The freedom to
fuss over politics
Bravo to Douglas Elia!
His wicked skewering of left-leaners (which I fear would include me) was a delightfully ironic and funny letter (Nov. 17), “Here’s a real liberal agenda.”
So let us now praise satirists. They come in all flavors, left, right, center, political, apolitical, utopian, apocalyptical, skeptical, or even religious. Jonathan Swift, for example, the great satirist of the 18th century, best known for “Gulliver’s Travels,” was a high-ranking cleric, Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Other notable conservative satirists: Aristophanes, Chaucer, Cervantes, Moliere, Evelyn Waugh, P.J. O’Rourke, Dennis Miller, and even Shakespeare perhaps in his comedic works (although it’s hard to pigeon-hole the Bard of Avon ideologically.) As the premier playwright of his time, he became comfortably wealthy and a member of the propertied class.
Neither is the left lacking in the fine art of satire. There’s Voltaire, Twain, Vonnegut, G.B. Shaw, H.L. Menken, Lenny Bruce, Art Buchwald, George Carlin, Chris Rock and Bill Maher. Oops! I almost forget Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. “Saturday Night Live,” of course, is the modern Mecca of satire. But it cannot be pegged politically since it is an equal opportunity demolition squad that punctures all pomposities.
Politically speaking, conservatives tend more toward the realistic, especially when it comes to fiscal or economic matters, while progressives tend toward the idealistic, toward dreaming the impossible dream and spending liberally for it.
As Mr. Elia might put it, let the printing presses roll 24/7 and grind out tons of money (forget about inflation and the government drowning in an ocean of red ink) and give handouts to all hands held out. With everybody feeding at the breast of Mother Government, no one will have to work or create jobs, and everybody will be forever happy. Now that’s gotta be a surefire winning formula for a Nobel Prize in economics.
Conservatives clearly see themselves as grounded in reality and their opposites with their heads in the clouds.
Come to think of it, Aristophanes, the greatest writer of comedies in the ancient world, wrote a play called, “The Clouds.” It satirized the famous radical of its time, Socrates. Some say it might have even contributed to the famous philosopher’s sentence of death.
Thanks to the Enlightenment in the 18th century and the flowering of democracy, the realists and idealists have the freedom to duke it out, define each other, and not be punished for it.
As we see, for example, in Mr. Elia’s welcome touch of wit.
— Saul Rosenthal
set for March 18
On May 14, 2012, Terre Haute North High School honored Carl S. Riddle (in memoriam), Curt Brighton and Katherine Utley at the first annual Polaris Awards. These individuals make North High School proud to call them Patriots.
The second annual Polaris Awards will be held at The MCL Banquet Center on March 18, 2013, from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will include musical entertainment by THN students, a multimedia presentation, and a three-course meal with choice of three entrees, followed by dessert and presentations.
Please consider supporting this celebration in honor of those who uphold the traditions and values championed by Mr. Riddle and his successors. Sponsors will be recognized at the event.
Nomination forms may be found on the Terre Haute North Vigo High School webpage at www.vigoschools.org or a form may be picked up at North in the main office.
Please return completed forms to Terre Haute North Vigo High School by emailing email@example.com or mailing to Polaris Award Screening Committee, 3434 Maple Ave., Terre Haute, IN 47804 by Dec. 19. Recipients will be notified in January of 2013 and will be honored at the school and the March banquet.
— David Bray
Terre Haute North Vigo
The freedom to
GUEST EDITORIAL: Congress now free from the threat of too much work
The headline on the Congress-watching newspaper Politico said it all: “Done.”
RONN MOTT: A friend celebrates his 90th
I went to Charlie Fox’s 90th birthday party Sunday last. He was standing greeting people as they came in the door. I never saw him sit down even one time. He looked more like a man celebrating his 60th rather than his 90th.
Editorial: Bring on the ‘Miracle’
For five miraculous years, Terre Haute’s Christmas festival on a Friday night in early December has grown and prospered.
- Readers’ Forum: Dec. 6, 2013
RONN MOTT: Cigars
Leaving Baesler’s Market the other day, making my round of errands, I started to re-light my cigar. It was left over from the day before and I did not place it in the humidor. It had gotten too dry, so I threw it into my garbage sack asking myself the question, “Why do I do this?” Well, I do it because I enjoy it.
TRIBUNE-STAR EDITORIAL: Changing attitudes demand GOP action
From all indications, the Republican Party’s legislative leadership will punt away in its next session the opportunity to make a good decision on behalf of all Hoosiers about placing a same-sex marriage ban in the state’s constitution.
READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 5, 2013
• Anarchy is in the ‘tea’ leaves
Editorial: Help us spread holiday cheer
The kind and generous people of the Wabash Valley are called upon often to help those less fortunate. We are proud to live an area where that call never goes unanswered.
- Readers’ Forum: Dec. 4, 2013
RONN MOTT: Cats, Inc.
I suppose we should give her a cake and a candle, but she would be happier with a handful of “treats” you can find wherever you shop for groceries. I’m talking about the two-year anniversary of the first cat we adopted. If we had known there were going to be more, her name probably would have been different. She was Orange Crush, a small, bedraggled, starving, Golden Tabby female that wandered into our yard a little after Thanksgiving. She had been badly maltreated.
MS. TAKES: Plenty of downsides to tree with candlelight
I had been spinning my wheels over Thanksgiving preparations the other day, so my Best Friend took me out for breakfast — a little luxury I never tire of. Our friend, Bill, stopped by our table to offer holiday felicitations and the conversation turned, as it often does this time of year, to Christmas.
READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 3, 2013
• Prestige chosen over practicality
• Tea partiers love country, freedom
• Same old clowns
LIZ CIANCONE: Plenty of downsides to tree with candlelight
I had been spinning my wheels over Thanksgiving preparations the other day, so my Best Friend took me out for breakfast — a little luxury I never tire of.
Readers’ Forum: Dec. 3, 2013
Prestige chosen over practicality
Tea partiers love country, freedom
Same old clowns
EDITORIAL: For NESC, transparency best option
The five-member board of the Northeast School Corp. of Sullivan County is in the midst of tough times as it faces a difficult decision on the future of its schools, including Union High School in Dugger.
Readers’ Forum: Dec. 2, 2013
‘Ask not …’: Living by the words we speak
MARK BENNETT: ABA’s record proves Bobby Leonard’s a legit Hall of Famer
Bobby Leonard symbolized the feisty competitive flair of the old ABA.
EDITORIAL: Preserving, improving our parks
Few amenities more greatly affect the quality of life in Terre Haute than its public parks.
FLASHPOINT: Getting right with history
I am ornery enough to never much worry about whether I am on the “right” side of history.
READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 1, 2013
The dangers of aggressive driving
Thanks to Lowe’s for great work
Another ‘Miracle’ set for Friday
Obama lies with malicious intent
Down the path to nowhere
Remembering to help needy
Jihadis, be careful what you wish for
Hanging on to people’s rights
No more trespassers thanks to mayor
RONN MOTT: Collett Park Christmas Walk always a special event
Since I live right across the street from Collett Park, I enjoy very much this particular neighborhood. And since I have walked around it a few times, I’m familiar with the 0.8 of a mile it takes to walk around the park. The Christmas Walk is a walk around the neighborhood. There were approximately 15 homes involved and open to the public this year
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news
An expansion of county parks
A teacher, visionary and leader
Reader poll results
READERS’ FORUM: Nov. 29, 2013
Cooperation helps enhance security
RONN MOTT: Rule Changes
Watching the beginning of a new basketball season reminds me of my attempt to play basketball in high school. On the B-team, at a township high school my freshman and sophomore years, I fouled out of a great many basketball games.
EDITORIAL: To be solemn, reverent and grateful
Its label is “Thanksgiving.” As Abraham Lincoln first proclaimed this national holiday in 1863, this 24-hour period celebrates our blessings, to be “solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people.”
READERS’ FORUM: Nov. 28, 2013
Governor can put words into action
Editorial: Newspapers’ greatest day
Those who are limited in their news intake or gain most of their information from broadcast or Internet sources may be under the false impression that newspapers are a dying institution. They may believe that readers and advertisers have abandoned the traditional newspaper, be it print or digital, in favor of some other sort of news flow that relies on shallow streams of broadcast fluff or, even worse, social media.More astute observers of media trends and those who are discerning about the information they consume are quite aware that this newspaper doomsday scenario just ain’t so.
- Readers’ Forum: Nov. 27, 2013
RONN MOTT: A Hornet’s Nest
I seem to have kicked over a hornet’s nest in my criticism of the American health care system.
The basic fact of the matter is this: We do not have, in America, the highest-rated health care system. We are not in the top 10, nor top 20, but somewhere in the middle 30s. Yet we pay more for our health care than any other nation in the world.
LIZ CIANCONE: Mourning a death is a personal exercise
One does not properly “celebrate” an assassination, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be reminded that there are a lot of nuts out there. Coverage this past week of the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination still has the power to disturb, but all the theories won’t undo the facts.
- More Opinion Headlines
- GUEST EDITORIAL: Congress now free from the threat of too much work