Identity crisis

I was taken aback when I read, in Paul Greenberg’s July 13 column about the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg, his statement: “Lincoln would relieve George Meade, a perfectly competent if unaggressive general, for letting Lee escape over the Potomac (after Gettysburg) with his army bloodied but still intact.”

Lincoln was upset about the aftermath of Gettysburg but did not relieve George Meade from command of the Army of the Potomac after Gettysburg. In fact, Meade remained in command from a few days before Gettysburg until after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox in April 1865.

After Gettysburg, Lincoln promoted Gen. Ulysess S. Grant to general in chief of the Union Army. Lincoln stipulated that Grant was to remain in the Eastern theater because Lincoln feared a Confederate attack on Washington, D.C. Grant, not being the type to sit behind a desk in Washington, chose to travel with the Army of the Potomac, but Meade remained in command.

Grant’s presence on the battlefield overshadowed Meade’s role as commander of the Army of the Potomac and often Grant intervened and overrode Meade, acting more like the commander himself than Meade. This greatly troubled Meade and he frequently confronted Grant about it and offered several times to be relieved of command but Grant would apologize and refuse his resignation.

Even at the surrender ceremony at Appomattox Courthouse, General Meade was not present even though he commanded the Army that was primarily responsible for Lee’s surrender. George Meade had an identity crisis throughout the Civil War, and it continues even today as evidenced by Mr. Greenberg’s article.

Mark Phillips

Brighton Court

Goose Creek

Illegal guns

The Second Amendment to our Constitution is a fail-safe by our founding fathers to protect the people from overreaching authority.

Sheriffs are elected by the people of their county, and they take an oath to uphold the Constitution.

Police chiefs work for mayors who are part of the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Whom would you trust to protect your rights from overreaching government?

Dennis L. Compton

Filly Court

North Charleston

Shamelessness

Every enduring society, mirroring the natural world, changes with time. Not to do so constructively, relegates a society to lie only between the pages of history books.

Western culture has trustingly followed its core traditions derived from Greco-Roman and monotheistic origins to advance our existence from subsistence settlements to flourishing nations.

Keynote responsible values have included pride in one’s labor and honor of self, family and community.

It may be useful to examine two recent repetitive trends that appear to relate to the above discourse.

One, for example, would be the desire for reinsertion into public office after self-withdrawal in disgrace.

The second relates to the desire for glorification and leniency for egregious mass offenders.

Both, in an seemingly bold attempt to expand the notion of personal freedom, may in greater manner, subtly upset the vital balance with other traditional societal rights, so as to corrupt, thereby actually weakening, the hard-earned, treasured gift that we know as freedom.

Charles Vergona

Shadow Oak Drive

Charleston

Why fear quitting?

I invite smoking readers to reflect upon the insanity of fearing a temporary journey of re-adjustment that leads to entire days where they never once think about wanting to smoke.

Years of daily obedience to smoking urges and cravings have conditioned them to fear what is good: coming home and being free.

Having taken control of the same dopamine pathways associated with alcoholism, heroin or meth addiction, chemical dependence upon smoking nicotine is real drug addiction. It is a disorder in the mind’s priorities teacher, which has been compromised, assigning smoking nicotine the same priority as eating food.

It takes courage to take that first brave step. The good news is that peak withdrawal passes within 72 hours, as the body becomes nicotine-free.

Once brave enough, there is only one rule. We are real drug addicts. For us there is no such thing as just one or just once, as one puff will always be too many, and thousands are never enough. One rule: no nicotine today, to never take another puff.

John R. Polito

Nicotine Cessation Educator

Aldrich Place

Goose Creek

Fighting obesity

Is South Carolina asking the right questions about battling the bulge?

No wonder South Carolina is losing the battle. It seems as if many of the people leading the battle don’t have the answers, and in fact have some pretty strange questions.

In the July 22 Post and Courier the executive director of the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Health and Wellness Center says, “our physiology is just geared to facilitate eating.” He goes on to say, “And there’s not very much we can do to stop eating.” Really?

No one’s physiology is “just geared” to be obese. There’s no evolutionary advantage to being overweight. We are not geared to be 5’ 8” and 300 pounds. Your brain controls the hormones that control your appetite. Feed yourself properly — with real food — and your brain will take care of your weight.

Then we have a registered dietician asking, “Why don’t we have a medication to prevent obesity?” I was left open mouthed after reading this. It’s just perfect: We have the dietician giving up on eating the right diet, and just wishing you could pop a pill while continuing to eat all the wrong things.

With this kind of thinking, no wonder we’re losing the fight against obesity.

Louis Yuhasz

Founder/CEO

Louie’s Kids

I’On Avenue

Sullivan’s Island

Cost of benefits

Your July 12 front-page article about immigration reform quotes Bryan Derreberry, CEO of Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. He says the immigration reform bill is a great incentive for businesses.

It’s disturbing to realize many people weigh only their own concerns and opinions regarding various matters.

The benefits of this immigration reform bill for businesses will be minimal as compared to the taxpayers’ burdens paying for health care and the many other benefits immigrants receive.

The costs of benefits for immigrants is already astronomical. This is the absolute downside to Mr. Derreberry’s glory story.

Roland D. Gruber

Sidneys Road

Round O

Be fair to fathers

Thank you for publishing Dusten Brown’s letter setting forth his version of the facts in the Veronica saga. It touched me to hear from him.

I had wondered how this father, who has struggled so hard for so long to keep his daughter, could be said to have abandoned Veronica. The word “abandoned” is a conclusion, not a fact.

Considering that Dusten was engaged to be married to Veronica’s mother, tried in vain to convince Veronica’s mom to marry him so they could enjoy military medical and housing benefits and continuously tried to communicate with Veronica’s mother while she was carrying Veronica, I would not consider Dusten to have abandoned his child. A simple question: Why didn’t Veronica’s birth mother let Dusten know that she was giving Veronica up for adoption? Wasn’t Dusten due this?

What does this say about how we value fathers? I looked at the briefs and transcript before the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Scalia made the point that, as Veronica’s father, Dusten has value and rights: “He’s the father.”

The response to Scalia’s point? No lie — “He has a biological link that under state law was equivalent to a sperm donor.” See the transcript at www.oyez.org, Docket No. 12-399. Abhorrent.

My father is and was important to me. My husband is important to our 17-year-old son. Fathers are more than sperm donors.

ELIZABETH J. WURST

Myrick Road

Mount Pleasant