News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 3, 2013

READERS' FORUM: Most vulnerable can’t be ignored

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Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Most vulnerable

can’t be ignored

We are all anxiously awaiting the fallout of the standoff regarding automatic cuts Congress and the president have put in place. I’m writing today to highlight one aspect of a national problem that will be adversely impacted by sequester: support for people with disabilities.

We have a tragic tendency in our country to avoid budgeting to address real need. We create programs that would be wonderful if only they were budgeted appropriately. CHOICE (Community and in Home Options to Institutional Care for the Elderly and Disabled) is a terrific example. It provides our elderly and disabled neighbors with valuable support to remain in their homes and to age in place. It’s a program that would put Indiana at the forefront of care for individuals who qualify. Alas, it is chronically underfunded and currently has a waiting list numbering in the thousands state wide.

CHOICE is only one example. While the mantra of “no new taxes” cripples government’s ability to intelligently address real human need, essential programs are being shrunk, crippled or killed. CODA and Covered Bridge got local attention in the Feb. 28 edition of the Tribune-Star.

Independent living faces similar concerns. Cuts could pare 10 percent or more from the budgets for independent living centers, pushing support for a vulnerable population to the wayside in Washington’s haste to cut spending. What Washington has done is tie its own hands behind its backs and jumped off a bridge. Unfortunately, it will be other people — people with real needs — who will drown.

In place of an adult conversation about our national budget, Washington chants sound bites, assigns blame and ignores real need.   

It’s especially ironic that this is how Congress gets its annual pay increase, by making it automatic so they can’t really be blamed for it.

Please do not forget people disabilities. They are not “takers.”  

The quality of a civilization is measured by how well it treats its most vulnerable individuals. Hold Washington accountable.

— Peter C. Ciancone

Executive Director

The WILL Center

A lesson in

civics and life

There are times in life in which we all feel we just can’t catch a break. The cards are stacked against us. We can’t beat the system. We can’t fight city hall. We feel powerless in the face of unfairness and injustice.

We want to give up.

And then something reminds us that we are blessed to live in the greatest country the world has ever known, where anything is still possible.

For me, that reminder came recently by way of a friend — and I wanted to share it with you. After years of court battles, Vernon “Hughie” Bowman, a small farmer from my hometown of Sandborn, took his fight against one of the nation’s largest corporations to the U.S. Supreme Court.

And while we won’t know the outcome of the case for some time, Hughie Bowman is a great example of what is possible if you keep trying. Here’s a small farmer from a small town in rural Indiana who stuck to his principles and refused to back down.

Hughie’s fight is not only a great civics lesson that proves America can still work for the little guy, it’s an inspiration for all those that stand up to seemingly insurmountable odds. He’s the living embodiment of the old saying “It’s not the size of the man in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the man.”

I share this story because I know that in the coming years Hoosiers will continue to face struggles and frustrations as some misguided politicians in the Indiana Statehouse place greater emphasis on singling us out rather than bringing us together. There will be times when we want to throw in the towel or put our time, treasure and talent to other worthy causes. However, like Hughie, we can’t give up — no matter the odds. There is too much at stake.

So as the now second most famous person from Sandborn, I ask my fellow Hoosiers to stay in this fight, no matter what the odds, and protect our shared values and principles for this and the next generation of Hoosiers. If Hughie can do it, so can we.

— John Gregg

2012 Democratic Nominee

for Governor of Indiana

Sandborn

Guns protect us

from tyranny

I will present facts so rational people make up their own minds on gun control.  

First of all, they don’t register guns in the state of Indiana. When a person wants to purchase a gun, whether from a gun shop or gun show, the seller must place a call to  ATF to determine if the purchaser is a convicted felon or has any other reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to have a gun. The information received from the ATF determines whether or not that individual gets a gun.

The fact that Obama and his cronies want you to register a gun should throw up red flags. Once they know who has the guns they will know where to go to confiscate them.

Do you realize that during the 20th century, over 100 million people were killed by their own governments? There have been genocides, ethnic cleansings, or whatever you want to call them, in the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Nationalist China, Red China, Guatemala, Uganda, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Barundi, Darfur and Iraq. I’m sure I also missed some. Everyone of these countries first disarmed the population. They all took the exact same steps, the first of which was registration, followed by permits and licensing, followed by confiscation which was then followed with a law that bans possession and had severe consequences up to and including death. The governments then started conducting warrantless searches and basically doing anything they wanted and there was nothing the citizens could do because they lost the means to resist.

I am old enough to remember the scenes from the Czech/Hungarian uprising of 1956 where people were throwing rocks at tanks because they had been disarmed and that’s all they had. The Soviet storm troopers marched behind the tanks and shot anybody they saw. It was only later that the citizens realized that a little gasoline, a glass bottle, a rag and a match could be combined to form a weapon but you still had to get close to use it. It’s history, it actually happened and it will again if citizens don’t stand their ground. The government works for us, not the other way around.

The founding fathers put the Second Amendment into the Bill of Rights not for target practice or hunting but as a means to resist a tyrannical government. They put it in there in case the government decided to disregard the rest of the Constitution, and it appears the Constitution means nothing anymore. Obama declared war on Libya (an act reserved for Congress) and the National Defense Authorization Act which allows for “indefinite detention.” It will never happen here, you say? Here are some more facts.

President Obama has invented “legal” grounds to justify assassinating American citizens with drones. Then we have the USA Patriot Act of 2001 which basically nullifies the Fourth Amendment.

The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Jim Garrow, Ph.D., claims in a Facebook post that a military “hero” who everyone would recognize confided in him that Obama is using as a litmus test of military leadership that involves their willingness to fire on U.S. citizens and removing them from their posts if they say they will not.

The Department of Homeland Security just ordered another 21.6 million bullets to add to the 1.6 billion they bought last year. That’s enough to shoot every U.S. citizen four times and still keep millions in reserve.

We have a government that claims it has the power to tell you what size toilet you can have or what kind of light bulb you can use and will tax you for doing nothing and then they claim the power to arrest and detain you forever.

If you have a computer, do a search for genocide and see what happens when the population is disarmed. Look up FBI crime statistics and you will find that more people are killed with hammers than assault rifles.

When I was in the Navy, I knew a guy who had a picture of a Nazi execution on his wall and under it were the words, “When they get your guns you’re a dead man.”

— Frank Grochowski

Brazil

Are we spending

money wisely?

Recently in the news there have been heaps of praise to all the various parties involved for the addition of police officers to a number of elementary schools. As unpopular a sentiment as this may be, I have to ask if there isn’t a much better way for all these funds to be spent?

If you look at the history of school shootings, in the U.S. there is, on average, one mass shooting at a secondary school per year. Certainly these are deplorable and in no way am I condoning any of these or their perpetrators. But consider how many schools there are in this country. What are the odds of one of these events happening in Vigo County?

We live in an age where budgets are limited. Our police and schools have all complained about funding, or the lack thereof. What other more productive programs could be implemented with these moneys? Aren’t the parties involved instituting a short-sighted “whack-a-mole” strategy to a terrible event that took place far away and is unlikely to be repeated locally?

— Dwayne Owens

Terre Haute

Where will the

jobs come from?

It is with great interest that I read the Flashpoint piece entitled “You can’t go back and that’s OK” by Cecil E. Bohanon and Tyler Watts, both with Ph.D.s and both of whom teach economics at Ball State University.

What bothers me about their position is that they apparently have a connection with the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, a conservative so-called “think tank” out of Fort Wayne. Apparently, it is well-funded by conservative business money and is obviously purchasing its brain power. That brain power apparently suffers from intellectual incest of the worst kind, the sellout kind.

In their poorly disguised attempt to justify moving manufacturing bases out of America they attempt to claim that “It is the small, nimble plant with 50 workers making a variety of products that dominates the industrial scene today.” This is but a smoke screen for the fact that these businesses that they describe manufacture specialized goods. Their description attempts to pass these service industry businesses as industrial.

Such businesses are not industrial, have never been industrial and will never be industrial. The businesses left here that are industrial have indeed improved. Looking at the front page of that same Sunday newspaper at the pictures of Tri Aerospace suggests that the gains that they cite in productivity and worker output have come from technical advances, robotics and mechanization of processes originally done by hand.

Where does this leave America? It leaves America wondering where the jobs will come from if the labor-intensive manufacturing has moved overseas and the technology gap is hindering American industry that remains because these technical jobs cannot be done overseas or by uneducated masses.

Mega-mergers have undermined American jobs by eliminating all but the extremely small businesses that they tout in their one-sided commentary and have caused the movement of many heavy manufacturing jobs overseas where the labor may be exploited easier and the industries can pollute with no financial consequences. This is the change that they are attempting to cover up.

Making the statement that you cannot return to the 1950s is ludicrous to the extreme. The population densities on American soil were originally addressed best by railroads and public transportation. Thanks to the Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, the federal Interstate Highway system was constructed that undermined both the railroads and public transportation. This made the automobile industry grow and the petroleum industry grow.

The right of ways for moving goods and people that were formerly maintained by private industry are now maintained by taxes and public funding. The highways are falling apart and bridges are collapsing. The cost of petroleum has skyrocketed and according to some the point of peak oil production has passed, meaning that there is no end in sight by the simple law of supply and demand. You had better believe that this was not happening in the 1950s and it has to stop now.

It was Democrat John F. Kennedy who first proposed stimulating the economy by lowering the top federal income tax bracket from 91 percent. Yes, the top federal income tax bracket was 91 percent during Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration. Lowering taxes might be compared to dosing the drug warfarin sodium also known as Coumadin. This drug can save your life when taken in prescribed doses. However, too much of it can cause hemorrhage and death.

Lowering taxes can stimulate the economy, but lowering them too far can cause the collapse of government and death of the economy. Saying the best government is the government that governs least does not mean that we no longer need government. It simply means that lobbying should be made illegal.

— John Garner

Terre Haute

Special help from

special people

I want to thank Dr. Louis Janiera and his wonderful staff that helped me with my defibrillator and pacemaker made by St. Jude Medical.

I would like to thank the nurses and staff for the special help they gave me at Union Hospital; and Dr. Thomas Orman for all his help with my heart condition.

May God bless everyone of you and your loved ones.

Special thanks to my mother, Beatrice R. Marchino, who gave me life and had made it a very special life. I love you very much.

— William (Bill) M. Marchino

Terre Haute

What does Obama

really intend?

When President Obama says, “I want to fundamentally transform America,” it seems reasonable that he explains what he means.

If he says “fundamentally,” clearly he is not referring to a few changes. Fundamentally means big change, enough change, like the ending of slavery, such that we will not recognize the “new” America.

Maybe I just missed the explanation. Perhaps those who idolize every Obama word can tell us what he intends.

If they cannot, Obama will not be the first to have successfully concealed his true intent. According to the book, “The Forgotten Man”, President FDR’s administration admired Stalin’s ideas of communal farms, wage and price controls, etc., and spent 1933 to 1936, imposing these ideas on the nation.

In his 1937 inaugural address, FDR explained to the American people, not that he was trying to fix the economy using Communistic ideas, but rather, “We are fashioning an instrument of unimagined power for the establishment of a morally better world.” He did not explain “unimagined power” or “morally better.”

By late 1937, FDR learned that Stalin’s “morally better world” required execution of millions, and, surprise, the communist-based economic ideas did not work. Civilian, non-government unemployment rose from 16.9 percent to 21.9 percent and by 1940, with unemployment still at 19 percent, FDR sought a third term to protect his legacy.

I suspect that Obama, like FDR, will have trouble accomplishing “fundamental transformation.” If I am right about that, look for Michelle Obama to seek a “proxy” third term to protect the Obama legacy.

— Ron Gore

Covington

Youth bring much joy to residents

At a time when we continue to hear negative actions of our youth, I must say we have great youth in Terre Haute.

Mrs. Ronna Rewers’ “superstar” sixth-grade special education English class, at Otter Creek Middle School, blessed approximately 80 residents of Davis Gardens Healthcare with beautiful Christmas cards. The students not only took much attention to art detail, but also personally wrote letters to each resident. I am thankful I had the opportunity to see the smiles, and twinkle in the eyes of those that were blessed, one of those being my mother.

I ask that when you start to complain about a child’s actions, remember they learn by example. It is evident that Mrs. Rewers is a teacher that was taught the love and respect of others and is “paying it forward” to her students.

— Kimberlee Salmon

Terre Haute

Thank you for

humane souls

The town of West Terre Haute owes a debt of gratitude to Tim Taylor, Vigo County Animal Control officer, for all of his endeavors in rescuing three adult dogs (one female in heat) from a local scrap yard this month.

In the past three months, Mr. Taylor has also rescued 11 puppies (three in the New Goshen area and eight more from the scrap yard). Mr. Taylor worked tirelessly, checking on food and water for the animals and making sure the crates were set in areas away from the wind and rain. He is a wonderful, compassionate man who does not hesitate to work alongside animal advocates. The county is fortunate to have a man who possesses these qualities.

As defined in the American Heritage Dictionary, the word “humane” means “Having the good qualities of human beings, such as kindness, mercy, and compassion.” Mr. Taylor, the Parke-Vermillion Humane Shelter and Anita Oswald all epitomize the word humane. Also, Debbie Lee and others who work at the scrap yard gave of their time and money in helping capture the animals. If they had not called animal control, no one would have known about the dogs living at the scrap yard and running loose in search of food.

Others took the animals to the Parke-Vermillion Humane Shelter which should be commended for taking 11 puppies and giving them a chance for a new life. It is the least we can do for those who do not have a voice.

— Linda K. Plew

West Terre Haute

Think about what’s good for country

This is in response to Ron Hastings’ letter of Feb. 17, 2013, titled “Just Another GOP attack”.

Let me begin by saying that I am a registered Democrat, but I vote for the person whom I feel will do the best job. Unfortunately, many voters vote for their party only. They ignore the fact that some of the people they elect are not the best people to get the job done.

As an example, the administration failed in its duty to protect its citizens in Benghazi. There was at least an eight-hour span of time when something could have been done to save the lives of our ambassador and the others who died. The people who failed the United States, including Obama at the top and Hillary Clinton who was second at the top of the list, did not fulfill their responsibilities.

Yet, the only problem Mr. Hastings has is that he is afraid Hillary will not be elected president because the GOP is demanding an investigation. This is a serious situation. Who is going to try to get to the bottom of what happened? It will not be the Democrats or the liberal media who try to keep every mistake this administration makes a secret from the public.

Voters need to start using their heads and elect leaders of our country who will work together in the interest of all citizens. The performance of Congress is shameful due to the fact that neither party will work with the other. The truth is that this country is sliding downhill, and nobody in this administration or Congress seems to care, since neither party will work with the other for the benefit of our Country.

Mr. Hastings, maybe you should re-direct some of your concerns toward the good of our country.

— James Smith

Terre Haute

Seek out other

views of Islam

Saul Rosenthal’s Feb. 19 letter of hollow support for Ramachandra Abhyankar illustrates that with advancing age,the retired assistant professor is losing a grip on his rational faculties. How can anyone be persuaded to write in support of bigotry?

There are innumerable examples of terrorism committed by non-Muslims (T-S: letter Sept. 2). Yet Rosenthal also sees an enemy in Muslims. I suggest that Rosenthal read books on Islam written by established scholars like Karen Armstrong and John Esposito. Abhyankar quotes anti-Islam writers. That does not make him an authority on Islam.

— Khwaja A. Hasan

Formerly of Terre  Haute

Wadsworth, Ill.