September 22, 2013

PUBLIC FORUM: Letters from Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013


---- — Don’t be a statisticof texting and driving

Reading the paper yesterday about taking the pledge to stop texting and driving, I literally gasped at the statistics! I have seen the commercials about the last text a driver sent just seconds before a horrible accident, but like most, I just noted it as duh, don’t do that!

Seems it should be easy enough. But the Pharos-Tribune article was so excellently written that the words did “sink in” as the writer had hoped. “Texting while driving is quickly becoming one of our country’s leading killers.” Everyone should find that quote to be incredibly disturbing! The statistics aren’t broken down as to whether the fatality was the driver, or an innocent child on a bike, or even both, but the statistics are crystal clear that they are “deaths attributed to texting and driving.” Teen drivers, don’t be fooled into thinking you’re so fast and skilled that it won’t happen to you; that is precisely the belief that provides the energy for it to become an epidemic!

Unfortunately, something that seems so simple because it is just that simple, has to be made into a law in order to gain support from drivers (remember when we were just encouraged to wear a seatbelt until it didn’t “sink in,” forcing a law to be enforced for our own safety?). What a wonderful proclamation our mayor designated with Sept. 19 being “Drive 4 Pledges Day.” I pray that all drivers commit to never text and drive. Ever. No one is immortal and, like the pledge says, “it can wait” because it can and should.

Pledge to not become a statistic.

Julie Utter


Shooting shows moreneed guns, not less

This “incident” at the naval base in Washington, D.C., did not demonstrate a problem with gun control as many talking heads and media are suggesting. What it did demonstrate is that the people who vote in the area, including Washington, D.C., need to ask their elected officials how this wacko, with previous arrests for misuse of weapons, managed to get into this naval facility. Where was the security? Isn’t Janet Napolitano the head of homeland security? Isn’t her desk right there in D.C.?

Was she down in Arizona opening jail doors so illegals could be released? Was she scouting out Obama’s next vacation destination to make sure he would be safe? Was security at the naval facility lax because Obama had cut the military budget instead of the departments of education, environmental control, and traffic that only controls where the little red frogs cross the highway? If our military facilities are not secure and are open to all who want to kill Americans, how safe do you feel?

I think this is reason for more, not less, citizens to arm themselves and get properly trained. Also, there is a big difference between a shotgun and an AR-15, as reported for hours by the media. They all want to be first to report, whether they have facts or not.

Jack FultzLogansport

Last year to participatein annual arts festival

Saturday, Sept. 14, was a beautiful day for the annual Art on the Avenue in my hometown of Logansport.

As I looked forward to my second year as a vendor for this lovely event, I anticipated selling many of my items, visiting with people and seeing family and friends.

Hundreds of people visited my booth throughout the day, but very few made a purchase.

What did happen was a total surprise. Most of the patrons asked me if I either lived in or was local to Logansport. I replied that I was born and raised in Logansport and still have family here, but I now live and work in Indianapolis. Every person who asked the question immediately turned and left my booth at my response.

I had a chance to visit the other vendors, and while talking with a jewelry/bead maker, a patron walked up behind me, looked at the vendor’s name and address, said “ewww Michigan,” and walked away.

It is apparent that the “Keep it Local, Shop Locally, Logansport” initiative is working quite well. Since I was not a “local” person, people did not buy from me.

My sales at the 2012 event were more than 90 percent higher than they were this year, while the quality and cost of my jewelry pieces have remained the same.

Logansport nonetheless benefited from my inclusive and open-minded participation in the local economy. In addition to the event registration fees I contributed to the Logansport economy, our family enjoyed dinner at a local restaurant on Friday evening; I purchased lunch at the event, and, of course, I couldn’t return to Indy without stocking up on Spanish hot dogs and root beer from B&K.

Perhaps it would be better if the Arts Council only recruited “local” vendors for the event.

This was very hurtful since we are all “locals” somewhere, and with Logansport’s discrimination against “non-locals,” I will unfortunately no longer be able to participate in Art on the Avenue. This saddens me very much.

Carolyn (Szewczyk) Noone


Congress should havebeen there all along

Some of the now toughest critics in Congress of this president about bombing Syria are the very ones that gave card blanche to the former president with not so much of a thought to question him about the weapons of mass destruction he used as the reason to go to war with Iraq. The majority of Americans knew he would not be able get that authority as he would not be able to get that evidence as most Americans knew the WMDs had been destroyed or moved out of Iraq during Clinton’s administration, which even Bush II admitted was true after he saw Saddam Hussein hang, which was his goal to go into Iraq in the first place.

Not even one photo was presented to Congress to verify his claim of WMD. And he was not able to get this photo with technology that could pick up a flea on the back of a camel from 20 miles up in space. But the Congressmen never the less gave him the necessary authority. Even Congressmen like Evan Bayh and Hillary Clinton just threw that authority on Bush II’s lap.

Let’s compare that to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Adlai Stevenson showed the actual pictures of the missiles to the UN. The world was on our side.

Not much needs to be said about World War II. FDR had the proof. It was our Navy ships sitting at the bottom of Pearl Harbor with many of our servicemen in those ships. That seemed proof enough for the American citizens and Congressmen.

Now President Obama asks this Congress for authority to stop the gassing of the Serbian citizens. Now these same Congressmen who gave Bush II their authority without question and without verification are questioning this president? They have seen the pictures. The inspectors have done their investigation and confirmed who carried out these atrocities. All of a sudden these Congressmen realize that their job is to question the executive office?

Just think, if they had done their job during the previous administration, we would have 6,000-plus young Americans still alive and many more with their hands, legs, eyes and other body parts still intact.

Let’s try this: The Congressmen that did have the common sense and good judgment to not give Bush II their authority to go to war should be the only Congressmen that should be allowed to vote on this request from the executive office.

Mike Smith