News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 16, 2013

Readers’ Forum: April 16, 2013


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Keep disagreeing with our governor

Our present governor needs to learn where the funds to pay for our government services come from. He seems to have no idea that our tax money is the only income our government receives to pay for our schools, teachers, roads, streets and all the services we could not provide on our own.

Our former governor was instrumental in cutting property taxes, among others. And now Pence is trying to get our legislature to cut our income tax. He has only to drive on many of our streets and highways to see that most need repair or replacement.

Also, his treatment of teachers and our new superintendent of public instruction shows his lack of knowledge of the importance of education to all of us. These are things we need to think about when we vote, not the party the candidate represents.

In fact, Gov. Pence was more representative of the tea party and especially the Koch brothers, who have no interest in providing services for our citizens, than he has been in improving services in Indiana.

Many of our legislators are showing disagreement with our governor — let us hope that this continues.

— Jane M. White


No surprise in GOP’s actions

I am going to write and tell you that regardless of the ruling by the GOP-controlled Indiana Supreme Court, the voucher law violates the Indiana Constitution. The Indiana Constitution roughly stated, says that public funds (taxes) cannot be used or given to religious-based institutions. The bulk of the voucher funds goes to religious-based schools.

I was going to remind you that I told you back in 2011 that the GOP’s plan was to get complete control of Indiana. I said it would use that control to push its agenda regardless of what the people wanted or the Constitution said.

I was going to remind you that you had plenty of warning signs this would happen when you gave them the majority in the 2010 elections. In 2011 the GOP began its assault on voting rights with the voters ID law. Ignoring the wishes of union members, who protested at the Statehouse, the GOP knee-capped the unions with the right-to-work law. And now to further its goals of destroying the teachers union and privatizing public education, the voucher law is forced on us.

I was going to advise recent letter writers that rallies at the Statehouse and calls to your representatives to protest laws the people don’t want is a waste of time. To demand that the totally controlled GOP state of Indiana abide by the constitution is an exercise in futility.

I was going to close by reminding you that back in January I made it clear that you were living under, not in harmony with, a GOP dictator. I told you that the GOP plan was to unofficially “secede from the union,” and legislate through a super majority.

After careful thought and consideration, I decided not to do any of those things, because it would be in vain. In vain because in part, I’d be preaching to the choir. In part because those who don’t realize the systematic demise of our democracy and we the people don’t want to be informed. But mostly because the good people of Indiana who elevated the GOP majority to dictatorship, will ratify that dictatorship in 2014. Goodbye, we the people and democracy, and hello, dictatorship.

— Ron Hastings


Use technology to save lives

I really liked your recent editorial about distracted driving. (Sunday, Page B2.) I really don’t think that it will do much good, however.

I think that the time has come for a new regulation requiring that all new cell phones automatically shut down when they sense itself in motion.

Old phones will not be grandfathered, but everyone must purchase the new units.

I’m sure that the technology exists for this, so what is Congress waiting on?

I realize that this will punish law-abiding cell phone users and cause financial stress for some, but if it saves just one life, it will be worth it.

— Mark Burns

Terre Haute