News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 10, 2012

READERS' FORUM: Aug. 10, 2012


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We have bigger things to fret over

Thank you, Terre Haute City Council and the state of Indiana, for the recent smoking ban ordinance. For years I have heard about a bar and grill in West Terre Haute that had the best home-cooked lunch menu anyone one had ever tasted. The problem was the owner allowed smoking in his establishment and secondhand smoke just scares the hell out of me.

Finally, he was forced to make it a nonsmoking bar so I decided to sample this highly touted cuisine for myself. When I arrived there was a guy smoking roughly 10 feet from the front door.

“Thank God!” I thought as I entered the bar. I found a seat and ordered a beer, but as I sat there I began to get the instinctive odor of an ashtray. I looked around and not a single ashtray or smoker was in sight.

The waitress brought my beer as I was reviewing the menu and I asked her to give me a few minutes, all the while beginning to feel a little queasy from the overwhelming odor of a filthy ashtray. I couldn't take it. I was only halfway through my beer when I got up, laid a five on the table and headed for the door.

As I approached the exit I noticed four or five people smoking. I again thanked God for the recent legislation forcing legitimate business owners to bow to my whims. As I left, the breeze shifted and I noticed a cloud of deadly cigarette smoke heading my way. I instinctively remembered my grade school fire drills and dropped down on all fours where the air would be fresher and crawled 20 feet or more to safety.

I was able to dodge the bullet this time, but I think the law should be amended to require prior owners of smoking establishments to clean up and deodorize as to not offend the nonsmokers and extend the door/smoking radius to 50 feet. Let’s all call our councilman and move forward on this issue.

I kid, of course. I love to illustrate absurdity by taking it to the extreme. I have no problem with smoking bans within reason, business owners who have catered to the now “second-class” smokers for years and who were comfortable with their stature in life. Their customers knew the risks yet chose to be around good friends and neighbors, but are now forced by mandate to change their way of life for people who will most likely never enter their doors.

The people who celebrate this encroachment on our freedoms are the same people who for some insane reason believe our government can and should take care of our every need discounting the fact we are trillions of dollars in debt that can never be repaid. There's a whole lot more to worry about rather than some bar and grill that allows their patrons to smoke.

What's next? Surrender your firearms unless they are for “game hunting” only? When that day comes they will have to pry my gun from my cold dead hand. Please. Wake up and smell the coffee.

— Stanley R. Hamm Sr.

Terre Haute

More support for fine doctor

I am writing this letter to let everyone know Dr. Henry Davis is first a human being with a heart bigger than he is; a son, a brother, a husband, a father, etc. Then he is a doctor.

I was seeing a rheumatologist in Greenwood when I saw Dr. Davis’ ad in the Tribune-Star and called right away. I knew by his picture he was a caring man. Now here we are, many years later, and that caring man is being investigated because this world has so many evil people.

I agree with Mr. Kirkman’s letter; every doctor I have been to regarding my pain, be they pain management, physical therapy, etc., has asked me to rate my pain on a scale of one to 10. Nobody has invented a human pain meter that can be used like a thermometer or blood pressure cuff. Therefore, the doctor can only go by what his patient tells him regarding their pain level.

I have to thank Dr. Davis for where I am today. He has gone above and beyond what I could ask of a doctor. I will always be there to support him as he has always been there for me. I have already scheduled my next appointment to see him in October. I, like misters Kirkman and Duggar, encourage other patients to step up and support this fine doctor.

— Melinda Dove

Terre Haute

What’s behind anti-Muslim effort?

Ramachandra Abhyankar’s Aug. 7 letter, “Muslim Brotherhood a deadly influence,” is another example of how a handful of people try to arouse people’s emotions to generate violence against particular groups. In his letters, Mr. Abhyankar often quotes anti-Muslim websites and writers like Diana West to generate emotions against Muslims,

Readers know that history is full of violence: Hindus have committed atrocities against low-caste Hindus for thousands of years and others are no exception. Not too long ago, Anders Breivik caused mayhem and killed scores of people in Norway, supposedly trying to “save” Norwegians from the “Muslim threat.”

Just recently, in Wisconsin, Wade M. Page, who the authorities said killed six people at a Sikh temple, was a white supremacist in a racist rock brand. Civil rights groups have called for stepped-up police protection at Muslim institutions and other houses of worship nationwide after a fire destroyed a Missouri mosque that had previously been targeted by an arsonist and after the Aug. 5 deadly shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

The last few years have brought dozens of anti-Muslim letters on this page. Ironically, most anti-Muslim letters are not written by semi-literate people. They include M.D.s, professors like Abhyankar, and others. So, ignorance is not the monopoly of semi-literate people.

Readers should ask the question: What is it that Mr. Abhyankar is trying to do with supposedly his education campaign against Muslims?

— Khwaja A. Hasan

Formerly of Terre Haute

Wadsworth, Ill.