News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 9, 2013

READERS' FORUM: Nov. 10, 2013

The Tribune-Star

---- — Attend program Tuesday at NHS — and never forget

As Veterans Day approaches, many of our thoughts turn to events in history that have affected us in some way. Many of us have lost loved ones in battle, and many more Patriots have suffered lifelong disabilities to keep us safe at home. Thanking these men and women for their unselfish sacrifices somehow seems so trite, considering what they lost and what we gained.

As Americans, we really do need to take a closer look at who we are and what we stand for. What is it that we want to hand down from generation to generation? What sets us apart from other nations? I would like it to be that we still honor our God as a nation, that we still pray and listen for His guidance, and that we are committed to the constitution of our country.

A very important event is scheduled for Tuesday, at the Northview High School Auditorium in Brazil. It’s called “Remember 9/11” with guest speaker, Mr. Wesley Wong, and it will begin at 7 p.m. This free event is open to all interested persons, and promises to be a truly spellbinding, detailed disclosure of what happened from somebody who was at the main helm of it all!

Mr. Wong, now retired, was the top-ranking FBI official at ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001, and will walk the audience through his experience that fateful day! For many of us, it will be reminder of the whats and wheres and hows. But for most all our school-aged children (today’s high school seniors were only a few years old), it will be a real eye-opener!

This program is sponsored by the Clay County Eliza Rizley Stacey Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution and is being presented because it is so vital for us to remember and never forget what happened on United States soil on Sept. 11, 2001. Please be in attendance and find out where we can go from here.

— Erin D. Dulin


To start, let’s all say thanks

I want to say thank you to every veteran who ever served our country. No matter where you served, in what capacity or for how long — you gave a part of your life for the safety and well being of all of us; that deserves the appreciation and thanks of every American.

To those who did not, could not, would not serve, I want to say please find a veteran and say thank you.

Too often veterans are taken for granted, forgotten as the years pass, and many times are left in veterans hospitals to live out the rest of their battered and torn lives. Others, physically or mentally injured by their service, are ignored as they roam the streets, looking for a warm place to spend the night or some food to keep the hunger pangs away. This should never be. I could go on about the people in D.C. that we support for their entire lives after they have supposedly served us for a few years; however, the intent of this letter is just to encourage each and every reader to say thank you. It isn’t enough, but it is a start.

— Lois Little

Terre Haute

We all lose in these scenarios for the future

The following is my opinion and how I see the upcoming future (and I hope I am wrong):

The country just went through a government shutdown which threatened the world economy, and the Republicans caved on their demands to prevent a crisis. Obama and the Dems refused to budge and the liberal press reported that Obama “won.” This was not a contest of win or lose! Obama and the Dems were willing to create a monetary crisis that contained threats of impending martial law! To prevent this, the Repubs caved (“lost,” according to the liberal news media) and kicked the can (debt ceiling) down the road until Jan. 15, 2014.

Now, all current news emphasis is on the problems with Obamacare (a big distraction from the again possibility of another government shutdown) and because of Repubs caving, monthly checks are in the mail, federal workers are back to work and everyone is happy. The nation’s debt is ballooning out of control (but no one is paying attention). People will spend too much on the upcoming holidays, and everyone is happy.

The Congress will hold unproductive meetings about the upcoming Jan. 15 deadline (again), they will all go home for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, coming back a week before the deadline and lo’ and behold, we will have another crisis, and the Repubs will refuse to permit another Obama “win” and another shutdown will occur with no resolution.

Finally, a real crisis will occur and the government will finally get to experiment with a nationwide effect of martial law (which FEMA and Homeland Security have prepared for), and the Repubs will get the blame!

Eventually, a resolution will be reached, America’s reputation damaged severely, martial law lifted, Obamacare will be a thing of the past, emphasis will be on the harm caused by Republican-created martial law and why the Dems need to win the next election to eliminate Republican chokehold on the president. The debt will continue to spiral out of control. The sad part is, all of this will have been planned in advance.

— Fred Roberts

Terre Haute

Support the arts by supporting Swope

The mission statement of the Swope Art Museum states that: “The Swope Art Museum collects, preserves and celebrates the best in American art with programs and exhibitions designed to engage, stimulate and educate those whose lives it touches; it enhances the culture and contributes to the economic development of the Greater Wabash Valley.”

On behalf of the Swope Art Museum Membership Committee, we would like to take this opportunity to both thank the local community for nearly 75 years of loyal support, and to invite everyone to visit the three new exhibits titled “Between Heaven and Earth”; “Borders, A Regional Survey”; and “Taking To Water”  by Kaz McCue that opened last month to great acclaim. A new exhibit by three Indiana artist titled “Flotsam & Jetsam” opened Friday.

The Swope Art Museum has long been an integral part of the local landscape, both physically and culturally. It also recently garnered the national spotlight when it was featured in The USA Today newspaper article “10 Great Places to See Art in Smaller Communities.”

The Swope Art Museum was also honored by being reaccredited the coveted “4-Star Award,” given to only 6 percent of all the museums in the United States. The dedication is awarded by The American Alliance of Museums.

It is important during this membership period to reflect and be thankful for all the arts available in the Greater Wabash Valley as well as the obvious and not-so-obvious benefits to society as a whole. The arts improve the quality of lives in our cities and towns by: enhancing community development, helping to attract new businesses, drawing tourism dollars and creating an environment that attracts skilled, educated workers and most importantly helping to build our future workforce where creativity will be of critical importance.

It is important to note that the total spending nationwide by not-for-profit arts audiences in 2010 was a staggering $74.1 billion.

The arts are important to the lives of our citizenry. We appreciate them for their intrinsic benefits: their beauty and vision, and how they inspire, soothe, provoke and even help connect us to each other.

The arts provide bridges between cultures, they embody the accumulated wisdom, intellect and collective imagination of all mankind.

The private sector, especially local businesses, are essential to promote full access to, and participation in, exhibits, performances, arts education and cultural events.

We therefore ask for your help. As per the will of the museum benefactor and namesake Michael Sheldon Swope, a Civil War Veteran and local jeweler, admission to the Swope is free. The museum relies on donations, sponsorships and most importantly corporate and individual memberships to not only survive but to thrive. Be a part and do your part. Become a member. See you at the Swope.

— For the committee,

Terry Hogan

Bernice Helman

Careful with labels, beware sarcasm

Gerry, Gerry, Gerry. In your 10/27 response to my Oct. 18 support of Ms. Elder, you have it all wrong. I have known Ms. Elder for some time and know her to be intelligent, caring, compassionate and concerned.

She is a single mother, a full-time employee and a full-time college student in control of her current circumstances and driven to achieve her career passion. I support every statement she opined in her letter! You were ignorantly incorrect to suggest that my letter “vituperated her.” But I’m certain you were using the word “vituperative” for the first time.

You labeled yourself a “redneck” and suggested you are a common man. Don’t sell yourself short, Gerry. Your letter suggests you are not just a common “redneck.” But thanks for the compliment that I am a “smart one.”

Being a lifelong Hoosier myself, we likely differ only in that I pursued the American Dream of my parents and grandparents, and became more literate and enlightened than they. I apologize if my use of the English language triggered linguistic or intellectual discomfort for you. Since I had not been acquainted with you until Oct. 27, you must know it was not intentional. My intent was to express, not to impress. Since you dusted off the Webster’s unabridged to prepare for your Oct. 27 opinion, perhaps you can revisit it to learn the word “sarcasm” and the concept “Socratic irony.”

Caution, learning will hurt the first time but feels better with practice, and it often triggers a knowing smile. It is always better to hesitate, think and have others believe you to be unenlightened than to impetuously express your thoughts and remove all doubt.

You pulled from your “dark closet” of stereotypes, biases and labels the vitriolic “smart one” to label me. No doubt, I am a proud “smart one” in many specifically defined ways. But, I really appreciate you not equating me to the more common “dumb one,” as many tend to unfairly label the self-deprecated rednecks among us.

— Jim Camp

Terre Haute

Politics amplifies our electoral sins

Recurrent headlines like “Can anyone beat Hillary?” or “McConnell faces tough opponent,” demonstrate that too many of us see politics all wrong. Despite our talk of odds, fighting, winners and losers, George W. Bush and Maxine Waters are not cerebral Olympians. Entrenched incumbents like Dingell and Conyers are not superhuman dynamos, effervescing with luminous thought. They’re not politicians because of their own brilliant plots.  Politicians are just human beings who are where they are, and stay where they’ve been, because of what most of us keep doing in the voting booth.


All the seemingly insurmountable processes and frustrations we call politics are just abstractions.

In reality, there are no such things as political parties, bureaucracies, armies, unions or corporations. There never was a “Two-Party System,” and you aren’t just a voter. Or a consumer. Or a taxpayer.

There are only people here. We are all just people.

The excuse we invoke for the evil we do to each other is called politics. Politics isn’t just a symptom of our sin; it’s an amplification of it. We ought to restrain it. Instead, we rub it like a genie’s lamp, pray to it as if it’s a vengeful god, and fool ourselves about what we’ve done and where we’re headed.

This is no sport. We’ve made a terrible mess. I pray that before the next Election Day, more people will realize that we have exactly what we’ve chosen, and that we need to choose a lot better.

Liberty or Bust!

— Andrew Horning

Freedom, Ind.

Meat industry truly scares him

I was not scared of all the witches, zombies and assorted goblins wandering about on Halloween. What really scares me is the meat industry.

This is the industry that:

• mutilates, cages and butchers billions of cows, pigs and other sentient animals.

• feeds carcasses of cats and dogs killed in pounds to chickens.

• exposes undocumented workers to chronic workplace injuries at slave wages.

• exploits farmers and ranchers by dictating wholesale market prices.

• punishes documentation of its abuses through unconstitutional “ag-gag” laws.

• promotes world hunger by feeding nutritious corn and soybeans to animals.

• generates more greenhouse gases than any other human activity.

• generates more water pollution than any other human activity.

• creates a permanent “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico that dwarfs the BP oil spill.

• creates deadly antibiotic-resistant pathogens by feeding antibiotics to animals.

• creates epidemics of salmonella, listeria and other infectious diseases.  

• promotes mortality from diabetes, heart failure, stroke, cancer and other diseases.

Now, that’s really scary. And this is why I am dropping animal products from my menu.

— Tommy Caton

Terre Haute

Inequality best gift nature gave man

The best thing nature gave man was his inequality. This inequality gave man the ability to perform various kinds of labor and have different mental abilities and processes. Look at EVERYTHING that is produced here on earth by mankind because of the inequality of man’s abilities.

 Inequality is also displayed in the unequal distribution of natural resources here on earth. The inequality of man and of the natural resources on earth make the division of labor and the combination of labor possible and necessary to accomplish economic undertakings that would be impossible for the single individual.

It is not necessary for people who cooperate under the division of labor to love each other. They cooperate because it best suits their own interests.  

Racial hatred is not a natural phenomenon innate in man or because of man’s inequality. It is the product of ideologies. To understanding different ideologies, I say don’t look at what it says about the unknowable, but about man’s actions in this world. Racial hatred can only harm the division of labor and combination of labor, both of which are necessary for economic growth.

Regardless of the differences and inequalities in man’s intelligence, physical strength and emotional makeup, reason shows the best means of improving his condition is social cooperation and the division of labor. A strong and growing economy requires the inequality of man.

— Charles Bean

Terre Haute