The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, December 02, 2015 4:35 pm


Pence must learn firsthand on climate change inaction

Thank you to The Journal Gazette for the fabulous Furthermore calling on Gov. Mike Pence to listen to reports coming from California about climate change effects and green efforts (May 2).

However, few people change their position on any political issue long distance. They change their position by talking one on one with someone who has suffered from the problem. But that’s not all – the sufferer must also be willing to listen to the other person’s reasons for resistance, questions and concerns without getting angry and without lecturing. Just listen.

Studies have found that when folks who’ve resisted political action feel listened to by someone who is suffering the consequences of inaction, the one resisting becomes a supporter of action. Perhaps it’s time for Pence to visit California, or your editorial board could invite California Gov. Jerry Brown to visit Indiana.


Brookline, Mass.

Cooperation key to fight to save public education

I recently attended the second annual Network for Public Education Conference in Chicago. When I got back home, the end of the Indiana legislative session had happened and, as usual, our legislators’ latest and most flagrant power grab took place at the 11th hour. I cannot say that I was surprised; my only real surprise was that their hubris has no bounds.

This year’s conference afforded me the opportunity to see old friends, meet new people and share ideas with other activists. After a fast and furious session of education reforms coming at warp speed, I was looking forward to being re-energized and refocused by the conference, and I was.

What I came away with was a need for a different strategy. While I have been focusing on the single issue of the destruction of public education, there are other interrelated issues that have resulted in the crushing of the middle class. Thus, if we are to have any success, we need to reach out to other people with other issues (racial justice, economic justice, environmental justice and so on) to build bridges and to build coalitions.

As I exchanged ideas with various groups of people, our excitement and energy came from collaboration, despite the notion that we are constantly being told that we only get better when we compete. Whether we are talking about schools or any other social endeavor, our greatest strengths come when we work together for a common good. Saving our public schools and making them more fair and equitable to all – regardless of race, gender or economic status – are the key components in creating and maintaining a fair and just society.

Even though I know that making our world a good and just place is not going to be easy, I still believe that we can strive to be better, and as long as I have the strength to continue, I will keep fighting to create a better world.

In the words of Tennyson, we must continue to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield. We must continue to do what is right for all of us.


Fort Wayne

Doctor in no position to rail on collective bargaining

In response to Dr. Rudy Kachmann’s April 27 rant about the millions saved by the canceling of the rights of state workers to have workplace representation: First, what millions? Give specific examples of these so-called savings. Where is this information coming from? What source is he using?

Secondly, as someone who belongs to an organization that provides solidarity and representation in the workplace in exchange for dues paid, Kachmann should not throw stones. I’m talking about the American Medical Association. It is a not-for-profit organization for which members pay dues; they have meetings expressly to further their members’ agenda; they set the schedules for what doctors are paid; and they are one of the strongest lobbying groups in Washington. Sounds like a union, doesn’t it? The only difference is that their collective bargaining is done for multimillionaires who think working-class people don’t deserve the same considerations.

Maybe we should do away with the rights of doctors to overcharge patients. Think of the millions that would be saved then.


Fort Wayne

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