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Letters Published in March 4, 2009 Issue
March 4, 2009 - Letter submitted by Cynthia Kendall, Greenfield
Nestled in the rolling hills and farmland of Indiana lies a safe haven for young people who desperately need a chance for a successful future. Away from the streets of the big city, gangs, drugs, and violence, the Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's Home, in Knightstown, has been serving Indiana's youth for 143 years, giving them the opportunities they so richly deserve.
In January of this year, the State Health Department announced its decision that the Children's Home would be closing its doors forever at the end of this school year. Immediately, the American legion and the Home's Alumni Association began rallying forces to intercede in the situation to hopefully overturn the decision.
I'm proud to say that over the past 33 years I have served as a classroom teacher at "The Home." Over the many years I have been a witness to a multitude of miracles. I've watched little boys and girls from disadvantaged backgrounds thrive in the Home's caring environment. From there they have gone on to become productive citizens with families of their own, doing a variety of jobs, or serving in our military.
It is vitally important that we keep this issue in the forefront of everyone's mind as our legislative leaders make important decisions regarding the future of the Children's Home. I would ask then that all caring Indiana residents call, email, and send letters to Governor Daniels, state representatives, and particularly to state senators to voice your concern about Indiana's at risk youth and keeping the Children's Home open. Hundreds of children are counting on us to speak up for them, please don't let them down.
March 4, 2009 - Letter submitted by Rex Bell, Wayne County Libertarian
Summit Taylor was the janitor, groundskeeper, and sometimes recess monitor at my alma mater, Millville Grade School. He lived just across the fence on the other side of the big pile of leavings where he dumped the ashes from the coal furnace in the basement of the school building. One day at recess, my old buddy Stinky Wilmont decided to pick up a clinker out of that pile and see if he could throw it over Summit’s garage.
Although Stinky didn’t have enough arm to get the clinker over the roof, he did have enough power to get it to one of the windows on the building. Needless to say, Summit was not impressed with the feat. Neither was Principal Baker, and the entire third and fourth grades were forced to stay in for the next two recesses because of Stinky’s transgression.
I didn’t have any concrete ideas on what constituted justice back then, but I was pretty sure the entire classroom didn’t deserve to be punished because of Stinky’s bad judgment. But, being in the third grade and scared to death of a trip to Mr. Baker’s office, I suffered in silence with the rest of my roommates and wondered what misery Stinky would visit on us in the future.
As I grew older, and started questioning the accepted social order, I often wondered what would have happened if all of the students who had done nothing wrong, would have simply stood up and walked out when the recess bell rang. Probably the teacher would have told the principal, and probably the principal would have lined us all up for a paddling. But I still think we would have been right, and the teacher and principle would have been wrong.
Later on in school, while studying Greek mythology, we learned the story of Sisyphus. It seems Sisyphus had displeased a couple of the Greek gods and was sentenced to the task of rolling a huge boulder up a mountain, only to have it roll back down the mountain just before he reached the top. So Sisyphus would walk back down the mountain and start again. Forever.
I always wondered why Sisyphus didn’t just step aside, let the rock roll down the mountain, and go on about his business. Probably wouldn’t have made as good of a story, I guess. But as I remember it was an awfully big rock. And it was an awfully tall mountain.
We’re getting ready to add a few trillion dollars to our federal debt. That debt already stands at over $10 trillion, or about $33,000.00 of debt for every man, woman and child in the United States. But that’s just the debt the government likes to report. According to David Walker, past chairman of the Government Accountability Office, the unfunded liabilities of numerous government programs push the actual federal debt past $50 trillion, putting each citizen’s debt at over $160,000.
Of course, that is assuming that we all share the debt equally. We know that isn’t the case, of course. This year, of the 115 million Americans that file income tax returns, about 46 million won’t pay any income tax at all. That leaves over $724,000 of debt for each of the people that do pay. Maybe a little less as long as the other 46 million continue to at least kick in for the Social Security debt. And the debt we don’t get paid rolls over to our grandchildren. At least the ones that will be working and paying taxes.
Which gets me to wondering, could we really blame future generations if they decide they aren’t going to pick up the bill for our ridiculously exorbitant spending policies? After all, they haven’t done anything wrong, and we are handing them an awfully large rock. And an awfully tall mountain.
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