News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 12, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 12, 2012


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More to be said about ‘welfare’

After reading Reggie McConnell’s article about America being a welfare country, I would like to take an in-depth look at why. This is not a rebuttal, because I agree with him, I just feel there’s more to be said. What has brought about this welfare debacle, and how can we change it?

I partially covered why we’re in this welfare whirlpool in a previous article, and I don’t want to beat a dead horse, so forgive me if I re-plow this field. This womb-to-tomb fiasco has developed over the last 50 years and has many contributing factors. First and foremost is the loss of jobs, mostly in the manufacturing sector. Also the income, wealth and tax disparity that we’ve seen in the last 40 years.

Federal law dictates a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, but is higher in some states. But let’s say you worked at Walmart for at least 10 years, and you now make $10 an hour. The average wage in 1980 was $7 an hour. That was 32 years ago. The cost of living has escalated, and wages have stagnated.

We hear a lot of talk about entitlements, and some of today’s adults have that mindset. When I was a boy my parents supported me, but I was taught that when I became a man, that responsibility was no longer theirs. In the last 40 years, parents have failed to teach their children responsibility. Gramma and grandpa should not be raising their grandchildren. And the state and federal government should not be responsible for supporting that child.

While some welfare/entitlement programs are on the chopping block, some others aren’t. I’m referring to corporate welfare/entitlement programs that contribute to our welfare country, while armies of lobbyists fight for subsidies for Big Oil, who make billions in profits, and companies like GE and others pay little or no taxes, essential and valid programs like Planned Parenthood are under attack.

The welfare/entitlement programs cannot be purged or reduced unless they’re replaced with an alternative, and a reason to take responsibility for oneself. Voting no or filibustering jobs bills that would have, could have taken some off of the welfare rolls, is not an alternative.

Refusing to pass a tax cut for those making $250,000 a year or less, while at the same time fighting for tax breaks for the mega-wealthy, does not give anyone a reason to accept responsibility, it just discourages them. Reducing welfare and entitlement programs must be a shared solution. Everyone has to give some.

— Ron Hastings


Christmas is a state of mind

The Christmas season is fast approaching. We all have been or will be searching for the proper gift for Aunt Audrey or Cousin Charlie. At some point or another we will bemoan the traffic, lines and commercialization of the holiday. We will wonder if it is really Christmas at all as our politically correct world generalizes the season into “Happy Holidays” more and more.

Let us each remember a few things as well. Many traditions have their roots in pre-Christian solstice or New Year festivities. As we take part in our individual family activities, let us remember what those traditions have come to mean.

What is Christmas without gifts? When we exchange gifts, let us remember it is in honor of the gifts of the Magi to the baby Jesus. Let us remember it is for the gift of Jesus to the world.

What is Christmas without the tree? Let us remember the symbolism of the evergreen tree and the promise of everlasting life. Let us think of the lights illuminating the tree as the message of Jesus that can illuminate each of us.

These are merely a few examples. Examine your own life and traditions to think where they came from and their true meaning. May we each be thankful for all that we have and generous to those less fortunate than ourselves. Hopefully each of us can remember that Christmas is not just one day. It is rather a state of mind to capture and live every day.

Merry Christmas to all.

— Dwayne Owens

Terre Haute

Not the time for Cherry change

In response to Todd Nation’s letter Dec. 7 about changing Cherry Street to two-way traffic, I would advise against it at this time. The article does merit some attention in the future, but we should wait until the Margaret Avenue project is complete between U.S. 41 and Indiana 46.

Downtown would be a disaster when there is an accident on I-70 and traffic is routed down Wabash Avenue and Cherry Street. I also understand there was a study done on this proposal and the cost to make this change would be about $2 million (traffic lights, signs, etc.), money that the city does not need to spend at this time.

As for helping get ISU students into downtown, I think if they want to get there they go anyway. Most of the time they don’t pay attention to the stop lights and pedestrian crossings anyway.

— Brian Dooley

Terre Haute

Obama policies are pro-Islam

President Obama has an anti-colonial, pro-Islam policy. He maintains deafening silence about Islamic imperialism (manifested as jihad and sharia doctrines of Islam, which have always caused and continue to cause havoc across the world), but apologizes at every opportunity for Western colonialism.

Whereas the Nazis killed six million Jews, Islamic Jihad has killed 120 million Africans, 60 million Christians, 80 million Hindus and 10 million Buddhists, according to the Center for the Study of Political Islam.

Whereas Colonialism brought science and technology to many parts of the world, Islamic Imperialism brought no benefits to those it oppressed. President Obama maintains silence about the persecution of non-Muslims and women in the Islamic world.

President Obama and the left are endangering the freedom and security of America and the world by maintaining silence about the dangers of Jihad and Sharia. Sharia is a danger to freedom of expression, and the human rights of non-Muslims and women. Sharia supports slavery.

On Sept. 25, 2012, in a speech at the at the United Nations, President Obama said: “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.” However, he did not issue a call for the urgently needed Islamic reforms.

 Is this what Americans expect from their president?

 — Ramachandra  B. Abhyankar

Terre Haute