News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 13, 2013

READERS' FORUM: May 13, 2013


Special to the Tribune-Star

DES MOINES, Iowa —

Women’s group criticizes Bucshon

The House of Representatives did a tremendous disservice to women when it passed the Violence Against Women Act on Feb. 28. Indiana Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-8th Dist., wrongly voted for this nice-sounding legislation that obscures real violence in order to promote the feminist agenda.

First enacted in 1994 under the Clinton Administration, VAWA has morphed into a series of rigid and ineffective law enforcement programs that continue to spend approximately $455 million each year.  Angela Moore Parmley, Ph.D., from the Department of Justice, wrote in Violence Against Women, Vol. 10, No. 12, 2004, p. 1424, “We have no evidence to date that VAWA has led to a decrease in the overall levels of violence against women.”

There is no denying the very real problem of violence against women and children.  However, this legislation continues to broadly define “domestic violence” against women. These broad definitions actually squander the resources for victims of actual violence by failing to properly prioritize and assess victims. Victims who can show physical evidence of abuse should be our primary focus.

Furthermore, VAWA fails to ensure that the money being spent is not wasted on ineffective programs. In random audits by the Inspector General repeated irregularities and misconduct were found including unauthorized and unallowable expenses in 21 of 22 grants.

Finally, when the House voted on VAWA, it included an amendment by Senator Leahy that hurts sex-trafficking victims, seeks to legalize prostitution for minors and fails to protect the consciences of organizations, such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, that oppose abortion but want to protect trafficking victims.

The Leahy Amendment, which was included in the bill that Rep. Kevin Cramer supported, cut funding for the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons by 64 percent, from $5.5 million a year to $2 million a year, which will dramatically reduce staffing. The TIP office leads the United States’ global engagement in the fight against human trafficking. It is an injustice to victims to strip them of the assistance they so desperately need. In addition to drastically reducing the TIP office, the amendment also eliminated shelters for adult victims of sex trafficking in the United States.

The amendment also included a provision that would change the Model Law on sex trafficking to promote the decriminalization of prostitution of minors for states, which is extremely dangerous for trafficking victims. Decriminalization provides a perfect opportunity for pimps, traffickers and gangs to exploit minors in the sex industry by telling the minors that it is not illegal and that they will not get arrested. The bottom line is that this erroneous vote by Rep. Bucshon will hurt women who are trafficked.

If Rep. Bucshon truly wanted to protect women in his district, he would have voted to direct the money to Indiana, which is in a much better position to address domestic violence and has greater ability to prosecute and penalize criminal behavior.

— Penny Nance

CEO and President, Concerned Women for America

Washington, D.C.

Let’s hope this doesn’t come true

What follows is a harrowing nightmare that could come true.

It came about quietly. Stealthfully. The days of future trashed.                

On April 17, 2013, the gun lobby (America’s most dangerous terrorist organization) and its cowardly minions in the U.S. Senate successfully stuffed legislation to broaden background checks. A shameful day in American history!

But this was only the beginning.

With this ominous victory, the lobby wasted little time advancing the next step in its agenda. Namely, demanding a signed pledge of allegiance to the National Rifle Association from all members of Congress. All members. Those who refused were threatened with political disaster.

Disgraceful though it was, 55 percent of the Senate and 78 percent of the House immediately complied. A large percentage of remaining members acquiesced within six months.

By this time, most Americans were deeply troubled by the gun lobby’s strongarm tactics. But it was too late.

In the months following, the lobby demanded that all public school teachers be armed while on school property. Though more difficult to achieve than the congressional sellout, 66 percent of America’s public schools soon were occupied by gun-toting educators. The sinister gun lobby promised “severe consequences” for teachers who failed to comply.

Next the same organization issued a directive that all mortgage-paying U.S. households show gun loyalty by keeping at least one loaded weapon on premises. Enforcement was provided by financial institutions that easily caved to the NRA. Any mortgaged household failing to produce a loaded weapon upon demand was faced with immediate foreclosure.

And, finally, the gun lobby was found to be shaping a policy whereby all U.S. houses of worship would be compelled to display the silhouette of a firearm prominently in their worship space. This intrusion would achieve the lobby’s ultimate goal: replacing the worship of the life-giving God with the worship of a life-threatening idol — the Second Amendment assault weapon.  

Blasphemy! Pure Blasphemy!

This ghastly agenda was fulfilled within three years of the April 17 Senate sellout. With these accomplishments, and in such short order, a relative minority of paranoid individuals had succeeded in doing what few believed could be done — the complete takeover of what once was the greatest democracy in human history.

A harrowing nightmare. The days of future trashed.

— The Rev. Thomas E. Sagendorf

Hamilton, Ind.

Many get thanks for fest success

The Terre Haute German Oberlandler Club would like to express its thanks to the wonderful community support it received at the 2013 Strassenfest. A successful Strassenfest helps us to continue with our service projects for the upcoming year.

Special thanks go out to Clabber Girl for the use of its fest site, Dever Distribution for fencing the area, Terre Haute German students for all the outstanding work they did, off-duty Terre Haute Police Department employees for keeping the fest safe and to GFS for going above and beyond to ensure our success.

We would also like to thank the local television and radio stations for their superb advertising, as well as the Terre Haute Tribune-Star.

— David Walbring, fest chair

German Oberlandler Club,

Terre Haute