The Journal Gazette
Sunday, October 03, 2021 1:00 am

Letters to the editor

GOP leaders show disdain for democracy

What is it about at least the last two Republican House speakers that gives them such a dismissive attitude when it comes to concerns regarding key issues that come before the legislature?

Former House Speaker Brian Bosma had a dismissive, thumbs-down attitude regarding Indiana's virtual schools' fraud scandal when he said, “Whether it appears bad (is) in the eye of the beholder.”

Speaker Todd Huston said recently about the new redistricting that blatantly locks in a significant, ongoing Republican advantage, “We wanted to have maps that honored the goals and what we were trying to accomplish. People are going to think what they want to think.”

Of course, the questions are: Whose goals are the Republicans “honoring” and who are the real “we” in “what we are trying to accomplish”? Even a cursory view of the new maps readily shows a lopsided advantage for the Republican Party.

But the real kicker is Huston's dismissive tag at the end of his quote.

Yes, people are going to think what they want to think and that is – if they are fair minded at all – that this latest round of map-making continues – as redistricting expert Christopher Warshaw of George Washington University puts it – the “intentional political gerrymandering” by Indiana Republicans that undermines any hope of an evenhanded state electoral process.

It is this grubby practice that Indiana Republican legislators appear to be particularly fond of, but it is also an insidious practice that has spread well beyond our state lines.

And this has the very real effect – like so many current Republican-led election proposals and laws – of chipping away at our nation's democratic underpinnings.

What part of a healthy, vibrant democracy do Republicans not understand? Is it the voting part, the election part or democracy itself?

Greg Slyford

Fort Wayne 

Farm conservation important to climate

Congress is debating legislation to address climate change, and Indiana's congressional delegation needs to ensure the legislation includes agricultural soil health.

By adopting climate-friendly farming practices such as no-till, cover crops and smarter livestock grazing, Indiana farmers can help turn the tide on climate change as well as decrease flooding and erosion, improve water quality, and protect our fish and wildlife. This is a win all the way around.

Congress is considering an investment of $28 billion in farm and ranch conservation. That is a small portion of the climate package, but it would be a critically important investment in farm conservation.

Investments in climate-friendly farm practices store carbon in the soil rebuilding healthy soils, and help reduce expenses for fuel, fertilizers and pesticides. As Congress debates climate change legislation, it cannot afford to leave farm conservation behind. Please tell Congress what you think.

Jim Sweeney


Developers destroying areas' ambiance

I am definitely on the same page as Warren Mead expressing his disappointment about a huge oak tree that was not required to be destroyed with the development of the new addition, Weatherstone on Coldwater Road (Letters, Sept. 27).

I had my home built in Shearwater because I paid extra for a beautiful wooded lot. I came one day to inspect the progress and was heartbroken to find out they had cut down all the trees behind my property. I was promised the woods would stay there. I was lied to by the developer. I demanded that they plant four large Norway pines at the back of my property, to compensate for their dishonesty and downright horrible treatment of someone who had envisioned their property for what they paid for, only to be stripped of that expectation. Along with that, they further killed more trees as Ravenswood was being developed.

Jacqui Emberton

Fort Wayne

Vaccine incentives reward, not bribe

A bribe is persuasion to act illegally or dishonestly, usually in the form of a gift of money.

To reward a person for complying with a request for the common good is positive reinforcement. It is for the safety of everyone on this planet to offer a reward for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Joni Weber

Fort Wayne

Fiscal priorities are out of line

An article in The Journal Gazette reported that Social Security's massive trust fund will be unable to pay full benefits in 2034 instead of last year's estimated exhaustion date of 2035. The depletion date for Medicare's trust fund for inpatient care is estimated to be 2026, only five years away.

What happened to all the money we hard-working Americans put in for our future security? For many retired folks, this is their only source of income – and it's our money.

On the same page, “U.S. pledges $60 million for Ukraine” just as one example. That's our money, too. We have seniors who have to choose between medicine and food now. Are they going to throw us out and kick us to the curb because we won't have any money for even our basics: utilities, food, meds, transportation, insurance, clothing, etc. We won't even be able to afford our freedom.

A fifth grader has better money-management skills than our country. If we are umpteen gazillion dollars in debt, how can we keep spending and throwing tons of money at world problems before taking care of our own? Whom are we in debt to?

My bank will not give me any more advances until I pay off current debt.

Roger Lindley

Fort Wayne

'Heartwarming' photo perfect start to day

What an incredibly heartwarming picture on the Sept. 20 front page – the picture of the beautiful little girl and the heifer eyeball to eyeball. I think the heifer was excited to see her.

Superb photography by Mike Moore.

Phyllis Stetzel


Assigning blame in tragedy insensitive

I was dismayed that a recent fatal event involving a pedestrian was recounted in an editorial (”Fatal intersection,” Sept. 21) as an attempt at a public-service ad and written with such an insensitive, “blame the victim” tone.

The editorial mentioned an illegally stopped driver at a well-marked crosswalk, then seemed to infer that the woman who was killed was at fault for not yielding the right of way to the vehicle that struck her.

It seems the only law-abiding individual in this account of events is the driver who gallantly avoided rear-ending the stopped car (think of the property damage saved!) and chose instead to run the lady over. The person who hit her should not have the incident explained away by the various bad conditions mentioned in the editorial. Instead, the piece should have concentrated on why authorities haven't charged the driver with negligent homicide.

Michael Stone

Fort Wayne

Texas law rightly empowers society

The new Texas law that allows people to sue doctors and anyone helping a woman have an abortion is unique. Empowering citizens to get compensation for their loss is long overdue.

Fathers, grandparents and all of society have had to abdicate their rights and convictions to “women's rights,” which have been the only concern with Roe vs. Wade. The Texas law points out that there are other concerns, too. This law allows the unborn child's life to matter, independent of sex, race or religion.

I am a retired OB-GYN, and I support equal rights for women. But, as with everything in life, there are limits to my rights. If a woman and a man choose to engage in sex, they must take the responsibility for the child they procreate. That child also has rights. If together or separately the parents are not able to take on that responsibility, our society has the right and responsibility to do so through family, church and government.

Women who carry an unwanted child may face a difficult nine months in terms of physical, emotional and social consequences, but they do not need to walk this path alone. There are many organizations both religious and secular that know how to maneuver safely on this sometimes scary road, even if the father cannot or will not be part of this journey.

I would like to see this amendment to the law: The $10,000 fine should be the father's responsibility. (DNA testing can confirm the mother's claim.) Don't you think a nine-month pregnancy is worth at least that?

Debra Schaeffer Grime

Fort Wayne

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