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    I have been a conservative since I was 21 years old. I am now 67. I have also been a blue-collar worker for my entire working life. I was a firefighter and am a general building contractor.
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    It was disheartening to see in the July 20 paper the string of letters in favor of the homosexual lifestyle. Perhaps Jerry Ross (July 7) just gets tired of the way the issues are skewed by the media and others.
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Letters to the editor


Private schools don’t get direct public funding

My former colleague, IPFW Chancellor Emeritus Michael Wartell, made some interesting points in his March 24 column, “An outdated worldview is degree plan’s flaw.” The world in general and higher education in particular have indeed changed immensely in the past 50 years.

However, I would like to clarify his comments regarding public support of private education. I doubt Wartell intended to mislead readers with his statement referring to “private institutions utilizing state funds,” but some may have misunderstood.

Private colleges and universities do not receive public funding from the state government. Students who have financial need receive grants from the state, and some of those students choose to attend private institutions.

Allowing students to use their grants at the college or university of their choice enables them to find the institution that best fits their individual needs and interests.

According to Independent Colleges of Indiana, only 3 percent of Indiana’s total $1.75 billion spent on higher education helps high-need Hoosiers attending private, non-profit colleges and universities. The grant programs referred to by Wartell are just one small piece of the puzzle when it comes to state funding of higher education, and they are the only piece over which the students have any amount of control.

ARTHUR E. SNYDER President, Indiana Tech

Fatherless homes produce ‘thug culture’

I stare numbly at the news app on my phone, which announces “One wounded by apparent gunshots” at 4 a.m., mere hours ago, on Bowser Avenue in the city’s southeast quadrant. This comes on the heels of the two killings that occurred mere days ago in that same part of the city.

A newspaper headline relays the usual distraction: “Victim’s mom blames thug culture.” Why does it exist? This culture comes from the last 50 years of a failed social experiment where we as a society decided that it’s OK for children to not be raised in two-parent families and, specifically, it’s OK for boys to be raised without fathers.

We somehow cannot bring ourselves to say that teenagers of any race, origin or nationality, engaging in intercourse with each other then producing babies they keep and are ill-equipped to raise socially, emotionally, economically and most of all spiritually, is a bad idea. We lost our moral compass. We lost common sense.

It’s easier to shell out the cash that is financially and more importantly morally bankrupting us as a society, than it is to tell the truth: that boys and girls shouldn’t be having sex; that you should have a baby when you are married and when you are ready to support that baby, together, in a home.

We’ve been blathering and babbling and screeching against the “old fashioned morality” thing for 50 years now and I don’t see us coming to our senses any time soon. And the killing continues.


Common Core turned tide against Bennett

As a former teacher, I have spoken out many times on schools. My concern is whether the House will follow the Senate and pass Senate Bill 193, postponing implementation of Common Core standards and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers for one year, allowing closer scrutiny.

The best estimate is that PARCC will cost the state better than three times what ISTEP+ does. ISTEP+ is one of the top three state-created standardized tests in the nation. If the wheel isn’t broken, why fix it?

Teacher evaluations can easily be created in conjunction with ISTEP+ test results. This could be done with teacher support and not the added burden and expense of professional development required to impose the faulty methodology associated with Common Core and PARCC.

Even though teachers and Glenda Ritz must be given much credit for her campaign and her eventual win, they alone could not have beaten Tony Bennett. Resistance to Common Core turned the tide. Parents and concerned citizens not only rejected Common Core, but rejected Bennett along with it.

Without question, the biggest political upset of the 2012 election was the defeat of Bennett. House members should take heed. Voters will remember and be reminded by citizen action groups who supported SB193 and who did not.


Donnelly picks party over his constituents

In the Senate vote on the Grassley amendment to protect Americans from a $1 trillion tax increase and provide for pro-growth revenue-neutral comprehensive tax reform, Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., voted no.

I read this as that Donnelly is ready to vote for a $1 trillion tax increase; how else can you interpret this? There are no spending cuts presented from the Democrats, but they are thinking $1 trillion dollar tax increase will work.

I ask all constituents to write Donnelly to ask him to start representing Indiana instead of bowing to Sen. Harry Reid and the party line.


State refund should go toward public schools

Taxpayers will be receiving $111 from the state ($222 for a couple) The state had so much of a surplus that it decided to return some money to the people.

We believe this money was stolen from the public schools (remember that $300 million that they found, or was it $500 million that had turned up missing?).

Our legislators are systematically destroying our public schools, and we do not wish to help them. We will be returning our $222 to the nearest public school to be used for the teachers or the children. We urge our fellow Hoosiers to do the same.


Rape stats reveal need for education

Research shows one in four girls and one in six boys are raped in America. In recent reporting of the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case, society was outraged by the coverage.

“Voluntarily got herself intoxicated,” “never heard her say she did not want to do it,” “these two young men … watched as they believed their life fell apart” are just some of the atrocious phrases said that blame the victim. Distancing oneself by blaming the rape on alcohol or a mistake made by the victim should never justify the violation of a human being.

Real rape prevention should be simple: Do not rape.

It is time to focus on the victim. Prevent future rapists by discussing this tough topic with the youth of our community.

According to Shadows of Innocence, Indiana has the second-highest rate in the nation of forced sexual assault intercourse for females in high school. This should be not only a concern to our community, but a wake up call to make a change.


Look inward, Congress, to make budget cuts

Here are some changes to make in Washington, D.C., because the government is getting too big to get things done.

1) Cut the Senate and House to two members per state.

2) No more lifetime medical insurance. They would have six months after leaving office to purchase their own. While in office they can be on the same plan as Social Security recipients are for their medical needs.

3) No more voting their own pay raises and other perks. Let the voters pass or revoke them every two years.

4) No more pork added to bills. All it does is add to the national debt, making it harder to reduce.

Now, are any congressmen or senators interested in taking this to the floor? Or would they rather cut Social Security?

Remember, there are a lot of senior citizens.