Try to find peace

A recent letter writer expressed disappointment that President Obama and other Western leaders have initiated discussions with the Iranians designed to ensure Iran's compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Although the talks promise to be very difficult, and there is certainly no guarantee of success, it is dispiriting that some observers appear unalterably opposed to talks which might lead to the curbing of nuclear weapons development in the volatile Middle East/South Asia region.

With India, Pakistan and Israel - all non-signatories to the treaty - already in possession of substantial nuclear stockpiles, one would hope that negotiations to limit further proliferation would receive widespread support.

Over the course of the past decade, America's military engagement in the region has cost this country thousands of soldiers' lives, and tens of thousands have been wounded. Countless innocent civilians have died. Our national finances have been severely impacted.

Clearly, prior to embarking on yet another costly military venture, our leaders should make every effort to reduce the threat of new conflict in the Middle East. We, as citizens, should expect no less.

John G. Ives

Colonel Vanderhorst Circle

Mount Pleasant

Israel's survival

I would like to reply to Sen. Fritz Hollings' column about our relationship with Israel, the only democracy in the Mideast.

For decades Israel has been isolated in the community of nations with only the United States guaranteeing its survival.

However, since Barack Obama has been in office he has adopted policies that have further jeopardized America's only ally in the Middle East and made the people of the region's only democracy more vulnerable to Hamas.

Iran and other forces are heading for a new genocide.

Need I say more, Sen. Hollings?

Jimmy James

Linksland Road

Mount Pleasant

Season's meaning

I went to the post office to buy Christmas stamps. The pictured Christmas stamps were a gingerbread house, a menorah, a poinsettia, etc. Oh, yes, they do have a Madonna and child stamp, but you have to ask for it.

Let's keep Christ in Christmas.

Jean L. Wallace

Bishop Gadsden Way

Charleston

Where are lights?

As children, one of our favorite things at this time of the year was riding around the neighborhoods to see the Christmas decorations. It was one of our family's traditions.

Recently my granddaughter and I drove around in a few areas and the darkness was overwhelming. The void was so great.

Where are the lights? Are they just for the commercial areas and not in our homes? Have our friends, family and churches stopped celebrating the light of Christ who came into the world at Christmas?

I certainly hope not.

We have a marvelous privilege to share and spread God's light into this dark world. Jesus Christ is the gift of light and life.

Christmas is not for presents but for His presence in our lives. Please share the hope and true meaning of Christmas by lighting your windows and yards for your family and others. Merry Christmas.

Robbie King Staubes

Pilots Point

Mount Pleasant

Misleading head

Readers should be aware that the secondary headline on the Dec. 18 page B1's story about "Insurance options limited for poor" was inaccurate and misleading. It states: "Report: Obamacare shuts our poor minorities in South."

The story accurately reports: "South Carolina, like most other Southern states led by Republican governors, is not expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act."

Gov. Nikki Haley would make a wonderful Christmas gift to the 104,000 white and 83,000 black low-income adults by lifting her block. The act itself didn't grant such authority for the governor to block the almost totally federal funding for Medicaid expansion, but Chief Justice John Roberts inserted it in his decisive vote when the Supreme Court ruled the act constitutional.

The expanded coverage also would cut hospital emergency room care, create thousands of jobs, and insert many millions of dollars in to the state's economy.

Jack Bass, Ph.D.

Queen Street

Charleston

Lincoln critiques

A recent letter titled "The war is over" suggested that critics of Abraham Lincoln's "veracity" are backward bigots still fighting the Civil War. In fact, articles and books are written about Lincoln each year by people intrigued by one of the most tumultuous periods and personalities in our history.

Scholarly evidence shows that Lincoln was routinely criticized during the Civil War by Northern journalists, politicians and soldiers, and his policies led to deadly draft riots in 1863, and a re-election challenge in 1864 in which nearly two million voters, 44 per cent of the popular vote, opposed him.

No one is compelled to accept one version of history, nor should he be scorned for an educated interpretation of the past that does not conform with the traditional portrayal of a saintly Honest Abe.

Some of Lincoln's tactics during the Civil War would be considered atrocities today, including burning defenseless towns, bombarding women and children and unleashing a cruel blockade that affected innocent civilians.

But the letter's most contemptible suggestion was that Lincoln detractors seem to be yearning for a past when "they were lords of the manor," denying others opportunity because of their race.

Ironically, it was Lincoln, as an Illinois politician and attorney before the Civil War, who actively supported that state's 1848 law banning free blacks, and in an 1853 speech advocated that Western territories be "kept open for the homes of free white people."

As commander in chief, Lincoln countermanded Union Gen. David Hunter's 1862 order to free slaves in occupied Beaufort County, and his heralded Emancipation Proclamation allowed slavery to continue in federally occupied areas.

There is plenty of factual evidence to critique Lincoln, but no evidence that this criticism is tantamount to bigotry.

The writer should show more respect for free speech, and should also do a little research.

Michael Trouche

Marsh Court Lane

Mount Pleasant

Satellite campus

Dr. Fred Maidment's Dec. 11 letter to the editor spells out clearly why the Charleston area needs Francis Marion University satellite campus. He states the missions of our present four-year colleges do not meet the needs of some of our students.

What I have read in The Post and Courier about FMU says that they are very successful at reaching out to students who need academic support, encouragement, low tuition and counseling.

Many late bloomers realize the importance of higher education, although they did not work up to their potential in high school. Some have to work to pay tuition and need a flexible schedule.

As a former member of the State Board of Community Colleges of Virginia and a school board member in a county with 350,000 population, I believe the South Carolina and Charleston area tax dollars for community colleges and colleges like FMU give the taxpayer one of the best returns for their money.

Also, Trident Technical College and FMU should establish a two-plus-two program allowing students to transfer from the community college to FMU as juniors.

I hope we will not get bogged down in a turf war and politics but will give our area another option for citizens to seek a higher education which Dr. Maidment explains so well in his letter to the editor.

E. Kendall Stock

Hope Plantation Drive

Johns Island

'Waste of ink'

Really? The Dec. 15 front page and nearly four additional pages of "Culture of Sex" on the U. S. Coast Guard because of one person's misconduct?

Is The Post and Courier having a difficult time selling papers these days? Or selling advertising space?

Now there is nothing left for the National Enquirer to print.

And adding a poll to the readers on this subject? From your article, you already know the result. It's just trash placed upon a much dedicated humanitarian service.

Disgusting waste of ink.

Robert Klowas

CWO-4

U.S. Coast Guard (Retired)

Ashley Crossing Drive

Charleston