News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

November 30, 2013

READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 1, 2013

The dangers of aggressive driving

On Sunday, Nov. 24, at Lafayette and Fort Harrison at around 2:10 in the afternoon, we were at the intersection going west when a funeral procession came through turning right onto Fort Harrison coming from the north.

A “gentleman” behind me started honking his horn incessantly. He was driving a very large, fancy Dodge pickup truck, charcoal gray. He then proceeded to go around me and the person in front of me. He hit the gas so hard and went through the intersection and came within a hair of hitting a small blue truck that was in the procession. It scared my wife and me both.

I hope that this “gentleman” is proud of himself. These people were grieving enough without almost more of them getting in an accident. I’m sure glad they didn’t for I was more than ready to give a statement on how aggressive this person was driving.

I would like to say to this “gentleman,” get a handle on your aggression or it’s going to get you in trouble.

— Terry Higgins

Terre Haute

Thanks to Lowe’s for great work

On behalf of myself and the Friends of the Arboretum Board of Directors, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lowe’s Home Improvement and their group of volunteers who remodeled the Torner Center in Deming Park.

Our organization meets there monthly. Last night as we arrived, we were thrilled at the beauty of the walls, floor, cabinetry, new fireplace, appliances and the overall appearance of the meeting room. It was always a clean, comfortable and safe place to meet, but now it is even more warm and inviting.

A big thank you to Lowe’s Home Improvement and their volunteers for their kindness and generosity in creating this dramatic change. You folks did a marvelous job for the Torner Center, Deming Park and the whole community. Beautiful work. Well done. Many thanks.

— Marilyn Clark

Corresponding Secretary

Friends of the Arboretum

Terre Haute

Another ‘Miracle’ set for Friday

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but rather a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plentiful in mercy and generous in sharing with those in need, that is the true spirit of Christmas. Christmas and all the magic it holds is quickly approaching. Along with the opening of the holiday season comes the fifth edition of Miracle on 7th Street Christmas Bazaar and Festival.

The merchants and businesses of downtown Terre Haute, especially those centered around the Crossroads of America, decided in 2009 to recapture the nostalgic feel of childhood Christmases reminiscent of downtown circa 1963. Thus, Miracle on 7th Street was born.

From that inaugural event 5,000 attendees, the event has grown dramatically. Last year’s event drew nearly 12,000. Plans began immediately to both expand and improve the annual event. This year, Miracle will feature several new events and the expansion of both our canned food and money drives. We are proud to welcome the T.H. Symphony Tree Fest, to be held at the newly renovated Indiana Theatre and Event Center. It is a great event being held in a truly beautiful historic treasure. The canned food drive will actually begin the day after Thanksgiving, thanks in great part to one of our new sponsors, Coca-Cola. It will provide large brightly colored food barrels at several downtown locations. Please drop canned goods into these barrels through the night of the event.

On Miracle night there will be a Coca-Cola trailer on the street in front of the Vigo County School Corp. administration building. Every can and every $1 donation will earn the giver one chance to win several great prizes, including IU basketball tickets, ISU basketball tickets, Indianapolis Colts tickets, an Andrew Luck autographed jersey and many more items. The drawing will be held at 9 p.m. The more you give, the more chances to win. The food and cash, along with other monies earned during the festival, will be given to the 14th and Chestnut Community Center, St. Benedict Christmas Baskets and the Tribune-Star Christmas Basket Fund. We are also planning to surprise two other charities that help our neighbors-in-need that night as well.

We not only want to thank all the incredibly generous people and businesses for their support (we had six sponsors in year one and 41 sponsors this year), but want to both remind and invite you to bring your family and attend this year’s Miracle on Seventh Street Christmas Bazaar and Celebration on Friday from 5 to 10 p.m. Seventh Street will be closed from Wabash to Ohio as well as Wabash Avenue from Seventh to Eighth streets. Heated tents will line those areas with the Holiday Marketplace. Virtually every business from the Vigo County Public Library on the south end to Clabber Girl on the north end will be open for special events, sales and holiday fun.

Admission is free to the outdoor events. Activities include: Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive on a city fire truck at 6:15; art show and sale at Heinl’s; First Friday activities at art museums and galleries; local weavers and gifts at River Wools; window-decorating contest for local businesses; Noon Optimist Club Clothe-A-Child booth; photos with Santa at Mic’s Pics; holiday gifts, treats and gift cards; a chance to send a letter to Santa at the Children ’s Museum; live reindeer; the gingerbread house building contest at the Indiana Theatre sponsored by Century 21 Advantage; Farrington’s Grove Chorale at the First Congregational Church; Coca-Cola Polar Bears; ISU Madrigal Singers on the street and local eateries; Christmas Tree Lighting with T.H. South band and Santa, 6:15 p.m.; dinner at one of eight downtown eateries; holiday drinks at the Copper Bar; Christmas at Clabber Girl; tree decorating contest sponsored by the T.H. Savings Bank and decorated by 20 local not-for-profit agencies; and much more.

Please stop by the Miracle Center at Seventh and Wabash to pick up your free event and activities guide compliments of the Tribune-Star. I hope to see all of you at the Miracle.

— Terry Hogan

For the Committee

Miracle on 7th Street

Terre Haute

Obama lies with malicious intent

A popular bumper sticker reads: “The Obama legacy: The transparency and honesty of Nixon. The competence of Carter.”

Quite right. The Nixonian aspect can be seen in President Obama’s stonewalling of Benghazi, NSA spying, IRS targeting of conservative groups, Associated Press/James Rosen monitoring, the brewing EPA scandal, and Fast and Furious.

In all of these ongoing scandals President Obama’s response has been: “I don’t know what happened, we are looking into it.”

President Reagan was mocked by liberals for “sleepwalking through history.” But President Obama appears comatose by comparison.

As for our president’s incompetence, it can be summarized in one word: Obamacare. I pray that Barack Obama is merely a cunning liar a la Bill Clinton and not the hapless bungler that he appears. Why? Because if he’s as incompetent as the ACA rollout suggests, then Americans face greater peril than Keir Dullea in that tiny pod orbiting Jupiter with a defective HAL 9000.

Republicans can be forgiven for enjoying a schadenfreude moment as Obamacare implodes. At this stage in his second term, George Bush’s approval rating had plummeted to 39 percent. Obama is currently at 37 percent and trending south. Obamacare architect, Ezekiel Emanuel, blames the rollout debacle on Fox News. (I’m not making this up.)

Of course there’s nothing funny about the fact that millions of Americans are losing their insurance, or that the ACA policies they will now be forced to purchase often come with higher premiums and deductibles. This painful truth is hard to square with Obama’s repeated assurances that, “We’ll cut the costs of a typical family’s health care by up to $2,500 per year” and “If you like your health care plan you will be able to keep your health-care plan. Period.”

I’m not surprised to see Obama’s signature program greeted with less enthusiasm than New Coke. When will liberals learn that top-down government planning doesn’t work? There’s a reason it’s called the (former) Soviet Union.

As for the president’s problem with voicing the truth, he’s fortunate in that he continues to be propped up by a sycophantic press. The New York Times insists Obama isn’t lying; he’s merely “misspeaking.”

But former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy views Obama’s linguistic faux pas as something more sinister. McCarthy notes that the U.S. Attorneys Manual recommends prosecution for fraud in situations involving “any scheme which in its nature is directed to defrauding a class of persons, or the general public, with a substantial pattern of conduct.”

McCarthy: “{I}f a schemer were intentionally to deceive all Americans, or a class of Americans (e.g., people who had health insurance purchased on the individual market), by repeating numerous times — over the airwaves, in mailings, and in electronic announcements — an assertion the schemer knew to be false and misleading, that would constitute an actionable fraud — particularly if the statements induced the victims to take action to their detriment, or lulled the victims into a false sense of security.

“For a fraud prosecution to be valid, the fraudulent scheme need not have been successful. Nor is there any requirement that the schemer enrich himself personally. The prosecution must simply prove that some harm to the victim was contemplated by the schemer. … President Obama knew three years ago, based on internal analyses, that because of his administration’s own regulation-writing, millions of Americans would lose the health plans he nonetheless continued to promise they could keep. The president hid the data.”

This is not merely lying. This is lying with malicious intent. Millions of Americans have been financially injured and inconvenienced due to Obama’s deceit.

McCarthy: “Obama’s fraud was, first, to induce passage of a plan designed gradually to destroy the private health-insurance market — a plan that barely passed and never would have been enacted if he’d been honest. And later, his fraud was to procure his re-election and the guaranteed implementation of Obamacare; had he been honest, he would have been defeated and Obamacare forestalled.”

Barack Obama campaigned on “hope and change.”

H.L. Mencken probably had progressives in mind when he wrote, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

— Reggie McConnell

Terre Haute

Down the path to nowhere

Good Sunday morning shows on a past weekend, “Face The Nation” and “Meet The Press” all featured the ACA and both sides to defend their position. Nancy Pelosi was defending Obama the best she could. Then they ran the clip of her saying, “We had to pass it to see what’s in it.” Isn’t this what is done when the doctor orders a stool sample, and the lab opens it up to see what is there and what shouldn’t be there. Am I comparing the ACA act with a stool sample? Yes.

It is too bad that someone didn’t put in that bill a clause that took away all congressional perks and pensions and returned to what our forefathers had in mind for the president and Congress members. Go back home after serving our nation and get a job, no pension, period.

Going back to her remark, it tells me that the people who voted for that bill did not read or understand how bad it was. How many other bills are passed the same way? We were forced to pay into Social Security and Medicare and the government wants to renege on those programs and call them “entitlements.” Now they are forcing us to buy insurance from different for-profit companies. They even have a program that tells you what you have to pay in your annual wage slot, and what the government will assist in paying if you don’t earn enough based on wages and number of members in the family.

Herein lies the part that will help speed up our nation going broke. Who pays the difference is the taxpayer. If the insurance rates go up and the wages for this person doesn’t, the taxpayer has to pay more. This is, in my opinion, socialism. Look up social and socialism in the Oxford American dictionary, that’s the one I use.

History was my worst subject grade wise in high school, I will admit, but I do remember some of the countries that had a socialist rule and what became of them. Russia went broke for one example, and the people suffered. I don’t want this for my descendants. This administration seems to be leading us down this path to nowhere. The use of “executive” orders to get around Congress and the Constitution is now the norm with Obama. He may now soon see himself as our King.

— David Marter

Terre Haute

Remembering to help needy

I would like to compliment the people of Indiana who went way beyond their strength when they helped people in our state after the damaging storms we had on Nov. 17. I would hope that Terre Haute would do the same. I feel that if we do not help others maybe someday we will need help and no one will be there.

So God bless all our people who helped. Someone, somewhere needs help every day. It would be nice at this time of the year that we all find someone to help. We have lots of homeless, hungry people in Terre Haute. Let us be thankful for all we have and help someone else.

Holiday blessings to all.

— Rita Hawkins

Terre Haute

Jihadis, be careful what you wish for

Looking over some old clippings, I found this 2011 news item: “The special Palestinian Authority TV program, ‘The Best Mothers,’ that is being broadcast during Ramadan, interviewed the mother of a bomb-maker from Fatah’s military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, named Yusuf Shaker Al-Asi. Al-Asi was killed in a shootout when the Israeli army tried to arrest him.

“The mother explained that when she spoke to her son about marriage, he said he did not want to marry only one earthly wife, but that he preferred to marry the 70. This refers to the 72 Dark-Eyed Virgins, who, according to Islamic tradition, marry the Martyrs in Paradise.” Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin, Aug. 18, 2011.

Hey, all you Earthlings way, way, waaaaaaay down there, this is the Archangel Gabriel texting you from far beyond the beyond, AKA Paradise. Sorry to butt in (like those pesky pop-up ads that drive you nuts) on all PCs, tablets, smart phones, not-so-smart phones, etc. But when you’re Chief of the Four Favored Angels in Heaven, also the Messenger of God who allegedly revealed the Koran to the Prophet (don’t believe everything you hear), then, since you’ve got the power of mega-warp speed, why not flaunt it. So I gotta tell you about a funny thing that happened to me here on the way to eternity. Comes before me a youngster by the name of Yusuf, age 18, who wants to cash in on the promised harem of Dark-Eyed Houris.

Out of respect for Yusuf’s family, allow me to fictionalize the character and call him Aziz.

The spanking-new martyr appeared a bit disheveled after being riddled with Israeli bullets following his alleged bombing of a restaurant packed with Passover celebrants. They were enjoying a Seder, the self-same traditional meal Jesus and his disciples observed, now famously known as the Last Supper.

Firstly, I was obliged to correct Aziz’s math. 72, not 70, were on the Welcoming Committee awaiting his arrival inside the Sanctum Sanctorum.

Secondly, I was obliged to inform the youngster that not all were dark-eyed beauties. Some had oglers that were blue, hazel, greyish-green, beige, medium brown, or speckled tan.

Thirdly, some of the Muslims on Aziz’s greeting group had decided to convert to other faiths. Apostasy of course is punishable by death according to Sharia law, but there’s no problem here since they are already dead. In any case, we are multiculturalists here, so I had to prepare Aziz, hard as that might be for him, that he might find among his harem a Mormon, Scientologist, Jehovah’s Witness, Seven Day Adventist, Baptist, Catholic, Jew, Hindu, or Buddhist.

Fourthly and finally, I explained (and this I feared might play havoc with Aziz’s fantasy) that we were running short of pristine-pure young houris due to an unusually high demand. The result being that the 72 in question were not as chaste and unbroken as Allah had made them. Except, that is, for a few spinsters in their 80s.

“DAMN IT ALL!!!” shrieked the young virgin, pounding his head with his fists. “How could Allah do this to me!”

“Hold on,” I begged. “It’s not all that bad. The ex-virgins are post-menopausal. So no worry about child care, not to mention child support.”

“Damn you and damn the 72!” he screamed.  “I’ve been punk’d!”

“Quite so," I said. "Who says the Almighty doesn’t have a sense of humor!”

“Very funny,” Aziz sneered. “I’m trying Hell.”

“Good idea,” I offered. “You’re sure to find some hotties there.”

— Saul Rosenthal

Terre Haute

Hanging on to people’s rights

Back in the 1700s, the 13 colonies decided they didn’t like the dictatorial powers of King George of England. With a lot of misery and spilling of blood they kicked the King’s troops out of the colonies and formed the USA.

After firsthand experience of living under excessive governmental control, the founding fathers approved the Constitution and later the Bill of Rights for governing and restricting the federal government’s control over “we the people” of this new republic.

Many writers and signers of these great documents warned future generations about the dangers of letting the governing powers destroy our ability to be free from the tyrants of the future.

Now if the country would revert to the old-time colonial punishment for violating “we the people’s” rights of choice, a manufacturer with the exclusive franchise for “hanging rope” would become an investment sensation.

— Sam Wallace

Casey, Ill.

No more trespassers thanks to mayor

I don’t know how many property owners have this same problem but after many years it will be alleviated thanks to Mayor Bennett and his legal department.

The problem I’m referring to is trespassing. To the many homeowners in Terre Haute who have come home and found people trespassing even though signs are posted is frustrating. I have five signs posted saying beware of dog plus no trespassing. Only to come home and find people in my yard. I’ve had the telephone man knock on my door but was met by my two Rotts who were fortunately in the house at the time. Most recently, an ISU student was giving away light bulbs.

When I contacted the mayor, his response was to contact his legal department immediately. Within a few days the legal department contacted me to say they will have anyone seeking a permit at the proper office will have to sign a paper as well as those working for them. That they understand and will not trespass on posted property. For years, I’ve tried to get this rectified and finally, with many thanks to the mayor and his legal staff, this is going to be the law in Terre Haute. Many thanks, Mayor.

— Bud Frederick

Terre Haute

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