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Hate word legislation needed

If you do not agree with conservative or liberal fanatics, on ALL issues, they will label you as left, right, biased, illogical, sick, unfair, etc. The zealots comprise about 20 percent of the U.S. population and they are incapable of understanding that the remaining 80 percent are compromisers and wish they would tone down their in-your-face rhetoric.

A recent editorial states violent acts are really what constitute a hate crime, not spoken words, and to suppress any spoken words is a violation of free speech. Following are documented examples that suggest that words, oral and written, can cause harm, injury or death, and they should be crimes.

1. Libel and slander. Should those laws be taken off the books?

2. You cannot falsely yell fire in a theater.

3. Using words, written and oral, girl A constantly harassed girl B until she committed suicide.

4. If only people who commit violent acts are guilty, then Charles Manson was unjustly imprisoned. He committed no violent acts or killed anyone. On his spoken words, his followers did. So, psycho Charlie was innocent.

5. In Hitler's rise to power, he used lies and biased hate words, against Jews and gays, to persuade the German people to vote for him. Sound familiar? The Jews and gays were forced to wear yellow stars or pink triangles on their clothes, tattooed, placed in concentration camps and executed. Since Hitler committed no violent acts, he was innocent of genocide. If a group, such as ANTIFA, had been in existence in pre-WW II Germany, could the Holocaust have been prevented? Oh, well. The only bright spot in the whole horrific Hitler affair is there were good people on both sides of the Nazi/Jew issue.

When people knowingly use words that provoke other people to perform acts they normally would not do and those acts cause harm, injury or death, both parties should be held accountable. If there are no laws to prosecute hate word crimes, then our legislators need to pass them. Sen. Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis, is introducing hate word legislation and is to be commended. The public is urged to contact Sen. Erin Houchin and Rep. Steve Bartels and urge them to support and vote for this legislation.

Stopping hate words and lies, written and oral, that cause harm, injury or death is not a suppression of free speech.

Example six. Jesus was the victim of lies, envy and hate words that led to His being humiliated, beaten and crucified. Words can hurt, and words (the pen) are mightier than the sword.

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

Gary Robinson
Marengo, Ind.
January 03, 2018

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Belief vs. truth

Ashira Young's article on Dec. 6, 2017, does raise a few thoughts about "truth" and "beliefs" that we should consider today in the modern world. She asks herself "if I am understanding things strictly through the morass or beliefs and conditioning or whether I am perceiving something that is beyond that."

She says, "We want to believe something is true for specific reasons, many of which are unaware of but yet compel us to believe." She notes, "Cults have a slew of "believers" that are convinced that what their leader tells them is true."

She says, "What seems to be happening is that our hope, our needs, our fears are clouding our ability to determine what is true and what is not. Being able to observe more clearly requires that we put our fears, our frenzied needs and our solidified opinions aside. It is only when we are able to do that are we able, for a brief moment, to discover what is being hidden from us."

So, what does this mean in the real world? We have people who are definitely and fervently "believers" that life begins at conception and should be allowed to grow into a baby and be naturally delivered to a happy and welcoming mother and father. They would never agree to an abortion and they "believe" and think abortion is really murder of the unborn. We have others who call this baby a "fetus" and consider it just a mass of tissue and means nothing and can be aborted at any time, including up to the moment of natural birth.

Most of the time we call these baby lovers Christians. The other group we call Democrats. Some churches say you can't be a Christian and believe in abortion, this is the "truth."

The Democrats believe Planned Parenthood is providing the abortion service as a charitable thing. They do not want to talk much about it because they have been selling baby parts for profit, and now it looks like there is going to be an investigation into this practice. The Planned Parenthood organization, and Democrats, like to claim their main business is providing other services for women, like breast cancer testing. They do not want to admit otherwise, but they have been caught on video, and so there is some hope that justice will come to them after all.

Can a Democrat listen to their leaders and not be able to discover what is hidden from him? It seems so, as there are many who claim to be Democrats and do not think Planned Parenthood is so bad. We might call these Democrats living in a cult arrangement with their leaders. They are not able to "believe" what they hear about Planned Parenthood and abortion and selling baby parts. They do not recognize the facts to know the "truth" because their "beliefs" hides this.

They also do not comprehend how much money the Planned Parenthood group gives to the Democrats each year for protecting this abortion activity. Selling baby parts is very profitable and you can find out the "truth" and understand that if you see some of the videos that include conversations with the senior personnel in the Planned Parenthood organization.

I hope some Democrats will open their minds up to the "truth" and change their "beliefs," but that is not likely. We "believe" what we "believe" and not much will change it, including the "truth."

Charles A. Totten
Leavenworth, Ind.
December 27, 2017

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Community Band performs at memorial dedication

The Clarion's article covering the Crawford County's Veterans Memorial dedication was very good, and I wish to expand the coverage to include the Crawford County Community Band.

The band was invited to provide music leading up to the dedication ceremony. Under the direction of Andrew Blount, it presented a program of patriotic selections and songs for each military branch.

Band members represent Crawford and five other counties, and includes six U.S. military veterans. Special recognition to trumpeter Phil Reich for his playing of "Taps" during the dedication.

Anyone wishing to join the band can find us on Facebook or at practice each Tuesday, 6 to 8 p.m., Tunnel Hill Free Methodist Church, English.

Kenneth Sharp
Crawford County Community Band
December 06, 2017

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Appreciate recent reader's viewpoint

John Mark Warren's article of Oct. 25, 2017, needs to be given credit for its correct, concise and complete explanation of what is wrong with the world and the enemy we all need to evaluate and be careful of and do what we can to earnestly work against the terrible things these groups are taking action on. We need to be open-eyed to see the real battle being fought by these groups as they continue efforts at transforming America away from God and Country.

He identifies the three groups that are no longer concealing their ideological kinship but openly declare their ambitions of destruction for our American culture. The three are the news media, the liberals and the Democrats. They support Planned Parenthood to abort the unborn, they are the tree-huggers who fraudulently profess climate change is totally man-made, they want homosexual unions to be called "marriages," they do not want immigration laws enforced and have open boarders, they want universal health care so the government officials can decide with their death panels who gets medical treatment or who dies, they want to have all guns removed from the average citizen, and, if you speak against any of this as your First Amendment right, you are called a bigoted fundamentalist and are accused of preaching "hate," a crime for which their Antifa's associates can come and physically attack you, like they do at the colleges now.

Trump has told us he is going to drain the swamp that Washington corruption is. We want this to happen and support him all the way. We see this corruption and the Democrats lying day after day with their goal being to destroy the American dream. We see them excuse other Democrats with sexual crimes, like Bill Clinton. We have seen enough evidence that Hillary's foundation should have an investigation by an independent group since the FBI cannot be trusted. We see she is not treated as we are treated. We see they have no respect for our military forces and take the side of the players taking a knee at the football games during the national anthem. Their magazine, GQ, just named that troublemaker the "citizen of the year" for his disrespect for our country's finest.

We are at a final stand against this group of liberals, Democrats and their propaganda arm called the news media. You can see the lying and twisting of the so-called fake news when they speak of our president. We all need to stand tall and vigorously expose their lies so the uninformed can learn the truth. We must always stand for the truth, because this is the American way. We never give up.

Charles A. Totten
Leavenworth, Ind.
November 21, 2017

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Killing animals isn't normal

Hunting season is almost here, and I'm seeing ads for rifles with 30-round magazines and even one for a 10-round semi-auto shotgun. Let the slaughter begin.

In my opinion, there's no need for anyone to go hunting for food when there's so much meat available in the stores.

So, the question is, why do they do it? And the only reason I can think of is they enjoy killing animals. The evidence of this is the trophies hanging on their walls, their smiling photos in the paper, their websites, social-media postings and their TV shows.

Hunters won't admit they enjoy killing, so they use excuses such as "getting back to nature," culling the herd, feeding the poor and/or their license fees help pay for "conservation," all of which are bogus.

These people actually think they are "good guys" when they put a gun in the hands of their children and teach them how to kill. It doesn't take any courage to ambush an unsuspecting animal. I think it's really sad that we live in a society where killing animals for fun is considered normal. Therefore, I'm not surprised when one of these people use their assault weapon to commit mass murder of people.

Albert Schweitzer (medical missionary, 1875-1965) said, "When will we reach the point that hunting, the pleasure in killing animals for sport, will be regarded as a mental aberration?" He also said, "The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs, no matter how deeply rooted in tradition or surrounded by a halo."

More people need to become "thinking" men and women and end this senseless slaughter.

Ray Wilson
New Middletown, Ind.
November 15, 2017

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HU thanks supporters

I would like to thank everyone who has supported Hoosier Uplands Home Health Care and Hoosier Uplands Hospice in the past.

Hoosier Uplands Home Health Care is proud to celebrate our 40th anniversary of having local staff members serving our Hoosier neighbors. Home care is a vital service, especially in the rural areas which we serve. Services provided by our home care team can prevent or shorten a hospital or skilled nursing facility stay. Home care promotes independent living and speeds the rehabilitation and recovery process by allowing a person to recuperate in their familiar home surroundings.

Hoosier Uplands Hospice is proud to celebrate 20 years of serving our Hoosier neighbors with local team members. Hospice supports the client and family as they face the last stages of life by offering symptom management and family togetherness.

We would not be able to meet these milestones without the support of the communities we serve. We look forward to helping you and your families with your health care needs in the future.

We serve the counties of Washington, Orange, Lawrence, Martin and Crawford and portions of Perry, Harrison, Scott, Clark, Dubois and Jackson.

Our team of professionals are available to assist you with any questions you have regarding Home Health Care or Hospice by calling 1-812-849-4447 or 1-800-827-2219.

Melissa Jeremiah, R.N., CH.C.E., Director of Operations
November 15, 2017

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Words are not hate crimes

Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis, represents Senate District 33 and in his article "Making case, again, for hate crimes legislation" states in the top of the second column, "I venture to say that my Republican counterparts feel the need (to enact legislation) because of President Trump's divisive and dangerous rhetoric, and I wish that they would come out and denounce his words." Mr. Taylor could not be more wrong about his advocated desires for more legislative penalties.

What is obvious is Mr. Taylor is one of the left trying to get "words" called HATE crimes. He is against the Constitution's First Amendment of free speech and just trying to hide it with deceptive talk, secretly trying to legislate words as hate crimes. If we really want to look at words as hate, then his statement of President Trump's "divisive and dangerous rhetoric" is an example of what he calls a hate crime. Of course, it is not a hate crime if the leftist say it about the ones they hate, only if the average citizen says something the left does not like.

President Trump spoke balanced criticism about the terrible acts of violence taking place in Charlottesville, Va., and speaking balanced is not acceptable in the views of the leftists and with their illogical and biased thinking, they call it divisive and dangerous. In the left's mind, only the white supremacists should have been criticized as being the hate-filled group. The left believes counter protesters are defending what is right and good no matter what they do. But, it takes two to fight, and the counter protestors, ANTIFA, were obviously just as guilty in hate crimes, but they were excused by the left for their acts of violence.

Very little is mentioned in Mr. Talyor's article about "acts" of hate crimes. This again indicates he wants to call "words" hate crimes, not really defining hate crimes as acts of violence, nor limiting these as hate crimes. Violent acts are what really constitutes a hate crime, not spoken words. There should be immediate legal action taken when the violent acts occur. The Constitution's First Amendment protects the use of words even when argumentative, disrespectful and down-right ornery. The left is lucky that this is the case, as we know all the terribly unfair and sick things the left has said about our president. A lot of them would be locked up if spoken words were truly hate crimes.

His belief is that the lack of reported hate crimes is due to the lack of police training to understand and recognize hate-motivated crimes. This is another ploy to try and blame the police because more people are not arrested for hate crimes. If the police take good prudent legal action when occurrences of violent acts happen, the motivation will be taken care of and this is not the issue.

Let's hope his activities in legislation only result to encourage police action when acts of violence are evident and give the police the motivation and back-up support to take action immediately. It needs to go no further than this.

Charles A. Totten
Leavenworth, Ind.
October 25, 2017

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Domestic violence has long-lasting effects

Hoosier Hills PACT commemorates October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

One in four women and one in seven men will be the victim of domestic violence at some point in their lifetime, and, on average, three women are killed every day at the hands of a current or former intimate partner.

According to studies, children who witness domestic violence are neglected at a rate 1,500 percent higher than the national average, are six times more likely to commit suicide and 50 percent more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, are 74 percent more likely to commit a violent crime against someone else, and often meet the diagnostic criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the effects on their brain are similarly to those experienced by combat veterans.

Domestic violence threatens Indiana communities and traumatizes victims, endangers children and harms families. It is grounded in the inequitable conditions of relationships and society-at-large. Throughout October, communities across the country will mourn those whose lives were taken by domestic violence, celebrate tremendous progress victim advocates have made over the years and connect with one another with a true sense of unity to end domestic violence.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, please call or go to the local Hoosier Hills PACT office. The office is located at 307 S. Indiana Ave. in English. Our phone number is 812-338-3271. If you need to reach us after hours, please contact our 24-hour Crisis Line at1-888-883-1959.

Susan Dodge, Hoosier Hills PACT Crawford County Victim Advocate
October 18, 2017

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Do farm animals merit our compassion and respect?

We are a nation of special observances. There is even a World Day for Farm Animals, observed on Oct. 2 (Gandhi's birthday). Apparently, it's intended to memorialize the tens of billions of animals abused and killed for food.

Like most others, I always thought of farm animals as "food on the hoof," but, when a friend sent me an amazing, endearing Facebook video (www.facebook.com/LeoJuniorBulldogFrench/videos/1198548160234565/), it dawned on me that farm animals are much like our family dog, fully deserving of our compassion and respect.

My Internet search showed that they get neither. Male baby chicks are routinely suffocated in plastic garbage bags or ground up alive. Laying hens are crowded into small wire cages that tear out their feathers. Breeding sows are kept pregnant in tiny metal crates. Dairy cows have their babies snatched away immediately upon birth, so we can drink their milk.

It was enough to drive someone to drink. Instead, it drove me to replace the animal products in my diet with a rich variety of plant-based meats and dairy items offered by my grocery store. I have since learned that a cruelty-free diet is also great for my health and for the health of our planet.

Cooper Drysdale
Corydon, Ind.
October 04, 2017

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Editorial unfairly portrays Trump voters

The opinion article of Aug. 23, 2017, had the title "Time to make clear where you stand" and was written by staff writer Taylor Ferguson. After reading the long article with multiple points of dubious, false and outrageous statements of cause and effects, you have to come to the conclusion that the hidden thesis of the article is "Against the Constitution's First Amendment," freedom of speech.

President Trump was criticized for saying, "We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on the many sides, on many sides." This seems very clear language and did not leave any participating group (Nazis, white supremacists, Klan, counter-protesters, etc.) out of the condemnation. The president's words have outraged many on the "left" because his statement was not completely focused on only the white supremacists. He actually had the audacity to include the counter-protesters in the condemnation.

The counter-protesters group were engaged in half of the violence with their helmets, armor, shields and sticks. President Trump was criticized for being too balanced in his language, even though there was an obvious fight between two groups. What is wrong with chanting "White Lives Matter" if we allow and do not criticize "Black Lives Matter" groups that chant they want dead police at their rallies? Aren't both of these statements freedom of speech? Did the white supremacists say to kill the police? That has not been reported.

The author states, "Nazis and Klan members mowing people down in the streets," and this is a total fabrication from the truth. We don't know all the facts, except we know there were not members, plural; there was one fellow who did this terrible deed. The author is trying to unjustifiably blame the groups.

The legal and approved permit for the rally is an important part being totally omitted by this author. The First Amendment allows even terrible white supremacist views we disagree with being given the right to be expressed. This we have been taught since the first grade is critical to a free country and one which we celebrate in the U.S.A. But this author does not even recognize this right. The white supremacist group adhered to the law and obtained the permit. Did the "left" counter-protesters do the same? No, they just came prepared to do battle. The author makes the false claim that only the white supremacist side did the beating, which news broadcasts show is untrue. Much of this author's writing is in the same vein of untruthfulness.

"Make America Great Again" is not a call to white supremacy. When will America be greater than it is right now? It will be greater than now when 50 million get off welfare in this country. It will be great when everyone has a job that supports their families and can look forward to a new automobile and an even better living year after year. It will be when food pantries are no longer supplying food to so many in need. It will be the time when you find most of what you purchase in the stores is marked "Made in U.S.A."

The author says, "If you are supporting Trump you are supporting white supremacy." This is another false conclusion like so many in this article. Fifty million people voted for Trump in the election he won fair and square. Do you really believe all are white supremacists? Do you also believe anyone who wants to defend maintaining the Confederate statues like Robert E. Lee's is a white supremacist? The Civil War was 150 years ago; get over it. All combatants were Americans. You don't have to be on the Southern side to respect all combatants as doing what they believed in. The war brought this country together stronger than ever and the country is now indivisible.

The author states, "If you are silent in the face of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." I have to say this article is written much in the way of an oppressor by most of it being unjust, creating a very dishonest opinion, is harsh and is tyrannical in its demands on those uneducated who are inclined to follow the untrue conclusions as written.

Charles A. Totten
Leavenworth, Ind.
September 06, 2017

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Schuler Bauer
Barbara Shaw
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