Three veterans over the age of 50 had a chance meeting at a convenience store near Jamestown last Wednesday. All three had not previously met each other before, but they had one thing in common. They were all unemployed. This is not to say they were failures. To the contrary, two were retired from 30 past years of work, and one was a combat wounded veteran.
The oldest veteran at 62, remarked that he struggled to get to Social Security age, and now things were not as financially tight as previous times. The youngest veteran at age 50 was having a very hard time, as meaningful employment for him seemed a thing of the past.
The third veteran had retired from 34 years of military and civilian government employment two months prior to the chance meeting. Why is there no place in the modern workforce for the three of them? What kind of society wants nothing from this 52-year-old veteran?
Therein lies the deep-rooted problems of a sick economic and social culture. People have become disposable, and that is a nations' peril. It has been said that the best form of welfare for a soldier is first-class training. I say, the best form of welfare for a society is first-class employment.
I do not look to the two major political parties in this country for an economic or cultural fix. People must begin to think outside the box, and realize that the only hope for us all is the third party or independent political candidate. It is close to becoming too late for us to simply change one major party for the other every two, four or six years.
Most people today are bought off by social programs by one political party, and tax reductions by the other. Capitalism requires a strong growing economy to be a success.
The politicians of the recent past have over- reached with their giveaways and left no capital in our capitalist system, now what?
Three veterans that met by chance have much more to offer this society, than are being afforded to them by this “locked them out” greedy culture. Think long and hard about who you are going to vote for and why.
No fishing zones
I recently attended a South Atlantic Fishing Council meeting in Charleston which was scheduled to discuss the placement and size of areas in our ocean that no one would be allowed to fish. The fish targeted in these areas were the Warsaw Grouper and another insignificant fish. Staff were present and elaborate charts and graphs supporting this drastic effort to take away more of the fisherman’s rights were shown.
Here is my point. Because of laws now in place that are not supported by any scientific evidence, the commercial and recreational fishing industry is totally bankrupt. Marinas are barely hanging on, head boats that take tourists out to catch sea bass and bring tons of revenue to our coastal communities are gone and no longer here, thousands of related jobs no longer exist, the consumer costs to purchase fish have skyrocketed where grouper is almost $20 per pound, and “Nero Fiddles While Rome Is
To make matters worse, while there is an almost complete ban on sea bass and other species, this council has allowed some fish to go completely unprotected to the fishermen who will still attempt to catch what they legally can. For instance, we can now harvest up to 60 dolphin per boat, hundreds of trigger fish, and spade fish are a near shore fish that everyone is slaughtering. This council has ignored these problems and continues to justify their position by discussing a couple of offshore fish that are not even targeted by fishermen and considered only a by-catch. What are we thinking?
Remember, an average person eats only about a half pound of fish per meal. The government made these stupid laws and still has the ability to amend and modify them to suit our present situation. The entire boating and fishing industry is almost bankrupt and the public continues to accept our government officials as doing the right thing. Take a moment and visit the Head Boat Fleet in Little River, Murrells Inlet and Charleston. They are no longer there. Check out our marinas and you will note they are half empty.
South Atlantic Council must focus on what’s happening to our industry and proceed accordingly. Catch shares, marine protected areas, banning certain species may eventually be needed but focus on our present problems first. There is no shortage of black sea bass anywhere and there is no scientific evidence to support this. Our public has got to become involved and outraged to what this Council is doing to all our coastal communities. I urge the public to get interested and act before it’s too late.
Captain Eric Heiden
Senior Pro Staff
Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle
Charter Boat USCG Captain
The dog that ran the dunes
Hi, I am Sam, a black toy poodle from Columbia, South Carolina. Many of you now know me as “The dog that ran the dunes.”
I am writing to thank the compassionate humans who aided me on my journey one unforgettable day; the day I almost lost my humans.
On Saturday, May 12, my owners left me in a fenced area under the house as they walked the beach and headed out for breakfast. Even though I had the company of my sister and little brother, I missed my human family. They were walking and needed my protection and guidance; plus, they know I never like to miss out on an adventure! I had to catch up to them. And thus my journey began.
I climbed over some logs, jumped the fence, and headed to the beach. Sniffing my way along the sandy trail, I headed south, running along the dunes and greeting beachgoers. Tracking my family from North Litchfield, I made my way to Litchfield by the Sea. Even though children tried to play with me and adults tried to befriend me, I was on a mission, and time was ticking fast. There would be time to play after my family was found.
When a security guard tried to detain me, I knew I had to escape to find and save my humans. Fleeing the beach crowds, I continued my tracking. Even though I have been trained to never go into a street or road, I braved the traffic as I fearlessly crossed Hwy. 17 and picked up a scent at “Eggs Up”. My humans would be OK with it this time, after all, I was doing it to save their lives!
Although I was certain they had been at “Eggs Up”, to my disappointment, my humans had been gone for hours. Although the outcome seemed bleak, I was determined I would find them. Somewhere inside of me a spark of adrenaline and determination spurred my journey on. So, once again I started tracking and heading south.
Finally, at 5:30 in the afternoon as I was walking along a wooded area in Mingo, I heard my family. Boy, were they happy to see me! After six long, grueling hours, my courageous journey finally came to an end. I felt my muscles relax, and my mind ease with the comfort of knowing my family had been found.
I am all up for adventures, but don’t worry, I have told my family that next time we will be sure and take them together.
My human family and I would like to thank all of the wonderful people who helped us throughout the day. Neither words nor barks can express the gratitude of my family and me for the many kind words, expressions of concern, and gestures that reunited us at the end of our adventure.
Hugs and licks
Sam and his humans William and Elizabeth Johnson live in Moncks Corner. Beth Frierson, their aunt, is visiting from St. Petersburg, Florida. She helped Sam tell his story.
It appears that I owe Agnes Edwards, President of The League Of Women Voters of Georgetown County an apology.
My previous letter concerning the LWV’s support for striking down the Voter Photo ID law seemed to contain an error. Although I was correct that the LWV fully supports the effort to strike down a law that would require an American citizen to show a photo ID as proof of their right to vote, which, by the way, was the entire subject of my letter, Agnes says that she couldn’t comment on that because of the League’s involvement in the lawsuit against our state to have the law struck down. Well I declare, isn’t that interesting?
She was more concerned about two other mentions that I made. One was actually a typo on my part which added a (?) to a sentence. My bad. I meant to check that out and forgot and the Editor thought I meant for it to be there. The other thing that I was taken to task for was referring to the League of Women Voters as “ladies”. I don’t know what I was thinking!
Actually I do know what I was thinking. My mother raised me to be polite at every opportunity. I would have referred to Agnes as Ms. Edwards, but if “ lady” made her mad I was afraid to go there at all … and I apologize.
Agnes went on to let us all know that the LWV is all about registering young people to vote and also keeping an eye on the integrity of the voting machines. Well those are great and noble causes, but Agnes, all of the young people already have photo IDs and what good is a voting machine if the operator is not a legal voter or has already voted at another poll?
If the LWV is interested in protecting our most sacred right to vote, they would be out there making sure that everyone who needed a photo ID has one.
Come on girls, get with the program!
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