News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 24, 2013

READERS' FORUM: March 24, 2013

Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — More respect for

prospective jurors

On March 11, I was suppose to be at the Vigo County Court for jury selection. I went to the courthouse; got there at 12:30 p.m. They wanted us there by 1 p.m. When I got to the fourth floor, other prospective jurors were waiting. They informed me it had been canceled.

Next, a woman came through the hall and asked what we were doing there. One person spoke up and said he was there for jury selection but it had been canceled. She replied, “Why didn’t you call the 24-hour courtline?” Before he said anything, I said I did and it said groups 44 and 45 had been canceled, but groups 42 and 43 must come. That was us. He stated he needed a slip for work. I was mad I wasted my gas and time; the others lost a day’s pay, too.

The bottom of the letter said it was our civic duty to serve. I want to know what their civic duty was to all of us. There would be many more people showing up, I’m sure. It was only 12:30 p.m. Our gas and our time are worthless, I guess.

— Gina Hair

Terre Haute

Crucial decisions

await us all

On Friday the 29th of this month, strangely, we will celebrate the most hideous crime man can impose on a fellow man, and that is killing another man without proper cause. This event, and ensuing events which are recorded in many writings concerning the man Jesus, gives hope to all mankind concerning spiritual life after death here on this earth.

While some make their annual homage to church this weekend, others consider the enormity in their lives that the death, burial and resurrection have on the spiritual life in us, on a daily basis.

Regardless of how you celebrate the Easter weekend please keep in mind when we die our spirit is separated from our body, but will live forever. Question is, where will you commit it to dwell. A decision must be made, no decision is rejection, and no one can make it for you. Questions can be answered in any Bible-centered church.

Happy and blessed Easter to all.

— Bill Jaeger

Terre Haute

Not state’s fault

if people miss

voting deadlines

Your editorial on voting centers was right on, Vigo County should establish voting centers if for no other reason than to provide convenient, accessible places for everyone to vote.

However, you call Indiana’s voter registration deadline “ridiculously early” in your editorial because it “makes voting far more difficult for some segments of the eligible population,” but you don’t say what you consider to be the right time to have a deadline. Is it conceivable to you that someone who wants to vote in the next election could register, say, today, instead of procrastinating until mere weeks before an election two or more years away? Do you think that anyone alive in August or September 2012, with a TV, radio or newspaper did not know there was an election coming in November and couldn’t register anytime before the deadline with the plethora of political advertisements we were subject to?

It’s not a “ridiculously early” deadline, it’s a deadline. Anyone who pays bills, has appointments and lives in our society contends with deadlines every day, and if they’re too lazy to act before a deadline, then they’re just out of luck. Their bills don’t get paid on time, their credit rating goes down, their doctors don’t see them and they suffer because they’re too lazy. Quit making excuses for those lazy people who know that the general election comes around on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November in even-numbered years, something taught in high school government classes, even way back in the early ’70s.

What makes voting far more difficult for some segments of the eligible population is that they’re lazy procrastinators, not a voting deadline or a requirement to have an ID. What makes voting difficult for some segments of the eligible population is that they’re far too comfortable having others do things for them, instead of getting off their fat, well you know what comes next, and taking care of themselves.

Everyone has deadlines, and if you don’t meet your deadline your editorial is not published, and you need to hold lazy people to the same standards. This is the deadline, if you don’t make it on time, too bad, you blocked your chance to vote, not Indiana.

— James C. Kmetz

Terre Haute

Abused teens

need our help

I have many years of experience in the medical world, mostly in the emergency room, and I could write a book of the horrors I have seen with children and teenagers. I also care for children at Gibault, which is a blessing for this state that very few people are aware of. I have never seen the severity of abuse as I have already been seeing this year. I am tormented with these children’s complexities of psychological pain. I would like to share my thoughts with you, hoping it may save a child’s life.

America wonders why our prisons are so full and why we spend so much tax money on them. It starts as children. The depths of abuse and neglect of these people as children is absolutely sickening, appalling and inhumane.

After 18 years of practice, I still don’t even know what people are capable of and continue to be shocked. Burying a child in a 6-foot hole in the backyard in 30-degree temperatures all night for punishment for stealing food from the fridge, to taping them to chairs daily to watch pornography with the neighbors and expected to participate at the tender age of 7, to being in six different high schools as a teenager because no foster families “want me.” Showing up at Gibault as a 16-year-old with absolutely no belongings, no friends, or no family because your drugged-out mother just signed off rights and dropped you at the door.

Gibault takes in these children from all over Indiana and always has its doors wide open. These are the worst abuse and neglect cases you couldn’t make up. Gibault takes these kids under its protective wings and fights like hell to make some differences, while adhering to a strict budget so its doors aren’t shut.

Medicaid continually makes cuts and kicks these kids out before they are even close to ready. These kids need support from this community. They can’t help that they have been born into their situation. When we choose to ignore these kids and facilities such as Gibault, they end up on the streets or in prison committing crimes against our families, because this is all they know.

We wonder what is wrong with the system. As Hillary said, “It takes a village.” Well, it really does.

If you are a neighbor, teacher, health-care worker, etc., I am begging you to not turn your head. Statistics show that a child enters the emergency room 10 times before anyone figures out they are abused and neglected or killed. Is it too much trouble because you have your own issues, like your cell phone dying or where you are going to go out to eat for dinner?

If we all called child protective services and insisted something be done or told someone who could help that you suspect something is wrong, then you may be saving a child from a life of perpetual torment.

We as a society do not listen to children. It is not just children, but so many teens are dealing with so much at home, how can they do well in school to help society in the future? They will fail because we let them. Listen, look and please be responsible to do something about what you see and feel is just not right.

Anything you contribute may just help one life. We need funding, support and mentors for these kids. Be an advocate when our system is failing, not just by complaining to your friends. Be a friend or mentor to your neighborhood teens; this could change their entire lives, because you just literally may be the only one who has ever cared about them. You may not change the world, but you can change their world. It is not their fault; they are a product of their environment.

Please don’t turn away. Open your doors and hearts and help this battle. I beg you as a community. Be supportive of facilities dealing with the devil’s product. Take a kid in, be a foster who doesn’t abuse them again. Be a mentor, just do something.

— Jennifer Cox

Family Nurse Practitioner

Terre Haute

Who is stoking

irrational fears?

I have read with interest the latest group of letters suggesting that I or anyone who supports gun control are less than true patriots and the Constitution of the United States guarantees them the right to own weapons.

All of this is somewhat true, but I am confused about the irrational fear of our duly-elected democratic form of government. These letter writers come right out and say the government is going to invade their homes and take away their guns. I don’t know where these irrational fears come from but I do know who is fanning the flames of mistrust, and that is the NRA and the gun manufacturers.

Why are they doing this? To increase their profit margins. When 91 percent of the American people want stricter background checks and a limit on the number of bullets in a magazine, why is the other 9 percent so afraid? Do you honestly think U.S. troops are going to march down Wabash Avenue, round up all the “gun nuts” and put you in re-education camps? Even you can’t be that fearful or misinformed.

As our form of government has been founded on the principles of all people being created equal, why is my opinion any less valid than those who want no restrictions on gun purchases at all? The irrational fear of the United Nations is based in old ideas of the U.S. being overshadowed by a foreign power, but we are the ones who helped form this body so another world war would never happen.

All of these conspiracy theories are just smoke and mirrors. No one is going to take your personal weapons away from you. No foreign entity is going to impose its laws on the United States, but you gun advocates continue to spread fear and uncertainty. No foreign power is going to take over the United States.

Some of you sound remarkably like a senator from Wisconsin who used to look for a communist in every corner of this nation. You are a minority, yet you continue to try to shove your viewpoint down the throats of the American people with fear and intimidation. You have no trust in the government which you have elected with your votes. Why is your fear and loathing for gun registration able to silence the voices of reason?

On a final note, what news programs I watch have nothing to do with my opinion. That is formed from what I feel inside. As for doing background information research, there will always be arguments for both sides of this issue. I have chosen to fight for what I believe in and that is gun registration and a reduction in the number of bullets in a magazine. If that offends you gun owners, that is just too bad. You cannot silence me with insults and insinuations that my opinion is any less valid than yours.

More than 90 percent of the American people will not be silent on this issue and we will make our representatives in Washington hear us. I am not afraid of our government. To the contrary I am proud of it and my part in keeping it working.

As President Roosevelt said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” so gun owners who are so afraid should realize they are in the minority and the will of the people will overcome gun advocates’ fear and mistrust in the end.  

Even as I write this rebuttal, a compromise on gun registration is being worked out in Washington. My hope is that the compromise will not be so weak that it will be ineffective in stopping the sale of weapons to anyone no matter what the background check shows.

— Shirley A. Thomas


A few facts, figures left out

A letter from Raymond E. Broshar on March 5, 2013, was the first I’d read on the subject of the sequester. The T-S titled Raymond’s letter. “Spending remains primary problem.” I’m not writing to rebut Raymond’s letter, nor am I saying his facts were wrong (as I’m often accused of). I just believe they need some further review.

The facts and figures Raymond gave on spending and the deficit are probably correct, but somewhat misleading. We must cut spending, but reports from the top economist, from nonpartisan groups, repeatedly say that cutting spending alone will not solve our economic and deficit problem. We have to increase our revenue and reduce spending.

Raymond would also lead you to believe that our current deficit belongs to Obama for spending the money that kept us from going into a full depression. I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but Bush and the GOP left Obama a large deficit and squandered a large surplus.

Reducing spending to low levels has not proven to work in countries like Spain, Greece and Italy, to name a few. This concept is referred to as austerity and it has resulted in their unemployment rates in double digits, some as high as 22 percent. Austerity is not the answer.

Raymond is correct that the House did raise taxes on those making $400,000 and above, which means those people will pay back a portion of the taxes they didn’t pay during the 12 years of the Bush tax cuts. But again Raymond is somewhat misleading when he says the GOP House is refusing to raise taxes again on the wealthiest Americans.

The House is refusing to raise revenue by closing tax loopholes that the wealthy and corporate America use to pay little or no taxes. Here is some of the tax loopholes the House is refusing to do anything with: getting a tax credit and deduction for the cost of operating and maintaining their yachts and corporate jets; giving millions of dollars in subsidies to big oil that made $109 billion in profits last year; and giving tax breaks to companies that move their business out of America. Those are part of the loopholes that, if closed, would raise revenue on those who can afford it and not raise taxes across the board.

Raymond appears to have his shorts in a knot due to his belief that those at the top are going to be taxed out of existence. The 47 percent we heard about prior to the election have had their shorts in a knot just trying to stay alive.

But back to the top percent going belly up. Does anyone remember a guy named Bill Clinton who was president for eight years? To clean up the economic mess that George Herbert Walker Bush left, Bill spent money, created 20 million new jobs, and raised taxes on the wealthy.

It was the best eight years we had since Dwight David Eisenhower. People were working, income was up for everyone, Social Security and Medicare were solvent. The middle class was living well and the upper class was living better, but no one complained. When the GOP were allowed to compromise, the budget was balanced, a $5.6 trillion surplus was created, and no one suffered any ill effects from that time.

— Ronald Hastings


Hate campaign against Muslims

My response to Reggie McConnell’s March 10 anti-Muslim letter (cherry-picking news from around the world) is that only a bigot would condemn Catholics for sex-abuse scandal or denounce Christianity because of a myriad of problems a Christian majority in America has. Our children are being murdered, our schools are not safe, 2 percent of the population is incarcerated and 47 percent of the population lives in poverty.

An honest dialog should always be welcomed. But some on this page have tried to gang up on Muslims by a hateful letter-writing campaign spreading misinformation about Islam, portraying Muslims as the enemy, and inventing non-existent Sharia law in America as a problem. Most readers know who these individuals are.

If unbiased observers read the following Koranic verses, they will realize that the focus in the teachings of Islam are forgiveness, self-defense, justice, peace, equality, charity and punishment only proportionate to the offender’s aggression:

1 — “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, and do not transgress; for Allah loveth not transgressors” (chapter 2, Verse 190).

2 — “But if they cease (fighting you), Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” (chapter 2, Verse 192).

3-"But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is the One that Heareth and Knoweth (all things)." (chapter 8, Verse 61).

4 — “The prohibited month, for the prohibited month, and so for all things prohibited, there is the law of equality. If then any one transgresses the prohibition against you, transgress ye likewise against him. But fear Allah, and know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves” (chapter 2, Verse 194).

5 — “… and let not the hatred of some people in (once) shutting you out of the Sacred Mosque lead you to transgression (and hostility on your part). Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and rancour: fear Allah: for Allah is strict in punishment" (chapter 5, Verse 2).

6 — “Nor can Goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (Evil) with what is better: then will he between whom and thee was hatred become as it were thy friend and intimate” (chapter 41, Verse 34).

7 — “O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do” (chapter 4, Verse 135).

8 — “God advocates justice, charity, and regarding the relatives. And He forbids evil, vice, and transgression. He enlightens you, that you may take heed” (chapter 16, Verse 90).

9 — “And if ye do punish them, punish them no worse than they punished you: but if ye show patience, that is indeed the best (course) for those who are patient” (chapter 16, Verse 126).

— Khwaja A. Hasan

Formerly of Terre Haute

Wadsworth, Ill.