News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

January 5, 2013

RONN MOTT: Mr. Jefferson

This is something of a high-water mark for these articles of opinion I write for the Tribune-Star. This is article No. 100.  

Everybody who knows me well knows you can always get me a book as a gift … Christmas, birthdays, or Hello there, Ronald. I received two books for Christmas. One is by Jon Meacham. It’s called The Art of Power, and it’s about Thomas Jefferson, a very complicated man. The other is called The Generals, by Thomas E. Ricks. It’s about the training, promotion, and demotion of America’s generals.

The book on the generals is this government trying to understand why some do so well and some do so poorly. It has been this way since the Civil War. And this study is about the generals of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and our more recent forays into the Middle East … Iraq and Afghanistan. I’m just getting started with this book, but it has already dealt with Gen. George C. Marshall, an Army Chief during WWII … a “Cool Hand Luke” if there has ever been one. I know I’m going to enjoy Mr. Meacham’s book on Thomas Jefferson because not only was he a founding father, he was a great leader and a very flawed individual.

With this country so untapped for resources at the time of Jefferson, one can understand why he dreamed of an agrarian society. And his belief in liberty and justice for all was also the dream of all who would come after him.  

And that seems to be the big rub against Mr. Jefferson. It seemed he sincerely and lovingly believed what he wrote, but his meager wealth was held together on his plantation by the effort and hard work of slaves. The things he enjoyed, the good books, the best wines, all the creature comforts, hinged greatly on slavery. And that is where the flaw comes in. Mr. Jefferson could not give up those wonderful things that made his life rich and full. That also included his love of an intimate relationship with Sally Hemmings.

That relationship is also rather complicated. Sally Hemmings, a beautiful woman, could have stayed in Paris when she went there with Mr. Jefferson and been free. But her love for him and what would become her family at Monticello kept her in slavery. The relationship wasn’t only me, master, you, slave, she was the half sister of his one and only wife. So, if it was down and dirty and ugly, at least it was kept in the family.

David Frisse gave me two books to read about a very heroic battle in WWII … The Battle of  Bastogne, where men of many regiments and outfits spearheaded by the 101st Airborne, stopped the Germany army dead in their tracks when they were trying to break through to Antwerp, Belgium. They did not, and Hitler wasted men and material and ultimately sealed his doom.

So, let it snow and blow and be a winter. I’ll be as snug as a mouse in a library with much reading to be done.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • EDITORIAL: Get smart with 911

    Worst-case scenarios when emergency service are needed are not things people like to think about. But focused attention on details in advance could make a life-changing, even life-saving, difference in the future.

    April 17, 2014

  • FLASHPOINT: Heading in the wrong direction

    A study released last week by the Tax Foundation reported Indiana taxpayers saw one of the sharpest increases in tax burden since 2001. Dig deeper and the numbers are more alarming.

    April 17, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: They didn’t make it!

    The “One and Dones” done went and didn’t! (I know this is grammatically incorrect, but I want those folks down in Kentucky to read it.)

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • tstribunestar EDITORIAL: Dealing with eroded trust

    Our neighbors in Putnam County are understandably concerned, even outraged, over problems in their sheriff’s department. People have a right to expect their chief law-enforcement agency — one of the most important public institutions in any community — to operate professionally and effectively.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Readers’ Forum: April 17, 2014

    • A blessing from our young folks

    • Confidence in judge candidate

    April 16, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Preparing for voting changes

    The primary election, during which Hoosiers will traipse to their polling places to select party candidates to fill the ballot for the general election, is now three weeks away.

    April 15, 2014

  • Readers’ forum: April 16, 2014

    • Mott’s rant on global warming

    • Salvation through the Indian way

    April 15, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: Royce Waltman

    In recent days the papers have been full of good things about Royce Waltman. Not a lot of puffery, but more like Royce himself… straight, true and right at you.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • LIZ CIANCONE: Not much peace since war to end all wars

    My jaw dropped the other day when I read that this year, 2014, marks 100 years since the start of World War I. No, you wise guys, I wasn’t there personally.

    April 14, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: April 15, 2014

    Sound choice for county judge
    Giving your car the care it needs
    Park restrooms should be open

    April 14, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news (Honors for outstanding women)

    Honors for outstanding women
    Sprucing up around the wetlands
    You can say that again
    Reader Poll results

    April 13, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: April 14, 2014

    Alternatives to ‘injustice’

    April 13, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Teaming up to fight the ugliness of graffiti

    Graffiti hurts the Terre Haute community. It deflates property values and local pride. It literally paints an image of carelessness on the city.

    April 12, 2014

  • MARK BENNETT: It’s (Not) So Easy

    Arctic air bled into the Wabash Avenue post-hippie-era diner-pub every time the wooden door swung open.

    April 12, 2014

  • ERIC SCHANSBERG: The 1040 tax form turns 100

    The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution brought us the federal income tax in 1913. A year later, the 1040 tax form was born.

    April 12, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: April 13, 2014

    • An attack of hypocrisy

    • New jail not a good idea

    • Thinking about the next election

    • Being positive a tremendous asset

    • Work status a matter of value

    April 12, 2014

  • FLASHPOINT: Time to fix government

    In 1965, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Wilbur Mills, brought legislation establishing Medicare and Medicaid to the floor of the U.S. House. That was my first year in Congress, and I remember vividly the moment when Mills came to the Democratic caucus to explain his plans.

    April 12, 2014

  • Death Notice: April 13, 2014

    Phillip Herman

    April 12, 2014

  • GUEST EDITORIAL: Despite high court ruling, big money may not guarantee election success

    The Supreme Court has taken the predictable next step in the wake of its 2010 Citizens United decision in which it lifted the limit on donations wealthy donors can make to certain political entities.

    April 11, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Pondering our planet’s future

    I watched a TV show recently and the subject was global warming.

    April 11, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Warm thoughts for Waltman

    When Royce Waltman left Indiana State University as its head basketball coach in 2007, there was a sense of disappointment in the community that covered a broad spectrum.

    April 11, 2014

  • Readers' Forum: April 11, 2014

    • An appeal for organic farming

    • Kesler best choice for judge position

    April 11, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Bits & Pieces

    I don’t know about you, but I get a total sense of helplessness when I realize 239 people died in one airplane crash. And to make it worse, if that is possible, the loved ones left behind can’t close. Maybe this week.

    April 10, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Road work season requires motorists’ undivided attention

    Spring’s budding flowers, trees and grasses are not the only colorful eye candy popping up on the west-central Indiana landscape. Those orange barrels and pylons common to construction areas are appearing as well.

    April 9, 2014

  • Readers' Forum: April 10, 2014

    • Appreciation for writer’s views

    • Amazed by policy on birth control

    April 9, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Dangers lurking among us

    Hardly a week goes by without multiple stories being published in this newspaper detailing the arrests, court proceedings, convictions or sentencings of individuals involved in sex crimes against children or young teens. It’s a disturbing trend that underscores the ever-present dangers that exist where we may least expect them.

    April 9, 2014 1 Story

  • Readers' Forum: April 9, 2014

    April 9, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: Basketball and Done

    I guess I’m going to have to change my mind about the “One and Done” rule. It would seem the future professionals wearing university uniforms — national runner-up Kentucky is an example — has proven me a fool. Why should I care about the education they are getting, or not getting?

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • LIZ CIANCONE: Angling for a mate not fond of fishing

    While many little girls daydream about the dream man they hope to find, it seems to me that they concentrate on all the wrong things. I can’t discount the appeal of beauty, brains and virtue, but my dream man was one who was not dedicated to fishing.

    April 7, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: April 8, 2014

    Tracking the trail of thieves
    Friendly service at local store
    New voice for judicial system
    Movie strikes a proper balance

    April 7, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Today in History for April 18th Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes
NDN Video
My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity