News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 24, 2014

Readers' Forum: May 25, 2014


---- — Special event for educators

Wednesday evening, May 7, was certainly a special one for members of the Vigo County School Corp. community. The Vigo County Education Foundation, along with title sponsors NBC-2, Kelly Educational Staffing, Terre Haute Savings Bank, Union Hospital Health Group and Indiana American Water Co. hosted the 28th annual “Excellence in Education” banquet at Providence Hall on the beautiful Saint Mary-of-the-Woods campus.

The purpose of the event was to recognize and thank 33 of the best educators in the Vigo County School Corp. for the excellent work they do. Attendees at the banquet included the award winners, their principals, their families and teachers from their school families and numbered more than 510 people.

The Board of Directors of the Vigo County Education Foundation would like to thank those title sponsors, as well as table sponsors, ISU’s Bayh College of Education, Rose-Hulman Homework Hotline, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Spence Banks, Sycamore Insurance Associates and Tribune-Star Publishing.

Thanks include Sydney Benter of WTWO, who served as the evening’s emcee and Lifetouch National School Studios for photography.

A community that provides such outstanding recognition to its educators is one to be applauded. Thank you for your continuing support.

— Linda Brighton

and Derri Llewellyn

Board Members

and Banquet Chairs

— Jenny Thomas

Executive director

Vigo County

Education Foundation

It’s time to start caring for people

Here we go again with gasoline prices going up, up and up. I was led to believe from news articles and press releases that after the switch from winter to summer formulas that the prices were suppose to go back down.

When are these politicos going to get out of bed with big oil and big corporations and start helping someone besides themselves? Probably never. What we as voters need to do is vote these multi-millionaires out of office and get some people in office that will do their jobs of taking care of the people they represent.

All voters, let’s do our jobs and get this done before we lose all our rights and our voices.

— Terry Higgins

Terre Haute

Are these rape surveys based on junk statistics?

Recently this newspaper published an editorial claiming a “pandemic of rape” is afflicting our college campuses. A pandemic? Really?

The hyperbolic editorial was no doubt prompted by a recent report from the Obama administration claiming that nearly 20 percent of female undergraduates are sexually assaulted during their college years.

To put that number in perspective: data from 2012 indicate that Detroit’s combined rate for the four violent felonies that make up the FBI’s violent-crime index — murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault — was 2 percent. The rape rate was 0.05 percent.

So despite an alleged campus sexual-assault rate that is 400 times greater than Detroit’s, female applicants are flocking to colleges in record numbers with the approval of their parents and feminists. Curious, no?

This sort of alarmist reporting is indicative of a newspaper that parrots data rather than analyzing it. It’s shoddy journalism and readers deserve better.

Psychologist Steven Pinker notes, “Junk statistics from advocacy groups are slung around and become common knowledge, such as the incredible factoid that one in four university students has been raped. The claim was based on a commodious definition of rape that the alleged victims themselves never accepted; it included, for example, any incident in which a woman consented to sex after having had too much to drink and regretted it afterward.”

A National Crime Victimization Survey reveals that 0.5 percent of women and 0.06 percent of men, age 12 or older, were raped in 1995. By 2010, these numbers had plummeted to 0.2 percent of women and 0.01 percent of men.

Yet this newspaper would have you believe rape is “rampant” on numerous college campuses. But exposing shoddy journalism is not my primary focus today.

Much is made of the claim that many campus rapes go unreported. The Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald thinks she knows why, “The main reason ‘survivors’ don’t demand to bring their cases to criminal court is that they know that what they have experienced is something far more complex and compromised than criminal sexual assault, almost invariably involving mixed signals, ambiguity, and a large degree of voluntary behavior on their part.

“Girls often drink themselves blotto both before and during parties precisely to lower their sexual inhibitions. The authors of campus-rape surveys discovered early on that when the students whom the pollsters deem rape victims are asked if (they) think they have been raped, the ‘victims’ overwhelmingly respond in the negative. In the 1986 Ms. magazine survey that sparked the campus-rape industry, 73 percent of respondents whom the study characterized as rape victims said that they hadn’t been raped when asked the question directly. Forty-two percent of these supposed victims had intercourse again with their alleged assailants.

“The alleged campus-rape epidemic could be stopped overnight if women’s advocates sent a simple message to girls: Don’t get drunk and get into bed with a guy whom you barely know. Keep your clothes on and go home to your own bed at night. And most controversially: Demand that any boy court you long enough to reveal his character and his respect for yours before you even think about having sex with him. The feminist advocates are more interested in preserving the principle of male fault, however, than in protecting females from regretted sex. And so rather than sending an unequivocal message of personal empowerment and responsibility, they put the entire onus of sexual responsibility on males, treating females as the invariably helpless victims of the male libido.”

Sadly, such sage advice is anathema for today’s feminists who think women should be as sexually aggressive as men. The term “slut” is viewed as a compliment by many of today’s young women; connoting a woman with a strong sex drive.

A Muslim acquaintance remarked to me over coffee that young American women are “graceless”; declaring their Doberman-like aggression, public drunkenness, and vulgar speech “an affront to nature.”

Apt observation that. And an outcome that countless generations of lusty males could hitherto only dream of.

— Reggie McConnell

Terre Haute

The downside of amnesty

In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior:

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist until the time that the voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over the loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

“The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

“From bondage to spiritual faith;

“From spiritual faith to courage;

“From courage to liberty;

“From liberty to abundance;

“From abundance to complacency;

“From complacency to apathy;

“From apathy to dependence;

“From dependence back into bondage.”

Our United States’ democracy will soon celebrate its 238th birthday this July 4. It would appear that we are living on borrowed time, as well as borrowed money, as our national debt has now surpassed the $17 trillion mark.

Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minn., believes that the United States is now somewhere between the “complacency and apathy” phases of Professor Tyler’s definition of democracy. He claims that some 40 percent of the nation’s population has already reached the “governmental dependency” phase.

In conclusion, if Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to approximately 20 million illegal aliens and they vote, we can bid farewell to the American dream in fewer than five years.

— William Hanna

Terre Haute

More attacks from the Republicans

Many Democrats cannot understand columnist Byron York, or Republicans in general, for that matter. Neither can I. Why the obsession with beating dead political horses? From their many, many legislative attempts to de-fund the Affordable Care Act to their refusal to release the alleged Benghazi-gate accusations from their pit-bull-like obsessive attacks they are looking more like a lynch-mob of political losers than a political party with all of the answers to America’s problems.

Recently readers were once again subjected to their fetish-like preoccupation with the “crucify Hillary Clinton” neurosis that has possessed Capitol Hill since the Republicans realized that even their best candidates are likely to pale in comparison to Hillary’s political attraction as our first female likely to be elected President of the United States.

What is the purpose of half-page-long pity-party editorials by dweebs like poor Byron with an almost-psychotic preoccupation to try to make a bunch of political bullies on Capitol Hill look abused and victimized? Could they all be sexist?

After almost six years of watching Barack Obama trying to clean up their last mess, what kind of a fool could believe them?

I guess that would be the maniac fans of Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Faux News with bats in their belfrys and fire in their bellies, or perhaps somewhat lower, huh?

— John Garner

Terre Haute

Inept performance by administration

I am writing this letter in support of William Thiel’s letter published in the May 18 edition of the Tribune-Star. However, Mr. Thiel only scratched the surface when it comes to the inept and incompetent president and his administration.

Nobody is held responsible in this administration. For example, Kathleen Sebelius for the blotched roll out of the Obamacare website. In the private sector she would have been fired. Lois Lerner for her coverup in the IRS scandal, she was placed on paid administrative leave and then allowed to retire. She should have been fired. Eric Holder for his cover-up of Fast & Furious, among other things. He should have been fired. Susan Rice and other members of the administration for pushing the false narrative on Benghazi to enhance the president’s re-election bid. They should have been fired. Eric Shinseki, head of the VA, should have been fired. Instead they made Dr. Robert Petzel resign. He was going to retire anyway this year.

The list goes on and on. Nobody is held responsible. They are either promoted or moved to another position within the administration.

I find the current VA scandal most disturbing. For the past four-five years I have heard Retired Gen. Eric Shinseki speak at the VFW National Convention, telling us about the great strides the VA is making processing the backlog of claims, etc. Then we find out that many veterans are dying while waiting for appointments at VA Hospitals, of secret waiting lists and manipulation of records so employees of the VA can get their bonuses millions of taxpayers’ monies.

Mr. Shinseki should be forced to resign. It will be interesting to see what kind of reception he receives when and if he has the nerve to show up at our next convention in July.

— Richard Hoffman