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Letter writer’s logic renders his opinion moot

In a Dec. 10 letter Jim Ackmann bitterly complained about Bob Costas’ voicing his thoughts during a broadcast of a football game about the tragic murder of Kasandra Perkins. Ackmann then expanded, saying that celebrities (he named Barbara Streisand and Sean Penn) have no “special right to pontificate about anything” and that they can’t be taken seriously. Somehow, I doubt he would have been as outraged if the “infinite wisdom” had been coming from Ted Nugent, Mel Gibson or Victoria Jackson.

But what do these six people and Ackmann have in common? They are all Americans. They all do have a special right to pontificate about anything. It’s called the First Amendment, and it protects political speech.

Perhaps he was complaining about the access those celebrities have to a much wider audience. But that can’t be so, because Ackmann could have chosen to voice his opinion around his own dinner table, but he did not. He instead wrote a letter to the editor in an effort to have his opinion heard by thousands of people.

Celebrities have access to audiences of millions, and sometimes they take advantage of that. Ackmann has proven that so would he, if he were in their place. Because Ackmann has been so disingenuous, I’m afraid he just can’t be taken seriously.


Medicaid extension under ACA common-sense goal for state

Indiana stands to gain health insurance coverage for up to 363,000 people if we participate in Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. According to a Harvard study, that translates to preventable deaths of about 363 Hoosiers per year, or one person per day.

Too often we hear people say they can’t afford to go to the doctor because they don’t have health insurance. Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan favors a single-payer, Medicare-for-all health care system ( a system similar to that of all other industrialized democracies in the world.) A single-payer system is not on the table, but extension of Medicaid benefits is available with ACA.

We are for people being able to receive health care. It makes for a better state and a better nation. Tell the governor and our legislators to extend Medicaid under ACA.

EDITH KENNA Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan

The ballot remains ultimate ethics policy enforcement

Politicians, publicity and poor judgment are three terms often used together – whether discussing the Ken Fries-Paul Moss controversy or any recent Illinois governor. Along with death and taxes, one thing is certain: Ethically questionable decisions will often be made by those given power. Republicans and Democrats share the guilt, but not all elected officials are to blame. I am still of the mindset that most of our elected leaders are ethical people in the position for the right reasons.

I have a habit of hitting the “snooze” button on my alarm nearly every morning. If a friend asked me to correct this habit, I would similarly snooze. What incentive do I have to correct a habit that, from my perspective, hurts no one?

Now imagine the perspective of the elected officials, who we are now asking to correct a bad habit by rewriting and extending ethics policies. They might go through the motions, but they will eventually hit the snooze button. Our failure as a citizenry is focusing on tightening already-adequate (and sometimes stringent) ethics policies, both locally and at higher levels. Demanding that these policies be updated is asking those in power to fix a problem with themselves. Simultaneously, we diminish the power of our own precious vote. The correction for politicians who have demonstrated poor ethics is the vote.

My ethics are guided by my religion, upbringing and conscience. No law, policy or ordinance can be crafted that adequately encompasses protection for every elected official or citizen’s view of good ethics. The vote is our ethics ordinance, and the strongest recourse we have for poor behavior.