Should Gamecock’s Rattler have smoked a cigar in win over Clemson? A reader gives thoughts

Jacob Kupferman/AP

No smoking, Cocks

An avid Gamecock fan since 1969 and 1985 University of South Carolina School of Law grad, the glow of Saturday’s win over Clemson was somewhat dimmed as I watched our hugely admired quarterback pose with a cigar and then smoke it. South Carolina’s leading cause of preventable death, as any hooked student can attest, inhaled nicotine is highly addictive. A role model for tens of thousands of youth and young adults, it was disturbing watching our season’s star athlete effectively teach them that a proper celebration includes inhaling more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds of tissue damaging toxins and up to 70 carcinogens. It’s not. Enough said. Go Cocks!

John R. Polito, Goose Creek

Railroad workers

I am a railroad Signal Worker for CSX railroad and am a proud union member of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS). I am one of over 6,000 men and women who build, maintain and inspect the major Class I freight railroads’ signal systems that ensure the safe movement of trains and protect the public at highway-rail grade crossings. The work is critical to the United States’ supply chain. We are currently involved in negotiations with CSX. As a rail worker, I am covered under a National Vacation Agreement put into effect in 1941. As most readers are aware, we do not have any paid sick days; we are required to use one of the few vacation days we have to address health, family, or personal issues that inevitably arise in our lives. We have been making a reasonable request for CSX to recognize our essential work and provide a small amount of paid sick leave for us to take care of our families during times of sickness or distress. It has been four decades without an improvement, and the railroads need to come into the 21st century.

Douglas Larson, Signalman CSX Railroad, Lexington

Yesterday’s news

I’ve been a subscriber to The State since 1982, and while I understand “shock” journalism catches the eye, I don’t think the news editors know their readers since an archived photo of a dead bear was posted on its front page on Thanksgiving Day. Does the opinion page editor think he’ll get support of his opinions if he includes personal attacks by calling members of the legislature “clowns?” Then he doesn’t know his readers either. I, along with the current 16,000+ readers of the print edition, have experienced changes in the newspaper industry, resulting in The State printing fewer pages and editions, as well significantly reducing staff. Since most of the printed pages do not include current news of the day, one of my close friends has coined a phrase about the current condition of The State’s news: “The State Newspaper: Bringing Yesterday’s News to You Tomorrow.” So, I offer a suggestion; it may be time for the State’s owners and staff to recognize that The State’s true mission may be to become a real local community newspaper, publishing a few times weekly, without the need for opinion pages, shock journalism, or current news.

Jerry Whitley, Columbia

Realtor corruption

Corruption in S.C. real estate transactions can be simply “the price of doing business” for realtors because the SC Real Estate Commission is essentially a “self-regulation organization. “

In other words, violations of real estate rules can be interpreted merely as “traffic citations” where violators pay a minor penalty fee rather than waste the Commission’s efforts and man-hours in a genuine investigation of wrong-doing.

This is typical of a number of professions and their legal representatives who are insulated from oversight and accountability by the procedures offered by the professional associations that represent them. The U.S. Court System is happy to offload these pestering cases that clog the system.

So, calling out a fraudulent transaction in an S.C. real estate sales procedure by a buyer or seller is unlikely to result in true oversight or accountability for the violator involved. This bestows confidence on S.C. realtors to risk violating the system for their own advantage, with minimal risk, and deprives the consumer of any recourse for an alleged wrongdoing they experienced.

Is this an example of why many Americans have little faith in American institutions?

Kate McClintic, Beaufort, SC

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