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Letters Published in February 20, 2008 Issue
Feb. 20, 2008 - Letter submitted by Mark Fort, CAB School Board Candidate, Wayne Township
I'm writing to announce my decision to run for one of the Wayne Township seats on the Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corporation School Board. I am a lifelong resident of this area, a local business owner and a farmer. My wife, Liz, and I have a son who attends Knightstown Elementary.
Having attended numerous school board meetings over the past several years, I have often left with concerns about board decisions, especially ones that appeared to be made with little or no public discussion or debate of the issues involved. I've also been troubled by the current board's reluctance to provide the public with a forum to express their views about important matters affecting CAB, its students and educators.
The citizens of our community deserve the chance to freely express themselves, and to be treated with respect, at all school board meetings. The current policy of not allowing members of the public to speak at board meetings unless they have signed up several days in advance is something that needs to be changed.
A school board that truly values public input would welcome all public comments and not be afraid to hear what the people have to say. If elected, I believe I can make it possible for concerned citizens in the CAB community to once again have their voices heard on the important issues facing our school corporation.
The CAB School Board needs members who are willing to speak up for our citizens. As elected officials, board members must also be prepared, when necessary, to challenge their fellow board members in order to ensure that our school system is the best it can be - for our children, for CAB's teachers, and for local taxpayers.
I also wish to state that, if elected, I will not accept the salary that comes with this school board position. Instead, I will ask that this money be returned to CAB and used to fund education services and programs that directly benefit students and teachers.
For voters unsatisfied with the CAB School Board and its mishandling of any number of issues over the past few years, the May 6 election is an opportunity to take corrective action. I would appreciate your support when you go to the polls.
Feb. 20, 2008 - Letter submitted by Dennis Spegal, Knightstown
I got to know the late Bruce Kiser of Shirley at a very young age. He was somewhat involved in the Shirley Little League program when I was old enough to start playing in 1958. He was not a coach of mine but I knew him by just seeing him around the park a lot. As I got older, I remember Bruce spending a lot of time at the park, mostly with the baseball pitchers. Different coaches would ask Bruce to help them with their pitching staffs. Bruce seemed to be able to get things through to different boys that their own coaches could not.
When I was in my early twenties, Kerry Barnard and I coached an all-star team. We had a very talented group of boys but we needed some help with the pitching. So we asked Bruce to help. In my opinion, Bruce was responsible for leading the 1976 Shirley All-Stars to winning town, state and national Little League championships.
Bruce was a guy that taught life lessons to young boys through baseball. At the time, I thought he was a little corny in his explanations. He would talk about different, like taking those good hitters out of their comfort zones. I thought talking to 10 -12 year olds about "comfort zones" was a little over the top. Bruce would say things like, "If you can keep the ball high and inside, a good pitcher will always win against a good hitter." Again, that is out of the comfort zone for the hitter. This was "a life lesson according to Bruce."
Many players over the years have talked about the life lessons that they learned from Bruce. I had the privilege of working closely with him over the last 15 years at GasAmerica, after he retired from Star Financial Bank. Bruce also, in his own way, taught everyone that spent much time around him a life lesson. Many times, these lessons would relate to his passion for baseball. Other times, lessons would relate to something that he had been through in his life.
I think the most compelling statement that I heard said about Bruce was this: "Bruce taught kids more about life than most preachers." And he did it through baseball.
Bruce was a coach of all coaches. But most of all he was my friend and a friend of many.
Feb. 20, 2008 - Letter submitted by Nate LaMar, Henry County Councilman and Chairman of John McCain Presidential Campaign for Indiana's Sixth Congressional District
The parallels between 2008 and 1988 are striking. In 1988, I was fortunate to be invited to the Republican National Convention in New Orleans. As it took place the first week of classes my senior year at West Point and with no precedent, it required the signatures of three generals, but I was allowed to attend! As George H.W. Bush was not considered conservative enough, many delegates wore buttons saying, "I want a conservative VP." Due to largely unfair charges that Senator John McCain is not conservative enough, we will probably see similar buttons at this year's Republican National Convention.
In the August heat and humidity of New Orleans, Bush chose Indiana's junior U.S. senator, Dan Quayle, to be his running mate. Quayle was crucified by the liberal media, who made him out to be a "dunce." However, native Hoosiers knew better, as we remembered Dan back home as his own man, before his national-level "handlers," to include James Baker III, helped to ruin his image. Bush's choice of Quayle helped the ticket to win Indiana's neighboring swing states of Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.
In early February, Pat Toomey of the Club for Growth wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that McCain should consider the following five solid conservatives as running-mates: Gov. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.); Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.); former Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Tex.); Forbes magazine owner Steve Forbes (R-N.J.); and our own Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.)!
On February 7, I was honored to represent Henry County and the Eastern Indiana Development District (EIDD) on a day trip to Washington, D.C. along with New Castle Mayor Jim Small, New Castle Public Safety Director Tom Nipp and Henry County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Bryan Coats. We were there to lobby Indiana's senators, Richard Lugar and Evan Bayh, and Congressman Mike Pence for various projects benefiting eastern Indiana, Henry County and New Castle.
While visiting Congressman Pence, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a flashing across the screen on Fox News stating that former Governor Mitt Romney had dropped out of the presidential race. Romney and McCain both addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that day. Pence told us that the day before he had been asked by McCain to introduce him at CPAC. Unable to do so, Pence actually spoke at CPAC the next day. However, McCain asking Pence to introduce him is a good omen for Indiana, as well as a good omen for us conservatives.
Just as Quayle did for Bush Sr., Mike Pence could help McCain to win our neighboring swing states: Illinois (especially if Hillary is the Democrat nominee), Michigan and Ohio. Indeed, history could repeat itself, thanks to Indiana, the "Mother of Vice Presidents!"
Feb. 20, 2008 - Letter submitted by Kathie Diane Shaffer, Sylmar, Cal.
It is tragic that so many citizens believe that we live in a democracy instead of the republic that our Founders established. The word "democracy" does not appear in the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, or any of our state constitutions. It does appear in The Federalist Papers where the Founders wrote about their fear of it. We pledge allegiance to our flag and to the "republic" for which it stands. A republic is rule by law. A democracy is rule by majority, which can lead to mob rule.
Our republic is organized to protect our natural or God-given rights. To protect these rights, we have a U.S. Constitution that both citizens and government officials are required to obey. Furthermore, our U.S. Constitution states: "The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union, a republican form of government." Any other system - democracy, dictatorship, monarchy, or oligarchy - is organized to restrict individual rights to the degree determined by the whims of those in charge. Go to www.thenewamerican.com for details; search: rights.
Unfortunately, we citizens have allowed federal officials to violate their oaths of office so that about 80 percent of federal legislation today is unconstitutional, and it has restricted our rights. Unless enough citizens wake up and demand that federal officials obey our Constitution, we soon will be living in one of the other four systems.
Feb. 20, 2008 - Letter submitted by John Leisure, Knightstown
When I read Mr. Howard's most recent letter to the editor (Feb. 13 Banner), I went straight to the Internet. Within 20 minutes I had found five explanations for the Polonium 218 halos; some seemed more credible than others. All of these suggested explanations, however, shared two factors. For one, they were all very technical, and without a good grounding in particle physics, it is very difficult to decipher them. So, for most of us, these documents might as well be printed in Chinese. My favorite can be found at www.csun.edu/~vcgeo005/revised8.htm. It's catalog number is ISSN 1526-5757 and the author is Lorence G. Collins. The article also lists some other suggested, though less satisfactory, answers to the phenomenon. The article was printed in 1997. I wonder how the proponents of Intelligent Design (ID) missed that. The other thing that all of these explanations have in common is that none of them require a supernatural component, and that is where all of my plans to skewer ID with facts and logic that is not circuitous (circular) fell apart.
Creationism and science have at least one thing in common: They are both honest attempts to explain the universe. Regardless of which you agree with, both are at least honest. So I won't waste the reader's or my own time refuting ID assertions yet again. Those of you who wish can learn the facts whenever you wish, and those of you who believe you already know the truth have, no doubt, other things to do.
So then I started visiting the websites Mr. Howard suggested. Let me insert a disclaimer in here: I in no way advocate, support, condone or defend the positions taken by any of the websites listed in Mr. Howard's letter. That said, I think there is a lot of very, very interesting information available. Let me suggest www.ncrepublic.org. Whey you get to the website, click on "documents," then "amendments." I call special attention to Article I, Section 3, Paragraphs 2 and 3; Article IV, Section 2 and Section 3, Paragraph 2. No doubt others will find many items of interest here and at other related sites. I recommend reading everything - knowledge is power.
As I stated before, each of us must decide for ourselves what we choose to believe. Creationism has at least 3,000 years of tradition behind it. Evolution has 150 years of scientific evidence to support it - though evolutionists would claim about three billion years - and none that contradict it. On the other hand, Intelligent Design has innuendo, misinformation, loose definitions, and a grilled cheese sandwich some thought looked like the Holy Virgin that was offered for sale on eBay a couple of years ago. For those who wonder, this is me openly ridiculing something. I won't bother discussing Intelligent Design again until its proponents are able to offer real evidence to support it, something more substantial than small pseudo-ministries that can so quickly be explained, and at least one court of law has found that it is, indeed, science. To put it another way, if metaphysics wishes to portray itself as science, it must do so by science's standards.
In closing, let me take a moment to thank my mother and father for being wise enough to teach me morality before I ever went to school or even Sunday school, and for continuing to demonstrate true moral values throughout their lives. I certainly benefit from their example and I am certain there are others who would as well.
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