thomas was named to the Supreme Court. Under George W. Bush, the nations first black secretary of State was Colin Powell, and so was the second, Condoleezza Rice.
Did you know that Democrats such as Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and he voted against both of the black justices named to the supreme court, Thurgood Marshall and Thomas? Before these people make anymore remarks about Republicans, do a little American history research.