News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 9, 2014

Readers' Forum: April 10, 2014

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Appreciation for writer’s views

This brief message is intended to shine a light of appreciation on Ms. Shirley Thomas. Recently, Ms. Thomas’ views were under siege from a Mr. Thiel, in a very personal and demeaning manner. I have read several opinions submitted by Mr. Thiel, and I have found his positions about politics and life to be ignorant of facts and unenlightened by experience.

I do not judge Ms. Thomas or Mr. Thiel (or other contributors) by the measure of agreement. I like to be challenged to weigh differing points-of-view and to reach a temporary level of opinion, until a more progressive offering comes along.

Some have an opinion carved in stone, and seem proud to never open their mind to other possibilities. Mr. Thiel has never learned that opinion can’t change fact, but that fact can change opinion. In order to be challenged, in order to have one’s opinions or beliefs reinforced or in order to change one’s position, a person must be open to factual information and the well-developed opinions of others.

Thank you, Ms. Thomas, for always being open-minded. I have no idea if I have ever agreed or disagreed with you, but I do appreciate your informed contributions. As for Mr. Thiel, sometimes respect for others disappears in the overheated brainpan of the curmudgeon. As my old friend President Wilson might have observed, the shedding of heat often replaces the shining of light.

Labeling others is simply “Viagra to the small mind.” So Ms. Thomas, as we learned in the ’60s, just “keep-on, keepin’-on.”

— James Camp

Terre Haute

Amazed by policy on birth control

I find it amazing how inept governmental policies change over a period of time.

In 1916, Margaret Sanger, a nurse, started a birth-control clinic and issued literature and gave talks on pregnancy prevention. This was in violation of the 1873 Comstock Act, which forbid the distribution of birth control devices and information. Sanger spent time in jail and had to leave the country to avoid prosecution. (Just so you know, women did not have the right to vote.)

In 1938, a judge voided the Comstock Act and, bingo, here we are today, where Obama is taking money from us to purchase birth-control pills to protect women from “oops.” Since I am in no way responsible for “oops,” I see no reason why I should pay for exposure avoidance. They should pay for their own pills, or maybe rather than us purchasing the pills month after month until age 50, how about the so-called “Band-Aid” surgery? It’s cheaper, safer, surer, no counting days, no abortions, no billions of dollars in “oops” care. Win, win?

— Sam Wallace

Casey, Ill.