RSSLetters To The Editor
Why doesn't someone in Washington put a bill on the floor similar to the Marshal Plan to rebuild the USA?
Why are billions and billions of our tax dollars going to the Middle East to people who hate us and burn our flag?
Why are we still in Afghanistan? Osama bin Laden has been scuba diving in the Indian Ocean over a year now.
Why does Washington only want extended unemployment and free medical for the citizens, instead of creating good paying jobs?
Why don't the states and cities make more vocational and technical school to give people a trade to work in?
- John R. Newhouse, Lansing
Rich James says he would rather have a Little Orphan Annie decoder ring than an NRA membership.
He will also need someone to help him operate the ring.
Here's a lightning bolt for James: Responsible adults keep guns from kids; irresponsible adults do not. I'm sure James would like to see a dozen new laws enacted to rectify this problem.
Lightning bolt No. 2: You cannot legislate responsibility.
I am a NRA life because of mental midgets like Rich James.
I hope he doesn't drown in his next glass of Ovaltine. His columns are always good for a laugh.
- Mike Bees, Crown Point
How does a Porter County maintenance employee "accept" a $17,000 raise without question? The Feb. 26 editorial states, "Adames was expecting a raise that wasn't authorized."
Authorized or not, (which entirely begs another question) this employee basically had an obligation to notify someone in charge of an obviously huge increase in his wage.
I worked for a huge corporation for 34 years with experience in accounting, analytical cost accounting, management benefits and labor relations (the latter two under the human resources umbrella).
Whatever the complicating salary administration between the Board of Commissioners work at the sheriff's department and the Expo Center work, did this maintenance worker really expect a $17,000 increase in his salary? This smacks of payroll theft of taxpayers' money.
- Stevie Fain, Portage
If Valparaiso decides to put in a roundabout at Silhavy/LaPorte Avenue, please make it bigger than all of the rest.
The one at the five corners (Calumet, Vale Park and Roosevelt) is nice, but too small. Take enough land so the two lanes go all the way around. Look at pictures of roundabouts in Europe and base your design on them.
I've driven plenty of them during my time in the service and have found that the bigger ones are easier to navigate.
- Allen F. Ivey II, Valparaiso
In response to the Feb. 26 letter, yes, I really am a Democrat.
The Democratic Party instituted Social Security, the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act, all vehemently opposed by the Republican Party.
The Democratic Party works for issues that help working and middle class people. The Republican Party fights for big business and the wealthy. The Democratic Party works for jobs with good wages and the money to stay in our economy. The Republican Party favors big businesses' strategy of shifting jobs and profits offshore.
The Democratic Party is on the right, make that the correct, side of history, and if it errs in trying to improve the lives of all Americans, so be it.
If you're a person of means, I understand you being a Republican. What I don't understand is working class people voting against their own economic self-interest.
- Jules Chopp, Lowell
Mary-Beth Ferrebee's Feb. 25 letter states that another letter writer's argument defending President Barack Obama's use of executive orders has a flaw because Obama has only served in office for five years so far, as opposed to the eight years in office of presidents who enacted more executive orders than Obama. She refers to the letter writer as being a "low-information voter."
Perhaps she should obtain the facts herself before she complains about someone else's lack of facts. Had she known the facts, she would have discovered Dwight Eisenhower enacted 484 executive orders, Richard Nixon enacted 346, and Ronald Reagan enacted 381. To date, Obama has enacted only 168 orders.
Ferrebee's whining about Obama's number of executive orders has no merit when the facts show that past Republican presidents have passed over two times as many as Obama.
- Martin Lindahl, Crown Point
Someone tell me if this makes sense: Indiana is having trouble paying its bills because of lower than expected income tax revenues and lower sales tax revenues. And why is that? Because workers, the real source of income and sales tax revenues to the state, are bringing home insufficient incomes. And therefore insufficient incomes means insufficient tax receipts.
Wouldn't the solution here be to raise the minimum wage to at least $12, which in turn will raise state tax revenues — and everybody is happy? Right? Wrong?
- John Anderson, Kouts
Recently, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, (an Obama appointee) communicated to the 50 state attorneys general that if they disagree with a law they can refuse to enforce said law, just as the Obama administration does, per Holder.
Bear in mind, laws are voted on by the elected representatives of the people in each state; making each new law a part of that state's body of laws. Also, bear in mind these individual attorneys general take a binding oath to uphold the laws, all the laws, of their particular jurisdiction.
I therefore can infer that if I encounter a law, passed by a duly elected Legislature, I can choose to ignore that law and do as I please, experiencing no repercussions (the Eric Holder doctrine).
- Douglas Ziemak, St. John
Wow, the entire letters section was devoted to bashing President Barack Obama.
Jim Marrant, Obama's vacation might have cost $4 million. I don't know if that's too far out of the norm, but George W. Bush was the biggest waster of taxpayer vacation dollars ever. Maybe you can use factcheck.org and find this is true. The Dems just don't try to make a big thing out of it.
Look at the section called party lines and see how many of the myths Fox (Faux) news throws out there that the Dittoheads just believe without question.
- Daniel Hallowell, Schererville
Before World War II, we were militarily weak and Japan thought we were a "paper tiger." Germany had already cowed Great Britain's Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who tried to appease them.
Adolf Hitler thought we too would be easy marks. Germany bombed London and marched into Europe with little resistance.
First, they went to city halls, pulled the gun registrations, and then went to the homes to collect the guns. If you resisted, you were shot. European Jews were rounded up and sent to concentration camps for slave labor until they were murdered and incinerated.
Now, what about us? Do you trust Russia, China, North Korea and Iran? We had better think long and hard about which path we take. Do we weaken ourselves so we might be loved? Or do we stay strong so nobody is so foolish as to try us?
Think about it and call your congressman and senators.
- Blythe Cozza, Crown Point
I am trying to help an elderly friend find descendants of her great-grandfather, Jacobus DenBesten, born in South Holland, Netherlands, about 1845-50.
He left in the early 1870s for America to find a job and home for his wife Adriana Maria (DeBruin) and son, Klaas. When he returned a few years later, his wife refused to go back to America, so he returned without her or his son Klaas, who was born in 1871.
Jacobus was never heard from again, and now my elderly friend wonders what became of him.
I see online that a Jacob DenBesten (72), a farmer, was with his wife, Jessie (70) in 1920 at Keener, Jasper County. I wonder if any of your readers might be related to this couple or would have any information on them.
My elderly friend would be thrilled to find some descendants.
- Brent Bowyer, Wingham, Ontario
Please read Marc Chase's Jan. 30 column about Calumet Township Trustee Mary Elgin. It reminds me of the grasshopper and ant story, where the ant works all year to save, and the grasshopper just parties. Then when winter hit, the grasshopper wants her share of the ant wealth.
Then read the story about Carol Ann Seaton. When she ran for Lake County assessor, she had two driver's licenses, one from Indiana and one from Michigan. Seaton was in tax trouble then. She receive 48 percent of the vote.
Please look at states run by a Democrat. They are broke.
Detroit's last Republican mayor was in 1961.
I ask my firefighter friend about a free smoke detector, and he said move to Gary. I said I would just buy a few smoke detectors myself.
- Rick R. Hecimovich, St. John
Calling all not-for-profit organizations and community service providers in Porter County. The courts and P.A.C.T. (Prisoners and Community Service Together) need job sites to send nonviolent offenders who have been ordered to perform community service, in lieu of incarceration.
There is a shortage of manual labor and sedentary jobs in need of community service workers.
Do you have an upcoming event or festival which is in need of setup workers? Are you in need for 10 to 20 good citizens who may have made an ill-chosen mistake but seek to regain self-esteem and a feeling of achievement?
If so, call P.A.C.T. at (219) 510-6415.
Of course you may perform background checks upon assigned workers to fulfill your obligation of due diligence.
Is your church property littered with refuse? Need snow shoveled from your nonprofit's parking lot? I hope Porter County citizens will take advantage of this opportunity and call PACT today.
- Porter Superior Court 4 Judge David Chidester
It was a pleasant surprise to read Maria Becerra won her lawsuit vs. Hammond and Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr.
And it’s only for all the times people would tell me they were going file a lawsuit to right a wrong. You discover they lack backbone to follow through on their threats, but Becerra, who was fired from her job as Hammond Housing Authority's director went through the process and won.
The judgment she won was $200,000, which proves her contention from Day One. Kudos for taking on McDermott, who was behind this whole deal.
“You go, girl” for standing up for your rights!
- Ricardo (Streetwise) Moreno, East Chicago
Once again, George Grenchik uses his weekly column as a soap box to deride anyone who dares disagree with him.
In his Feb. 20 column, Grenchik declares anyone who denies burning of fossil fuels has contributed to "climate change" must be confused as to why Christopher Columbus didn't fall off the edge of the Earth.
It is always interesting that liberal fake intellectuals like Grenchik always dismiss anyone with a differing opinion as being an imbecile, dismissing their view as not worthy of consideration.
Well, let me say to Grenchik that those electric cars he seems so fond of take more energy than traditional gas-powered vehicles. And vehicle emissions have been cut dramatically due to government regulation.
The climate is changing, but then it always has since the beginning of time. The fact that we were told we had "global warming," when the temperature has not increased in the last 17 years, shows Grenchik, once again, is ignorant of facts.
- Steve Howard, Schaumburg
In 2008, three propaganda mailers costing $130,000 were sent to Northwest Indiana taxpayers promoting the alleged need to expand the South Shore. A new effort is being repeated in 2014 to promote this same $1 billion albatross.
Others have said it would be far cheaper to buy luxury buses, pay most operating expenses, and charge riders $5 per day to transport them from pickup spots in Northwest Indiana to downtown Chicago than to spend $1 billion to expand the South Shore.
The hidden cost of the South Shore expansion is the enormous future cost of replacing and maintaining the extra passenger cars, rails, roadbed, infrastructure (bridges, street crossings, crossing gates, switching equipment, overhead electric wires, transformers, etc.) after this $1 billion albatross expansion occurs (if it occurs).
Last, federal funds are not free money that some apparently think comes from a congressman's printing press.
- Rick Volbrecht, Highland
In response to Walter Dougherty, civil marriage is a contract between two consenting adults sanctioned by the state.
Everyone should have the right to marry the person they love. Same-sex marriage has no effect whatsoever on "straight" marriage, and no one is trying to force churches to perform ceremonies.
With the divorce rate at nearly 50 percent, the "sanctity of marriage" argument is absurd.
Under the equal protection clause, everyone has the right to be treated the same and your religious views have no standing under the rule of law. We are not a theocracy.
Those "activist judges" are enforcing the U.S. Constitution. Religious groups do not own the word "marriage."
If you don't approve of same-sex marriage then marry someone from the opposite sex.
The civil rights of a minority should never be put up for a vote. They are inviolate and the cornerstone upon which this country was built.
- Jacqueline Ruark, Merrillville
Rich James has no more idea about what a so-called "assault weapon" is than a 5-year-old on a trike understands about NASCAR.
While we all mourn the death of any child, James refuses to admit that there are 80 million gun owners, which means there's about 0.000001 percent chance of any child being accidentally harmed by the family firearms. Yet, James wants the other 99.99999 percent of families to jump through hoops he imagines will somehow prevent these very few tragedies.
No wonder he doesn't want anything to do with the NRA. Facts about firearms are not his trade. As long as he feels good about what he writes, reality and reason are not required.
If he really wants to learn, we would love to have him participate in the upcoming Indiana Firearm Owners spring event. We'll even let him shoot some of those dreaded AR-15 rifles.
- Rick Schwartz, Crown Point
A guest column by Roy Dominguez explained why Everybody Counts is taking the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission back to court.
To those who drive, this case may seem trite, but for disabled citizens without accessible public transportation, this case could mean the difference between being able to work or not — and, as Roy noted, the difference between life or death.
I am a full-time professional, Hammond homeowner, taxpayer and disabled because I do not drive, or have access to adequate public transportation. NIRPC has failed to comply with the terms of a federal court agreement filed on behalf of disabled citizens throughout Lake County.
I hope NIRPC loses this lawsuit so the residents of Hammond and north county communities win, in which case we might be able to finally “buy local” once we have access to accessible public transportation to take us places.
- Mary Lee Vance, Hammond
It is ludicrous that so many people write to the paper complaining about our country’s move toward “socialism” or, as one writer mentioned, toward communism “where everything is owned by the government.”
On the contrary — our government owns less and less. Our bridges and highways are sold to private consortiums. Public schools are losing millions of dollars to privately owned schools. Corporations are hoping the postal system fails. Then they can take it over, charging us much more than 49 cents to mail a letter.
Private companies do many of the services the government used to do, and they charge us dearly for that—hence the $300 toilet seat or $50 screwdriver. In fact, 70 percent of our intelligence budget goes to private contractors.
While our government is often inept and dishonest, I fear big corporations more — they want unlimited profits and power and will do anything to get them.
- Mary Certa, Crown Point
It is a shame when it takes a celebrity to die from a heroin overdose to bring this plague to light.
Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the world's heroin. Mexico's tsunami of drugs into the United States, and drug-related murders, is beyond the pale of civilized society.
America's military is capable of inflicting crippling destruction on the millions of acres devoted to the poppy and coca cultivation. The defoliation of these plantations is well with our capabilities. A holistic approach of education and treatment goes without saying.
The obvious question is, why has America not taken this action?
The drug lords will laugh as our soldiers return from Afghanistan. Thousands have died, seemingly to their benefit. Afghan President Hamid Karzi's regime will be business as usual.
No physician applies a bandage to treat a cancer. This old soldier feels ashamed of our foreign policies. Remember this at election time.
- Dr. Thomas Brunswick, Highland
Surprise is not the word for it, but it’s the only thing I can say.
After former Republican President Dwight Eisenhower got the ball rolling about building highways across the United States, I’m surprised about the Republican Govs. Mitch Daniels and Mike Pence that they both have thrown mud in Eisenhower’s face by letting such an opportunity to pass and nixed the idea of rebuilding the Cline Avenue bridge.
Northwest Indiana has already paid for the building of the Cline bridge, and now will pay to build it again plus tolls.
Dirty politics is in southern Indiana as well as Northwest Indiana. I guess that’s what we have to live with and pay for.
- Joanne Paulich, Hammond
During African-American Heritage Month, many were celebrating the contributions and the struggles of African-Americans to our society. It's about time for the African-American community to honor and pay homage to the more than 300,000 Union soldiers who gave their lives to give them their freedom.
- Gene Wolfe, Lansing
At a time when so many Hoosiers are still struggling to pay for health care and health insurance, it is amazing that our elected representatives are leaving federal funds on the table instead of accessing them to pay for Medicaid expansion.
The "Healthy Indiana" plan leaves too many residents in an unhealthy situation.
Gov. Mike Pence and his supporters continue to blame the working poor for their situation, rather than taking steps which would ensure more healthy families and a more productive workforce.
- Susan Eleuterio, Highland
The public should know about the latest of scams that's been happening in our area. There are people calling, claiming to be from a law firm, saying if they do not wire money to them the U.S. government is going to arrest and seize their bank accounts.
The gentlemen who tried used the names Julian Marshal and Mike Johnson. They even gave us a fake case number. I have contacted the real law firm, and they are aware their company is being used by these people.
I have filed all complaints with the FTC,FBI, and IC3.
I would hate to see anybody get scammed and thought if I could help even save one person, then it is worth my time to do this.
- Brian Goszewski, Porter
Complaints about abortion providers uncovered a few tardy reports of abortions for 13-year-olds. Pregnancy in 13-year-olds is always unfortunate.
Indiana deems mutual consent between 13-year-olds invalid. Neither is considered a victim of rape; it is mutual abuse. Without knowing the partner’s age, it’s not correct to say a 13-year old girl was a “victim of rape," as activists and journalists have done.
Dr. Ulrich "George" Klopfer sometimes informs parents that neighboring states have different reporting laws. Reporting 13-year-olds can be harmful, carrying risk of suicide, violence and creating barriers to health care.
The problem isn't abortion providers. The problem is that the state doesn’t commit to 13-year-olds’ sexuality education, health care and opportunity.
- Carolyn Meagher and Sue Ellen Braunlin, Co-Presidents of the Indiana Religious Coalition for Reproductive Justice, Lafayette
I am writing on behalf of Save the Dunes in response to your Feb. 16 editorial, “Shutting down waterways sounds fishy.”
It’s important to understand the concept of separating the Mississippi River and Great Lakes basins is not only about keeping Asian carp out. This is just one of over 30 current species of concern that could harm the ecology – and economy – of our lakes.
Also, through innovation, technology, and reliance on our “can-do” spirit of innovation in Indiana, we will find a way to separate the waterways while accommodating shipping interests.
The GLMRIS report outlines various methods to do this, and we must keep in mind that there are likely solutions available that will allow us to protect our lake and sustain business locally.
We also must smartly design the system to protect Northwest Indiana’s significant investments in flood prevention along the Little Calumet River and in the cleanup of the Grand Calumet River.
- Nicole Barker, Executive Director, Save the Dunes
The Republicans are killing people because they oppose Obamacare and the Medicaid expansion. After all, these programs are gonna be paid for by the federal government! So it's a good thing?
Do The Times and Dr. Alex Stemer at Franciscan Alliance realize we the taxpayers are the federal government? So either way we pay for the Medicaid expansion! Do they realize that giving insurance to folks who can't even pay premiums only means we taxpayers will end up paying for their co-pays and deductibles, not any different from folks abusing the ER system?
Stories like this are just scare tactics to pander to the uninformed, like Darcey Wade, who wrote that Gov. Mike Pence has refused to implement Obamacare. No, he refused the Medicaid expansion. You can still get your socialism on the federal site!
- Kevin Toth, Cedar Lake
To answer Thomas Mitchell's question, "when did Obama turn the USA into a dictatorship," I think it was the day he took the oath of office.
It is amazing that only a few have taken it upon themselves to do something about it, like Rand Paul of Kentucky. Most seem to be letting things go along, business as usual.
All my life I thought America was built on a solid rock. That the Constitution was written Sept 17, 1787, to forever keep America free. That we would fight anyone who tried to bring it down.
Now, I am sad to say, in a few years one man and his party have brought it down with the stroke of a pen and a flattering tongue.
We are losing our rights every day with hardly any fight at all.
- Jim Cannon, St. John
I totally agree with state Sen. Rich Tomes about columnist Rich James. He has been a writer for far too long.
In this time he has blasted every NRA statement along with all other pro-gun organizations that have made sensible statements on gun control without beating down the Second Amendment.
His last column put the topping on the cake when he used the word "poppycock." When has anyone heard that word used in a sentence in the last 20 years?
It's a British word that was used when they tried to take over America before we declared our independence.
- Mike Dancula, Lowell
This is probably the first time most of you will hear of this. The House has just released a declassified intelligence report on Benghazi.
On the night of the attack, Gen. Ham was informed within 15 minutes of the attack that it was a planned terrorist attack. Hamm notified Gen. Dempsey, and they, along with Secretary Panetta, informed the president of this.
So now we know that President Barack Obama knew it was a terrorist attack, but for three weeks he told the country it was caused by an anti-Muslim video.
Of course during his debate with Mitt Romney, Obama said in his speech in the Rose Garden that he said it was a terrorist attack. He never called Benghazi a terrorist attack; he said America will not tolerate a terrorist attack.
- Rick Powell, Griffith
In the last few weeks, far-right political gangs have led violent protests in Venezuela as they attempt to destabilize the democratically elected government of President Nicolas Maduro. On Feb. 12, two community leaders participating in a national celebration were assassinated by right-wing gunmen.
Some international media have given biased reporting on the violent attacks, portraying organized gangs as “peaceful demonstrators” against a “corrupt and violent repressive regime.”
This is a dangerous moment for democracy.
The last time such attacks were orchestrated, they ended with an attempted coup against democracy. On April 11, 2002, snipers fired on civilian demonstrators, while coup leaders temporarily imprisoned president Hugo Chavez. Now, opponents of democracy and justice are at it again.
Demand that Congress and the White House condemn the violence against the democratically elected government.
- Lee Artz, Media Studies, Purdue University Calumet
The frigid cold and snow are global climate change. If you wonder where the sun goes at night, as do typical global climate change deniers, you are probably seizing on the hoax story fed to you by big oil.
Scientists should rename it "global moisture change." The ocean heat up is pushing moisture — energy — into the atmosphere at an enormous rate. When weather fronts collide, the outcome depends on the energy: temperature differences. More difference, more action.
That’s why we are having polar weather; the energy has buckled the jet streams radically, forming record-size vortexes. Remember Hurricane Sandy, the largest geographical sized hurricane. The polar vortex is a polar hurricane.
And globally Australia — where it’s summer — is having a massive heat wave, with temperatures peaking over 125 F.
"Scientists keep telling me the Titanic is sinking, but my side of the ship is 500 feet in the air."
- S. Robert Schwartz, Valparaiso
We don't have the authority to shut down the Safe and Sound Senior Citizens Social Club? Consider this:
1. Illegal bar.
2. Gambling house.
3. Been raided twice before and charges dropped because Jesse Sturgis promised to stop criminal activities.
Now ask yourself where would you raid — a place for the third time loaded with "old school guys" with guns and $41 in quarters and cans of beer or a legal social club where it is safe. You can bring your family for a nice meal and have nice events for the family throughout the year. And then of all things run a Super Bowl board for the members like they are doing all over the country and get members money, $28,000.
Now you only get one guess.
- Eugene Brown, Crown Point
One million are homeless, 100,000 of them are children.
We need to consider the homeless people in our country. With the food and shelter available in America, no one should be homeless. Why does homelessness even happen? It is tragic.
Lack of support by those closest to the homeless person is the reason why this happens to far too many in this nation. We need to be accountable. We need to fix our infrastructure to prevent people from having a life without the basic necessities. The poverty is preventable.
When we lose touch, we become unaware of the real circumstances in which the family member lives.
Letting go of a loved one is pitiful when you see you need to step in before homelessness even happens. Sometimes professional help must help solve the problem. However, the people closest to the person must intervene.
- Barbara L. Bennett, Miller Beach
Besides everyone getting all upset over what the patriarch of Duck Dynasty said in church, why doesn't anyone say something about all the items you buy that say, "Made in China"?
They live in a very nice home. Keep the jobs in the USA.
- Andrea Becker, Dyer
God initially wrote three Bibles. The first was about Adam and Adam, nothing happened. The second he wrote was about Eve and Eve, again nothing happened. His third and last was about Adam and Eve. Today we are here and can thank God for getting it right the third time.
- Robert J. Fadell, Valparaiso
No one hears the cry of a child in the womb? No one feels the pain of a child in the womb? As the jaws of death comes searching for it, life is ended for the child before it could exist.
Who knows what its life could have been — a doctor, teacher, researcher, astronaut, preacher or just a plain old Jane or Joe like you and me.
A better way of getting to these women who have abortions must be found. Show love and compassion, teaching and trying to instill what is at stake.
The women are not totally at fault. The men must share the blame, too. It takes two to tango and two to start life. So if a little thought and responsibility is used before the act and not after the act, there would be no need for abortion.
- Eugene Hanyzewski, Highland
The Second Amendment speaks of a "well regulated militia." This refers to an army of citizen soldiers to be called up upon after a declaration of war by Congress. Congress is to call up an army for a period of two years at a time, Article 1 section 8 of the Constitution.
The idea was to not have a standing army which could be corrupted and possibly turned on the people. The president was to do just that. Execute the policy of Congress and the laws of the land.
Citizens were expected to be familiar with weapons and understand the idea of common defense. The nation of Israel fits this model. It might seem like an old-fashioned idea, but the founders knew about human nature.
We could say times have changed, but does it work any better to limit individual freedom and empower central authority?
- Leon Gamino, Hammond
One letter suggests we raise skill levels rather than minimum wage. How about we do both?
We can start by allowing those who get good grades, and are motivated to continue their education a free, or very cheap tuition to college, as it was in the '50s and '60s.
We are so profit-driven that last year $1.7 billion in profit was made from student loans. It's no wonder, with student loans charging 7 percent interest.
Maybe if we raise the education level by making education affordable, we can stop jobs from moving overseas. Then by sticking together and demand fair wages, we can slow the 1 percent from hoarding all the money, and level the playing field. I am all for it.
- Jim Brown, Valparaiso
Instead of rejecting this president's disastrous policies, lies and pervasive dictatorial lawlessness, the irresponsible media and congressional Democrats embrace them. They spin the truth instead of telling the truth.
Spin: Obamacare is good for Americans with affordable, better coverage.
Truth: Obamacare is often unaffordable, with less coverage. The Congressional Budget Office states, "It will slow economic growth."
Spin: President Barack Obama's policies made U.S. oil production rise.
Truth: It rose due to increased production on private lands.
Spin: No evidence the IRS and government agencies target conservatives.
Truth: One of many targeted conservatives testified on C-Span to harassment by ATF, many IRS audits, OSHA fines, six FBI visits.
Spin: Obama's executive orders are "no different than other presidents'."
Truth: Obama's illegal unilateral actions include 27 Obamacare changes, mini-Dream Act, eliminating work-for-welfare requirement.
- Milly Rich, Crown Point
Bob Stiener's tutorial about violations of the Constitution missed a few things such as laws prohibiting doing business with the enemy. Prescott Bush, father and grandfather of the former presidents, had the following businesses seized for dealing with Adolf Hitler during World War II: Union Banking Corp., Holland-American Trading Corp., Seamless Steel Equipment Corp., Silesian Am. Corp.
George W. Bush owned Arbusto Energy, which was doing business with Salem bin Laden, brother of Osama bin Laden.
These are but a few of the Bush family dealings that would appear to violate the Constitution, but I doubt Stiener cares to hear about those since it would implicate a Republican in any type of illegal behavior.
Can't wait to hear his justification of their actions.
- Larry Collier, Crown Point
As someone who grew up in Portage and still does most of my shopping there, I must say I am disappointed in the City Council. From what I have been reading and hearing, they are being disagreeable just for the sake of being a thorn in the mayor's side.
They are threatening to go over his head in support of this gay marriage (amendment). Since when is the City Council's place to get involved in things like this? Their concern should just be Portage alone.
They are overstepping their bounds. It was not on the agenda, and to bring it up in the last minute of the meeting was uncalled for. From what I can see Mayor James Snyder is doing a good job, but evidently he doesn't jump through the hoops of a self-centered counsel.
Also, why are some so upset about him sending plows to Gary to help out? They must be racist.
I suggest the people of Portage get a new City Council that's willing to work for the good of the city.
- Patty Schulze, Valparaiso
I am confused. I take U.S. 6 several times a week to commute to Valparaiso. Several times a week, I encounter drivers who average 40 mph or less between Ind. 149 and Ind. 49, although the posted speed limit is 55 mph.
One recent evening at 6 pm, I was behind a driver doing 35 mph along this stretch, with a line of cars flashing their lights and honking their horns to no avail. (Once, earlier this year, I was behind a moped).
Not knowing the speed limit is not an excuse, as they drove past the 55 mph sign at Ind. 149 and the 50 mph sign at Meridian without a change in speed.
If the posted speed limit is 55 mph, and drivers are doing 20 to 30 mph slower, why isn't there enforcement of the speed limit? I know there's usually a squad car just east of Ind. 149, but there's never any attempt to move these drivers along. I'm sure if they were doing 20 to 30 mph over the speed limit, the police would be all over them.
- John Tuomi, Portage
Lake County Sheriff John Buncich’s accessibility and positive involvement in the lives of Lake County residents has exceeded expectations these past four years, and his re-election offers tremendous hope for the next four.
In 2010 we needed someone of his caliber and expertise. His efforts have reaped gratifying results. Crime is down. Hope is alive. A new vitality and esprit de corps with the elimination of "politics as usual" has unified the sheriff’s department as never before.
John continues to establish coalitions with churches and civic leaders to fight crime and poverty. Gunshots and blood on our streets are no longer a common occurrence. People are no longer afraid.
John understands unemployment is the social problem that hinders upward mobility and self-respect. Our cities must continue to join hands to provide relief, resolve and peace of mind.
Vote for John Buncich in 2014 and allow him to complete his mission as Lake County sheriff.
- Joe Gutierrez, East Chicago
John DeCoster is off base with his recent letter on presidential executive orders. His point is that President Barack Obama's use of this political action is not unusual. DeCoster lists the number of times his three predecessors used the devise to back up his claim.
But John misses the point. It is not the number of times that a president uses executive orders that is disturbing. It is how they are used and for what purpose that can be problematic.
The president can and should use executive orders to help agencies manage their day-to-day operations. Some legislation also gives the executive some degree of discretionary power.
It is when a president in effect ignores Congress by making his own laws that causes concern.
His rewriting timelines and applications to Obamacare for political purposes is particularly alarming. His statement, "I have a pen and phone and will use them if Congress fails to act" is a direct threat to the Constitution.
- Gary Ziolkowski, Crown Point
As a retired RN who worked in Chicago and East Chicago, I have seen the real uninsured who flood our hospitals. They come from off the street!
They are in no position to sign up for anything. They are the druggies, the homeless, the gangbangers, the illegals, the unwed young mothers, the young who think they are immortal, the man who cannot get any job, the homeless. These are the people who do not file any tax forms to get any credits, and are unable to sign up for health care.
Hospitals take care of them and the costs of that care are taken over by the paying patients, and the rest of the costs drain the inner-city hospitals.
This new health care plan will do nothing to remove this problem. The president might want to kid himself that he is doing all of us a great service, but he has never been out of his little world.
Take a ride through the streets in Chicago's streets or East Chicago. Our problems run too deep for a quick fix.
- Patricia Rusch, Crown Point
I challenge Rich James and others who feel a tingle up their leg about the Illiana Expressway to answer the following:
1. How will a toll road 20 miles distant from U.S. 30 and 25 miles distant from I-80 reduce traffic thereon?
2. Enumerate the permanent jobs apart from one or two toll collectors that Illiana will create.
3. Do you recommend the use of spoons instead of shovels so more temporary jobs will be created?
4. Would an expansion of Ind. 10 accomplish the same purpose at less cost?
5. Does Illiana increase the prospects for Gary/Chicago International Airport or Peotone?
6. Will those whose land will be taken be paid for inconvenience? Will we receive free lawyers as criminals do?
7. Will property values next to or near the Illiana increase or decrease due to Illiana?
8. To what extent will Lake County tax revenue be reduced?
9. If the Illiana proves to be a flop, who will end up paying the bill?
10. Who speaks up for the little guy?
- Bill Kowalski, Cedar Lake
President Barack Obama brags about the increase of three million barrels a day in our oil production since 2006, and he presents this welcome news as a tribute to his energy program, even though he refuses to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built.
However, when we learn that on federal land, oil production fell 6 percent and natural gas production fell 21 percent from early 2009 to late 2012, it becomes obvious that our increase occurs on private land.
It occurs because our Constitution gives us the freedom and the right to own and control private property and the right to enter into enforceable contracts.
If our energy needs depended on Obama and his leftist appointees, we would all be in the dark.
- Bess Brennan, Munster
Are you really a Democrat?
Here’s what today’s Democratic Party embraces: huge government, high taxes, personal irresponsibility, free health care, free birth control, free food, free housing, free cell phones, gun control, class warfare, gay marriage, welfare for all, international oversight of this country, nanny state cradle-to-grave administrative bureaucracy, demonizing free enterprise and governance via corruption. Division, not unity.
These are not the values which drew your parents and grandparents to become members of the Democratic Party, a family tradition that you carry on out of habit and loyalty.
But the party has become a complete perversion of the American way of life, of its founding as a nation committed to Christian principles and the belief that hard work creates opportunity.
Is it time to re-evaluate your party affiliation based on the change in your party? To stand up and demand it once again embrace our constitution?
- Paula Burrell, Crown Point
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