No justice served by Grand Jury decision
What a surprise! A grand jury did not return any indictments against the police officers involved in the shooting of Norman Gary.
Having worked in the legal system for several years, I can affirm that so-called “grand juries” are the biggest farce in the world. In fact, a routine saying in the legal system is a grand jury will indict a mushroom if a prosecutor wants them to.
The reality is that grand jury proceedings are nothing more than charades that prosecutors hide behind to avoid accusations of politicalization or bias. And this, in turn, allows the cycle of injustice to continue.
David R. Hoffman
Speak up for solidarity
We of the Judeo-Christian faith need to express our outrage at the detainment by immigration officials of American Muslims - the son of Muhammad Ali (Muhammad Ali, Jr.) and his former wife, Khalilah Camacho-Ali. This incident reminded me of the poem by Martin Niemoller:
“...Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.” We need to be in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of all faiths for the future of our country.
Preserve resources and protect the environment
President Trump is selling our environment.
One of President Obama’s last acts was to halt work on the Dakota Pipeline. He chose long-term environmental protection and respect for promises to indigenous people over short-term jobs gain.
Tecumseh asked, “Sell the earth? Why not sell the air and the water? Why not sell a country?”
Standing Rock has become a symbol of solidarity and resistance. We need to demand that our leadership stop looting our precious resources. Let’s throw out the bums and elect wiser people who understand climate change.
Wanted: Legislative Action on Townships
A recent story about charges being filed against a township trustee in Henry County for stealing taxpayer funds between 2013 and 2015 is unfortunately not surprising. It is yet another arrest in a long series of criminal incidents involving township employees that have occurred around the state.
The Indiana Chamber first communicated on the topic of local government reform and ongoing abuses by township officials nearly 20 years ago. The fact that we still must do so today is depressing and unforgivable.
State legislators were provided a playbook in 2007 when the Kernan-Shepard Commission called for the elimination of this unnecessary level of government. In a statewide survey, two-thirds of Hoosiers acknowledged they had never used township services.
State lawmakers have repeatedly failed to act upon that recommendation; that’s simply inexcusable. With more than 1,200 bills filed in this session, the number that take on the outdated – and as we continue to see, criminal – practices of townships is a big fat zero.
How many more township officials have to go to jail and how many more thousands of taxpayer dollars have to be stolen before the General Assembly takes action? Legislators, who is willing to step up to the job?
President and CEO
Indiana Chamber of Commerce
A formula for bipartisanship
I am a Democrat living in Cass County, Michigan and my granddaughter is a Republican who works in the House of Representatives. We often talk about politics and she even bought me a copy of Bernie Sanders’ new book “Our Revolution” for Christmas. She inscribed the book saying that though we don’t agree on lots of things politically we can always talk and find common ground. I so wish that the broader population could also work to find things we can agree on.
Here are a few of the things I’m thinking we might be able to find bipartisanship on:
- Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
- Clean water and clean air
- Repair or replacement of infrastructure
- A year or two of mandatory national service (military, hospitals, schools, construction, etc.)
- Good, affordable healthcare for all our citizens
- Pathways to higher education for anyone who works hard and qualifies
Much of what is wrong in the U.S. can be attributed to poverty. Poverty breeds hopelessness and hopelessness breeds crime and drugs. I think most of us know that education, whether that is via a university or a trade, is the only thing that can point to hope and bring people out of poverty. I think all of us want to have successful, fulfilling and happy lives and I truly believe most of us want that for every one else as well. Let’s encourage each other and our lawmakers to find those areas of common ground where we can work together and make better lives for all of us.