News and Tribune

October 31, 2012

News and Tribune letters: Oct. 31, 2012

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Mourdock should butt out

If a woman becomes pregnant resulting from rape, Richard Mourdock claims that this is a gift from God and she must accept it. No, don’t even think of aborting this “gift.”

By saying this, Mourdock is imposing his religious views on another person, someone who may not believe as he does. So, where is our vaunted American freedom of religion in this case? It’s Mourdock’s way or the highway.

Another question occurs: If a young girl, say around the age of 10 or 11 becomes pregnant as a result of rape, does she still have to accept this gift from his God, even though she is not ready for motherhood, either in body or mind, no matter how destructive this would be to her at the moment or to the rest of her life?

And please, don’t say it’s not possible for a girl that young to become pregnant. It has happened. All too often.

There is also the massive psychological trauma associated with the act of rape. In forcing the victim to carry and give birth to the child, she is constantly reminded of the traumatic experience. And to make matters even more horrific, in 31 states, Indiana included, the rapist gets parental rights, meaning that he can remains in the victim’s life and make it a living nightmare until the child reaches adulthood.

Fighting this in court requires money, lawyers, time and adds stress to an already unbearable situation.

Mourdock claims to have agonized over this issue, and concluded that life is sacred (God’s gift). If this is so, why does his reverence for life stop at birth? Mourdock is most anxious to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, which provides desperately needed health care for pregnant women, prenatal and post-natal, in addition to providing counseling, screenings and contraceptives. He is also eager to rescind PPACA, which is a small attempt to improve our very broken health care system, and which would benefit women. Ditto the safety net. In the name of “fiscal responsibility,” Mourdock ignores social responsibility and common humanity.

What I’m trying to say is that neither Mourdock, nor any other politician, has the right to make such a crucial, complex and personal decision for another human being. His pompous and sanctimonious words on women’s issues have reflected his deep ignorance and inability to feel any compassion, let alone empathy for the rape victim. He should butt out.

— Carol Tvaroh, New Albany

Reader supports Meyer for commissioner

This letter is to voice my support for Ed Meyer for re-election as Clark County commissioner in November. I am more than glad to explain why we need to do this.

This county has suffered some serious budget cuts. We all know it and Ed has tried to assist the County Council by hiring experts to give them advice and get us out of this. Maybe these folks don’t have all of the perfect answers, but Meyer had kept trying.

In the town of Utica, we depend on the commissioners’ office for many services and Ed has never let us down. He has helped us with getting the road open through the ammunition plant to Ind. 62. Ed is always willing to talk about interlocal agreements that can help us and the county. He is dependable and that means a lot.

Being a county commissioner is not the sweetest treat in the candybox. These folks take a lot of grief and probably don’t get paid near what the time demands would pay them in private business. But Ed doesn’t complain about that one bit.

He likes doing projects that make our lives a little better. He likes to watch our kids grow and succeed and, most of all, he is the first one to congratulate someone else who just got a break, had some good luck or who saw their child win in a competition.

Character and integrity is what makes up Ed Meyer. He stays committed when he says he will help. In periods of snowstorms, floods or weather disasters and emergencies Ed has always stepped up for Utica and we need him as a commissioner in Clark County.

— Hank Dorman, Utica

A reading recommendation on health care

I highly recommend everyone read the book “Priceless — Curing The Healthcare Crisis” by John C Goodman.

Some of the topics covered are as follows:

• Why we should bring competition into the health care system so we know what the costs and the results are instead of further insulating us from what the reality is?

• Why was malpractice not addressed in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)?

• Are there going to be any additional providers, such as doctors and nurses, added when there will be 30 million to 35 million more consumers?

• What other product or service do we contract for without knowing the true cost?

The bottom line is that all of us will have worse access to health care if this law is fully implemented.

Ask your own doctor what he or she thinks about this as a solution since they will be the ones that have to deal with the consequences.

— Charles Schladand, Jeffersonville

Grandmother urges vote for Obama

I am a 75-year-old mother and grandmother, I am white and I voted for Barack Obama in 2008, and plan on voting for him again this time.

I was elated when he was elected as I thought my country had finally started to realize that the constitutional value of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness belonged to us all. However, I now believe that while there were enough of those who believed this, that got him elected, there are still many that see it otherwise.

As soon as he was elected, the Republicans in Washington got together and decided to do nothing to help the president so as not to allow him to get elected again.

I saw Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky on television when he said that their prime objective would be to “see that Barack Obama was a one-term president.”

They decided to do everything that they could to suppress the vote of all those who would be likely to vote for Obama.

It was on television, fairly recently, that one of the congressman said what they were doing and said gleefully that “this would assure the success of Mitt Romney.” They had tried every rotten trick in the book to get their way, since they don’t think that they can be successful playing fair and square.

Most of the Obama failures to act have been because the Republicans simply refuse to either put bills on the table or else they filibuster.

Romney himself cannot decide who he is or what he believes — one time saying one thing and another time the exact opposite.

I think Barack Obama has done the best he could under very difficult circumstances.

Do you really want the kind of people the Republicans have become recently turned loose to run our country? I watch a lot of TV and think I have a realistic view of both men.

I am giving Barack Obama another four years and as many House and Senate members as possible and I urge everyone to do the same.

— Nella Newlin, New Albany

Reader sides with Mourdock’s statement

Several days ago, I read of comments by Richard Mourdock about abortions in cases of rape. Initially, I thought he had ruined his chances for election. But still, somehow I thought he might just be right, although unpopular in his opinion and the way he stated it. I hesitated to read all the commentary about it as I tried to gather my own thoughts.

Tonight, I watched a PBS documentary, “Broadway: The American Musical.” The program included a segment about Ethel Waters, for those who don’t know, a great star of the Broadway stage from the 1930s and ’40s. Waters was the first African-American to appear in a major Broadway production in 1930 and also the highest-paid star of her time. You can read more about this amazing woman on the Internet, but read the caption below that tells what I heard on the program.

Ethel Waters was born in Chester, Pa., on Oct. 31, 1896, as a result of the rape of her teenaged mother, Louise Anderson (believed to have been 13 years old at the time, although some sources indicate she may have been slightly older) by John Waters, a pianist and family acquaintance from a mixed-race, middle-class background, who played no role in raising Ethel.

1. Ethel Waters was raised in poverty and never lived in the same place for more than 15 months. She said of her difficult childhood, “I never was a child. I never was cuddled, or liked, or understood by my family.”

2. Waters, Ethel; Samuels, Charles T. (1951). His Eye on the Sparrow: An Autobiography. New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc..

Is this the kind of person that Mourdock’s opponents would like to eliminate from our society? I myself was adopted by the most loving and wonderful parents anyone could have. I know little about my birth parents and don’t really care to more. Could be that I am a result of rape? Could be that I might have been aborted rather than adopted?.

I think Mourdock is right. Birth parents make conscience decisions to procreate or maybe they encounter terrible unfortunate circumstances. Unborn children do not. The Democrats may well have spent $1.1 million educating unwed mothers rather than opposing Mourdock.

— J. Tim Lynch, Jeffersonville

Former teacher says ‘thank you’ to Sexton

After 40 years of school teaching, I retired in 2011. In my last year, James Sexton, the recently removed principal of Jeffersonville High School was my boss.

I have no doubt Sexton was hand-picked by the former superintendent, Stephen Daeschner, to shake up things at JHS. Business as usual was at an end. Complacency and accommodation of failure were not to be tolerated. As a result, toes were going to be stepped on. Enemies made.

Sexton demanded professionalism. He wanted respect. Friendship could come later. Though he certainly wasn’t perfect, he was perfect for the job.

He came to the job indebted to one person, the superintendent, an outsider like himself. In a unique situation, he was given free rein to make the decisions he felt would get at what was holding back JHS. Said differently, he operated completely outside of the “good old boy network.”

Sexton did the job he was hired to do. It’s unfortunate that he wasn’t allowed to finish it. No doubt his replacement will get off to a faster start due to the progress now in place. Hopefully now that the bloodletting is over, a new foundation exists but, I wonder.

With the exception of board member Nancy Kraft’s comments, the rest of our school board elected leadership have remained silent on the matter. Some questions must be asked. What does our local educational community really want from our schools? What were the new superintendent’s marching orders? Why haven’t any of the new candidates for school board voiced their opinions about what happened to Daeschner? Why haven’t those running for re-election made their views known on these matters?

Lastly, Mr. Sexton. For a man so deep in his career to take on the job you did, our community owes you a collective thank you and an apology. You were the right man for the job. You left the school in much better condition than you found it

Can this decision be reversed?

— Ken Miller, Charlestown