Your recent article, entitled “Censored” (cover, Oct. 5) by Camille T. Taiara, was certainly an entertaining piece. She obviously attended the Michael Moore School of Journalism. Judging by the left-wing sources she used, I think it’s fair to say that she has an anti-Bush agenda and will not let things like facts stand in the way of her opinion. Please tell her to be careful or ole George Bush will conjure up another hurricane and send it her way. Jesse Jackson, Harper’s, Tom Paine? Gee, I wonder what they have in common. Oh, I remember, they are all left-wing Bush-haters. Besides, if we did have censorship, Camille obviously wouldn’t be writing this kind of stuff, would she? Give me a break!



Honestly, as far to the left as I lean on social issues, I’m having a hard time with Michael Graham’s Oct. 12 column (“Stop Miers Now,” Usual Suspects, Views).

First of all, I think it’s important for everyone to remember there are very few who are talking, at least on the record, about Ms. Miers or her purported opinions. She is virtually unknown politically, which, apparently frightens pundits like Graham.

Secondly, it’s important to remind the writer that, without facts, the mind fills in the gaps with speculation and worst-case scenarios — which in this case led to mindless blather and run-on sentences littered with gossip, name-calling, and bad clichés.

How are readers supposed to take you seriously if you don’t report the facts fairly in a dignified manner? You know, like the rest of us, nothing about Harriet Miers. The case you attempt to make against her appears as hapless, slanted, and unqualified as you claim she is for the job for which she is nominated.

Relax, Michael, take a deep breath … you sound, well, almost hysterical about this one. Did you grow a uterus when we weren’t looking?



It is hard to believe that with all the budget shortfalls and over-taxation of personal property and real estate that South Carolina still only has a 7-cent a pack cigarette tax. Why do we continue to tax citizens out of their homes while having the worst schools and roads in the country and do not look at the scourge that saps millions of dollars in health care and trash clean-up out of our budget?

Our young people continue to start smoking earlier, but we take money from the smoking prevention budget to cover other necessities because we don’t have enough money. State representatives, wake up and do something for your constituents instead of kowtowing to tobacco companies who don’t care if everyone dies.

Proposals have ranged from raising the per-pack tax anywhere from 25 cents to 93 cents. An Emory University study found that if South Carolina raised its tax by 70 cents, tax collections would increase from $30 million to $230 million a year.

$200 million dollars can relieve some of what smoking sucks from our state budget, pave some roads, and hire more teachers or refurbish classrooms. Only the users who contribute to these costs will bear the burden, not the 80 percent of citizens who don’t smoke.

Put the people of South Carolina first and raise the cigarette tax now!



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