Bruce Kauffman’s recent column about Dr. Martin Luther King’s inspired “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (Tribune-Star, Thursday, April 19, 2012) brought to your readers’ attention one of the most profoundly important documents in Western ethics literature, used in many university-level ethics courses to demonstrate one man’s inspired and rational use of logic at the highest level of moral reasoning.
This elegant work is required reading in my Ethics in Organizations course at Indiana State University, and our class discussions always result in better student understanding of the ethical imperative to treat all other human beings with the dignity and respect that they deserve as humans, and to not use others to our own selfish ends — no matter what the current laws say.
Dr. King effectively explains that laws that violate human rights are illegal laws and therefore we are justified in breaking those laws. Dr. King broke those illegal “Jim Crow laws” prevalent in the southern states at that time with peaceful protest.
While I could go on and on about this inspired piece of American literature, let me end now by saying “thank you” to Mr. Kauffmann for calling attention to this important writing and encourage every America to read it.
The document in its entirety is available online at web.cn.edu/kwheeler/documents/
— Bill Wilhelm, professor
Management, Information Systems and Business Education
Scott College of Business
Indiana State University
Trash bins still
an ugly problem
I have a question. When, if ever, is the city of Terre Haute going to fix the problem with the alleys in this city so we can put the ugly eyesore trash containers there so that they can be collected?
Every week I do not look forward to the eyesores lined up and down the streets and staying there for days and days after they have been collected. I thought this was on the agenda. (What happened)?
Please tell me that we are not going to have to put up with these eyesores forever. As much as we pay in taxes I think we should not have to look at these ugly eyesores week after week.
Please, Mr. Mayor, can you address this problem?
— Thomas Helms
After reading the letters in last Sunday’s newspaper about the candidates for County Council at-large, I am very confused as to what qualifies a person to run for a government office. Does standing on a roof qualify you? Does being a teacher qualify you? Does being a Democrat or Republican qualify you? Wow!
Please, when writing a letter about your candidate, please include something about their platform, and what they want to see Vigo County accomplish in the next four years, and how they intend on achieving their goals for our county. This would make for a lot more interesting reading and would also inform the voters as to what your candidate stands for.
I am writing this letter to endorse all of the incumbents running for Vigo County Council at-large.
These council members have served probably through one of the most difficult financial crunch periods that government has been faced with since the Great Depression.
This council has been led by good leadership forcing commissioners and all the county departments to live within the budgets of the available funding that the county has been given without raising and creating new taxes on the citizens of this county. They have acted responsibly by working hard through these tough times, and for that I thank them for serving us and keeping our taxes in check.
I ask you the working people and the voters of Vigo County to think about what has happened in government in the past years, and think about your budgets and what would have happened if you did not live within your own budgets. What would the consequences be?
Please think about this when voting, and give these incumbents another term.
Vote: Ed Ping, Bill Bryan and Mark Bird.
They deserve another term.
— Merv and Doreena Javins
On energy, Lugar
has been leader
Sen. Lugar takes the lead on energy issues. His work securing the world from uncontrolled Soviet nuclear weapons starting in 1991 with the Nunn-Lugar Act had the additional benefit of providing approximately 50 percent of the nuclear fuel for U.S. nuclear power plants for the past 20 years; since nuclear power provides 20 percent of U.S. electricity you could say that 10 percent of all U.S. power generation is a side benefit of saving the world from these devices.
In July 2004, returning from a Middle East tour, I had the distinct opportunity to meet with Sen. Lugar prior to him addressing an agricultural convention. He spent 45 minutes chatting with me and my troops, more time listening than asking questions. Then I witnessed him departing for the convention address in a small Ford Escort. Certainly no sense of hubris or self-importance. Earlier in 2004 I had the opportunity to visit a Slovak Air Force museum in Kosice, Slovakia, only 50 miles from Ukraine. The thing that stood out to me was the collection of old Russian ICBMs and IRBMs on display that were scrapped from Kazakhstan and Ukraine as a result of Lugar’s efforts.
Regarding Sen. Lugar’s endorsement in 2009 of a Charles Krauthammer Fair Tax idea that would have shifted the tax burden from Social Security to a gas tax, it made great sense at the time when gas prices were at $1.70 per gallon and would have helped shore up Social Security and Medicare while reducing the tax burden on lower earners.
Lugar’s reasoning was also that a guaranteed floor price on oil would increase domestic production, at the same time reducing the impact of Middle East strife on fuel prices. Result number two — a side benefit reducing the necessity of deploying U.S. troops. As a twice-deployed veteran with two children who have three deployments between them, I sure supported that.
Sen. Lugar has done many other far-seeing actions on energy that I greatly appreciate and that few know of. Case in point, in 2005, I noticed upon a visit to our local landfill that it was venting natural gas produced from decay. I wrote a letter to Sen. Lugar and wondered if he could get a bill initiated to encourage productive use of that gas, while diminishing pollution. Within a month, I had a letter back from his staff detailing an incentive law he had passed in the 1990s doing just that.
Today that landfill sells that gas to a large brickyard. In 2009 I used the services of his staff to seek Department of Energy assistance in obtaining guidance in geothermal for my job. His capable staff could not have been more helpful.
Finally, as a retired 28-year Air Force veteran, I used my enlistment address of Calhoun County, Texas, until retirement. This is allowed by federal and state law. The senator takes basically the same oath to the Constitution that I took.
— Paul F. Davis II
Certified Energy Manager
law and theory
Dr. Ditteon’s recent description of how scientists use the terms “law” and “theory” deserves further comment. It is not surprising that there is a misunderstanding of the terms law and theory among the general public when there is apparently a lack of clarity regarding these terms even among some members of the scientific community.
Law and theory are not intended to be used interchangeably; in fact, they are entirely different things. A law is a statement based on empirical observations. A theory is an attempt to understand what caused the observations.
For example, the following has been observed over centuries for a given quantity of gas at a constant temperature: decreasing the volume of the container results in an increase in the pressure inside the container. This observed relationship is called Boyle’s Law.
The attempt to understand the cause for this relationship is called the Kinetic Molecular Theory of Gases. This theory proposes that gases are composed of particles that are in constant motion. As the particles hit the wall of the container they create pressure and as the volume of the container decreases the number of collisions with the wall of the container per unit area increases, thereby increasing the pressure. This particular theory is universally accepted as fact, but that does not make it a scientific law.
To correctly express and interpret scientific information, an understanding of the difference between a law and a theory can be critical. The nature of “proof” for these two separate constructs takes on entirely different forms. Normally the word proven would not even be used in the context of a theory. The best defense one can give about a theory is to observe that to date no credible data has been collected that contradicts it.
— Beverly Pestel
Instructor of Chemistry
Indiana State University
Special day at
If you were in the Riley area on Friday, April 20, you would have witnessed an amazing event. The Riley Elementary School campus was a-buzz with students and staff working at many different stations and tasks during our Earth Day celebration. Throughout the school year, teachers have prepared students with lessons about the importance of valuing our planet and the many things we can do to honor our home. Our cafeteria staff prepared picnic lunches so we could spend our afternoon enjoying the balmy outdoors.
We were especially delighted to work through Ryan and Tom Cummins and their staff at the Apple House. We lost two large trees at our front entrance in the storm last spring, and with guidance and expertise from the Apple House were able to have replacement trees planted the day of our celebration. Our PTO provided the funding for the project so all can enjoy our restoration. We are starting to look complete again, and I invite you to come visit and see our once beautiful tree canopy on the road to recovery.
Thank you to the Apple House, our PTO, our students and staff for embracing the importance of our special day and helping us all realize the beauty of our green planet. Celebrate Earth Day everyday.
— Claire A. Marchese
Riley Elementary School
A busy time at
Benjamin Franklin Elementary has been a busy building of young learners, supportive families, tireless PTO members, and dedicated teachers.
In an effort to reward excellence, the Benjamin Franklin Elementary first Officer’s Ball celebrated 127 students who had reached the rank of “Chief Comprehending Warrant Officer.” The hard-working students scored 78 percent or better for 15 weeks or more out of 22 weeks on weekly reading tests. Students danced, worked on computers, played Wii and BINGO, watched movies, and played board games, all with real military officers and classroom teachers.
Rachel Cox and Dawn McKillop began this idea while teachers and our newly begun PTO assisted in making this evening exceptionally special, such as getting balloons and donations from Wal-Mart. Real soldiers, Chastity Bowker, James Willis, Brad Haviland, Steve Brown and Sgt. Marshal Crank, volunteered not only their precious time but also brought military vehicles and a tent for pictures. I wanted to share special thanks to everyone who went above and beyond the call of duty to make this event so successful.
Benjamin Franklin jumped into our first Science Fair; thanks to the Vigo County Education Foundation and Rachel Cox for making this event become a reality — the VCEF grant was written by Mrs. Cox. The VCEF grant provided science boards and various scientific materials that were made available to intermediate grade level students to test hypothesis, gather data, and make conclusions based on their experiments.
Benjamin Franklin had some amazing scientists. To name just a few, one of our future scientists extracted DNA from strawberries and tried to get DNA from tomatoes, too. Volcanoes exploded and an “ice” light bulb beamed. I watched students and teachers work after school on each project; it was impressive to hear the students talk to their volunteering teachers to help develop the students’ ideas. Benjamin Franklin’s awesome families were so supportive of their children’s academics; we hope to be involved with the Science Fair for many years to come.
Another great after-school project was yet another first for Benjamin Franklin Elementary (again special thanks to the VCEF) as the vision of dance coaches, Carla Bailey and Jaymi Dunkin, became another Benjamin Franklin reality. The girls and coaches really enjoyed the time together. The new dance team was able to perform to a live audience.
There were many more firsts for Benjamin Franklin Elementary this year. I am so proud of the students, so pleased to be with their families and so excited to be a part of such a dedicated staff.
Thank you, Tribune-Star, for allowing me to brag about Benjamin Franklin Elementary.
— Tina Galey-Horrall
The celebration season
Spring has been a bit elusive at times in 2013, which is its nature.
RONN MOTT: Frustration
For those who know me well, they can say without contradiction I am not a patient man. But in this hustle and bustle world I’ve been a part of all my adult life, I’ve had to learn a little patience. On occasion, however, I find some experiences extremely frustrating.
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news: MVC tourney an event worth having
It’s been a long time since the Missouri Valley Conference chose Indiana State University to host its post-season baseball tournament, but Terre Haute had never been more prepared for an event such as this.
- READERS' FORUM: May 23, 2013
EDITORIAL: Cleaning up voter rolls
It’s not a lot of money in the big scheme of things, but the $2 million designated in the recent session of the General Assembly will begin the messy but necessary process of cleaning up Indiana’s voter registration rolls.
READERS' FORUM: May 22, 2013
Rich history all along the river
Great work by Duke employees
RONN MOTT: Rabid Republicans
The so-called news people at Fox News can hardly sit still long enough to report on the latest gossip or untruth about our sitting President. They can hardly contain themselves.
READERS’ FORUM: May 21, 2013
• Great response to annual golf outing
• Doing your part on climate change
LIZ CIANCONE: Smell of fresh air gave way to dryers
Remember when clean clothes smelled like fresh air and sunshine rather than fabric softener and dryer sheets?
READERS' FORUM: May 20, 2013
The dangers of a little knowledge
Students enjoyed Rose study trip
Mark Bennett: High-profile mural connects historical dots from city to river
At 96 feet wide and 2 stories tall, the power, impact and value of the Wabash will be evident.
EDITORIAL: Waging the ‘readiness’ campaign
Almost every Hoosier who starts college intends to finish. Unfortunately, those who arrive on campus unprepared in key academic areas are far less likely to fulfill that aspiration.
READERS' FORUM: May 19, 2013
• Flawed reasoning on gun checks
• A hint of things yet to come?
• Are the ‘makers’ doing the ‘taking’?
• The ‘Obamination’ is finally revealed
• Pondering effects of Obamacare
• Fantasizing on the ‘Apocalypse’
• Another view of Hinduism
• Great experience for HCMS students
FLASHPOINT: A legislative session of missed opportunities
Given the nature of politicians, grand claims of accomplishments and overblown rhetoric about “historic” efforts are to be expected at the close of any legislative session.
RONN MOTT: Mushrooms = Hoosier happiness
Someone wrote or said a few years ago a statement that would define the word “Hoosier.” According to this urban legend, a Hoosier is somebody dribbling a basketball around the Indy 500 while eating a fried, morel mushroom. It did not define me, at the time.
EDITORIAL: Insult to an independent press
Distrust of government secrecy has been elevated to an exceptional level with the disclosure the Justice Department covertly examined two months of Associated Press phone records to determine who leaked details to the AP about a foiled terrorist plot.
READERS' FORUM: May 17, 2013
Hinduism doesn’t deserve ridicule — Shefali Purohit, Terre Haute
RONN MOTT: Israel’s Air Force
Recently the Israeli Air Force bombed and rocketed a convoy leaving Syria going to Lebanon with rockets that were going to be used to attack Israel. It did not get there. It was destroyed.
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news: Dashing finish for the Sycamores
It’s always thrilling to see Indiana State University’s athletic teams do well in high-level competition, and two specific teams rose to impressive heights last weekend in the Missouri Valley Conference outdoor track and field championships.
Readers' Forum: May 16, 2013
Moving Deming folks sounds ‘nuts’
Readers' Forum: May 15, 2013
Participants rise to the challenge: I would like to write a letter congratulating all the Wabash Valley Roadrunners that competed in the One America Indianapolis Mini Marathon.
RONN MOTT: Media merry-go-round
Round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows. That isn’t a unique phrase to this writer or to this era in time. But, when it comes to the musical chairs of broadcasting, it certainly applies.
LIZ CIANCONE: Courts see a different appearance than cops
Have you ever noticed the transformation between the arrest of an accused lawbreaker and the first appearance in court?
READERS' FORUM: May 14, 2013
ISTEP failure exposes flaws
Community hasn’t changed its spirit
Egregious threat to nation’s defense
READERS' FORUM: May 13, 2013
• Women’s group criticizes Bucshon
• Let’s hope this doesn’t come true
• Many get thanks for fest success
MARK BENNETT: Life at face value: Mom’s simple advice still presents a valuable daily challenge
Most moms don’t base their advice on scientific research.
(Unless, of course, your mother is a scientific researcher. If so, carry a No. 2 pencil and take good notes.)
EDITORIAL: Better monitoring needed to prevent local environmental messes
The nasty, hazardous messes lurking in the community raise a bottom-line, red-flag question. Could these environmental problems have been monitored and, thus, prevented?
GUEST COLUMN: Nursing more than medicine and bandages
Being a nurse … Like most nurses, I chose this profession because I had a strong desire to help others and no other career would allow me the opportunity to touch lives the way I have been able to through nursing.
READERS' FORUM: May 12, 2013
Vigo Youth Football, entering 45th year, seeks new support
Media ignoring important case on abortions
Proud to be old-fashioned
Guns in school? What’s next?
Promoting hate not a ‘brave’ act
FLASHPOINT: Again in 2013 General Assembly, middle class generally ignored
Last year, the people of Indiana entrusted the Republican Party with some of their most precious possessions.
- More Opinion Headlines
- The celebration season