News From Terre Haute, Indiana

June 2, 2013

READERS' FORUM: June 2, 2013

The Tribune-Star

---- — New energy regs will hurt business

As many may know by now, the Environmental Protection Agency is attempting to implement another round of painful energy regulations. As a business owner, energy is already a significant part of our operating costs as it is. Due to the new EPA standards, which will not allow for new coal facilities or coal facility upgrades, those costs will become an even larger share of our budget.

In Indiana, our energy is largely produced from coal. Around 89 percent of electricity in Indiana is produced from coal. Additionally, the coal industry provides electric power to approximately 2.4 million homes and 129,000 businesses in Indiana. There is no denying it, Hoosier energy rates and our economy are directly correlated to coal and the limitations put on the industry.

The EPA’s new effort to regulate energy production will do nothing short of cost Hoosier jobs and any momentum our economy has. The additional costs saddled upon businesses in Indiana would strip operating budgets of money that could be used for additional hires. This is not to mention the job loss in coal-related work.

The Indiana economy cannot afford these regulations now. That is why I intend to raise awareness about these actions and have already submitted a letter to Gov. Mike Pence on the issue. I hope you will join me in this fight for Indiana’s jobs and economy.

— Jon Ford, president

All State Manufacturing

Terre Haute

Poor treatment of Deming residents

I agree with Margaret Jaeger and Carolyn Wilson about moving the seniors from Deming Center to 25th street. Has anyone asked the seniors living at Deming how they feel about this move?

This sounds like another move that ISU wants the city of Terre Haute to accomplish. I am a senior and I would resent being treated like this.

— Barbara Stoffer

Terre Haute

Responses prove writer’s point

In his letter dated April 7, 2013, Arthur Feinsod states that the anti-Islam commentary in this newspaper could lead to statements advocating violence against Muslims, thereby harming interfaith dialogue and the community. Subsequent letters on this topic have proven Feinsod to be 100 percent correct.

Take Saul Rosenthal’s letter dated April 21. Rosenthal has always fancied himself to be the smartest guy in town (see June 24, 2012 “in my not-so-humble opinion …”), writing lengthy letters on any topic no matter how trivial.  

Now Rosenthal argues that the anti-Islam letters should be allowed because writers “have a right to free speech about how they feel about Islam, even if many disagree.” But Feinsod never made any argument for government censorship that would violate the right of free speech — he argued only for responsible speech that would support interfaith dialogue and a better community. The “right” of free speech is irrelevant.

Some readers may believe that this is an innocent mistake by Rosenthal. But Rosenthal has previously written about the distinction between free speech rights and responsible speech. In October of 2010, Rosenthal wrote a scathing critique of NBC News for airing an interview with the despicable President of Iran.

Rosenthal wrote, with great sarcasm, “Let us thank our lucky stars and stripes for such a fearless affirmation of our freedom by serving as a megaphone for the minority, the pariahs, the outcasts, no matter how unpopular, freakish or criminal.” So Rosenthal does understand the difference between free speech rights and responsible speech. But his past writings indicate that Rosenthal advocates for responsible speech in the case of Jews and Israel, but defends those who write hate speech against Muslims.  

Rosenthal claims that he only wants to “awaken and galvanize a largely complacent world” about the dangers of Al-Qaeda. What?! Rosenthal must have been living in a Taliban cave during the two wars waged during the decade after9⁄11, culminating in the righteous death of Osama bin Laden. And what does female genital mutilation have to do with Al-Qaeda? It seems more like a device used to elicit emotion against Islam and Muslims at large, and it is not the first time Rosenthal has (mis)used this device.

In November of 2009, Rosenthal wrote a letter noting the horrible practice of female genital mutilation in Africa and cited a WHO report to associate the practice with Islam. But in its 2009 report, WHO stated the practice was found in these countries among, “Muslims, Christians (Catholics, Protestants and Copts), and Animists, as well as non-believers.” If anyone is spreading half-truths, it’s Rosenthal.

After9⁄11 and other acts of terrorism by extremist Muslims (including the tragic events in Boston last month and London last week), everyone already knows about the danger of Muslim extremists. And since 100 percent of readers already know this, by definition Rosenthal cannot educate readers on this point, and it’s difficult to believe that is his true motivation. On the contrary, Rosenthal’s own past writings suggest that he has a strong prejudice against Islam and Muslims at large, and that he is willing to torture the First Amendment, assert a double standard on responsible speech, and spread half-truths in order to assert this prejudice.

Leaving aside the apparent integrity points, Rosenthal is so caught up in his mission that he is missing the larger picture. Rosenthal calls Abhyankar “brave,” even as Abhyankar latest missive is that the solution to Ron Mott’s problem is the eradication of Islam — not radical Islam, but Islam (April 28).

Rosenthal should ask himself what Abhyankar has in mind for Jews once Muslims are eradicated. The other Hindu writer who has supported Abhyankar’s anti-Islam rant is Dr. Anil Sarkar, who may have given us a hint when he previously wrote in this paper that Jews worship a “powerless” god who did not save them from Hitler.

Perhaps Rosenthal is not as smart as he thinks he is.

— Tina Christian

Libertyville, Ill.

Beware speed trap in Staunton

If it happened to me, it can happen to you.

On May 20, I was traveling through Staunton on my way home to Brazil with my 2 1⁄12-year-old son. We drive through Staunton instead of traveling U.S. 40 because Staunton is pretty — ponds, trees, corn fields, etc. Right before we approached the four-way stop sign in Staunton, I noticed a police car sitting on the opposite side of the road facing us.

I proceeded to stop at the sign completely and then traveled for about 100 feet and looked in my rear-view mirror and noticed the police car’s flashing lights come on and the car turn around. My first thought was, “He’s pulling me over, why?” So I pulled over, pulled out my driver’s license, proof of insurance and registration cards. As I opened my door, the officer asked if I knew what the speed limit was. “Yes — it is 30,” and then he proceeds to tell me that I was going 41.

Wait, I was going 41 miles an hour, just 100 feet away from having been at a complete stop? No, I wasn’t going 41 mph. Also, why would I be driving that fast right before I come to a very dangerous turn that requires no speed greater than about 15 miles per hour? How dangerous that would be — and did I mention that I was driving with my 2-year-old son with me?

Why would I be speeding when I knew the officer was sitting there waiting for speeders? I was not speeding! I know I wasn’t. And then he asks me if I was heading to Terre Haute. “No. I live right around the corner.” I was just blocks from my home when I got pulled over. Why did he ask if I was heading to Terre Haute? Did he think I was from out of town? I do have a Rose-Hulman license plate. Besides, I was heading in the opposite direction from Terre Haute.

Meanwhile, three mosquitoes have now joined us in the car and are taunting my son. He is upset and wanting to know why we cannot go home. Several minutes later, the officer rejoins us to say, “Oh, you have some precious cargo. Is that your grandchild you have there?”

“No. He’s my son.” So, not only have I gotten pulled over falsely for speeding, I’m being insulted. He then goes on to explain the process with a ticket. I can sign the ticket and only pay $50, which goes to the town of Staunton, or I can contest it and go to court where I will have to pay a fine of $170 and it would be points against my license — which would be my time and more money.

I have a full-time job. I cannot take time off to appear in court, nor do I have that much money for a ticket. Although I was not speeding, I will pay the $50 — which is money that would have been spent on my son — but now will go to the lovely town of Staunton, to be spent on what? To the decrepit town park that has foul language/graffiti plastered on the slides and only has one working swing? Or perhaps to actually clean the garbage off of the streets?

Is the town of Staunton so bad off that they are setting up speed traps to wrongfully accuse those they think are “out of towners” of speeding? If this is the case, I hope you realize that people are not going to want to come to Staunton. Am I the only person that this has happened to? I will not be traveling through Staunton anymore. Lesson learned. Be forewarned, there is a speed trap in Staunton, and although the money is being used for the town — so I’ve been told — the means of getting it is highly suspect.

I’m not perfect, I’ve made mistakes in my life, but I know when I’ve been wronged, and I was wrongfully accused of speeding. This letter is the only recourse I have to share my experience with others so that it doesn’t happen to them.

— Merry Miller Moon


Beware pitfalls of winning millions

Winning $590 million can be a blessing or an abomination. I will address the latter issue. There are elements in American society which could pose a perilous prospect to this winner.

Mexican drug cartels are now growing, without refrain, marijuana in our national forests. These ruthless elements are responsible for trafficking through their sophisticated distribution networks and supply chains a myriad of illegal drugs into key American cities such as Atlanta and Chicago.

They have branched out into extortion of individuals and businesses throughout the American southwest. And for those who don’t pay, these crews make the old Italian Mafia look like choir boys. These cartels’ activities have blossomed into human trafficking and are now using children as hit men. In this ever-expanding template of criminal activity, these cartel gangs are now in the kidnapping business, especially throughout the Phoenix area.

Florida could be their target.

In this context, to the Powerball lottery winner whether an Indiana or Florida winner, you should keep this problematic potential of your kidnapping in mind, and do whatever is necessary to keep your identity top secret, notwithstanding any state lottery rule which mandates such a lottery winner’s identity must be made public.

— Earl Beal

Terre Haute

Democrat attacks merit more action

The Democratic attack on conservatives started in January 2009, with the bailout of GM. At that time, if you had a GM dealership and happened to be a Republican donor, chances are, your dealership was closed. This was proven and because the Democrats had control of the House, no actions were taken. This set the tone for Republican discrimination.

In 2009 and 2011, Gibson Guitar was raided by the IRS for supposedly using “endangered” banned wood in violation of U.S. and foreign laws. The IRS  came to the manufacturing plants in Nashville and Memphis in full riot gear, herded employees into the parking lot, took wood inventory and hard drives.

The CEO has paid over $1.5 million in legal fees and no charges have been filed yet. The CEO is a Republican supporter and donor. Martin Guitar used similar wood but was not raided. Martin’s CEO is a Democrat supporter and donor. ’Nuff said?

Now, it is learned that the IRS has discriminated against the tea party and others. Wanna bet there is a lot more to be uncovered? More pleading the Fifth?

This is government out of control, totally. Many people need to go to jail.

— Fred Roberts

Terre Haute