Christian ethos eludes Republicans
The Republican Party always claims to be the Christian party, but let us look at some key issues. Republicans say we need to stop the right of women to have an abortion. The Democrats take the method of giving women access to contraceptives so they can limit unwanted pregnancies. A study recently showed that free access to the pill would cut abortions by two-thirds. Which of the methods would really reduce abortions without making women second-class citizens?
Republicans want to redefine what the definition of marriage is. What good will come from this? Will homosexuality and gay marriage disappear if we redefine the word marriage?
The third issue to look at is greed. Republicans push that greed is good through their economic policies. The middle class has been on a constant slide downhill since Ronald Reagan, and our deficit is increasing. If we want to make the economy prosper again, then we need to tax the wealthy and force money back into the economy through investment.
We can also ask which party does a better job of feeding the poor and healing the sick. The answer is the Democrats.
We watch how religious zealots take advantage of people in foreign countries, and we are having the same methods being used in the United States. People do not read their Bible or there would be talk of confronting the politicians about greed and that it needs to be addressed at a national level.
SHAWN MITCHENER AND FAMILY Butler
Captive hunts pose numerous risks
The Journal Gazette’s Oct. 27 Furthermore item, Canned deer hunt crisis, really hit the nail on the head when it warned of the dangers that captive hunts pose to native deer herds in Indiana.
The recent escape of captive deer from an Indiana breeding farm illustrates exactly how the captive hunting industry threatens the health of wild deer with illnesses such as chronic wasting disease – an incurable, fatal disease that affects deer and other cervids. Deer farms breed these animals to sell to captive hunts – pay-to-play operations where animals are stocked in fenced enclosures and shot by trophy seekers for a guaranteed kill. Animals on captive hunts live in unnaturally high densities, greatly increasing the chance of disease transmission.
The disease has already been found in 22 states, including neighboring Illinois and Michigan. An outbreak in Indiana could cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Wisconsin alone has spent more than $35 million responding to the disease since 2002.
Despite a 2010 poll showing that 81 percent of Hoosiers support a ban on captive hunts in our state, some lawmakers continue to push legislation to allow and expand them. This recent escape of penned deer should serve as a wake-up call to the legislature and demonstrate the urgent need to shut down these unsporting captive hunts once and for all.
ANNE STERLING Midwestern regional director The Humane Society of the United States
Noble County 5K team looking back, ahead
As we move into November, everyone begins to talk about things for which they are thankful. The Beat BC 5K committee recently met to wrap up this year’s race, and we are thankful for the generous community and supporters of our race.
This year we had 160 participants and raised $12,000 for Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana. It is truly something to be thankful for when you see race participants who are cancer survivors and who have used the services provided by Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana, then also to see the way in which they are continuing to be supported.
There are many aspects of our race and ways in which people can get involved. We would like to thank our sponsors, door prize donors, participants, volunteers, the Albion Police Department and survivors who inspire us every step of the way.
To learn more about this event, find us on the Web at beatbc5k.org, or on Facebook at Beat BC Five K.
We are planning to continue the great partnership that we started with the Kosciusko Runners’ Association, which provided chip timing for our event. Next year is going to be the tenth annual Beat BC 5K, and we can’t wait. We have already started planning and preparation. Mark your calendars for Oct. 19, 2013.
JUDY HASS Albion
Memories of marching stirred by photo
A well-chosen recent picture showed tuba and trombone players in the Homestead band. This brought back memories of our school band in the little town of Lena, Ill., in the early 1940s.
We had two marching events in the school year – our town’s annual Fall Festival parade and a Memorial Day procession, led by our school band, to the local cemetery in honor of the community’s World War I veterans buried there. I played a trombone, and some concentration is required for playing it while marching – you don’t want to lose the sliding part of your instrument by having it slide off the end.
The picture in the Nov. 2 paper showed two musicians playing traditional tubas. John Philip Sousa (1854-1932) – often called The March King – was a member of the U.S. Marines Band from 1868 to 1875 and then later served for 12 years as its conductor. He invented the sousaphone, a large brass instrument similar to the tuba but shaped differently. It was built in circular form, and the player would hang it around his/her neck, with the bell extending up overhead, which I guess made it easy to handle while marching.
Our school band’s sousaphone player was a girl whose father had played the sousaphone, and she used his instrument. Fortunately, she was strong enough to handle it, even while marching.
L. DWIGHT FARRINGER North Manchester
Insensitive words marred critic’s review
Ryan Duvall’s review of Mino II (Oct. 28) would easily persuade someone to eat there, except for his wish for a Hitler-Mussolini combo. To many people these names conjure up revulsion, repugnance and even hatred. These are emotions that the owners of Mino II probably would not like people to experience when thinking of their restaurant. A better choice of words would have been German-Italian combo.
LEONARD JOHNSTON Fort Wayne
Sentences reveal judges’ priorities
Headlines on the front page of Oct. 30 read No jail time for mother aware of kids’ abuse and Cat-hoarding pair sentenced to prison. Both are heinous crimes, but for one to be sentenced and the other to be set free shows me a lack of caring for the public good.
For a mother to possibly regain custody of her children after it is proven that she knew what was being done to them is insane. The judge stated that prison time would not help. To think that these three innocent children may some day be living with the woman who does not visibly care is ludicrous.
As for the two with the cats – they received what they deserved. They were cruel beyond comprehension, destructive, causing mental anguish to those responsible for the cleanup, creating a health hazard to anyone entering the houses where the cats were imprisoned and mass property damage to the point of having to demolish one home.
Both cases were tried in front of Allen Superior Court judges – one did what is expected of a judge; the other neglected to care for the people of the community. When terms expire for these judges, remember their case histories.
I know what I will do when asked if they should be retained – the one protecting life and property will get my seal of approval while the other will get a thumbs down.
VIRGINIA REITER Fort Wayne
Cat-abuse sentence a feel-good ruling
Regarding your Oct. 30 issue, I found the juxtaposition of two front-page stories disturbing in how the law is applied in Allen Superior Court.
In one story, a Fort Wayne mother, accused of ignoring the physical and mental abuse her boyfriend inflicted on her four young children, was sentenced to eight years for each count.
Judge John Surbeck suspended that sentence and ordered her to serve five years on probation.
The judge allowed the mother to have supervised visitation for the next six months, after which officials will decide what to do.
The other story reported that Allen Superior Court Judge Wendy Davis sentenced a man and woman to three years in prison for two felony counts of criminal mischief but suspended half that sentence.
In the first case, I favor giving the mother the requisite tools to grow into mature parenting. Surbeck is reported to have said this as to why he would not put the mother in jail: I don’t think any real interest would be served other than that we might momentarily feel better. In the second case, it seems illogical and unfair for Davis not to give similar options to the two animal rescuers.
Does imposing an 18-month prison sentence really serve any interest other than that we might momentarily feel better?
MICHAEL ROSSWURM New Haven