Giving back

On May 1 I had the honor of watching 20 restaurants and beverage distributors come together to help the Gibbes Museum raise money at its fifth annual street party. More than 500 people were served on Meeting Street to benefit the museum.

I was proud to be a part of this event, but what I am more proud of is the restaurant industry in this city.

There is not a day that goes by that this industry isn't doing something to help some organization or someone in our community. Whether it's for MUSC, Darkness to Light, The Charleston Stage Company, the Ronald McDonald House, Dee Norton Children's Center, Crisis Ministries, Tricounty Ministries, Neighborhood House or countless other organizations, our restaurant community is always there helping.

They are giving their time, food, energy and commitment daily to make our city a better place for all to live.

I am proud to be a part of this industry. I urge each of you to support the restaurants that work hard for the city we all love.

Mickey Bakst

General Manager

Charleston Grill at Charleston Place Hotel

King Street

Charleston

Intolerant liberals

As a result of strong student protests and faculty objections, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice decided to cancel her commencement address at Rutgers University.

The objections focused on her involvement in the George W. Bush administration and the Iraq war (certainly these students should be aware that Ms. Rice would not be giving a political speech, but rather an uplifting speech of lessons in life).

In her cancellation, Ms. Rice (who grew up in the racially segregated South) graciously said that she did not want her involvement in the commencement ceremonies to be a distraction from a "time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families."

It is indeed unfortunate that, in providing a liberal and tolerant education, schools such as Rutgers are creating students who are now intolerant of opposing points of view.

Do we have to re-evaluate a liberal educational process that creates the intolerance of "liberal fascism"?

Sig Schildcrout, Ph.D.

Appling Drive

Mount Pleasant

Charleston

Neglecting vets

What a shame Veterans Affairs hospitals across this country, and particularly the one in Phoenix, Ariz., cannot provide the level of care due our veterans who have risked all in service to their country.

We squander hundreds of millions of dollars to provide illegal aliens free education and medical care while throwing hundreds of millions more into failed social programs, all to buy votes.

Can we expect to call upon these paid-in-full recipients when our country needs them?

Likely not. When the money is gone, they too will be gone.

However, it will be the veterans and active service members who are motivated by love of country who will be called upon so conveniently by a country eager to forget their sacrifices and a people reluctant to service and sacrifice in the name of freedom. What a disgrace.

Tim Peyton

Deercreek Road

Mount Pleasant

Futile mission?

What can one say about the search for the missing flight 370 of Malaysia Airlines?

Not very much.

H. J. Beaujon, Ph.D.

Cessna Avenue

Charleston

Stand with Santos

We speak not only for ourselves and close neighbors, but also for hundreds in our community as we express our gratitude to Mount Pleasant Town Councilman Gary Santos for standing up for his constituents.

He is seemingly the only council member who is listening to the citizens of Mount Pleasant who don't stand to gain financially from new high-density zoning.

He goes beyond his duties of attending the expected council and committee meetings by holding regular town hall meetings so that all citizens of Mount Pleasant, from Charleston National to Remley's Point, have a voice.

We can only hope that at least one other brave council member will second his motions at future council meetings so that a proper debate can be heard on issues that are vital to the future of this great town.

Rob and Erin Spencer

Old Bridge Court

Mount Pleasant

World problems

America jumps in and takes sides in every dispute between countries or among their own citizens. We jump in and throw gobs of money we don't have, or worse - we provide guns, bombs and tanks. (We have lots of those).

We never let foreigners solve their own problems. The Middle East, Ukraine and Russian have had territorial disputes for thousands of years. We are fools to take sides and waste our money.

As a young Naval officer in Chile, I recall the U.S. taking sides in the Chilean Civil War. We helped overthrow the democratically elected President Allende and install the mass killer and dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Young Chileans hated us for that.

Meanwhile, I observed Chinese businesses in Chile, taking no sides - just cutting lucrative business deals with all sides and making friends.

Americans are young, muscular and always spoiling for a fight.

We could learn much from Chinese businessmen who make money and friends rather than war and enemies.

Gary A. Ling

W. Montague Avenue

North Charleston

Aroma challenge

Hopefully Charlestons' new electronic garbage cans will still be able to pass the smell test.

Lenny Branch

Jasper Boulevard

Sullivan's Island