Up in smoke

I have to admit I was appalled when I read several weeks ago that smoking had been outlawed for several blocks around MUSC.

The power to outlaw smoking on the street seems quite far-reaching to me and the idea that smoking can be outlawed within someoneís own parked car is egregious abuse.

And then I read that in a spasm of ďme tooismĒ the College of Charleston is considering a similar ban on its campus.

As a rationale for this ordinance the president of the student body remarks that there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. I wonder if she has noticed the cars regularly passing through the campus.

Being confined in a closed space with a car engine running will result in death literally within minutes, yet we somehow manage to walk the streets in proximity to cars without dropping in our tracks.

The idea that oneís health will be affected by passing someone on the street who is smoking is just absurd.

The reason for the ban is that ďthose in chargeĒ do not like people smoking and do not want to see it.

I suppose Iím just jealous that I canít outlaw the things I donít like to see, but then again I thought this was the land of the free.

Instead, it seems to be the land of officious bureaucrats and dictators in training.

Patricia Gander

Blakeway Street

Daniel Island

High-speed risks

On Nov. 10, 2008, I was severely injured in a car accident resulting from a high-speed chase. I was just an innocent bystander minding my own business.

I have always heard that itís hard to outrun a radio.

Why put peopleís lives at risk?

Itís not worth it.

Iím lucky to still be here. And I have an idea. Instead of having the high-speed chase go on for miles, radio ahead and have a roadblock waiting on the suspect.

Surely there are alternatives to high-speed chases.

Charles W. Lam IV

Honeysuckle Lane

Summerville

Misconceptions

The Jan. 15 article on hysterectomy rates contains some inaccuracies and misconceptions which need to be addressed.

The term hysterectomy refers to removal of the uterus with or without the cervix.

In the paragraph about side effects of the surgery, it states that the ovaries are removed in most patients at the time of hysterectomy. This is absolutely not true.

With the removal of ovaries, there is an increase in long-term mortality. This has nothing to do with hysterectomy, but is secondary to ovarian removal.

It states that side-effects of hysterectomy include early onset menopause, bladder and bowel problems, and loss of sex drive.

This does not occur if the ovaries are left in place and, in fact, many women find that their sexual life is improved as they are no longer concerned about pain, abnormal bleeding, or pregnancy.

With respect to alternatives, medications which are used to shrink uterine fibroids do so by putting the woman through an artificial menopause.

The side-effects of this can be significant, and once the medication is discontinued the fibroids generally grow back to their prior size.

Endometrial ablation does work as an alternative for some women; however, it does not necessarily eliminate bleeding.

I agree that a woman should be given information in conjunction with a discussion with her physician, so she can make the decision that best suits her needs.

Certainly in Charleston, we have the availability of all methods of minimally invasive surgeries for hysterectomy and many physicians who are competent in performing these procedures.

Victor Weinstein, M.D.

Chairman

Department of Obstetrics

and Gynecology

Bon Secours

St. Francis Hospital

Glenn McConnell Parkway

Charleston

Also deadly

Discussions about assault rifles, automatic handguns, 60-round clips, etc., abound.

I am equally concerned about the appalling number of deaths and injuries involving run-of-the-mill six-shooters.

H.J. Beaujon, Ph.D.

Cessna Avenue

Charleston

Cruise hazard

The Post Courier does an admirable job of exposing all kinds of mismanagement, corruption and just plain stupidity in our governments and society in general.

May I suggest another target for your investigative reporters?

The cruise ships that dock at our port are accused of causing unhealthy pollution. The S. C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has the capacity to measure the effluent from the shipís stacks.

If it is harmful, then the cruise line must correct it. If it does not, then it should be penalized.

The is the same process the Francis Marion Hotel would be subject to if it spewed harmful gases in our city.

Treat them the same way, ending at least a part of this perpetual debate.

Frank Leister

Archdale Street

Charleston

A losing fight

The FBI recently released data on arrests in 2011.

That data show that marijuana arrests exceeded arrests for violent crime by more than 100,000.

No, Iím not high. The data show 535,000 arrests for violent crime versus 664,000 arrests for marijuana possession.

As many have noted, this is clearly an unbelievable waste of scarce law-enforcement resources. In fact, a total of $10 billion has been spent on marijuana arrests.

Does this make sense?

As MSNBCís Melissa Harris-Perry put it, ďEnding the drug war would be the best gun control measure we can enact.Ē

Jonathan E. Walker Ph.D.

Coral Reef Drive

Johns Island

Executive excess

If President Obama wants to propose gun control, thatís his prerogative as president. Then the legislation goes through the process and itís voted on up or down.

If the president tries to control weapons through executive order, then he has crossed a dangerous line.

A proposed gun control law will undoubtedly be tested in court, probably to the Supreme Court, as a violation of the Second Amendment.

I have no idea how the court would rule on that legislation, but the important thing is that the law goes through the full process.

Possible subversion of the Second Amendment by executive order and bypassing the legislative process to mandate gun control is illegal and not just an assault on weapons, itís an assault on the Constitution.

Itís dangerous when any president tries to run the country by personal fiat.

Isnít that akin to a dictatorship?

Stew Williams

Chisolm Road

Johns Island

Take the heat

Well, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has tap-danced her way through testimony before Congress with reference to her role and actions taken related to the disastrous attack on our embassy in Benghazi, Libya.

She admitted repeatedly that she was responsible, something she had said even before the hearings.

So, when she decides to run for higher office or is to be considered for another political position in years to come, may we expect to hear, as she boasts of this accomplishment and that achievement, that she was responsible for the deaths of four brave Americans at that embassy on 9/11/2012?

CARL E. SMITH

Sea Lavender Lane

Summerville

The right men

I was betrayed by my president, Lyndon B. Johnson, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and Gen. William Westmoreland.

Chuck Hagel and John Kerry were in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968, the same time I was.

Hagel was an infantry sargent. Kerry was a naval swift boat commander. I was a special ops lieutenant commander.

We know war.

Having Defense Secretary Hagel and Secretary of State Kerry watching Americaís back has tremendous merit.

I feel safer.

Vaughan Davidson

Legare Street

Charleston