News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 24, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Sept. 24, 2012

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Poor planning aided attackers

Since when does our government have the right to decide who of our dedicated American personnel is an expendable human?

Any of us who sat watching live video stream of two U.S. embassies in two Middle East countries being simultaneously attacked by rebel jihadists already concluded these attacks — together — had to have been pre-planned.

Any of us who heard the report that just two black ops guards and two tazer-carrying Libyan soldiers were all the security present at that house-like diplomatic outpost quickly recognized the administration had seriously underestimated that sociopolitical climate.

Any of us who heard Libya’s president state he spoke by phone to our president for an hour three days beforehand regarding intelligence of the planned attack and warning help was needed to repel it now knows for sure that a cheaply made Muslim-insulting video is by far not the whole story.

No matter what the White House and its press corps puts out, the loss of those four lives to jihadists must be due to either tremendous indifference to human cost versus enforced resistance or to tremendous ineptness in assessing the harm the radical element could do.  

Our nation’s people have been outraged over Russia’s capture of a U.S. spy plane pilot, over Hanoi’s capture of American soldiers, over pastors and missionaries held hostage elsewhere by radical elements. Four good Americans were just killed. Where is the mind of America today?

In simple terms, we put a U.S. representation into a potentially explosive environment in a building — not a compound — with just two armed guards. We were warned three days ahead but did nothing. Our president was asked directly by their president by phone for supportive crowd control but did nothing. For days after, the White House continued to call the result “spontaneous” and to blame a short, badly made, insultingly radical e-film for the two synchronized consulate attacks that cost four valuable American lives. What’s wrong with this picture?

If, with its wait-and-pacify stand, our White House was a school kid and Muslim radicals the school bullies, it would get beat up daily. There’s a distinct difference between being a peace advocate and a doormat, between wimpy and silently strong. It seems gone are the days when America discouraged conflict by planning ahead, implementing safeguards and appearing strong.

Maybe our president sees our national strength as he told David Letterman about the national debt, “We don’t have to worry about that in the short term.” If our economy keeps on its current downslide, we won’t be able to afford to do elsewise. Should Barrack Obama win the presidency in November, exactly who will he blame for the mess that the prior term left him?

Rest in God’s peace, Chris Stevens and company.

— Jim Muciarelli

Rosedale

Perspective on the 47 percent

I would like to introduce myself. You see I am one of “those people,” one of many of the 47 percent of Americans whom Mitt Romney doesn’t want to “worry about” during this campaign and election of 2012.

I am one of “those people” who does not pay income tax. However, this was not always the case. I began working at the age of 14. From that point on, I accepted full responsibility for my life. By the age of 18, I had saved enough money to pay for two years of college at Indiana State Teachers College. This would have included tuition, dorm fees, books, etc., along with any other class fees. I did not finish school, but I alone made the decision. Right or wrong, I took responsibility without imposing blame on anyone else.

Between the ages of 14 and 56 I continued working. I paid into Social Security, state tax, federal income tax, and county tax. Most of those years, I received refunds because my income often did not merit my owing any taxes.

I began having health problems during my middle 20s. Of the 40-plus years of working I was under my ex-husband’s insurance for about six years until our divorce. None of my places of employment offered coverage (except Workman’s Comp). Many times over the years, I have found myself in the emergency room for reasons such as chest pain, mini-strokes, X-rays, and high blood pressure. I was often sent home with prescriptions I could not afford to fill. Therefore, with many problems left untreated, they only worsened.

Eventually, I filed for disability and in June of 2010, I began receiving Social Security and SSI benefits at the age of 58. I also receive Medicare, Medicaid, and special prescription drug plan for those with low income. Another benefit which I receive is food stamps.

Mitt Romney thinks we, of the low-income bracket, call these benefits “entitlement” and that somehow we expect our government owes us. As one of “those people,” I don’t take any of these benefits for granted. However, I make no apologies for any benefits which I qualify for.

I call these benefits “the gift of life” because in 2010 I was stricken with cancer along with all my other health problems that had escalated. Due to my health-care plan and the wonderful care I receive from my doctors and other health-care providers, I have been a survivor of cancer for two years. When my heart stopped two years ago, I survived that also and now have a pacemaker. Without the health-care benefits I now receive, I might not be writing this letter.

Am I “entitled?” No, I am grateful and very fortunate.

— Bettie J. Cooper

Terre Haute

More questions about Islam

In his letter of Sept. 2 , Khwaja Hasan has again brought up the charge of “Islamophobia” in America. The word “phobia” means “irrational fear.”

Islam has the death penalty for apostasy and Islam’s Jihad Theology asks Muslims to wage Jihad (holy war) against non-Muslims. Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism do not have equivalent doctrines.

As Americans become more educated about Islam, many have started asking if Islam can be considered a religion in the first place. For example, see Rebecca Bynum’s book: “Allah is Dead: Why Islam is not a Religion.” Also relevant here is the article by Martel Sobieskey: “Demoting Islam’s Religion Status”, available at the following web address: www.newmediajournal.us/staff/sobieskey/2009/03192009.htm.

Mr Hasan: Americans are suffering from Islamonausea, not Islamophobia.

— Ramachandra B. Abhyankar

Terre Haute

Appreciation for fundraiser support

The First Free Will Baptist Church thanks God for the kindness and generosity of Bob Baesler and Baesler’s Market. Our Desserts for Dinner pie sale hosted by Baesler’s was a great success and blessing in starting our fundraising campaign for a new church.

Thanks to all in the community who supported with purchases, donations and prayers. Special thanks to Carolyn and the bakery crew who kept those pies coming.

Great thanks to all in the First Free Will family for a job well done.

— Elder C. Dwayne Malone, pastor, First Free Will

Baptist Church

Terre Haute