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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
TERRE HAUTE —
Hey. Everybody. Hey!
Editorial: Racing with momentum
The news from the NCAA on Wednesday was very, very good. Terre Haute’s LaVern Gibson Championship Course will host the 2014 and 2016 national cross country championships and the 2017 Great Lakes Regional, one of the feeder regionals for the national championship foot races.
Readers’ Forum: Dec. 13, 2013
Let voters speak on marriage ban
High praise for those who help
RONN MOTT: Christmas 2013
Sitting on the front porch in my favorite chair, I began to count the buds and flowers on the Christmas cactus that is on the porch all year. The legend is it will bloom for Christmas and true to the legend this cactus has bloomed consistently around the Christmas season. I counted 40 buds and flowers and I stopped when I reached 40 with more left on the plant. I guess without hesitation that means Christmas is for sure about to arrive.
Editorial: Intriguing option for ISU towers
It’s appropriate that Indiana State University’s Recycling Center on North Ninth Street sits in the shadow of two hulking, well-used, 15-story towers that, if things develop as they might, could themselves be recycled rather than imploded.
- Readers’ Forum: Dec. 12, 2013
Noteworthy in the news: Another landmark for Pat Rady
A few weeks ago, Pat Rady embarked on his 50th year as a head basketball coach. Last weekend, he punctuated his landmark season at Cloverdale High School in Putnam County with the 724th victory of his stellar career, a mark that makes him the second winningest coach — and tops among active coaches — in Indiana basketball. It’s a remarkable achievement, and he appears to be going strong.
- Readers’ Forum: Dec. 11, 2013
RONN MOTT: Seeds from the same tree
Mahatma Gandhi, who was born in India before the turn of the 20th Century, went to England to study law and decided to settle in South Africa, and he did for 20 years. His work in South Africa was involved in the right of his Indian neighbors to have equal access to civil rights. He also worked for the indigenous people as well. When the people of India became restive during the early days of World War I, Gandhi came home.
READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 10, 2013
• Proud of diploma from McLean HS
• Sports could use drone’s eye view
• Another great downtown fest
• ISU’s silence is disappointing
MS. TAKES: Important date passes by without much notice
Recently we were asked to share our memories of the Kennedy assassination. Folks were interviewed for television or radio, or were asked to recall exactly what they were doing when they got word that our president had been murdered.
GUEST EDITORIAL: Lack of vaccinations puts children, community at risk
U.S. vaccination programs appear to have become a victim of their own success. Because many parents have never experienced the effects of childhood diseases such as mumps or measles — let alone polio — they don’t always appreciate the health risks the diseases pose and the continuing need for vaccinations.
Readers’ Forum: Dec. 9, 2013
Remove politics from education
Bill Walton, Larry Bird visit Eugene V. Debs Museum
There’s an essay-type question that shows up on history exams, college applications, “Saturday Night Live” skits and quite possibly requests for platinum credit cards.
FLASHPOINT: Dealing with hunger requires less rhetoric, more action
In November, millions of families in Indiana and across the nation saw their Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits cut through a planned phase-out of a temporary increase in funding that originally took place during the 2009 recession.
READER FORUM: Dec. 8, 2013
• Diving in to pool project
• A timely review of food basics
• Name-calling shows sad state of our politics
• Republicans their own worst enemy
• Full attack on common sense
EDITORIAL: Refusing to accept injustice, Mandela made world a better place
Injustice seldom ceases easily. Humans rationalize entrenched systems of persecution. Oppressed people or ideas get painted as a danger to the peaceful social order — the status quo. Cast in that image, inequality appears acceptable, even necessary, to the masses.
GUEST EDITORIAL: Congress now free from the threat of too much work
The headline on the Congress-watching newspaper Politico said it all: “Done.”
RONN MOTT: A friend celebrates his 90th
I went to Charlie Fox’s 90th birthday party Sunday last. He was standing greeting people as they came in the door. I never saw him sit down even one time. He looked more like a man celebrating his 60th rather than his 90th.
Editorial: Bring on the ‘Miracle’
For five miraculous years, Terre Haute’s Christmas festival on a Friday night in early December has grown and prospered.
- Readers’ Forum: Dec. 6, 2013
RONN MOTT: Cigars
Leaving Baesler’s Market the other day, making my round of errands, I started to re-light my cigar. It was left over from the day before and I did not place it in the humidor. It had gotten too dry, so I threw it into my garbage sack asking myself the question, “Why do I do this?” Well, I do it because I enjoy it.
TRIBUNE-STAR EDITORIAL: Changing attitudes demand GOP action
From all indications, the Republican Party’s legislative leadership will punt away in its next session the opportunity to make a good decision on behalf of all Hoosiers about placing a same-sex marriage ban in the state’s constitution.
READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 5, 2013
• Anarchy is in the ‘tea’ leaves
Editorial: Help us spread holiday cheer
The kind and generous people of the Wabash Valley are called upon often to help those less fortunate. We are proud to live an area where that call never goes unanswered.
- Readers’ Forum: Dec. 4, 2013
RONN MOTT: Cats, Inc.
I suppose we should give her a cake and a candle, but she would be happier with a handful of “treats” you can find wherever you shop for groceries. I’m talking about the two-year anniversary of the first cat we adopted. If we had known there were going to be more, her name probably would have been different. She was Orange Crush, a small, bedraggled, starving, Golden Tabby female that wandered into our yard a little after Thanksgiving. She had been badly maltreated.
MS. TAKES: Plenty of downsides to tree with candlelight
I had been spinning my wheels over Thanksgiving preparations the other day, so my Best Friend took me out for breakfast — a little luxury I never tire of. Our friend, Bill, stopped by our table to offer holiday felicitations and the conversation turned, as it often does this time of year, to Christmas.
READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 3, 2013
• Prestige chosen over practicality
• Tea partiers love country, freedom
• Same old clowns
LIZ CIANCONE: Plenty of downsides to tree with candlelight
I had been spinning my wheels over Thanksgiving preparations the other day, so my Best Friend took me out for breakfast — a little luxury I never tire of.
Readers’ Forum: Dec. 3, 2013
Prestige chosen over practicality
Tea partiers love country, freedom
Same old clowns
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