LETTERS to the Editor 

PICKIN', NOT GRINNIN'

Regarding the idea that the Charleston Symphony Orchestra board would not begin marketing for the 2006-07 season if the musicians didn't sign by Feb. 1 (Unscripted, "Behind the Music," Arts. Jan. 25) — this would be equivalent to a musician saying they would stop practicing (that's the work they all do for hours at home, unpaid) until they have a job. It's just silly. Not promoting the season or fundraising is precisely the way to insure that the board will be asking the musicians to take another pay cut.

DEBRA FREEDLAND
Roselle, Ill.

(Ms. Freedland is a union activist and has performed as a substitute oboist with the CSO. — Ed.)

CLOONEY (ABRAM)OFFHIS ROCKER

George Clooney's remarks regarding lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, were crass and should not have received coverage or been broadcast. Some in the entertainment industry are thoughtless unless reading a prepared script.

Jack's father's remarks about Jack's innocence, however, seem to be straight from Jack's playbook of double-speak.

I worked with Jack in Washington in 1981. I served as a political instructor and consultant under his supervision as National College Republican Chairman. I saw firsthand his style of management which seems to have carried over to his position as lobbyist.

He would encourage us to reach certain goals while tempting us with extrordinary perks that never materialized. My co-workers and I were disappointed to say the least. He seemed oblivious to the situation and his promises.

I returned the next year as S.C. State Chairman for College Republicans and National CR delegate bent on voting him out of office. Unfortunately for the nation, he had recruited a new set of groupies who cancelled out any opposition. Abramoff returned to stay in Washington. Now we have a real scandal as a result.

DWIGHT S. IVES
Charleston

FAIR-WEATHER BETTORS

I watched the Panthers lose last Sunday in a local King Street bar. In doing so, I found myself buzzed in a sports bar full of fans cheering for Seattle. "What the hell is that?" I thought to myself. Here we are, in a community that thrives on the very culture that surrounds it, and these assholes are cheering for the other team. Surely, they couldn't have all been from Seattle, or even the West Coast for that matter. Late in the fourth quarter, after I had ultimately accepted the Panthers defeat, I struck a conversation with the apparent traitors. Turns out they were only cheering for the Seahawks because they had bet them to beat the spread. So these alleged Seattle fans had turned their backs on their fellow Carolinians because of a bet. Get a life. This kid tells me that it's "more fun" to watch a game when you have "something riding on it." First of all, nothing is more fun than watching football with a group of strangers, drawn together by one common entity — team spirit!

My buddy Ben, who thought the Panthers were playing the Supersonics, isn't even a football fan, but he was ready and willing to raise his glass to every point we scored. He had a little "Carolina Pride" riding on the game, and although it didn't pay his bar tab at the end of the night, at least he didn't sell out.

So this Sunday, when you're watching the Super Bowl, pick a team and root for them to win. Don't watch the game because you bet on it. Watch it for the great American sporting event it has become. Watch it for the halftime shenanigans that everyone will be talking about Monday morning, or watch it for the same reason the rest of mainstream America thrives on from this particular sporting event — the commercials.

CHASE FIELDS
West Ashley

NOT SO FAST, MARK

In last week's State of the State Address, Gov. Mark Sanford spoke about education as if it was a problem that has already been fixed. South Carolina annually ranks near the bottom of the nation in both average SAT scores and high school graduation rates.

Despite modest improvements, South Carolina students are still not getting the education they need. Eliminating the property taxes that support our fledgling public education system in the state would only make it more difficult to teach our children. Rather than giving families the option to send their children to another district, we should improve the schools in every district.

CHRIS McMULLIN
Downtown

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