TERRE HAUTE —
Voter ID law an absolute necessity
The editorial in the Tribune-Star on Friday was an insult to the American people. To say that we do not need to prove our identity to vote is completely naive and also very partisan. To get you to publish this letter I have to give you my identity and address. Why? If I can vote without identifying myself, why not write a letter to the opinion page as an anonymous person or just sign my first name. Your paper has even called me to make sure I am the one who wrote the letter that was submitted. I am OK with this because I don’t want someone putting something in the opinion page that is not mine. It is done also to protect the paper against litigation from me if my name was misused to express an opinion that was not mine.
However, according to your editorial, protecting the right to vote is of little importance and a big hassle for the voters of Indiana and states with similar laws.
Our right to vote is sacred to our freedom and future of this great country. Allowing illegal aliens, dead people (fraud) and other schemes to dilute this basic right of our democracy is criminal. If a simple picture ID will prevent this then I am for it. I am totally amazed that anyone would be against this. It is very easy to obtain an ID and if the person wants to vote they will find a way to obtain it.
Your contention that the ID system is flawed because Georgia blocked 1,200 ballots in the 2008 general election is not a valid point. These 1,200 voters were either lazy or uninformed; besides how many votes were cast in Georgia that year? Just short of 4 million; McCain 52 percent, Obama 48 percent.
If a person wants to vote, it is their responsibility to obtain an ID; just as it is their responsibility to get themselves to the polls on time to cast a vote.
Protecting the sanctity of the voting right is an absolute necessity if we are to continue to have valid and meaningful elections. I say “Thank You” to the politicians who passed these laws and I suspect if you check you will find some Democrats who voted with the Republicans to pass these fine legislative acts, in all of the states that have ID requirements.
— Don R. Phillips
West Terre Haute
Leave private clubs alone
Smokers and non-smokers can co-exist, really. I do agree with Jeffrey Skirin (June 24 letter) that the government should have no control over smoking in private clubs. If you don't want to be in a smoking environment, stay away. If you work in a smoking environment and don’t like it, get another job. We have choices.
I don’t like the smell of cigarettes or cigars, but have to admit I like the smell of good pipe tobacco. Nevertheless, they give me headaches, and after being near someone who is smoking, I even have the taste of the smoke on my lips, and the smell in my hair and on clothing. Many people have asthma or other breathing problems, and smoke, even the smell of it on clothing, can trigger an attack. I do believe smoking should be banned in all public places for those reasons.
All that said, a few words to non-smokers, especially those who judge smokers: some of you have offensive odors about you that also cause reactions in people like me and others. Strong odors of perfume, after-shave lotion, bad breath, perspiration and other offensive odors have the same reaction as smoke in many cases. Does the government want to control those? Should they? If your habits are kept at home (smoking, drinking) and harm only you, then it is not my business or the government’s. If they are taken into the public, then they are.
Smokers will pay the price in the form of disease, early death, medical expenses, loss of friends, etc., but they still have that choice. My own father would not heed warnings and died of emphysema, heart and lung failure, directly related to his many years of smoking. He had a choice. Several friends have died recently from smoking-related causes. They had a choice.
A friend had lung surgery and was not told by her doctor not to smoke, but she did, and she was found dead by her son with a pack of cigarettes by her. It was her choice. Many longtime smokers are trying hard to quit, and don’t need to be made to feel like criminals. It is their choice. This is America.
So come on, Big Brother, clean up the public environment, but leave the private clubs alone.
— Lois Little
A closer look at capitalism
How has capitalism served us? The answer: the gap between the middle class and the rich has widened tremendously during the last 30 years. Many families, once proud of middle-class status, have been pushed to lower class and some even into poverty. Why should 1 percent own 90 per cent of private wealth in America?
How did the rich get richer? The answer: not by working hard but by paying only 15 percent tax on their capital gains while working people paid their taxes at 35 percent rate. The CEOs and other executives gave themselves huge bonuses and accumulated enormous wealth for themselves.
The capitalists sidestepped the investment principle of sharing both reward and risk. There cannot be a zero-sum game: one person or organization’s profits cannot come from another person’s or organization’s losses.
Hedging is the practice of taking a position in one market to offset and balance against the risk adopted by assuming a position in a contrary or opposing market, or investment against loss. Hence new products like options on stocks or futures, selling short stocks and options, bundling mortgages and selling them to the unsuspecting investors are just a few examples of factors contributing to the financial crisis of 2008-09.
People using these devious methods got huge bonuses, got rich and quickly ran to the exit door. Bonuses, once taken, could not be taken back under the legal apparatus created by the dysfunctional capitalist system. Retirement accounts dwindled and seniors and savers got little or nothing for their savings.
Readers might have read that Barclays chief executive, Bob Diamond, suddenly quit recently over an interest rate-rigging scandal that threatens to drag in a dozen more major lenders but suggested the Bank of England had encouraged his bank to manipulate the figures. Notice the word “manipulate.”
On July 10, Reuters reported that a quarter of Wall Street executives see wrongdoing as a key to success, according to a survey by whistle blower law firm Labaton Sucharow. Such is the nature of capitalism.
Society has a right to seek equitable wealth by banning exploitative financial practices. In practice, it’s about side-stepping paying of interests, gambling on derivatives and excessive risk-taking. Or investing in casinos, pornography and weapons of mass destruction. Readers might have noticed that not much has changed in the capitalist world’s practices since the crisis unfolded in 2008-09.
But the consequences of the evil deeds based on selfishness, greed, and callousness are evident on many cities, states, individuals, foundations and even the countries of the world.
The game of the boom and bust cycles continues. Capitalism has failed humanity.
— Khwaja A. Hasan
Formerly of Terre Haute
Chicago needs to fight back
I just heard the story about all the children and adults being shot by gang members in Chicago. It is hard to have sympathy for the people involved when they refuse to help police. The community has long been known to refuse to talk to authorities or report seeing anything.
Chicago reminds me of a country like Syria. If the community wants the killing to stop, they, the people, will have to fight back or at least come forward and help the city to put an end to the gangs.
Come on, people, get your heads out of the sand and man up to the few dictators that run your world. Yes, we know it is dangerous, but don’t you think the people of the oppressed countries are also scared. But they are willing to fight for the lives of their children and world. Get up and do something about the problem before Chicago becomes a prison state.
— Regina Glaziner