News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 28, 2013

READERS' FORUM: July 28, 2013

The Tribune-Star

---- — Daniels should be held accountable

Is Mitch Daniels  up to being an academic president?

Recent news items regarding Mitch Daniels, the new president of Purdue University, reflect badly on what has been a fine Indiana institution. Although he may be politically astute, he is very ideological and unsuited for academia and the flow of free thought in a democratic society. He should be held accountable by clarifying what he specifically regards as “crap” and why.

Censorship and restriction  in curriculum  were among the first tactics in Nazi Germany, and today freedom of thought, publication and education remain essential to our freedom. He and today’s Tea Party have some of the uncomfortable traits of the Brown shirts of the early ’30s.

Additionally, it is further embarrassing that the Purdue University Board of Trustees has chosen to reward his behavior with a $58,000 bonus. This calls into question not only misuse of performance pay, but also is an excellent illustration of why the cost of  higher education is exceeding the reach of our young people.

— Raymond Quist

Terre Haute

The truth behind climate denials

I’ve been following, and attempting to grasp the reasoning behind, Thomas Tucker’s recent climate change denials, and I’ve narrowed the possibilities down to three competing hypotheses:

1. Thomas Tucker is smarter and has done considerably more independent research than 97 percent of the planet’s climate scientists.

2. Thomas Tucker is monetarily employed by the oil and gas industry to spread anti-scientific propaganda and sow confusion (identical to the decades-long undertaking by the tobacco industry, and being orchestrated by many of the very same people).

3. Thomas Tucker has been duped by the oil and gas industry into spreading anti-scientific propaganda and sowing confusion.

My prediction is that hypothesis number three is most likely the truth.

— Kerry Tomasi


Health Department doc will be missed

When I read in your July 18 edition of the retiring of Vigo County Health Commissioner Dr. Enrico Garcia, I felt mixed emotions. I was happy yet a little saddened by the news.

I had the pleasure of working for Dr. Garcia at the Vigo County Health Department. Although I only worked for him for a little over five years before I retired, I got to know him not only professionally but also on a personal basis. His dedication to the VCHD and to the citizens of Terre Haute will greatly be missed. I know that Dr. Brucken, if he is hired as Dr. Garcia’s replacement, will have big shoes to fill but I know he is capable of doing it.

I would also like to take this time to thank all the employees at the health department. They were not only co-workers but good friends. Under Dr. Garcia and administrator Joni Wise, we worked as a family, we got the job done and had fun doing it. Working at the health department was a very rewarding experience.

In closing, I wish Dr. Garcia and his lovely wife, Evelyn, all the happiness they deserve when they move to their home in Las Vegas. You will be missed.

— Richard Hoffman


Celebrities are just posturing

I am sick and tired of two-faced celebrities jumping on the bandwagon and making a bogus stand against the verdict acquitting Mr. Zimmerman.

While I respect and appreciate Stevie Wonder and his contributions to music and society, don’t try to tell me Kanye West and Jay Z are anywhere near his stature, or Madonna for that matter. Kanye West and Jay Z sing songs glamorizing violence and drug use. They often refer to blacks and women using offensive slang, and their lyrics depict and even encourage rebellion against authority.  Now they want to “stand up” for the opinion that the wrong verdict was reached in Florida by refusing to appear in that state? Baloney (a stronger term won’t be printed.)

First of all, there are already contracts in place for either or both of these “performers” for future concerts in Florida. Will they honestly risk being sued for millions of dollars to take a stand? I doubt it — money talks, baloney walks. They claim they will not appear until the “stand your ground” law is repealed. If they were truly educated with regard to the trial and the decision reached, they would know that the defense did not plead innocent based upon this law. It was not part of the defense strategy.

Secondly, Florida is also amusingly known as the “geriatric state” due to its large elderly population. Is there really a significant Jay Z and Kanye West fan base there? Other than at the college campuses, I don’t think so. So this “stand” these two men are taking is really just posturing or two more celebrities seeking more media attention after a national tragedy — the tragedy being the death of a young man, not the outcome of the trial.

There are at least 21 states that have laws similar to the “stand your ground” law in Florida, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Even though the Florida jury did not acquit Mr. Zimmerman based on this law, an honest stand not to perform in states with such a law would have to include at least 21 states.

Kanye West and Jay Z, are you both willing to do that?

— Douglas Elia

Terre Haute

Finding common ground unlikely

Maureen Hayden’s column on July 15 was laughable. President Obama and Gov. Pence finding common ground on anything is an unlikely scenario at best, something akin to George Soros and the Koch brothers forming a partnership. Yet, if America is to progress, this is what must happen.

Of course, the likeliest whipping boy of society’s ills is bound to be education. Looking to Germany is not a bad idea, but expecting American businesses to “pick up 75 percent of the cost” of anything that has to do with education like they are said to be doing in Germany is preposterous.

Businesses have always expected tax abatements to all but eliminate their property tax share that helps to pay for public education, and businesses will not locate to an area unless they can get them. They expect to pay nothing for the training of their labor force. There are few exceptions. Society is so cheap now that a local frugal school superintendent cannot even consolidate three swimming pools in a public school system without protests from a brainwashed public who are convinced that they are not as rich as Donald Trump because they had to pay taxes to support public schools all of their adult lives.

In America the prevalent “train the workforce” attitude of vocational education ensures that those who obtain such an education have a built-in obsolescence. This is because they are usually trained in a technology that may or may not be around in a few years, and vocational education rarely contains the higher level fundamental science from which the technologies are derived. Thus, a segment of the population is set up for retraining at middle age when they are trying to raise a family in the middle of their supposedly most productive years. This is, of course, provided that the vocation that they trained for has not moved to a third world country like the shoe industry did.

The public is not absolved from responsibility, either. American society today has no respect for any tradition, let alone an educational tradition, and the attitude of our free society seems to have somehow been absolved of all personal responsibility, including a work ethic, to embrace an attitude that is not only repugnant but is also self-destructive. Witness the decadence of our pop culture, the drug-addled misbehaviors of many media sweethearts and the legal troubles of some professional athletes.

In addition, Americans accept propaganda as news, and newscasters have become political pundits with axes to grind. The sharpness of those axes depends upon who is contributing the most money or whose points are perceived as the most popular to the public in a modern American version of “bread and circuses.” Welfare is provided cheaply for those of meager means, but it is also provided corporately to big businesses in the form of laws that force the middle class to pay while corporations get a free ride and bailouts.

The American public needs to wise up and realize that it probably has not seen an honest television network newscast since Walter Cronkite retired. Ever since Ronald Reagan eliminated the Fairness Doctrine of the FCC we have been flooded with propaganda from both the liberal and the conservative fringe. In addition, we see only 43 minutes of entertainment interlaced with 17 minutes of advertising for every hour watching pay television that should not have any commercials at all.

When Americans had free television airwaves, we saw 51 minutes of entertainment and only nine minutes of advertisements an hour. Until the public realizes that America is the most lied to population on the planet there is not really much hope for us. Make no mistake, the ones who tell the most and the worst lies are not part of U.S. government bureaucracies. Have you read any politician’s letters lately?

— John Garner

Terre Haute

Can we stop this creeping jihad?

Admittedly, Americans have enormous difficulty realizing that a religion, Islam, is a threat to our society. Perhaps untiring efforts to awaken the public is a fool’s errand. Most readers of any newspaper will not research this issue for themselves. Understanding the task is daunting. It may be useful to examine groups the media believes purportedly speak for Muslims in the U.S.

In the news recently is the Muslim Brotherhood. Some Americans realize the Brotherhood controlled the Egyptian government until the last few weeks. Fewer understand this is not a “political party” but a movement dedicated to world domination. Simply reading the Muslim Brotherhood’s motto should sound alarms for all of us.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 after the collapse of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. A primary goal was to re-establish a caliphate that could be extended worldwide. The founders, ardent admirers of Hitler, translated “Mein Kampf” into Arabic. The Muslim religious leader, the Mufti of Jerusalem, spent many years in Germany supporting and observing death camp operations and planning the same for the Muslim world. Rommel’s defeat at El-Alamein ended the plan.  

The Jihad (terrorist) group Hamas is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas is the government of Gaza. In the United States the Brotherhood is the power and financing arm behind the Islamic Society of North America (headquartered in nearby Plainfield), the Muslim Students Association, the International Institute for Islamic Thought and many others.

Perhaps most notably, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, portrayed as a Muslim civil rights organization, is not only connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, but was also an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation money laundering case. The foundation was convicted of funneling money to Hamas to aid in the terror against Israel.

These are the “moderates” with whom this president’s administration and, to some extent, the previous two administrations, have attempted to coexist. In this administration, members of the Brotherhood and various other Islamist groups have made deep inroads into the halls of power.  

Is it too late to stop the creeping social jihad being waged against us, even at the highest levels of our government?

— Edward Kesler

West Terre Haute