Shared frustration

Berkeley Electric customers may not be aware, as I was not, that they belong to a co-op which accumulates shares. One might think that when he is no longer a member, the cash amount of the shares would be sent to him. Not so.

I recently sold my mother's home, and I called about having the power turned off and the money from her shares sent to her. To my amazement I was informed she would get that money upon her demise.

I asked, as I assume any sane person would, what good is the money going to do her when she is dead?

Who thinks to go to the power company when a loved one dies and ask for the cash? Another question I asked: Suppose a person with no relatives passed away; what would happen to his money? I heard dead silence on the line.

Now, I have laughed a lot about this and made many jokes, but are we the only ones who find this ludicrous?

Angela Jeffers

Horseshoe Road

Moncks Corner

Armed realities

The April 28 op-ed article by former Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens failed to take into consideration that there are approximately 300 million firearms in the hands of citizens of the United States. It has been statistically shown that criminals will get their firearms regardless of the laws and terms in our Constitution.

Also, the criminal is more apt to strike areas that are known to be disarmed.

Professor John R. Lott Jr., of the University of Chicago, did an enormous amount of study and accrued crime statistics. They overwhelmingly show that there is less crime in areas where citizens are allowed to obtain concealed carry permits and are armed in their homes.

Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, commander in chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II, supposedly said, "You can't invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass."

Whether Japan had the capability to invade or not, our civilian weapons probably deterred it from even considering such a move.

I am amazed that a man of the stature of Justice Stevens does not have the knowledge and common sense to know that laws only affect law-abiding people and not the criminal.

James L. Ratledge

Parkdale Drive

Charleston

Economic freedom

An April 29 letter titled "Phony label" questioned the motives of the Free Enterprise Foundation. I attended the meeting the writer referenced.

While not a fan of Sen. Ted Cruz, the keynote speaker, I can assure the letter writer and your readers that this is not some "out there" organization. The writer's characterization of the foundation as right-wing should be more properly labeled as one that upholds conservative principles.

During the meeting several individuals were recognized for their contributions to our free enterprise system.

Given continuing difficulties with our economy we should thank an organization such as this that promotes an economic system that has made the United States the most prosperous and greatest nation in history.

Neil Whitman

President

Dunhill Staffing Systems Stuart Engals Boulevard

Mount Pleasant

Obey rules of road

Recently I took my granddaughter to the College of Charleston for her exams, and I found out why drivers are exasperated with bicyclists in general.

I counted at least five blatantly disregarding traffic laws, running stoplights, not signaling their intentions, riding the wrong way on one way streets, and other infractions.

If bicyclists want to use the public roads (as they say they do), then they need to accept the responsibility of obeying the rules of the road. Motorists must do this or face the legal consequences.

In addition, accidents cause injury and even death.

Law enforcement should start enforcing the laws on bicyclists as they do on motorists. I now understand better the frustration of drivers.

Paul Brueser

Belvedere Drive

Hanahan

Community good

Recent studies show that ordering a second funnel cake at the Coastal Carolina Fair induces a great community good that outweighs any personal guilt resulting from high caloric intake; tongue in powdered sugar cheek, of course.

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the Charleston Exchange Club's Community Service Day luncheon on behalf of the Star Gospel Mission to receive a grant that will allow the tiles in three shower stalls (used over 50 times a day) in our transitional housing dorm to be replaced.

This small renovation ensures one additional piece of dignity in the day of each of the 25 formerly homeless or near homeless men on the path to becoming productive members of our community while they temporarily reside in our dorm.

Ours was one of 94 tri-county area nonprofit organizations to receive critical, point-of-need grants derived from over $800,000 in proceeds from last fall's fair operated by the Charleston Exchange Club's volunteer members. This is the largest fund raiser in the nation by any Exchange Club.

For those seeking a mission purpose in their lives and in our community, I encourage you to join a local civic service organization like the Exchange Club. Contact any of the 94 community nonprofit grant recipients, or get involved with a local mission through your church.

You may feel like you do not have the time, talent or treasure to make a difference or are wondering how to take that first step. You can start by ordering a funnel cake and doubling down at a prize booth next fall at the Coastal Carolina Fair.

If history is any indication, you are guaranteed to win at least 94 times throughout the year.

On behalf of all grant recipients and those on the margins of our community who will directly benefit from these grants, thank you to all fair attendees, volunteers and the Charleston Exchange Club.

Jim Buxton

Chairman of the Board

Star Gospel Mission

Meeting Street

Charleston

We're on our own

As originally used, the phrase UFO meant "unidentified flying object." Most of them were eventually explained and others were out-and-out frauds.

Since then the term seems to have become synonymous with "alien space craft." TV is full of programs devoted to visitations, both in the past and recently, that explain things like the pyramids and other ancient monuments.

Well folks, it didn't happen, is not happening and cannot happen. Here's why.

We know, for certain, through observations from the Hubble and other telescopes, that the nearest solar systems with even the slightest chance of having a planet that could sustain intelligent life, are some 500 light years from Earth. That means that if you could travel at the speed of light, it would take 500 years to get here.

The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second or 669,600,000 miles per hour. To accelerate a given mass, a spacecraft for example, from a standing start to that velocity would take an astronomical amount of energy and is theoretically impossible.

But for the sake of discussion, if by some unknown means you could get to one-tenth the speed of light, it would then take 5,000 years to get here. And when you got here, you would be going so fast, you would burn up instantly in our atmosphere.

If you think you could slow down at the end of the trip, think again. To do that, you would have to bring along the same amount of propulsion energy that it took to get you up to speed to get here.

And that mass of energy would also have to be accelerated, which would require thousands of times more energy than accelerating the space craft alone.

So, folks, we have never been "visited."

Edward H. Sparkman

Whispering Marsh Drive

Charleston