Chickens should not be banned from residences
Chicken supporters of Terre Haute wish to see the County Council members amend the current laws that disallow chickens to be on residential property. In a county as diverse as Terre Haute, this means only a very small number of residents with large agricultural zoned properties could own a hen.
We would like to see our city list chickens as companion animals so that we may be able to have our chickens in our backyards. Most surrounding counties and cities have already amended their laws to allow hens and have had no increase in issues or complaints from neighbors. The county should be promoting self-sustainability, and allowing citizens to exercise their freedom to provide for their own families.
Some may oppose this forward change, but their arguments are usually based upon misconceptions rather than fact. If we are to have an educated conversation to solve this debate then we must make certain that it is one based upon truths and not fears. Chickens are educational to the children, and more docile than most dogs. They don’t charge the fences to attack you and they are calming in nature.
Argument: Chickens are dirty and smelly.
Fact: The average dog produces 12 ounces of solid waste per day. The average chicken produces 1.5 ounces per day. Six chickens produce the same waste as a medium house cat. Pet hens are far less likely to spread diseases than your cats and dogs. According to the CDC, backyard hens are the preferred way to stop the spread of illnesses, such as avian flu and salmonella, as they are a healthier alternative to large, densely populated factory farms, which contribute to such problems.
Argument: Chickens will damage property values.
Fact: There are numerous cities across the country that allow backyard hens, and real estate figures show that property values have been unaffected by the passing of ordinances related to the keeping of urban hens. New York, Portland, Chicago, Seattle, Raleigh, Savannah, and Boulder — cities with some of the highest and most solid property values in the country — encourage backyard hens.
Remember, neighbors who want to keep chickens are just that: your neighbors. They care about the value of their homes and the quality of life in their community just as much as opponents of backyard chickens do.
Argument: Chickens are noisy neighbors.
Fact: The noise level for the squawk after egg laying is up to 65 decibels at its very loudest, or about the same volume as a normal conversation between two people, and in the same range of noise volume made be an air conditioner, a washer, or a flushed toilet (none of which are banned.). A barking dog registers at around 100 decibels, and a pet parrot as loud as 135 decibels — far louder than a few hens. Yes, roosters are loud — no one is asking for roosters.
Argument: People who want hens should just move to the country.
Fact: This is probably the most ridiculous “argument” of all, if it can even be termed an argument. In the United States, no matter where you live, you have basic rights that allow you to enjoy your own property. Telling someone to move out of their home is not a real, workable solution to a problem.
Argument: Chickens are smelly.
Fact: Chickens are no less smelly than a pot-belly pig. In fact if properly maintained, chicken coops can hardly be smelled unless you are no more than one step away from the gate even in the hot summer months.
— Angela Levesque
A challenge to Islamist dogma
I wish to challenge Dr. Hasan on Islamist terrorism.
He writes, “There are innumerable examples of terrorism committed by non-Muslims … Yet Rosenthal also sees an enemy in Muslims.”
Wrong! I have never nor would ever hold all Muslims culpable for the sins of jihadists.
Moreover, unlike Dr. Hasan, I do NOT see Islamist terrorism as no worse than those on the list he made — the Irish Republican Army, Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka, the Aum Shinrikyo of Japan, Spain’s Basque terrorists, Italy’s Red Brigade, etc.
All on the list were regional or local threats or without the funding and global reach of jihad. With only one exception: Nazism, which, like jihad, wished to expand its poisonous doctrine worldwide.
The metastasizing pathology of jihadists intends to bring to fruition the great dream of Osama bin Laden by resurrecting and expanding the glory days of the Ottoman Empire and imposing a New Caliphate and Sharia Law on the entire world. Hardly the threat one could equate with the other non-Islamist terrorists.
The media and most politicians of the U.S. and many other nations appear anesthetized with political correctness and multicultural tolerance for all kinds of intolerance. Thereby we ignore or downplay an insidious strategy of world jihadist supremacy. This is not hidden but openly avowed in mosques and in public. If money is power, their strategy is far from moribund, although our leaders like to assure us that victory over al-Qaida and its growing affiliates is within reach.
A fact check indicates that diverse jihadists are extremely well-funded. Including surreptitious backing by wealthy Wahhabis and other supporters with deep pockets in oil-rich and rogue states betting on the supremacist dream, such as we find in the founding tenets of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Extravagant funding for al-Qaida and its allies also results from their intimate alliance with Mafia gangs that traffic in drugs, arms, prostitution, and the abduction and slavery of children and adults. Tons of money from these enterprises are laundered and easily find their way into Wall Street and other profitable investments.
The irony is that our country is broke but the jihadists are waxing rich with backing from some sources among the 57 Muslim nations. All of which pose the ultimate threat that Dr. Hasan appears to ignore. Namely, potential jihadist access to WMDs — radiological or “dirty” bombs (which can render New York or elsewhere unlivable for 10,000 years), small or “suitcase” nukes, bio-chemical weapons and massive cyber-attacks that could threaten our communication, energy, banking, military, etc., networks. There also can be explosive devices hidden in vehicles that can bring down buildings (such as we saw in Oklahoma City in l995) and small arms weapons, such as shoulder-held devices that can bring down helicopters or even jetliners with missiles.
We can expect mega-fireworks in the future far beyond the atrocity of 9/11. Yet Dr. Hasan somehow manages to slough off the cataclysmic danger of jihadist terrorism as no different than other villainies with far lesser potential.
I believe it is imperative to understand, expose, and challenge the genesis of jihad found in malicious, bigoted, and exhortatory passages in the sacred texts of Islam. All of these Dr. Hasan cavalierly ignores in cherry-picking the benign quotes from the Koran.
But note, Dr. Arthur Feinsod, we should be deeply thankful for the brave efforts of Dr. Abhyankar and many others throughout the country and the world who expose the contents of these texts. Knowledge and truth are not the enemy. Ignorance and half-truths are.
How else can we expect to awaken and galvanize a largely complacent world into action against a do-or-die ideology of extremism that would obliterate the values of a civilization we cherish?
As for the apostates that you and Dr. Hasan complained about, let me say that they have a right to free speech about how they feel about Islam, even if many disagree. Especially since they have been inside the Muslim community for much of their lives and have felt mentally, emotionally, morally, or physically wounded as a result. Including the women who have suffered genital mutilation.
And let us not forget that Islamic dogma decrees death to apostates.
— Saul Rosenthal
Chickens should not be banned from residences
EDITORIAL: An event worth watching
Just across that invisible boundary between campus and city, knowledge, perspectives and — yes — opinions abound on topics of vital import to our lives in the 21st century.
Readers’ Forum: March 17, 2014
Indiana livestock industry threatens our water supply
Which direction is state moving?
EDITORIAL: Legislative session produced results both good and bad
The 2014 session of the Indiana General Assembly was gaveled to a close late Thursday after a flurry of activity produced a dizzying variety of legislative action. Within hours, the session results were being both praised and cursed, largely depending on political and ideological views of government’s place in the world.
FLASHPOINT: Energy bill a no-brainer target for Pence’s veto pen
Indiana has, for many years, wrestled with the question of what policy, if any, to pursue to advance new, alternative visions of how we deal with waste, move around and grow our food. Fortunately, we’ve seen some tangible signs of progress in the Indiana General Assembly with respect to recycling, mass transit and local food systems.
READERS' FORUM: March 16, 2014
• Time for change in assessor office
• Are Indiana’s chemical storage tanks safe?
• Voters of Indiana Thinking carefully about health care
• Put an end to costly primaries
• Founders understood representation rights
• What about bridge?
• Young people don’t know rules
• So many words, so little space
KIEL MAJEWSKI: Sexual violence demands the world’s action
I have a lot to learn in life, but I am convinced of this: The day men share power equally with women is the day we will see true peace in this world. The day women and girls are valued as much as men and boys, and are treated with the same respect as their male counterparts, is the day we will finally see healthy societies.
MARK BENNETT: All aboard!
Find me a George Mason University basketball T-shirt in Indiana.
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news
In the competitive and highly entertaining world of collegiate athletics, Sunday is akin to a national holiday. At 6 p.m., the NCAA will announce the field and seedings of its 2014 Division I men’s basketball tournament.
RONN MOTT: One and done, 2014 style
Hoosiers, this time of the year, turn their minds and emotions to the grand old game of “hoops.”
EDITORIAL: Our children in poverty
An important gauge for measuring the long-term prospects of a community is the well-being of its children. For all the effort and progress Vigo County has made in rebuilding the economy and improving its quality of life, chronic problems with the welfare of its children still exist.
READERS' FORUM: March 14, 2014
• ISU officers should stay on campus
• Good reasons why guns are needed
• Salute to Jake
RONN MOTT: Ukraine 2
The situation in the Ukraine should let us know plainly, and openly, the old saying about a leopard never changing its spots is true. Vladimir Putin is a KGB officer, grew up a communist and, from all appearances, still believes like a communist.
EDITORIAL: Meth battle never ends
It’s been more than a decade since local police officials declared methamphetamine as “public enemy No. 1.”
READERS' FORUM: March 13, 2014
• Celebrating the Girl Scouts
• Challenging the politicians
EDITORIAL: Warm thoughts on a cool day (Part III)
• Resolving to praise ISU
• Right down our alley
- READERS' FORUM: March 12, 2014
RONN MOTT: SAWS
A few days ago we talked to John Anderson of the Greencastle Presbyterian Church. He’s the coordinator for a mission of the church that builds ramps and stairs for those who are physically handicapped in Putnam County.
EDITORIAL: Thinking warm thoughts (Part II of III)
• Renewing a local library commitment
LIZ CIANCONE: We’re not only ones ready for springtime
During the most recent of our numerous descents into polar temperatures, I was astounded to see a dozen or more robins up to their ankles in snow. They were fluffed out to about twice their normal size. I suppose that was an effort to provide a bit of feathered insulation against the cold.
READERS' FORUM: March 11, 2014
• Meat-free path to the fountain of youth
• Faulty point?
EDITORIAL: Warm thoughts on cool days (Part I of III)
• Something good’s brewing
• Y we can’t take it for granted
FLASHPOINT: Where Congress falls short, and where it doesn’t
At a public gathering the other day, someone asked me how I’d sum up my views on Congress. It was a good question because it forced me to step back from worrying about the current politics of Capitol Hill and take a longer view.
READERS' FORUM: March 10, 2014
• Our government’s heart and soul
• A plea for more give and take
MARK BENNETT: New public-access point begins quest to create more spots to experience river
Fairness holds no power over the Wabash River.
EDITORIAL: Ads on the sides of school buses? What have we come to?
Ads on the sides of school buses do not constitute a sign of the apocalypse. Western civilization will survive.
Flashpoint: President should stop Medicare Advantage cuts
Virtually all elected officials — Republicans and Democrats — share the goal of increasing access to affordable health insurance and helping families receive the best coverage to meet their specific needs.
Readers’ Forum: March 9, 2014
Mardi Gras great event for Swope
EPA regs will cause energy bills to soar
Please pray for Ukraine innocents
Sinful thinking on road to hell
Liberty — or licentiousness
People will not always agree
Botched chance at leadership
RONN MOTT: Radio now a long lost love
I fell in love with radio when I was 16, just a few short weeks before my 17th birthday. The man who did the deed and hired me was Adlai Ferguson.
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news
Welcome to girls teams, fans
You can say that again
Reader Poll results
EDITORIAL: What do Sony cutbacks mean?
It is easy to understand why shivers run down local people’s spines whenever rumors hit the streets about Sony DADC’s plant on Terre Haute’s east side. With more than 1,400 people currently employed in Sony’s production and distribution facilities, the community has grown somewhat dependent on the economic stability Sony provides.
- More Opinion Headlines
- EDITORIAL: An event worth watching