LETTERS to the Editor 

A MODEST PROPOSAL

I recently saw a letter to the editor in The Post and Courier that suggested that CARTA utilization was only 10 percent. In order to increase this percentage I am willing to offer a suggestion. The best way to increase the number of bus riders is to increase the number of people who will rely on the bus service. Now, couple this with the fact that driving is a privilege and not a right, and we have a solution to a number of problems plaguing the Lowcountry and South Carolina.

First: you must be at least 18 years of age, with a high school diploma or GED, in order to get a license. Second: When you reach your 65th birthday, you will surrender your driver's license. Third: If you are convicted of DUI, you will be permanently barred from having the privilege to drive in the state of South Carolina. Fourth: If you are convicted of driving without insurance, you will also be permanently barred from driving in South Carolina.

These steps will result in safer roads, higher graduation rates from high schools, and increase the demand for public transportation. OK, the demand for CARTA transportation has been solved.

Next problem?

Ed Pickel
N. Charleston

GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD

The tired cliché defining insanity is to repeat the same thing over and over expecting different results. Your contributors and you constantly lash this fine State for not spending enough on education. Yet South Carolina ranks third in the nation for increasing expenditures from 1982 to 2002. State spending on education is about the middle of all the states now. Still, academic achievement for South Carolina is ranked 42nd.

Sooner or later the sane will recognize there is no correlation between money and academic achievement. Then the sane will sincerely search for other contributors for academic excellence.

The insane will continue to bleat for more money.

Frank C. Leister
Charleston

COUNTY HUMANITY

East Cooper Habitat for Humanity salutes the Charleston County employees who helped expedite the permitting process so that we could utilize our Collegiate Challenge volunteers most effectively this upcoming spring. Frank Toland and Dan Pennick (planning office), Elaine Bozman (RMC office) and Richard Beasley (assessor's office) all worked to expedite our application for permits. Mr. Toland and Mr. Pennick recorded the plat and Ms. Bozman and Mr. Beasley, with only 20 minutes to closing on a Friday afternoon, helped us through the entire process. With all of their help, we were able to apply for permits and have them in place for our Spring Build.

In the stressful world of building and permitting, it's great to find people who go the extra mile to help us as we work to provide affordable housing. Thank you to these men and women; Charleston County is well served by such outstanding employees.

David J. Barnard
Executive Director
East Cooper Habitat for Humanity

KILL KILL KILL FOR PEACE

That Michael Graham can see no connection between the headline, "Iranian President Says Israel Should Be Wiped From the Earth" (Usual Suspects, 'It's "For the Children,"' Dec. 21), and his own words, "It's the grown-ups who put on a uniform, pick up a gun, and hunt down the evil terrorist bastards as fast as they can" is a perfect example of why those of us doing the hard work for peace can't take him seriously. Sorry, Michael, but you sound too much like the terrorists you want to hunt down and slaughter. But that's the dream world that the right-wing hawks live in. Just keep killing them because you think you are right. Never really stop to see what you might be contributing to the conflict and be accountable for it, just kill kill kill for peace. Wow, and to think all these years of working for social justice have all been wasted. I should have just been shooting the bastards down. Dang, Micheal, are you implying we should hunt you down and kill you? I think I prefer working for social justice and accountability. At least that way when I meet my maker I won't show up on His doorstep a killer myself. And just what part of "Thou Shall Not Kill" don't you get?

Barbara With
Charleston

A YEAR-END THANK YOUTO MICHAEL GRAHAM ...MAYBE

My weltanschauung has exploded.

My paradigm has fallen away.

The world as I knew it has melted, and Michael Graham is the instrument of change.

I'm not talking about some mundane political shadings here; no, "W ain't a dope," or "Cheney's not the face-man for the antichrist," nothing so pedestrian. This is an Einsteinian alteration in the very nature of my universe, the very foundation of my understanding of things at the biological level.

Michael Graham has made me question evolution.

Week after week, the relentless Mr. G, with his logical fallacies, train wrecks of thought, ignorance of facts, and a constancy of doltishness that gives his readers flu-like symptoms, has shown me the utter foolishness of natural selection, of Spencer's "survival of the fittest." His singular crusade against sense and reason has made it is impossible for me to imagine we have evolved from something less than we are today.

This leaves me adrift, however. If I give over to the notion of a supreme being setting everything in motion, all I have to do is read his little insights, like the one from the last week's column, "The children of the left don't do 'ugly'," to know the design is anything but intelligent.

Perhaps, there is no Michael Graham (when you think about it, how could there be) he is, like Hitchcock's George Kaplan, an invention of the evil bastards at City Paper to generate letters and give me agita.

Well played, dark ones, we'll meet again in the New Year, because as Friedrich Nietzsche said, "Nein, Elisabeth, das ist meine kleid."

Wayne R. Marshall
Charleston

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