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Time to try different dance


"Come on, baby, let's do the Twist."

Do you like to watch people dance, do the Twist or Foxtrot? Not the old-time Foxtrot, but the modern Foxtrot.

The modern Foxtrot, also called the Mr. T two-step, is performed daily on Fox News or in Mr. T's editorials. To perform the Mr. T two-step, you give a deceptive, or evasive, answer to a specific question. An example is, "How many lying elephants are in Washington, D.C.?" And the answer is, "There are thousands of wild asses in Africa."

An honest person or organization will admit when they have erred. Deceivers and fanatics will deny, give evasive answers or outright lie rather than admit to a mistake.

Mr. T and "Porno Prez" Republicans, it is put up or shut up time. Answer this very specific question: You stated in the 2016 election, no other year, some cities had more votes than population. Please name them.

The public, based on Mr. T's answer, will be able to determine if Mr. T and "Porno Prez" Republicans are honest or deceivers.

Mr. T, the Foxtrot and the Mr. T two-step is getting old. In your answer this time, try a different dance, perhaps the Willie Waltz.

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

Gary Robinson
Marengo, Ind.
July 11, 2018

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Always keep an open mind


My purpose in responding to Mr. Totten's reactions to my various articles is not to provide alternative perspectives on his scathing rebuke of just about everything I write, but to point out that it is hardly necessary, and indeed unjustified, to make it so personal. Mr. Totten apparently feels he is the arbiter and judge of who I am as a person when he knows little about me except through my writings.

Yes, one can glean plenty by what one writes, but being snide, validating the comment of being a "moronic liberal," questioning where my "incredible" and "outrageous views" come from, saying I don't self-reflect, and then denigrate the fact that my travels don't yield long-term relationships makes incorrect assumptions (except in his mind). It must be gratifying to you, Mr. Totten, to know that all your views are absolutely and unequivocally accurate, are the ONLY ones that people need hold and that any others that diverge from yours are not only supposed to be slammed, but that the "author" of those opposing views should have her reputation besmirched by callous and cruel sidebars.

When I first thought about writing a weekly article for the Clarion News, my intent was to inspire readers to ponder different ideas, even if they opposed their own. I thought perhaps it would open a window to different perspectives that might broaden one's horizons and expand viewpoints. I knew I was taking a risk of perhaps alienating some people. That just comes with the territory. What I did not expect was a tear-down of just about everything I write. It saddens me that people like Mr. Totten spend hours nitpicking each and every article I write and never once saying anything positive about anything I have written. Surely, Mr. Totten, you can't say that I am 100-percent wrong all of the time. If so, perhaps some of that self-reflection that you say I don't do might be something you COULD do.

People like Mr. Totten (and there are plenty of them) react with caustic anger at anything that does not conform to their beliefs. That's fine. That's their right, I suppose. But it is also my right not to be subjected to personal attacks simply because I may hold differing perspectives. In this crazy world we live in, respect for opposing viewpoints is hardly civil anymore. People don't fairly articulate and debate anymore. They just want to kill the messenger to silence them.

Well, Mr. Totten, you have successfully silenced me (at least in this particular form). I no longer wish to participate in a forum that goes beyond a simple and fair debate on issues. When you malign my character, denigrate me in just about every way you are able, then I choose to bow out. I don't do this because I expect everyone to agree with me. Hardly. But I do expect a measure of respect as a person regardless of whether you agree or disagree with my viewpoints. Perhaps you will find another who you can successfully tear down. I no longer wish to be your patsy.

Thanks to all of you who have dared to ponder my thoughts, ideas, perspectives, regardless of whether you agreed with them or not. I have sincerely been blessed to have had this forum and Chris Adams' support for my work these past nearly two years of writing. It has been enlightening in many ways.

Editor's note: For the past few years, Young wrote the "Inspiration Corner" column that appeared in the Clarion News.

Ashira Young
Milltown, Ind.
June 27, 2018

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Author of 'dual perspectives' should do some reflecting


In the May 30, 2018, article "The world of dual perspectives," the author seems amazed and dumbfounded at there being two points of view on most issues. Apparently misunderstood by the author, but recognized by most people, is that the views are most often opposite each other and usually come down to judgments of good versus bad, right versus wrong, conservative versus liberal, left versus right, honorable versus dishonorable, lawful versus illegal and/or Democratic versus Republican.

Both sides of these views are strongly held and are based upon American culture, moral codes or human values of what people have been brought up to believe. Organizations have their foundations based upon these specific views, and the memberships adhere to these bonds of faith.

Does the author reveal her position on many of these views she describes? Yes, she does.

Her first issue was the newly imposed NFL rule that, if on the field during the playing of the national anthem, the player must stand. Every American citizen understands the expectation of showing love of country and respect for it by standing with hand over heart. She does seem to think this was not more important compared to being able to take a knee. I think this explains her view clearly. She likes to be on both sides of an issue with neither being the preferred or judged proper. This is noted as indecisiveness.

As far as Trump's comments that a player not standing and showing respect perhaps should not be in this country, she says her view is this is too dictatorial. I guess she does not understand nor agree with the reason for our respect to be shown even though thousands of American soldiers have died carrying, protecting and erecting the American flag during battle. What do we owe these patriots anyway in her mind? She may be right that those who love Trump have the view she is a "moronic liberal," as she wrote.

Her view is really going off the rails with facts on immigration. We do not lump all Muslims as terrorists; only a few of the Muslim countries have travel bans in their access to the United States. The same misconception is evident with the (Hispanics). It is the illegals, crossing the southern border, that are a threat and a problem to this country. There is a difference between legal and illegal immigration that some people do not see. What is wrong with expecting and requiring people to immigrate legally?

She shared her view on Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and other powerful men being praised because they were rich and powerful and for decades did dastardly things she says we all knew about. I personally had no knowledge on the terrible things going on, but I can believe it happened because it is evident only the two-faced Hollywood liberals were knowledgeable about this and, thus, they were the ones overlooking it. It tells you what kind of people they really are. Did the author know of these illicit acts? Probably not, but she seems wanting to accuse us.

The author takes the view that equalizes abortions being performed in the United States on the helpless unborn with her view that snipping babies' faces to extract fetal brains for illegal sale is the same as our military drones destroying other countries and killing millions of men, women and children. Who has ever heard we have killed millions? This illogical and untrue comparison displays the unbalanced view of equality by the author since we know soldiers defending this country in foreign lands carefully aim drones to avoid civilian casualties. Usually the drone is aimed at a moving vehicle with a terrorist inside, hardly millions. Obviously, the author compares that truly evil people who kill babies are the same as a military to defend this country.

The author's view takes a big leap off the board of reality tying the Ten Commandments and religion to entertainers being idols taking the place of God. Wow, what a concept, but not as outrageous as the view that murdering authority is given to the military, government, insurance and pharmaceutical companies every day. Where do these incredible views come from? What kind of a person has the view that the military is given license to committing murder? Or our government? Or insurance and pharmaceutical companies? And the murder is being done every day! Perhaps she can say she has never taken a prescribed medicine, but there are millions of Americans taking medicines that are the difference between a healthy life and disabling diseases and possibly even death. No country in the world has better medical care, and often this is no small account to the pharmaceutical companies doing constant research and development and finding effective medicines on every malady inflicted on mankind. Recently, a new bill was passed to let people with a deadly prognosis have the "right to try new drugs" not yet proven to work, but at least give the patient a chance at a possible cure.

Her view is openly displayed that she has a very low opinion of most people because she believes they are envious of others who have what they consider to be a better life. What would make a person have such a low regard for everyone else? Is it that she is the one so envious? She says most people don't have the emotional intelligence to make "live and let live" work. It is hard to believe she does not know people that live their life without being envious of their neighbors.

The author says she likes to travel and meet people to talk with. Great. People met in transit or on vacation are short-term relationships with no commitments on being honest and/or building a solid, long-term friendship. Perhaps she prefers this most.

She expresses the view that being "patriotic" is not about standing or kneeling during the national anthem. The truth is, standing during the national anthem is the patriotic way we were taught from grade school. It is done to show respect for what this country stands for and for us to take a moment and thank goodness for all the men and women we remember on Memorial Day for what they have done in giving their life to keep us safe and free. We call these people patriots, and we honor them.

In her closing view, she says let us be "a little more tolerant and consistent in our viewpoints and open our minds to pondering new ways of thinking." It might be a good time for some self-reflection on her views by the author. I recommend it.

Charles A. Totten
Leavenworth, Ind.
June 13, 2018

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A requested reply


Obviously, the rebuttal on March 14 of the Feb. 21 People's Forum letter by Mr. Robinson is still disturbing him and he has requested another reply with his May 9 article. Here it is.

We are all lucky to live where we have Amendment 1 to the Constitution of the United States of America preventing abridging the freedom of speech. This insulates the many controversial and opposing comments expressed by us in the newspapers.

The president was criticized for his use of clever, descriptive and accurately recognizable "nicknames" like Lying Hillary and Rocket Man, and this, then, apparently gives our locals authority to imitate him and initiate a gang of name callers. I have to say there is a classy way of name calling that fits well versus a crude way.

Thinking there could never be voter fraud is the current status to our Marengo local. For facts, surely, he was reading the Indiana newspapers in 2003 when the East Chicago, Ind., a city with 30,000 residents, Democratic primary for mayor showed voter fraud was wide spread to the point the Indiana Supreme Court ultimately overturned the election results and ordered a special election for the mayor's position that resulted in a different winner.

The St. Joseph County, Ind., Democratic chairman, Butch Morgan Jr., was sentenced to one year of prison after being convicted of felony charges stemming from a plot to forge signatures on the petition to place Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the Indiana Primary ballot in 2008. Over 200 names were found to be forged when a Yale University student discovered page after page of signatures were all the same handwriting. This had been overlooked because primary election workers in charge of verifying validation were the same who faked the signatures.

When any of us have a committed "belief" and the facts arise that are contradicting it, the person must decide to change his belief or, if not, evict oneself from the realm of reality. Beliefs are hard to change, and I have no hopes of changing the mind of my Marengo friend.

I have never said all Democrats support abortion. Many people are Democrats from union organizations where the leadership supported Democrats in office for good political reasons and convinced their membership to do likewise. Other people became Democrats for one reason or another and are good Christians who would never support abortion. But there is a Planned Parenthood organization that performs millions of abortions and gets support from the Democratic Party organization. The Democratic Party organization gets major financial donations from Planned Parenthood and fights to keep the $500,000 a year coming from the U.S. government. Good Christian Democrats should not support any organization that funds Planned Parenthood.

Charles A. Totten
Leavenworth, Ind.
May 30, 2018

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Allow public comment, amendments


May 4, 2018

I paid close attention to HB1315 during the Indiana General Assembly's regular session as it proposed a dangerous precedent — the stripping of elected local oversight of community schools, particularly in Muncie and Gary.

The bill changed over the session, but, on the final day, the bill was put back to its original form. Speaker Bosma says that bills to be considered in the special session have been fully vetted, there has been public comment and there is no reason to amend them. I disagree. Clearly, there were still issues with HB1315 as it was not passed in the regular session and had changes stripped on the final day.

Why are constituents being silenced during the special session? It is imperative that citizens get to make their voices heard on this bill in its current form. Otherwise, this is a bait and switch.

The future of communities that could lose elected oversight of their schools is too important to be set by a bill that has no input from the public. State legislators should hear the concerns of all who expect them to do the right thing — let the public offer comments on HB1315 in its current form and allow amendments. If the usual process is good enough for the regular session, it should also be good enough for the special session.

Christine Hitchcock
Bloomington, Ind.
May 16, 2018

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Allow public comment and amendments during special session


I paid close attention to HB1315 during the Indiana General Assembly’s regular session as it proposed a dangerous precedent - the stripping of elected local oversight of community schools, particularly in Muncie and Gary. The bill changed over the session but, on the final day, the bill was put back to its original form. Speaker Bosma says that bills to be considered in the special session have been fully vetted, there has been public comment, and there is no reason to amend them. I disagree. Clearly, there were still issues with HB1315 as it was not passed in the regular session and had changes stripped on the final day. Why are constituents being silenced during the special session? It is imperative that citizens get to make their voices heard on this bill in its current form. Otherwise, this is a bait and switch.

The future of communities that could lose elected oversight of their schools is too important to be set by a bill that has no input from the public. State legislators should hear the concerns of all who expect them to do the right thing - let the public offer comments on HB1315 in its current form and allow amendments. If the usual process is good enough for the regular session, it should also be good enough for the special session.

Christine Hitchcock
Bloomington, IN
May 04, 2018

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Proud of General Assembly’s efforts


President Dwight Eisenhower once said that farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from a cornfield. That quote leapt to mind when I read recent articles featuring sharp criticism of this year's General Assembly. In defense of all 150 members of the legislature, I felt the record had to be set straight.

The last few hours of the legislative session were less than glamorous, but to say that nothing of substance happened this year is far from reality.

House Republicans declared our agenda at the start of the session and delivered results for Hoosiers. For starters, we added nearly $100 million to the school formula to fully fund public schools that received a spike of new students.

Exempting the sales tax on software as a service provided Indiana's tech sectors with an additional tool that will help this critical portion of our economy grow exponentially. Because of policies adopted by the General Assembly, Indiana is now second in growth in the nation in high-paying software jobs, a far cry from our status as the only state to lose technology jobs from 1996 to 2002.

All Hoosier students will soon receive computer training, we greatly expanded access to mental health and addiction treatment services, adopted legislation to downsize state and local government and worked to reduce Indiana's infant mortality rate.

We even passed legislation allowing the 9,000 young people who are here legally under the Federal DACA program to be eligible for professional licenses as nurses, engineers and other professional licensees.

In addition, we legalized the use of cannabidiol or CBD oil for all Hoosiers to use as a natural herbal remedy so long as it contains less than 0.3 percent THC and meets certain labeling and testing requirements. Cannabidiol has given relief to those suffering from a range of ailments, including epileptic seizures.

Finally, we passed legislation to move Indiana into a new era of workforce preparation. Indiana ranks first in the Midwest and in the top handful of states in the nation in tax environment, economic potential, business climate, small business regulatory atmosphere, cost of living and fiscal stability. Because of this, jobs are coming here in droves. Now, Hoosiers have the tools to "skill up" and take advantage of these unprecedented opportunities.

A one-day special session — I'm certainly not happy about it and wish it could have been avoided. But we will make it right for Hoosiers, complete the job of adopting a few important bills and continue to make Indiana the best place in America to work, raise a family and create a job. Hoosiers deserve nothing less.

Brian Bosma, Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives
May 02, 2018

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Shocked, saddened


I recently returned to Crawford County after decades being gone. I have explored the area and am saddened by what I have seen. Most towns are falling apart. Very little is left for the citizens.

I am curious to know why aren't people fighting to rebuild their town? I won't even go into detail about how awful the streets and roads are here. I remember a time when our little towns were vibrant and active. Now, I see falling down buildings everywhere and very few people.

As a county, why not come together and rebuild before it's all gone? I know the town employees of Marengo try so hard to keep up the town. There has to be someone on the county commission board to look for funding from the state to help. We need to recruit new business to the area and bring in jobs. Instead, I hear everyone saying no one does anything. Why not? Crawford County is a beautiful area that is dying on the vine.

I am willing to help in anyway I can to bring back the once vibrant small towns.

Charles Jenkins
Marengo, Ind.
May 02, 2018

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Frustrated with lack of ethics


Ashira Young mentioned scams and the way they drain your money. Car insurance is the biggest scam there is.

I went online to receive a quote. I got a quote at $300 for six months. It was for liability on two trucks and a van. I called them the next day. They asked if my wife drove, and I said no. They asked if she ever drove and I said no. My wife doesn't have a driver's license. Then, they said that they have to charge double on accident coverage.

They couldn't get me one way so they came up with another way. It is all a scam. They also want to attach home owner's insurance to charge you more. By the time they were done, I was charged over $800 for the year.

There seem to be no ethics in business anymore. It's all about making money and stealing from the consumer all you can.

Insurance companies can drop your coverage if they choose to do so. They can raise your rates, even if an accident was not your fault. Legally, they can do whatever they want, and the consumer has no protection.

Consumer protection is a scam within itself. They will tell you that there is nothing they can do. They advise you to hire an attorney. To me, consumer protection is just another way to scam people out of their dollars.

I'm 65 years old. I receive a pension and Social Security. If your pension is over $3,500 a year, you must pay the state 3.25 percent in taxes. In some states, such as Kentucky, you are exempt. You work all your life, and the state takes it away from you. It's criminal to steal from retired people. Corruption is everywhere, not just in the White House.

Charles Thompson
Marengo, Ind.
May 02, 2018

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Shock and Disappointment


I recently returned to Crawford County after decades being gone. I have explored the area and am saddened by what I have seen. Most towns are falling apart. Very little is left for the citizens. I am curious to know why aren't people fighting to rebuild their town. I won't even go into detail about how awful the streets and roads are here. I remember a time when our little towns were vibrant and active. Now I see falling down buildings everywhere and very few people. As a county why not come together and rebuild before it's all gone. I know the town employees of Marengo try so hard to keep up the town. There has to be someone on the county commission board to look for funding from the state to help. We need to recruit new business to the area and bring in jobs. Instead I hear everyone saying no one does anything. Why not? Crawford County is a beautiful area that is dying on the vine. I am willing to help in anyway I can to bring back the once vibrant small towns.

Charles Jenkins
Marengo Indiana
April 20, 2018

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