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Putin takes advantage of right denied his people

I wonder whether Russian President Vladimir Putin enjoyed fully expressing himself? How did it feel to him to criticize a government and a people publicly? That’s something he does not allow his own countrymen to do to become better citizens.

Freedom of the press is essential to realizing a better world – not a country, state or dictatorship, just better humans.


Public being denied change it voted for

Last fall I mailed my friends and neighbors postcards, drove to their houses and walked to their doors. I asked them to support Glenda Ritz for state superintendent in November’s election. I did not ask them to vote for any political party or other office, just Ritz for the sake of public education. They listened politely. They did more research. They even said, “Thank you for keeping me informed.”

In a great show of the democratic process, this scenario happened all across the state. Ritz pulled off what was dubbed a “David over Goliath” upset. She was the only Democrat to win at the statewide level and received more votes than Mike Pence did for governor.

Hoosiers did not turn out en masse for some popular Hoosier: Ritz was a newcomer. Instead, they voted for a person who represented the change Hoosiers requested for public education. Hoosiers elected Ritz because she represented honest support of education for all, not the denigration of public schools by state officials giving control to private entities.

Friends and neighbors, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that Pence has created duplicative government offices to usurp control of public education from the person we elected. Pence, along with our state representatives, continues to serve their private interests and dismantle public education in great disregard of the public’s requests.

The good news is this: We can do it again. We are going to find candidates who support the public’s interest. Education accounts for more than half our state’s budget. It is a huge priority. If Pence and state officials do not allow Ritz to the job we asked her to do, plan on seeing me again before election day.


No president ever gets a true vacation

Bruce Cynar (“Obama’s priorities are misplaced,” Sept. 5) stated that he thought President Barack Obama should spend less time on vacation and golfing. Let us look at the record of a few presidents.

George W. Bush had 349 vacation days and 58 vacation trips. Ronald Reagan had 180 vacation days on 29 vacation trips. President Obama had 96 vacation days on 15 vacation trips. President Bill Clinton had 84 vacation days on 11 vacation trips.

When it comes to golfing, Obama isn’t even close to previous presidents. President Dwight Eisenhower had more than 800 rounds of golf, President Woodrow Wilson had more than 1,000 rounds of golf.

Nancy Reagan said, and it is so true, “Presidents don’t get vacations. They just get a change of scenery. The job goes with you.”

The responsibilities, the pressure, the officer with the “nuclear football” – it’s all with a commander-in-chief at all times. No exceptions.