News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 15, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Oct. 15, 2012

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Mann will work for our schools

Voters in District 46 have the opportunity to vote for local control of their schools. James Mann, a teacher from South Vigo High School, understands what has happened in the name of “school reform” from the state. Endless claims that your public schools have failed opened the door to private for-profit turnaround groups to get public funds for their efforts. Vouchers paid from public taxes are now available, and over 90 percent of the money goes to religious-based schools.

James Mann will vote to stop privatization. He will question the edicts from the Indiana Department of Education on high-stakes testing and the overt move to take over schools and even districts with an untested, controversial grading system.

The march of state control of schools needs to stop. Our taxes should support public schools, not corporate interests and their stockholders.

James Mann will fight for you.

— Mike Walsh

Bloomington

Obama has long litany of flaws

Why should this president not be re-elected? First, his policies have hamstrung and delayed the recovery from the housing crisis, a crisis he played a small part in creating as a community organizer threatening banks. That is the primary cause of our current financial and job market woes and firmly sits in the Democrat’s column of achievements, not unfunded wars or “unknown” Republican policies of the past.

It began with what appeared to be a small push for greater minority and poor ownership of homes during the Clinton administration and ended with bundled “toxic” assets (home mortgages) that were not only overvalued but with owners who never had the financial ability to pay for them in the first place. The main security guarantees came from the semi-public and politically connected Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, both run by major Democrat donors throughout the time period in question.

For full disclosure, yes Bush did push for more home ownership during this period, but it was a far higher percentage of Democrats profiting and protecting this disaster right down to the collapse. Regardless, Obama used this crisis to enact policies more akin to Chavez than any American president. He orchestrated government takeovers of banks, strong-arming profitable banks to accept money, thereby forcing them under control. He used taxpayer money to “bail out” car manufacturers rather than allowing them to go through our solid bankruptcy process normally, not preventing it though. GM still went through bankruptcy, just under government supervision.

It allowed Obama to selectively shut down Republican-owned profitable dealerships and leave open Democratic donor-owned, less-profitable ones. It also set up the unprecedented handover of GM stock to fund lavish union benefits while stiffing bond owners (like mutual funds where nonunion 401k’s are invested).

Obama’s policy of attempting to shut down unfavorable media like Fox News or radio hosts such as Limbaugh is also reminiscent of Castro’s Cuba or Chavez’s Venezuela, though with a mainstream press that is more analogous to Trotsky’s Pravda than anything resembling investigative journalism with regards to his eminence, you would think silencing dissent would be lower on his agenda.

It seems freedom of speech in Obama’s world need only apply to those who agree with him, just ask Basseley Nakoula. When you point out that the rhetoric Obama and his surrogates spout as flawed or hypocrisy, such as pointing out the money thrown away on bankrupt green companies is $90 billion (wasted grants and loans) compared to the $9 billion “greedy” oil companies get in “tax breaks” (allowing them to keep money they actually earned) or that oil companies average 25 cents per gallon in profit for actually obtaining, refining, transporting and selling the gas while government takes 49.5 cents per gallon on average for, well, for nothing, or little or nothing. Depending on your view of “you didn’t build that,” you get labeled “liar” by the repeating megaphones in the media.

These are some of the reasons to send the president packing. I have much more: Foreign policy with the disastrous results in Egypt and Libya, allowing Muslim extremists to rise up from the ashes, taking a nearly complete victory in Iraq and handing it back to violence, making the same mistake as Russia and deciding to make the primitive countryside of Afghanistan the focal point of the “war on terror.”

Oh, I apologize, the “overseas contingency operation,” there can be no war under Obama. Should I go on or is this little fraction enough of a reason?

— Michael C. Sherrill

Marshall, Ill.

Column requires a few corrections

There were errors in columnist Ron Mott’s piece of Oct. 6.

In the piece headlined “Politics 101: Money Rules the Day,” Mott states that founders of major religions — Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha and Moses — rejected great wealth and preached against it.

Buddha, like the teachings of Hinduism (Buddhism arose as a reform movement in Hinduism), does not condemn the acquisition of wealth through ethical means; such acquisition of wealth is regarded as a legitimate goal of life in Hinduism. Hinduism has no founder, and perhaps for that reason, Mott ignores it. Hinduism teaches that it is not wealth, but the attachment to wealth, that is an obstacle to spiritual growth.

At the time of his death, Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, had a dozen wives. Is that possible without great wealth? Islam’s jihad theology calls on Muslims to fight Jihad wars against non-Muslims for acquiring wealth through war booty and through the collection of Jizya taxes imposed on defeated non-Muslims, as part of  Sharia (Islamic Law).

Mr. Mott’s statement needs revision.

— Ramachandra B. Abhyankar

Terre Haute