TERRE HAUTE —
Hey. Everybody. Hey!
Could I get all of you to be quiet for a few minutes? Lower the fire on the grill? Get the kids out of the pool or the sprinkler? Maybe put down the beers and the Long Island Ice Teas?
I’m sorry to interrupt the big Fourth of July festivities — after all, it’s been a whole month since the last three-day national holiday — but I’d like to conduct an Independence Day poll.
It won’t take long. You can turn the music back up when we’re finished.
So, I guess the first question is about that flag you’ve got on display, assuming you have one hanging on the front of your house or flying from a pole or pillar. Since 9/11, millions of Americans display Old Glory every chance we get — although, ironically, not many of us do it on June 14, our official Flag Day.
Did you put up the flag today or do you mostly leave it out, 24/7?
If it’s the latter, do you take care to follow flag protocol regarding bad weather and lighting after sunset? What kind of shape is your flag in? Could it use a washing or dry cleaning? Is it torn or discolored from being whipped around and rained on for years?
If you put up the flag today, did you think anything special as you did? Did you ask any of your kids to help raise the flag? Did anybody say anything about “Independence Day”?
As you look at the stars-and-stripes, do you hope it conveys any message beyond, “This is what we do on the Fourth of July”?
Is your flag flying to show America’s enemies they can’t intimidate us? Did you hang it because you support the president or because you hate his guts? Is it up because you believe in the United States of America or because you believe millions of your fellow citizens are threatening the country you love?
For whom have you publicly displayed the flag of the United States? Yourself and your family? The neighbors? Veterans? The young men and women in combat zones in Afghanistan and Iraq?
Speaking of those kids in uniform, are any of your immediate family members among them today? Any relatives at all? Close friends?
How many fingers and toes do you need to count all the active members of the U.S. military you personally know? To how many do you write, e-mail or send gifts?
Do you know about how many U.S. troops have died in Iraq and Afghanistan? Do you know how many troops are serving there now? Do you know what percentage of the U.S. population is on active military duty?
Do you have an idea of the monthly fiscal cost of maintaining the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq? If so, do you think it’s sufficient, too little or too much?
If you don’t know, is it because you are not interested?
Here on July 4, 2010, do you consider the United States at war?
If so, do you think the civilian population should bear any of the burden of war, beyond those whose loved ones are on active duty? Can you specify any sacrifices you and your family have made or are making for the United States’ war effort?
Would you classify yourself as a patriot? What does that look like for you? Does it include voting? How do you and your family demonstrate your patriotism to one another and to other people?
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
Would you vote to make the above statement a law or do you think it undermines the Constitution?
Do you know what the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution did? The 16th? Do you know how many times the Constitution has been amended in its history?
Do you know how much time passed between the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 and the adoption of the Constitution?
In our national anthem, we Americans refer to our country as “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Do you think that description — both free and brave — is accurate on this July 4th? Why or why not?
Can a civilian demonstrate bravery for his or her country? In what ways?
Do you think of you and your family as free? If so, what aspects of your life reinforce that sense of freedom? Do you feel you have lost any of your freedoms? Can you specify?
All right. We’re almost finished. Just one more question:
In the average week, would you say you spend more time thinking and speaking about what is wrong with the United States or thinking and speaking about what is right with it? If it’s more “wrong,” do you believe that attitude fairly depicts the state of the nation, that more is wrong with it than right?
OK. That’s it. Crank up the tunes, stoke the fire on the grill, refresh the drinks, let the kids loose to play and get back to being an American on Independence Day.
Stephanie Salter can be reached at (812) 231-4229 or email@example.com.
TERRE HAUTE —
Hey. Everybody. Hey!
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.
- Readers’ Forum: March 7, 2014
RONN MOTT: Knicks
The big noise in the NBA is whether Carmelo Anthony will stay with the New York Knicks or go elsewhere.
If my memory serves, and it doesn’t always, Carmelo left the Denver Nuggets, the team that drafted him, to play in the bright lights of the Big Apple. It was loudly proclaimed at the time that Carmelo wanted to play for a championship team. The Knicks’ ownership bought a bunch of players and spent a whole bunch of money to aid Carmelo in helping the Knicks to get to a championship.
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