News From Terre Haute, Indiana


October 21, 2013

READERS' FORUM: Oct. 21, 2013

Don’t back down to the extremists

A Sunday editorial cartoon in the Trib-Star pointed out that the recent situation in Washington was a game of “chicken.” It ends in disaster for all unless one “chickens out.” Thus, the most insane driver “wins.” Our inclination is to blame both, but that’s not quite correct. No responsible leader in either the White House or Congress can let the tea party win.  

It’s almost Halloween, and so I’ve written a horror story to explain.

Suppose that in the future, we have a Tory president, narrow Tory control of the Senate, and a modest but secure Whig majority in the House. Most of the Whig legislators are in secure, gerrymandered districts. An activist Muslim population in these districts, secretly bankrolled by wealthy Mideast oil princes and strongly motivated by religious and political dogma, can determine the outcome of the Whig primaries.  

Once again, the debt ceiling approaches, and the Whigs, prodded by the fanatical Muslim wing of their party, threaten to drive the U.S. into default and cause a global economic collapse — unless a rider is attached making Sharia our new legal code. The wealthy backers don’t care about consequences; they could lose 80 percent of their wealth and still be “richer than God.”

I very much doubt that the Tory Senate and president would capitulate, even if the Whigs offered to compromise by instituting only a fraction of the Sharia. The camel would nevertheless have his nose in the tent.

Substitute Republicans for Whigs, tea party for Muslims, and the oil, health insurance and big medicine industries for the Mideast oil princes, and you have roughly the situation faced by President Obama. Should he ever capitulate and accept conditions along with raising the debt limit?

If he were ever to set a precedent by capitulating, do we not then have the camel’s nose in the tent, with crisis after crisis following until the entire camel is inside and the U.S. is controlled by the craziest fanatics? Does it matter who the crazies are, or whether the president is a Republican or Democrat? Think about the big picture, not the inconvenience of shutters on national monuments, parks and museums.

— George Bakken

Terre Haute

Renovations are part of pool costs

There has been quite a bit of recent debate on the possibility of a new Vigo County School Corp. Aquatics Center. The agreed cost, as I understand it, is not to exceed $9.8 million. I don’t have any real feelings for or against the project and its stated goals.

One concern I do have is what happens to the three current pools. I believe all three are planned to be removed and those areas “renovated” into usable classrooms, offices or whatever. There has to be a considerable cost to accomplish this.

An estimate for this should be spelled out now as this, in reality, will be part of the overall project and, therefore, part of the ultimate decision.

— Larry Aselage

Terre Haute

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