News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 9, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 9, 2012


---- — Ready to serve

all Hoosiers in

General Assembly

As the holiday season quickly approaches, I enter this chapter of my life with humility and gratitude in my heart. I cannot thank the people of west-central Indiana enough for allowing me to serve you and be your voice in the General Assembly during the 2013 legislative session. It is truly an honor to participate in the decision-making process that will lead to the betterment of our great state.

As a freshman lawmaker, I am ready to serve the public by listening and learning from every experience and by leading with integrity. Indiana is facing many critical issues, and I consider this session an opportunity to address many of those concerns by enacting legislation that will improve the livelihood of all Hoosiers. I believe that through effective communication and sound reasoning, we can overcome any obstacle.

As we look to craft a balanced budget this year, Indiana is in an excellent position with a healthy reserve and a solid economic foundation. Indiana has led the nation’s recovery efforts since the recession with the private sector growing faster here than almost every other state, but there is still more work to do.

Supporting policies that will spur economic development and job creation is my top priority. By working together, we can continue to build on our state’s momentum and restore American prosperity in the Midwest.

Thank you again for allowing me to serve as your voice in the 118th General Assembly.

— State Rep. Alan Morrison

District 42, Indiana House of representatives (representing all of Vermillion County and portions of Clay, Fountain, Parke, Vigo and Warren counties)

Terre Haute

Nice contributions

bring back program

A big thank you to the West Vigo IGA, Bob Baesler, B&B Foods and Walmart South for their contributions to Mini-Pioneer Days at Fowler Park.

Due to budget cuts, the program was suspended for several years, but this year it picked back up. I would like to personally thank these merchants for donating supplies for me to make fresh jerky at the Smokehouse Station, one of the most anticipated stations for teachers and students. It is a fun event for all staff and volunteers.

— Dane “Bud” Montgomery

Vigo County Parks and

Recreation Department

Blame policies,

not principles

To letter writer Brandon Wright: principles are the most overrated and overrationalized of all excuses for not adapting to inevitable change and progress.

Yes, you lost the vote precisely because your beliefs are antiquated and inadequate for the needs of 21st century America. If the country is (as you stated) spiraling out of control, it is not because conservatives have compromised their values. It is much more to blame on the housing and banking industries being allowed to function illegally, unethically and undetected by government oversight preceding the Obama administration.

You offered a quote from Gandhi (not applicable to 21st century America), but this Gandhi quote is applicable: “The moment there is suspicion about a person’s motives, everything he does becomes tainted.” An administration inheriting a horrible economy — and forced to endure the spending of billions of tax dollars monthly on meaningless, aimless, indefensible and prolonged wars — should not be a scapegoat because you have suspicions of their motives.

Like it or not, the current 7.8-percent unemployment rate beats the heck out of the inherited 12.5. Where we are as individuals, and where we are as a nation, is never as important as what we’ve overcome to get there (with apologies to Booker T. Washington for the paraphrase).

Most conservatives claim to be Christians, but the conservative dinosaurs (tea partiers) advocate values that are diametrically opposed to Christian teachings. You should hold to your conservative values, but always look outward with progressive beliefs for a nation that is 236 years young. Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison and thousands of others were not conservative. These were radical liberals who envisioned a new nation based on traditional values.

You shared an Abraham Lincoln story. Lincoln was the first president to represent the Republican Party; but, irony being irony, Lincoln’s progressive beliefs place him firmly in the Democratic Party of the 21st century. Political parties don’t matter; people and their ideas for the future do matter.

Having voted in every presidential election since 1968, my scorecard reads — seven Republicans, five Democrats — not all winners.

Values matter; so do principles. More importantly, vision, dreams, progress and integrity matter. Conservative is not a dirty word. Neither is liberal. What is dirty is placing blame and “selling out” the values that support and promote humanitarian needs, domestic welfare and a progressive future.

Perhaps some should embrace another quote attributed to Gandhi that illuminates, but doesn’t blind: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”

— Jim Camp

Terre Haute

President not

even a good liar

Well, finally, after more than two and one-half months the Tribune-Star has broken its silence on a major news event; the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on our facilities in Benghazi, Libya, that resulted in the death of four Americans, including our ambassador and three other brave men. You have been so adamant about keeping this news from your readers that you even refused, without reason given,  to publish my letter of Oct. 28, 2012, on the subject.

But how did you break your censure of the story? With an editorial jeering two Republican senators (McCain and Graham) for trying to penetrate the wall of cover-up by Obama and the media. Of course, to you the real story here is the “relentless efforts to besmirch U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.” (After all, she is black and female and, accordingly, any criticism must be racist and sexist.) It is interesting to note that you conveniently forgot to mention Sen. Kelly Ayotte (Republican, New Hampshire) who is female and who is also leading the effort to penetrate the cover-up.

These three senators have made it clear that Benghazi is not about Susan Rice; she is only a part of the cover-up. What is paramount to be known is the evolvement of President Obama. How did his policies result in such woefully inadequate security, what did he know and do during the attack and why did he initiate and lead the obvious cover-up?

Now that you’ve broken your silence to attack the senators seeking more information, you should, at least, let me summarize for your readers — who, after all, if they depend on your paper, don’t know enough about the story to even understand your editorial.

Obama’s policy for Libya required Americans stationed there to “normalize” our presence. This policy meant that instead of having a Marine detachment for security (as is done in such dangerous places as Barbados), our facilities were guarded by a few locals, who fled at the first sign of trouble and may even have joined in the attack.

Obama had to know what was happening in “real time” during the attack. He waited six weeks to meekly claim that he ordered action to support the brave men who were fighting the jihadists. However, no help was given, they were left to die, and the White House has been unable to produce any evidence of such a command.

Every time Obama talks about the event, he sternly pronounces that the FBI is investigating and that he will not rest until those responsible are brought to justice. How do you think that’s going? Of course, he can’t tell us any details, including what he was doing, until the investigation is finished. When will it be “finished”? Perhaps in four years?

As evidenced by Susan Rice’s presentations, the cover-up was intended to enable Obama, until at least after the election, to maintain his victory lap over bin Laden’s body and declare that al-Qaida is decimated. A terrorist attack by al-Qaida would have put his whole apologetic foreign policy into question.

During the second debate with Romney and during his first press conference after the election, Obama shamefully faked outrage that anyone could even hint that he would play politics with this security issue. In my opinion, this is the most outrageous act by any president ever.

What is crystal clear: Obama cannot be trusted, he is a blatant liar and not even a very good one.

McCain, Graham and Ayotte should be praised and supported in every way possible until the full truth is known.

— Thomas B. Tucker

Vigo County

We create takers,

then blame them

After the election, Mitt Romney said Obama won because he gave people stuff. Paul Ryan said those who voted for Obama were “takers, not makers.” Those sound bites were echoed by the puppets on Fox News, while a few in the GOP rejected them because they’re considered front-runners in 2016. But back to the takers and makers and stuff comments.

The Tribune-Star had an article reporting that Hostess, the makers of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other goodies, was going out of business. The article said that was because Hostess and the union couldn’t reach a deal. The closing meant that 18,000 people nationwide would lose their jobs.

Some nationally syndicated reporters decided to look into it more closely, while the union-busting GOP was screaming that another company closed because of the union. This is what was uncovered by reporters:

About two or three years ago, Hostess filed for bankruptcy. At that time, the union workers took a cut in pay and benefits and Hostess continued making products. The very next year Hostess paid their CEO $42.5 million and gave other executives, according to their level, anywhere from 30- to 80-percent bonuses. Now they’ve again asked the union to accept another 7-percent cut in pay and a 17-percent cut in benefits. The union refused, and Hostess filed bankruptcy again, this time closing its doors. While Hostess is blaming the union for it closing the doors, Hostess still gave their executives another bonus.

The GOP “right-to-work-for-less” law crowd is saying Hostess closed because of the outrageous wages and benefits of the union workers.

So now those 18,000 people will join those on unemployment benefits, welfare and in some cases both. They’ll cease to be makers and become the takers Paul Ryan referred to, and get stuff that Mitt referred to.

Some of the fallout from this Hostess fiasco will possibly involve every taxpayer in America. A number of those 18,000 displaced workers will have a pension due to them and Hostess is obligated to pay those pensions. If through bankruptcy Hostess is allowed to default on those payments, the federal government must pay them. That means that your federal tax dollars will be used to make those payments.

Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital did the same thing in Pennsylvania. So, 18,000 will become dependent on some form of government program. Hostess possibly gets out of paying pensions, the unions get all the blame and some investment company gets a good deal on Hostess. Whoever takes over Hostess will reject the union, pay minimum wage and minimum benefits. Sounds like a good deal for only a few.

These types of situations are not uncommon and, coupled with the thousands of jobs lost under Bush and the “no” votes on jobs bills by the Teapublicans in the House, is why we have so many takers. At the same time the GOP is gnashing its teeth and wailing about the takers, another company TriMas in Michigan that manufactures trailer and towing equipment, is moving to Mexico. TriMas’ closing means 4,500 more people will become takers. This company, and many others, is moving out of America to avoid paying taxes and to get cheap labor.

Social Security and Medicare are going broke because fewer people are working and not paying into them. The only thing we’re getting from the so-called “free trade” is we’re trading away our jobs, our economy, our standard of living and the financial security of generations to come.

The facts contained herein is why job growth and the economy are stagnant. It has created takers because they can’t earn a paycheck by making products. Do we have to sacrifice the American worker by allowing Corporate America to shut down, bust unions and move out of America, just to pay lower wages and maximize profits?

It’s two-faced hypocrisy to create and maintain the situations described here that make people takers and then blame them for not taking responsibility for themselves. We are self-destructing, and it’s no longer “In God We Trust,” it’s “In Greed We Trust.”

— Pam Rogers


Democrats create

astounding plan

After reviewing the latest proposal by the Democrats to avoid the fiscal cliff, I propose the following:

I want every adult who voted for the president’s re-election to start treating their personal life the same way Democrats want to run the government. I say this because they obviously approve of the way the Democrats and the president run the government, so maybe they should run their lives the same way.

Spend more than you take in and run up a lot of debt (increase debt limit), borrow from friends and relatives if you can.

Ignore the credit card companies and banks when they threaten to reduce your spending limits (lose the AAA rating) or cut you off all together.

Get a part-time job for extra income (Democrats want more taxes) and then ask your family to OK spending above what your new income is with the promise to reduce it in the future (or better yet, don’t ask your family since that is what the president wants to do).

See how long you last before filing bankruptcy.

The tea party had it right about cutting the debt. I find it absolutely astounding that part of the Democrats’ proposal included giving the president (taking away from the Congress) the power to raise the debt limit. He has the power to reduce spending without congressional approval, but refuses to do so. The fiscal cliff was called just that for a reason, and I can promise that Romney would have had a more responsible approach to prevent it.

— Fred Roberts

Terre Haute

GOP must purge

its lunatic fringe

Several recent letters from individuals who were not satisfied with the results of the last election give us much to ponder. Indeed, a couple of these letter writers are right on. In America, no one is expected to abandon the things they hold to be true over a mere election, regardless of the outcome of the election. An election does not prove some viewpoint right nor does it prove that another viewpoint is wrong. However, it may be cause for examining your position.

In the American Conservative magazine this month,. traditional conservative Bruce Bartlett writes in his article titled “The Revenge of the Reality-Based Community”:

“… in the wake of the Republican election debacle, it’s essential that conservatives undertake a clear-eyed assessment of who on their side was right and who was wrong. Those who were wrong should be purged and ignored; those who were right, especially those who inflicted maximum discomfort on movement conservatives in being right, ought to get credit for it and become regular reading for them once again. …”

Nothing was stolen in this or in any election. It is not a disgrace to remake your party in order to make it popular to the voter. The Democrats did it under Bill Clinton after 12 years of Republican presidents and they did it again under Barack Obama after eight years of the second generation of Bush presidencies. The stoic, upright ideas of people like George Will and Morton Marcus, whose writings have appeared in your publication regularly, simply cannot be ignored, any more than the great wisdom of the classics can be ignored.

Indeed, the ideas of Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and half-Latino George P. Bush, the eldest son of Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, deserve some serious consideration. What must be ignored and purged is the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party whose pernicious ideas and actions have all but destroyed the good Republicans.

— John Garner

Terre Haute