Phony premise

On the night of the recent ice storm my wife and I watched on YouTube a documentary first broadcast March 8, 2007, on British Channel 4. You can see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52Mx0_8YEtg.

The video is a full-blown production that lasts over an hour and includes interviews with climate scientists, physicists, other qualified experts and even the co-founder of Greenpeace. All agree that global warming is a world-wide industry based on a false premise.

The founding principle of the climate-change industry first put forth in Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" is that emitting CO2 into the atmosphere causes climate change.

The British Channel documentary shows that the reverse is true. It proves that as the Earth's temperature rises, more CO2 is released into the atmosphere and that, by a huge margin, most of the gas is produced by our oceans, not by people living out their lives in a free society.

In short, the temperature of the planet fluctuates over the millennia and is caused by the sun, solar winds and resulting effects on the deep ocean.

It's outrageous and shameful that a political and socio-economic agenda based on a premise that is completely false continues to funnel taxpayer money directly into the pockets of fat-cat crony-capitalists, all orchestrated by politicians across the globe who thrive on propaganda. You should think about this every time you pay artificially high prices to put gas in your car, pay your power bill and vote.

Joseph W. Schachte

Logan Street

Charleston

Worthy honors

If you tried to get somewhere on Savannah Highway mid-day on Feb. 15, you may have been annoyed at the delay.

If you wondered why more than 55 fire engines and other firefighting equipment were parked with lights flashing along the street, you may have thought that some disaster had occurred. No, it was a funeral at Ashley River Baptist Church.

In attendance were at least one mayor, a famous sheriff, a high-ranking South Carolina official, many fire chiefs and more than 200 firefighters representing fire units from miles around.

It was a celebration of the meaningful life of Jonathan David Kennedy, who spread joy and laughter during the 30 years of his life.

God sent Jonathan into the world with a less than perfect body and intellectual potential, but with a joyful and engaging spirit.

Jonathan's greatest joy was to ride on a fire engine when he could, and he was carried for his final ride on his favorite fire engine, Goliath, followed by all that firefighting equipment.

The verbal tributes to Jonathan from high ranking civic and fire officials brought laughter and tears from most of the firefighters in the congregation as well as from those of us in his church family who knew and loved him.

The central message from everyone was the joy that Jonathan brought to them during encounters with him throughout his brief years.

To touch so many people from all walks of life is a legacy few of us will achieve. I am sure many could say with me that yours was a life well lived, dear Jonathan.

Anne Christenberry

Ben Sawyer Boulevard

Mount Pleasant

Welcome update

I was delighted to read Adam Parker's Feb. 16 article "Lowcountry resident joins Atlanta Symphony" about conductor Joseph Young. For one who also documented this exceptional millenial's progress, Parker's piece offered me a chance to catch up with the talented Mr. Young.

As The Greenville News arts writer, I had the pleasure to interview him in 2007, then the highly regarded band director at W.D. Daniel High School in Central and the first recipient of a conducting fellowship jointly established by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Peabody Conservatory.

The BSO's internationally acclaimed music director, Marin Alsop, spoke highly about Mr. Young's talent and determination to succeed. She said she had no doubt that he would and she was delighted to get him on his way.

I also learned from Mr. Young that being mentored by Maestra Alsop meant not only learning the finer details of orchestra leadership at Baltimore, but also spending time at the Alsop-helmed Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz.

The half-century-old festival is the place to be for early-career conductors to further their artistic chops. Judging by last Sunday's story, the Atlanta Symphony found Mr. Young's chops fit for teamwork at Symphony Hall.

Ann Hicks

Joy Avenue

Charleston

Division hurts

President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union speech last month. The economy has improved, the auto industry is vibrant, more people now have health care and troops have come home from foreign wars.

I wonder how much better the nation would be if my ninth grade civics class was correct - in a democracy the minority supports the majority when they have lost an election. Instead of support, this president was faced with the party of No, the tea party who wanted to take back America and politicians who disrespected him in office like Rep. Joe Wilson and the governor of Arizona.

I often wonder how much further this nation would be if the opposition hadn't wasted 47 votes to repeal a law that was declared constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court or orchestrated a costly government shutdown to prove a point.

Robert L. Gailliard

Caryota Lane

Summerville

Downward spiral

I have come to the sad conclusion that our country is on the brink of disaster. There is no way to sustain our debt.

Unless we have a dramatic turn, European economists are predicting a total collapse of our monetary system by 2017 and suggest dumping U.S. dollars now.

We are not recovering from the recession. Household income is down $2,500 since 1980, wages are stagnant, the real unemployment rate is 17 percent because so many have given up and dropped out of the work force and 32 percent of all Americans do not work.

We need real leadership in our next president with a proven record of governing with executive experience, not a community organizer. The manager of a Dairy Queen would be better.

I recommend you look closely at Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin for our next president. His record as governor is unmatched by any sitting governor of either party.

When he was elected in 2010, Wisconsin was on the verge of bankruptcy with huge debt due to overspending largely on state employee pensions and wages.

Gov. Walker succeeded in cutting these wages and benefits, balanced the state budget and returned $800 million to the taxpayers in tax cuts and put $100 million in the rainy day fund. This did not sit well with the state employees, and they gathered enough signatures to force a recall election. The governor became the first in U.S. history to win a recall with a higher margin than the original election.

We also need a vice president well qualified to take over as president should that be necessary. My recommendation is Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico who has a record that is a close second to Gov. Walker.

Are we talking a dream ticket or what?

ERNEST J. BERGER

Deer Point Drive

Seabrook Island

Benghazi facts

In a Feb. 4 letter titled "Benghazi baloney" the writer omitted some critical facts. The writer uses David D. Kirkpatrick as a source of truthful nonpartisanship, when in fact Kirkpatrick is a reporter for The New York Times, which is one of the most liberal, left-wing newspapers in this country.

Kirkpatrick contributed to an article on Oct. 29, 2012, in which it was revealed that the Obama administration had received intelligence reports that Islamic extremists groups were operating training camps in the mountains near Benghazi and some of the fighters were al-Qaeda leaning.

Kirkpatrick's so-called investigation, however, contains information contradicted by the U.S. government, Benghazi victims and numerous other news reports.

Fact: The Obama administration and State Department ignored two prior attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, in the months leading up to the Benghazi attack, and instead of beefing up security as requested, they reduced it.

Fact: Within minutes of the onset of the attack President Obama was made aware of the attack and that it was a terrorist attack. The attack was tragic, but even more tragic was the failure to send help. That attack went on for over seven hours with no response force deployed or air planes scrambled. A response might not have changed the outcome, but they at least could have tried.

Where were the president and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during that seven-hour period? Well, it appears that the president was sleeping in preparation for a campaign fund raiser in Las Vegas the next day and Secretary Clinton was who knows where. They both failed to do their jobs, and the result was that four Americans needlessly lost their lives. For days, both blamed an anti-Muslim video.

Another fact: According to the son of the "blind sheik," Omar Abdel-Rahman, protests in Cairo were announced in advance with the purpose of freeing the "blind sheik." No mention was made of any obscure video.

Does it sound like Mrs. Clinton has the necessary qualifications to be commander in chief when she couldn't even perform the job as secretary of State?

J.T. Thomas

Sea Foam Street

Summerville

Costly unions

A Feb. 12 letter to the editor from the president of the S.C. AFL-CIO was titled "Collective benefits."

I say employees should have an option and not be forced to join a union or pay dues. Unions have a place and historically have done some good things. That was when we were in the industrial revolution, employers were pushing, and unions protected some basic benefits.

More recently, I had to negotiate with a union over a plan to move a water fountain two feet on the wall. I also had to replace a sump pump.

It took two laborers to dig the hole, two electricians to remove the wiring, two plumbers to replace the pump, two electricians to wire, and two laborers to fill the hole at four hours each.

The job cost, with man hours, vehicles and benefits, was over $3,000. One maintenance technician could have performed the job in a day.

I had three employees who contributed zero to the work effort. All they did was "union" business. If I disciplined an employee for excess tardiness, I had to consult the union. Unions have a role, but it's not always in the best interest of the business' cost-benefit ratio, which is why we are in business.

Michael L. Hendrick

Old Point Road

Hanahan

Scary trend

It's a shame the College of Charleston can't wait until students arrive to start "indoctrinating" them. Trust me, last summer's reading suggestion of the book "Fun Home" by Alison Bechdel, would not promote "conversation" or "open discussion."

These students likely were mostly intimidated into going along with what some professors were promoting. Whatever happened to the concept of colleges and universities teaching students to think for themselves instead of telling them what to think?

Anyone with children in most schools should be afraid, very afraid of what is being put into their heads.

B.J. Angelos

Highway 162

Hollywood