For the ones who speak out

As I made my way around the college campus, becoming familiar with the class locations, lunch details, and those sorts of things, I was also trying to figure out how to best live with my new roommate. Being raised within an all-woman household, which included two older sisters and mom, this adjustment was not in accommodations but was a massive adjustment in other ways.

I was born and raised in a small rural Indiana town while my roommate was from the beautiful state of California. We were worlds apart, not necessarily from the fundamental differences in the overall belief systems of our states but because I felt like I had lived under a rock my whole life when I met her.

She was bold, confident, and had a firm grasp on the most controversial aspects of the world. She would talk about anything and everything as we got ready for classes in the morning or as we settled in at night.

I spent months listening to her. One morning she asked me: “Lee-Lee, where do you stand with abortion?”

I was taken aback by her question. Quite frankly, I had never thought about it. I had heard about abortion before and knew of others who had them. However, I never really thought to take a stance on the subject.

This one question began to change everything for me on an intimate level.

Up until that point in my life, I was a person who spoke what I thought. My thoughts were usually to the extent of athletics and friendships and nothing more. I did not realize then that I was different from everyone around me until my high school friends pointed out that I spoke honestly. They acknowledge it as a tremendous asset that they did not possess. They admired this quality in me and always knew they would get an honest reply.

Over the years, I would find that speaking what I thought was not well received and worse, it was considered wrong. The next several decades would prove to be a learning journey that would find me trying to hide or remove this aspect of myself, repenting more times than I would like to admit, and working hard to filter my words before they came out. Even, at times, not providing all the truth, to soften my approach, to not offend.

During this time, as I was attempting to hide, fix or remove this part about me, I was also drawn to strong, opinionated women of wisdom who were seemingly living in their truth without apology. Most achieved many successes in their life and are admired by their peers. That mattered.

Fast forward to today.

As you can imagine, when Trump came onto the scene, it was like a breath of fresh air. Finally, someone who calls the shots as they see them and who was in a very prominent role. I was in tune with his blunt delivery and fascinated by his unwavering resolve to remain that way despite the opposition he faced.

I watched as he began to deal with lies, betrayal, hate, and seemingly offensive and sometimes deadly tactics to try and deter or alter his position. At this time, the Lord began to speak to me about why being drawn to people with this quality mattered and how I was spending so much time and effort trying to change the very thing He put in me.

Highly powerful at times, my tongue is never to speak with ill intent but is one to be used for truth, to stand firm in His will, the assignments He sends me on, and to remain steadfast in who He is in my life. He gave me this ability to use for the greater good.

Seeing the vast array of turbulence displayed in our nation and by individuals in this nation over the last four years, I have never been more thankful for those with the ability to speak out in wisdom. Our freedom and adherence to the Constitution are attempting to get hijacked. Financial elites want nothing more than to control the fate and dollars of who we are and what we produce while they are in bed with nations salivating at our demise to better position themselves in world dominance.

Qualities I admired years prior are the same qualities I now require in government leaders, school administration, entertainment, media and the marketplace. Our freedom, truth, and beautiful brilliance that make us who we are collectively and individually are being threatened unlike any time before in our nation’s history.

Individual freedoms are at stake as well. The kind of experiences where trauma’s healed, devils are rebuked, and hearts are made whole. The ability to stand for truth, justice, and liberty in national matters and for an individual without wavering is what we need. Now more than ever, we need those who speak out in wisdom.

For those who resonate with my experience, have you ever considered that maybe you were made the way you are for this exact purpose in time? I write to celebrate you, that despite the adversity surrounding you, you choose to arise. You want to be a solution to the turbulence both for the individual and for our nation.

You are a valuable asset.

Many that have held positions of influence and leadership in this generation have fallen in this hour. They have chosen to embrace fear, greed, manipulation, or a false sense of security over the resolve to protect and defend our heritage. Yes, even here leaders are falling instead of protecting and defending our children.

Let your gift of speaking out arise.

Let your tongue be loosed to stand for the people and children of this land who need to see a great Light, to become light, so that they can help lead us into our tomorrow.

For those who speak out, now is the time.

By Lee-Lee Ernstes

North Vernon

I long to know what others think

Most people won’t write letters to the editor out of fear of reprisal from neighbors or society.

Many have opinions that stray from public opinion but will not voice their opinion, they strive to fit in to be part of the bigger picture.

Society has built niches’ for all walks of life and if you fit in one of those niches’, life is fairly easy and uncomplicated. However if you start to form your own ideas/thoughts, you are pushing against the norm. Much like rocks in a tumbler that will not give up its edges to become smooth and rounded.

I remember a time in the not so long ago part before everyone was attached to a cell phone, laptop, notebook, iPad or other electronic device, people had original thought not formulate by the powers that be, Power Mongers. Kids had imaginations and used them to play outside and get dirty. Now it is how many levels I can get to on Minecraft or whatever is popular at the time.

I long to know what others think, I cherish their opinions. I may not agree but that makes me think. FYI, I do not own a cell, laptop or other, except a desktop PC. I like to unplug and actually read a newspaper (I subscribe to 4 different papers).

By Merri Young,

North Vernon

Republican hypocrites on politicizing schools

Dear Citizens of Jennings County,

It was just four years ago when Governor Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Republican Party made the Superintendent of Public Instruction role an appointed position in state government. The move was an attempt to take politics out of Indiana’s classrooms.

Now, the political winds have abruptly changed for Indiana Republicans. Hoosiers are now witnessing a Republican Party preparing to insert politics right back into the state’s education system by making school board elections...partisan.

This incoming crusade is just that: a partisan effort directed by a national Republican Party that prefers to govern by extreme partisanship. This campaign is based on misinformation (critical race theory) and conspiracy theories (masks during COVID-19), and it’s creating permanent division in communities while also putting people’s lives in jeopardy.

The only purpose of this manufactured crisis is to keep the Indiana Republicans’ most fringe supporters energized for the 2022 elections. These extremists are searching for an identity and have no vision for Indiana. They are abiding by a set of fear tactics that are not based in facts or science — just blatant partisanship.

These are not Hoosier values. In fact, we’re taught in school to be responsible and tell the truth. Making school board elections partisan is not responsible and goes back on their ethical standard of just a few years ago. Hoosiers, it’s time to hold these politicians accountable for dividing us and the communities we call home.

By Jane Coquerille

Jennings County Democrats Chair

A new Covid-19 economy and lifestyle

I read this morning, the Fed will ease up on Covid stimulus and endeavor to control of inflation. Disasters or any crisis seems to stimulate a change in society. Covid is no different in that respect. There is open rebellion to government mandates. At any other time, they would be considered reasonable. There are untold numbers of employment opportunities while employers scramble to hire people leaving jobs for a better job or improved life.

What can be expected from such a confusion of events. I don’t have a crystal ball to predict the future. We can only look at the past and present forces bringing on the change.

In the near term we will see new faces in politics as people have lost confidence and no longer trust those in government. A return to churches intern the churches will by more community active.

We may see a return to more traditional family. One parent at home while the spouse earns support for the household. Single parent households and need for daycare will decline. Families will come to realize the cost of childcare and the loss teaching the moral standards of the family outweigh the slight increase from a second income for the family. Labor may demand of employers a wage and benefits to allow greater family life. Wages high enough to pay rent/mortgage, vacation, and holidays off, improved medical, along with value and respect in the workplace, work rules will be replaced by suggestions to settle conflicting ideas. We will need to find way to keep one parent home and not allow inflation to destroy economic gains.

We will see more and more automation of repetitive task. Robotic replacement of laborers with programmers and technicians. Quality will improve with automated statistical process controlled by computers analyzing every detail of production.

The problem with supply train logistics and employee issues are not confined to manufacturing and production. Covid has affected ever aspect of our lives. There is possibility of improvement. As there is a desire for improvement among the population. If and when that occurs there will be an attempt to change the process and authority to mandate and impose government policy to regulate the lives of the governed. Through the election process the public will restore their right to decide what is best for them with that will return confidence in our leaders.

By William Gerhard