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The Journal Gazette

Letters to the editor


Partisanship prevents significant progress

Some claim that bipartisanship caused our fiscal mess and that uncompromising partisanship is the solution. History does not support those claims.

In 2004, Doug Bandow (a fiscal conservative, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, and a former visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation who served as a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan) reported on an analysis of government spending since 1953. Higher spending occurred when one party was in power, whether Republican or Democrat. Lower spending, lower taxes and more reforms occurred when government was divided.

Unlike currently, divided government historically has prompted bipartisanship. The greatest fiscal restraint occurred under Presidents Eisenhower, then Clinton, then Nixon/Ford, and then Reagan, all with divided government and bipartisanship. These periods also resulted in significant reforms in taxes, agriculture, telecommunications and welfare.

Real federal outlays grew most quickly under Presidents Kennedy/Johnson, then George W. Bush, and then Carter, all with partisanship. As for real domestic discretionary spending, the biggest spenders were George W. Bush, then Gerald Ford, then Nixon.

We have the opportunity and ability to address our needs. The stand-your-ground stance is squandering them.


Accepting gays a step in their redemption

“Area Churches Coming Out of the Closet” (July 19) is misleading. There is a great difference between accepting gays and condoning their activity.

We go to a hospital when we are sick and hope the doctor can make us well. So it is with the church. The church welcomes the sick and tries to help the individuals get well. The Holy Bible should be the basis for determining what is acceptable.

Jesus came to this earth to show us by his actions how we ought to live. He accepted all sinners but did not condone their activity. They are to love the sinner, but not the sin.

There are many different denominations and forms of government within the Christian churches, but all of them should agree to “love the sinner, but not the sin.”


Nature reclaims own as trees come down

I appreciated “Tree’s fate has owner feeling ill” (July 22). I may not be as big a tree hugger as Darla Keller, but I can empathize.

I was driving down North River Road recently when I noticed one of my favorite ancient oaks had taken a tumble across the Rivergreenway bike path. This tree was so old and huge they had diverted the bike path when it was constructed a few years ago, and its magnificence was notable as even I stopped to take a picture of it as the sun’s setting rays struck its branches one evening. I was really saddened when I saw it lying stretched downward to the trickling riverbed of the Maumee River. But later in the day, I took heart, a little, when I realized it was Mother Nature reclaiming her own, and at least it wasn’t like some moron taking a chainsaw to a giant tree in the center of a golf course (like last year).

I sure hope for Keller’s sake and everyone else’s that the tree comes down safely and without injuring anyone and preferably no lawsuits. Now I do believe as part of God’s creation we are connected, and if that tree goes down, no doubt a part of Keller will feel removed. I would suggest, when the day comes, either sooner or later, that she consider having an artisan make her a piece of furniture or sculpture from its remains or even a small carved wooden pendant that she could wear as a necklace. This way a piece of that tree will always remain with her. No doubt many of us have been forced to say goodbye to old friends this last month. In their honor, let us plant new saplings, water accordingly and assist in the cycle of life.


I-69 exit renumbering an insult to drivers

INDOT’s decision to renumber Interstate 69 highway exits by 200 instead of 184 shows a clear example in the continuous “dumbing down” of America.

According to spokeswoman Sandra Flum, “Adding 184 to each mile marker and exit would have caused too much confusion.”

Confusion for whom? Since both new and old mileage numbers will appear on signs through the transition period, no mental arithmetic for drivers is required. Perhaps INDOT itself has mathematical shortcomings?

Now we’ll get another Men’s Health magazine article about Indiana: “INDOT says Indiana drivers only comprehend even increments.”


EACS board training isnít taking hold

The East Allen County Schools board is floating yet another bond ($2 million), this time to pay for something that should have been provided for in a properly prepared budget. They don’t have enough money for regular maintenance for school buildings.

What happened to the money they were supposed to save by closing grade schools? They voted to buy iPads for all the students before they considered the ramifications of overspending, yet again. Richard Allgeier even stated at a board meeting, “Maybe we should have spent less on the iPads.”

The iPads are a great idea, if you can afford them. I think the students will certainly enjoy them. Maybe the board could use the iPads they bought for themselves for a lesson on budgeting.

I think the old saying of “robbing Peter to pay Paul” would apply here, except the taxpayers seem to be “Peter.” Do they even have a budget? Where is all the money going?

Aren’t they supposed to be going through “school board training” or are they just not paying attention in class?


Uses numerous for renovated McMillen

With all due respect to those proposing refurbishing McMillen Ice Arena’s floor plan, are three basketball courts necessary?

Why not leave one an ice rink? Create another opportunity for scholarships.

Dedicate one multi-purpose room to art, music, character-building, goal-setting, investing.


Hollywood obvious massacre culprit

Well, another tragic massacre by a deranged, murderous jerk, seeking his 10 minutes of fame. The media have been happy to oblige him to the point of obsession. My prayers and sympathy to all the victims.

Now the blame game ramps up anew. July 22’s Perspective page had a column by E.J. Dionne headlined “Who will face down NRA bullies?” in reference to this massacre. In turn, I blame Hollywood.

A few weeks ago, my wife and I decided to go to a movie. We checked the listings. Outside of a couple of animated children’s movies, the rest all contained violence, drugs, foul language and/or sex. We were wanting to be humored and entertained, not go watch what is an everyday occurrence in today’s society.

When the arresting officers captured James Holmes in the theater, he reportedly said: “I am the Joker.” He didn’t say: “I represent the NRA.”

He considered himself a movie villain. So whom do we blame? An organization? An industry? Our society? All the above?

The media say there is no definitive study that links violence in video games and movies to behavior in the population. Were these studies conduced by the same people that own all the media and the movie production?


Heroes will always outnumber villains

To call sports figures or entertainers heroes is a mistake. Those who excel in their chosen profession for their own glory and for monetary gain are not heroes.

Those who put themselves in danger’s way for others, with no thought to their own well-being, are true heroes.

Real heroes are everywhere. There are many more heroes than villains.

There was one villain in the movie theater. Heroes occupied many of those theater seats. Real heroes never seem to believe that this is what they are. They always say that they just did what was necessary.

Heroism is just below the surface in many of us. If we are fortunate, we will never know that this is inside us. It takes an unfortunate and sometimes traumatic occurrence to bring forth heroism.

In almost every tragedy, you will find that one or more heroes was present.

Villains trumping heroes? Never!