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The return of the 'Red Menace'

I'm writing in response to Dan Weber's recent article about socialism. He's right about a couple of things; most Americans don't know what socialism is (that includes Millennials, Democrats and Republicans), and the U.S.S.R. was an awful, authoritarian regime. What Mr. Weber did not do was define socialism or explain what attracts Millennials to it or Bernie Sanders' stance toward it.

An actual socialist country first requires the government to own all the land (no private property) and to "return the means of production to the masses," to quote Trotsky. That means no privately-owned businesses. That's what Cuba and China had but are backing away from in recent years as capitalism takes root there. Clearly, that's not what Millennials seek.

Mr. Weber quotes Vice President Pence saying, "Socialism demands conformity." That also confuses socialism and communism. Communism, like the authoritarian regimes of Cuba, North Korea and the failed U.S.S.R., prohibit free speech, freedom of religion, etc. No, the millennials and Bernie Sanders are thinking about countries like Denmark and Finland which have many social programs and a higher standard of living than we do, but are capitalist economies, not socialist, with guaranteed freedom of speech, etc.

Mr. Weber cites Vice President Pence referring to Bernie Sanders and the Democrats' left wing having "papered over the failed policies of socialism." He raises questions. What social programs do we currently have and what further policies do Democrats like Bernie Sanders propose? Well, free public schools, Medicaid, public libraries, the minimum wage, child labor laws, overtime pay laws, OSHA regulations, the Fair Housing Act, anti-discrimination laws, food stamps, welfare checks, disability benefits, Section 8 Housing and more are all "socialist" policies, rights you have without directly paying for them. An employee-owned company like Jasper Engines is the socialist ideal of Trotsky since it gave the means of production to the masses. Do those things make us "the Evil Empire"? I think not.

Mr. Weber seems to deride President Obama's 2016 speech in which Obama said, "Be practical and just choose from what works." Well, that's what we've done so far, and it seems to work pretty well. Here in Crawford County we have about 16 percent, according to the last census, living in poverty. With the poverty threshold rising to $25,100 per year for a family of four, two adults and two kids, we are closer to 20 percent, or one in five of our citizens. You can get Medicaid if you earn 138 percent of that or nothing at all. This is a socialist safety net we rely on to survive. Nationally, over 40 million live in poverty with 100 million, one-third, living "near" the poverty line, according to the U.S. government. The last time this happened was the Great Depression when one-third of the nation was ill-housed, ill-clad and ill-nourished. Franklin Roosevelt's reaction, the New Deal, created the Social Security system and jobs programs viewed as socialist and pulled us out of that swamp.

Bernie Sanders and the Millennial Democrats view our condition today as similar to that due to the income inequality between the wealthiest 1 percent that now own 40 percent of the country's wealth and the poverty of one-third of America. Bernie is no socialist — see his speech delivered at Georgetown University in 2015 — but he advocates policies like Roosevelt's, a sort of new New Deal, that includes higher minimum wage, Medicare for all and free two-year college and technical school tuition. Like Denmark or Norway, he supports a free-market economy, so he is really a "compassionate capitalist," to coin a term.

Perhaps we could have Bernie's programs, paid sick leave and vacation time, too, as does every other major industrial nation. If we did, we still would not be a socialist nation and our Constitution will prevent that from ever occurring. So, don't worry, Mr. Weber, the "Red Menace" has no foothold here.

Mark R. Woods
Milltown, Ind.
May 01, 2019

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CCMS thankful to all for successful Career Night

Crawford County Middle School would like to express a huge thank you to all of our supporters during our third annual Title I Career Exploration and Parent Night.

Numerous career experts, business leaders and post-secondary representatives showcased their fields and shared information with students to help them think about their future and consider the many careers and opportunities available.

We would also like to especially thank our parents and guardians for bringing your students to this event so they can better plan for their own future.

Thank you to all of the following for sharing with our students your passion, experiences and knowledge about your area of expertise:

Alan Taylor from Prosser, Chris Crews from Indiana University Southeast, Danielle Reynolds from Purdue Polytechnic Institute New Albany, Ivy Tech's Sophia O'Coffey, Crawford County Probation officers Jim Grizzel and Jessica Jenkins, Crawford County Sheriff's Department officers and Sheriff Jeff Howell, Milltown Police and CCCS SRO Ray Saylor and cadets, Indiana conservation officers Dennis Talley, James Hodges and Jim Schreck, Indiana State Police officers Christopher Rainey, Ryan Conrad and Ryan Griffith, Branchville Corrections Facility's Sally Howerton and Benton Stroud,

Crawford County Prosecutor Cheryl Hillenburg and the office's Parker Hudson, Community Foundation of Crawford County Executive Director Christine Harbeson and Finance and Programs Manager Laken Fraime, Orange County REMC's Braden Mitchell, Harrison County REMC's Nick Geswein, RE/MAX agent Barbara Shaw, First Savings Bank representatives Wayne Carothers, Whitney Gabhart, Eric Gilmore and Rochelle Richardson, Fred Smith Store Fixtures' Jonathan and Ryan Smith, Lucas Oil representatives Rick Hill and Joe Lucas,

Jasper Engines and Transmissions representative Damara Underhill, Salem Airport and Aviation's Lowell and Rhonda Depoy, Sharon Wilson from Crawford County Tourism, Joe Kellum from Kellum Imprints, CVS pharmacist Dave Cleek, Dr. Click Dentistry, Smith Animal Clinic veterinarian Dr. Allen, X-ray/ultrasound tech Rosie Cunningham, Harrison County Hospital nurse Allison Howell and cardiac rehab Clyde Melton, Nicole Osborne from Lincoln Hills Development Corp., Harris Construction, Matt Chism representing Apprenticeship Coordinators for Mill Wright Carpentry Union, Chris Thorsen representing Apprenticeship Program for Electrician, Purdue Extension representatives, Gear Up's Stacy Kitchin, Charlotte Key, Kim Smith, Donna and Jim Schultz retired teachers, and journalist Chris Adams.

Crawford County Middle School would like to extend thanks to our sponsors for providing funding that helped support the night, Title I for the CCMS cinch sac and tangler giveaways, the Community Foundation of Crawford County for funding the gift cards, Bluetooth speakers and Kindle tablets prizes, Indiana Career Explorer (INCE) for funding Bluetooth speakers, Bats tickets and Cub Scout Camp Cards, Gear Up for funding food and drinks for our career experts and volunteers, the Boys & Girls Club for providing food and drinks for our students and parent participants, and CCMS-PBIS for sponsoring our middle school banner.

We would like to thank all the school staff and student council members who volunteered their time and efforts for the event.

Miranda Kellum, Crawford County Middle School Counselor
April 24, 2019

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Low-cost spay, neuter options exits

I'm responding to the caller in the Clarion Calls, April 17, 2019, issue regarding: "This is for the lady with the 25 cats. There's a law about dogs and cats. You can't let them roam around and do their business on other people's property. Maybe we should call the health department about this matter."

Has anyone checked to see if she needs help? Maybe she started with a few, but due to lack of spay/neuter, maybe they have just continued to multiply.

Maybe she needs help adding a cat door and someone putting up an outdoor structure that the cats can come and go freely from the house, but stay confined outside. I've seen these online, and I know someone who put in a cat door that let a cat run under a deck that led to a fenced in area with trees. There was some kind of fencing on the top of it, so the cats could not get out, but they had access to nature.

There are low-cost spay/neuter options available to residents in Crawford County, from the voucher assistance program, funded by the Crawford County Board of Commissioners and Council and available at the Auditor's office in English. You can get a FREE voucher for a cat for $20 to help pay for surgery. You would owe the vet anything over $20. All local vets take these vouchers. For information, call 812-338-2601.

There is Crawford County Spay and Neuter. They provide lower-cost spay/neuter transport. Recently, there was a very nice article in this paper about this monthly service. For information, contact 812-630-4139.

You can also check with Spay Neuter Services of Indiana (SNSI) at www.getthemfixed.com. You can download the form, send in $20 and proof of income, and they send a certificate back that you can take to participating veterinarians. The certificate pays for the rest of the surgery.

You can reach out to River Valley Humane Society/Crawford County Animal Rescue at 1-502-396-0660 or 1-812-969-2615 for further assistance.

Maybe this woman just needs help and doesn't know where to turn.

Ann Windell
Ramsey, Ind.
April 24, 2019

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In defense of Trump

I am writing about Mrs. Ashira Young's opinion in (the March 13) Viewpoints. She has the right to express her opinion, but I do feel that she just needs to get her facts correct. My name is David Boone, and I will admit that I am a Ronald Reagan conservative Republican, and I mention this merely just to make things fair.

She brings up that double standards are bad, and on that she is quite correct, but what she uses is very incorrect. She mentions about all the time used against Hillary Clinton, and on that I do agree. The case against Hillary Clinton does not need all the investigations; the woman is guilty. First of all, Hillary was the Secretary of State. A very important position. You know, the presidential succession is president, vice president, speaker of the house, president pro tempore of the Senate and then the secretaries of the cabinet in the order of creation, of which guess what position is first? Secretary of State.

Now with that being stated, I have a question about the Benghazi incident, since an ambassador was involved: where was the Marine attachment? All ambassadors have a Marine attachment. On the personal email server,didn't Hillary sign a federal document that stated that she was not supposed to even have one? Then, Hillary used bleach bit and a hammer to break up the server?

Now, I admit that I am not too pleased about liberal Democrats and I am not too pleased for RINOs (Republicans in name only) either. Both John Bonner and Paul Ryan were both RINOs. You both were speakers of the house and got nothing done! I hate to tell Mrs. Ashira Young that Micheal Cohen needs to rot in prison for the absolute liar that he is!

On Mrs. Ashira Young wanting to investigate President Trump, fine. What are you wanting to investigate? You are upset about the manner that president uses. OK. What do you expect — the man is from Brooklyn, N.Y. You say that he lies. OK, where? You use what he said as a candidate, and you have to admit that if the trade deal goes through that that is pretty good, so what if it is not an actual check from Mexico? I hate to remind her that her savior, Barack Obama, said, if you like your plan, you can keep your plan; if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. That president created more national debt than all the previous presidents put together. You want to mention Otto Warmbier, and, yes, that is a bad situation, but at least Rocket Man is not shooting rockets right now.

President Trump has his own way of doing things and is a rapid learner and is doing so. Kim Jong-un has screwed up and will be seeing that very shortly. You will find that I have read a lot of history and know my civics. Congress has always screwed up and just maybe will finally do their job; we can hope.

Our own governor needs to wake up. The state of Indiana should know that, since our legislature passed the law that if your last name begins with a B, that your license plate is supposed to be renewed in February. Then, why do you wait to send the renewal form in the middle of the month, and, then, when the person does send it back the next day, he still gets the plate a week late? They have raised the price of gasoline an extra 10 cents on the gallon. Supposed to be for roads. Well, they better be. They are turning into rougher than a cob. Our state claims that it is broke when it has the most funds it has ever had. It is against casinos, but we have 12 of them, and the taxes the casinos pay is outrageous.

So, you see that I have several to complain about.

Just remember this: This is the United States of America of which we have 50 very independent states, so we will finally get the job done, but it can become rough at times.

So, just for the fun of trivia, we have 50 states, yet one of our states has no counties at all and it is a very large state. Which one is it?

Thank you for reading.

David Boone
Marengo, Ind.
March 27, 2019

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Solutions possible for dog, cat population problem

Dog and cat overpopulation (DCO) is a serious problem in Harrison County and especially in Crawford County, where there is no animal control facility. The primary cause of DCO is unwanted litters belonging to people who either refuse to spay or neuter their pets or can't afford it. At times, Harrison County Animal Control is overwhelmed because of people surrendering their unwanted litters. Crawford County desperately needs an animal control facility.

Those of us in the trenches with mud on our boots see this first-hand when responding to calls for assistance. We see many tied to trees without adequate shelter. Others are allowed to run free and continue breeding. One lady had two cats she couldn't afford to spay or neuter; now she has 31. Another lady said, "Sometimes the puppies just disappear." Kittens have been found in dumpsters.

Citizens of both counties need to accept the facts that: 1. Dog and cat overpopulation is real, 2. DCO is a social injustice and 3. All social injustice is corrected through laws. Women did not get the right to vote by saying "please." Dr. Martin Luther King didn't win civil rights by just wishing for it.

We cannot end DCO through voluntary spay and neuter programs on their own. It must be combined with local ordinances and assistance to those who need it. Introducing county ordinances which regulate/prevent unwanted litters is a necessity. Fewer unwanted litters equal less burden on our animal control facility.

One suggestion to solve the DCO problem is to reinstate the breeders permit requirement, which simply said that, if you let your pets reproduce, you need to have a breeders permit, which was free. It was designed to be more of a way of encouraging people to take advantage of the voucher program provided by the county.

Another suggestion is to bring back the dog tax. If the pet has been spayed or neutered, the tax is waved and any tax collected is used to fund the county voucher program.

Harrison County needs at least two animal control officers. One to take care of the facility and handle adoptions, and the other to respond to complaints and enforce the Harrison County Animal Control Ordinance. This officer should have the authority to confiscate any animal whose owner is not in compliance with the ordinance. Crawford County needs to adopt an ordinance similar to Harrison County.

Meanwhile, some type of agreement or arrangement to allow Crawford County citizens to turn in their unwanted pets to the Harrison County facility should be worked out between the two boards of county commissioners.

And, lastly, it would be nice if the veterinarians of both counties would set aside a monthly pay-in-advance, low-cost spay and neuter day to help relieve this DCO problem or one day each month where spays and neuters are done for the value of the vouchers.

Editor's note: The Crawford County Spay and Neuter program, in its second year, provides low-cost spay and neuter services for Crawford County residents. For more information, including monthly transport dates, visit the Crawford County Spay and Neuter Facebook page. In addition, spay and neuter vouchers, which are accepted by various veterinarians in the area, are available to Crawford County residents through the Auditor's office.

Ray Wilson
New Middletown, Ind.
March 20, 2019

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Questioning report of $20B for wall

Someone called in and said that the president was offered $20 billion to build the wall and turned it down. The president was never offered $20 billion to build the wall.

The president could tax imports and subsidize exports while forcing Mexico to pay for the wall. U.S. trade in goods with Mexico was $60.7 billion in 2015.

Editor's note: The Atlantic reported on Jan. 24, 2018, that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., had agreed to a significant sum of money for the wall — reportedly $20 billion — in exchange for the president's support of permanent protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigrants.

Charlie Thompson
Marengo, Ind.
March 06, 2019

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Bipartisan effort needed regarding ballots

The writer of this op-ed was in a baboon mood while writing this op-ed. A baboon mood is when you are mad as hell, don't care and you are going to show your red butt to the world.

What has me in this mood is that an individual in Crawford County (CC) has cost at least four citizens their constitutionally guaranteed right to cast their ballot in a democratic election.

The right to cast your vote ranks right up there with the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, a free press, etc. Americans in uniform have fought and died to ensure that the right to vote cannot be taken away. To deny any citizen, accidentally or purposely, this right is unpatriotic and spits in the face of the veterans who have defended the Constitution to protect our democracy and the American way of life. For any individual, irregardless of their party affiliation, to claim they are patriotic and then deny a person their right to vote is hypocrisy of the tallest order.

In the recount of the November election in CC, it became apparent, as reported in the Clarion News, that at least four citizens of CC were denied this right by Republican (election board member) Carl Draper because of his alleged failure to initial their absentee ballots. The four ballots, which were all thrown out, were Democrat ballots that were cast for Dale Roll (in the District 3 County Council election). For some odd reason, apparently all Republican ballots had initials.

The commissioners have recently been making an issue of patriotism and vets, and they have also fired several county employees. Following are some reasonable suggestions for the commissioners. If the commissioners follow these common-sense suggestions, it will show that their supposed patriotism was real and not just a show to get votes. It will also reassure vets that their sacrifices made while defending the right for democratic elections were not made in vain.

1. If the error was made accidentally, reprimand him and reassign him to other duties to ensure he does not deny any citizen their right to cast their vote in future elections. 2. Request the proper state and federal enforcement agencies to investigate and determine if the missing initials was accidental or deliberate voter fraud and/or a conspiracy. If the act was a conspiracy or deliberate, terminate him. 3. Because of the obvious conflict of interest, local law enforcement should not be involved. 4. Form a bipartisan committee — no elected officials or party officials, just ordinary concerned citizens — to determine how the ballots with the missing initials were mailed out with errors and recommend actions to take to safeguard our ballots. The current election board should NOT be involved because it happened under their watch. If the commissioners take no action, their supported patriotism is just a con job to deceive the public.

CC has had a long and storied history of voter fraud in the past, and, over the past few years, it has seemed that party-condoned voter fraud had almost disappeared. It now seems that it has reared its ugly head again, and, if the commissioners take no action, one has to assume they condone voter fraud.

If you agree with this op-ed, contact Commissioner Larry Ingle or the other ones and let them know your opinion. Tell them TAKE ACTION AND STOP VOTER FRAUD NOW. If you are unable to make contact with the commissioners, you can also contact the Auditor's office at 812-338-2601 and ask them to pass your opinion on to the commissioners.

Thank you for allowing me to exercise my right to free political speech.

Gary Robinson
Marengo, Ind.
March 06, 2019

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Always try to do the right thing

Editor's note: The following letter from Crawford County Councilman Bill Breeding is in response to a letter in the Feb. 13 issue from Gary Robinson, of Marengo, who was displeased that Breeding last fall announced that he was switching from the Democrat party to the Republican party.

I always try to do what is right no matter the circumstances. Whether it is in politics or at home, if someone is watching or if no one is around.

That's why, Gary, I helped out in the tornado relief when you needed a house, or why I offered to take you to the doctor when your air conditioning went out on your car.

It is also why, when I noticed my party (the one I grew up in and the one I backed) had left me, that I decided to make the tough decision. The values I learned growing up in a Democrat home have completely changed, so I decided to follow my values, not my party.

I apologize to you, Gary, and anyone else I have upset by switching parties. That was never my desire. However, I do not apologize for following my values as they are much more important than politics will ever be.

I am truly happy with my decision, Gary, and wish you that same happiness.

Bill Breeding
Milltown, Ind.
February 20, 2019

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Frustrated with Breeding

Charles Totten and I often disagreed but occasionally we agreed on issues. Charles' editorials did make the public think, and, when you get down to it, that is the purpose of an editorial.

A recent op-ed by Mr. T suggested that "Judas" Breeding was brave and courageous for changing political parties. B.S. B.S. B.S.

"Judas" Breeding is the opposite of brave, honorable and courageous. He is a headline hunting egomaniac and his No. 1 priority in life is ME ME ME.

To change parties properly, a person should change at the end of their term and run for re-election under the new party. To claim you are a Democrat in an election year and do things to sabotage other Democrat candidates is deceitful, cowardly and the actions of a traitor. Yes, a traitor. He pretended to be a Democrat, hence the nickname Judas. He betrayed people who trusted him by:

Acting as the DEMOCRAT spokesman of the county council, he proposed a public safety tax, five months before the election. Republicans while campaigning, said it's a Democrat idea, blame them, and that cost Democrats votes. Mr. Totten at the safety tax public hearing did not act like "Judas" was so brave and courageous when he expressed his opposition to "Judas' " tax.

"Judas" was a Democrat officeholder yet had Republican campaign signs in his yard.

As the Democrat president of the county council, "Judas" endorsed Republican candidates in a political ad paid for by the Republicans.

"Judas" has been a closet Republican for years.

In his recent interview, he made many claims that follows:

Parroting his Republican master, he stated that the Democrat party had left him. B.S. The Democrat party is the same party it has always been, which is standing up for and protecting the little man. Republicans stand for increasing wealth and protecting business, and this, in my opinion, appealed to "Judas."

"Judas" Breeding is anything but bold and courageous.

Mr. Totten, I hope St. Peter has an internet terminal up there and he lets you go online to read the Clarion op-eds.

Thank you for allowing me to exercise my right to free political speech.

Gary Robinson
Marengo, Ind.
February 13, 2019

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'Courageous step' by Breeding

What a courageous step for a distinguished politician to take by switching parties.

Mr. William Breeding's announcement on Dec. 5, 2018, that he is switching from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party should get a great number of people in Crawford County to consider his reasons. It is not that he is going to run in 2020, as he is currently not planning on running for re-election. It is much more than that; it is about values, including religious values.

He states the Democratic Party has left him, not that he has left it. It does come down to what values a person holds and how serious is he to show in public how he demonstrates the honest values. Mr. Breeding has many high qualities and does not support the disrespect shown to the office of our elected president by the media and the Democratic Party. A good person respects the position of United States president, not just the person who holds the office. Every person, including the president, has human faults, and that is understood to be the way life is to all of us. In reality, we are always supporting a sinner in this office.

Mr. Timberlake noted his grandparents, while some were Democrats, were not for gun control, open borders, abortion or transgender issues as we see the Democratic Party is today. These are not the Republican values, and if you examine your own values, you may decide they are not yours, as well. If these are not your values, then you may decide it is time for you to make that important logical change.

Consider, how can any religious person can take the view that killing the weakest among us, the unborn, by Planned Parenthood, is an acceptable position? Democrats, whether they want to believe it or not, when voting for a person in this party are supporting this position. Someday, it is my hope, we will look back on this time and wonder how it could happen to good religious people.

Charles A. Totten
Leavenworth, Ind.
January 02, 2019

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Barbara Shaw
Schuler Bauer
07 - 20 - 19

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