Gitmo’s legacy

Guantanamo is a legal quandary, wrapped in an enigma, that seemingly knows no solution.

Regardless of the guilt or innocence of those imprisoned, the political inability to resolve this legal nightmare undermines our once-proud reputation as an international champion of human rights and comes dangerously close to establishing a precedent others may use against us.

Those we send around the world to defend our vital interests could just as easily be captured, accused of undisclosed “terrorists acts” and held without charges indefinitely.

Having proudly served my country as commanding officer of an explosives ordnance disposal detachment in Vietnam (1967-68), I see Guantanamo as a near and present danger to our men and women serving around the world.

Our seemingly insouciant politicians must wake up, stand up and live up to the ideals our nation was founded upon.

Philip J. Murphy

Ventura Place

Mount Pleasant

Keep scrubs clean

MUSC and Roper Hospital should have a policy about their staffs wearing scrubs out in public.

It’s disgusting and dirty to see the people who are supposed to be taking care of your medical and health needs smoking in the same scrubs that they will be wearing to take care of you.

Keep scrubs and other medical gear for wearing inside the hospital.

Beckie Hemmerling

Magazine Street

Charleston

Unbalanced bill

I am appalled to see that Sen. Tim Scott has co-sponsored S. 462, “The United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013.”

While there are numerous problematic provisions in this bill, I am particularly concerned about Sec. 9, which would include Israel in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, allowing Israeli citizens to enter the United States for up to 90 days without a visa.

Currently, all 37 countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program must grant reciprocity to U.S. citizens and allow them to enter their countries without a visa.

However, S.462 would exempt Israel from this requirement, holding it to a lower standard than all other countries.

The bill would allow Israel to enter the program after the United States has certified that it “has made every reasonable effort, without jeopardizing the security of the State of Israel, to ensure that reciprocal travel privileges are extended to all United States citizens.”

Israel systematically discriminates against Palestinian-Americans, Arab-Americans, Muslim-Americans and additional U.S. citizens from all ethnic and faith backgrounds who support Palestinian human and national rights by frequently denying them visas to travel to Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territory. Even the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Boxer, has admitted that Israel “rejects many people.”

It is long past time to reject Congress’ thoughtless acceptance of whatever the pro-Israel lobby demands. Codifying Israeli discrimination against U.S. citizens must not be allowed.

Patricia A. Abraham

Concord Street

Charleston

Not so low

Let me get this straight. A headline in the May 22 Post and Courier reads: “Senior housing on way.”

The apartments are to be for low income. Rents for each one-bedroom apartment is projected to run in the area of $800 per month for seniors who have annual incomes between $28,000 and $31,000.

Low income? What am I, chopped liver? I receive $908 per month from Social Security, which makes my “annual income” $10,896.

For seniors, $28,000 to $31,000 is anything but low income.

Perhaps the two rocking chairs included in each unit qualify us for senior housing; the rent surely doesn’t.

C.T. Leland

Coming Street

Charleston

Clear the way

On May 23, my wife and I were traveling on Remount Road. We saw a fire truck on the other side of the road with its emergency lights flashing, siren activated and air horn blasting.

This fire truck was coming from a side street and was trying to get across both lanes of traffic in order to continue onto Remount Road. I pulled over to the side of the road.

My wife and I were amazed at how many drivers ignored the emergency vehicle. One driver almost collided with this fire truck.

When you see an emergency vehicle with lights and siren activated, have the courtesy to stop. These emergency workers who put their lives on the line to protect us every day need to get to their destination safely without having an accident with a inattentive driver. The emergency they might be on the way to might be yours one day.

Joseph R. Murgatroyd

Iroquois Street

North Charleston

Belle Terre

After reading the May 15 column by Brian Hicks concerning the permanent-looking gates installed by Belle Terre within Lighthouse Point, I felt the need to respond.

Lighthouse Point has over 300 homes. Our neighborhood association owns and maintains our own large private park in our neighborhood. Sewer and road development in Belle Terre began in 2002. After completion, the 28 lots sat vacant. For over 10 years, Lighthouse Point had to deal with these vacant lots. They were an attraction to vandals, unsupervised teenagers and vagrants.

Our neighborhood Crime Watch made many calls to police but unfortunately they could do very little because the lots were not posted with “No Trespassing” signs.

It was hard for police to monitor the situation when there were no residents living in Belle Terre.

In 2012 construction was begun on the first home. I receive weekly police reports and it is my understanding there was no vandalism or theft concerning the construction of that or any other home begun before the gates were closed April 2, 2013.

The gates have made our residents feel alienated. Now we have been fenced out of a section of our neighborhood and must trespass over private property in order to walk on a public road that has been gated. Recently I noticed one of the residents struggling to push a baby carriage around the gates. Bicyclists must dismount twice to access this road.

It appears to our neighborhood that Belle Terre HOA may be more interested in an exclusive gated community and improved property values than security.

Brook Lyon

President, Lighthouse Point

Neighborhood Association

Port Circle

Charleston

Deficit reduction

Thank you for publishing your May 17 editorial regarding the federal deficit. Let’s look a little deeper into why the deficit may be reduced this year.

The sequester reduced the rate of growth of spending, not the actual budget itself. Therefore, revenues must be projected to increase.

The economic policies of the past four years have given us a workforce at its lowest in 34 years and the most anemic GDP growth since the Great Depression. Therefore, increased revenues due to economic growth are not likely.

Revenues significantly increased due to 2012 fourth- quarter sales of stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Since Obama won his tax increases on capital gains and dividends, incentive was provided to sell in 2012 at the lower tax rate instead of incurring a tax increase in 2013.

You write, “the CBO doesn’t see this dwindling-deficit pattern lasting beyond a few years.” This is a stimulus gimmick, with negative long-term effects. It is a proven historical fact that higher tax rates on capital gains and dividends discourage investment, innovation and job creation. It is also documented that investment tax revenues will decrease with increased tax rates.

This is what happens when you pass a tax rate increase in the name of “fairness” instead of trying to increase the revenue stream.

CBO projections are notoriously inaccurate because the government uses static models in their calculations.

Don’t ever believe that tax rates do not affect behavior.

ROB GREER

3526 Stockton Drive

Mount Pleasant