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EXCERPTS FROM EVENING FORUM EDITORIALS

This Week

Saturday, April 5, 2014 - 12:01 am

What to do with 11 million?

Vice President Joe Biden thrilled the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce with a speech last week in which he said he believes the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States “are already American citizens” who are “just waiting for a chance to be able to contribute fully.” That sounds over the top on first hearing, but he was just saying out loud what Democrats really want: immediate citizenship for all those already here, which would be an open invitation for even more to come.

And to be truthful, the extreme view from the other side is just as unpalatable: Go out and round up all 11 million and send them packing immediately. For one thing, there aren’t enough money, manpower and logistical wherewithal to get that job done. For another, it would likely repel most Americans.

Monday

There was no consensus

The Indianapolis Star has published an analysis that examines “how Common Core disintegrated in Indiana” that should be read by all supporters of local-government reform. They seem on the way to making the same mistakes committed by those who tried to give us national academic standards for math and English.

The biggest mistake was quick adoption of the standards without the public discussion that could have built a lasting consensus. That rush to adopt sowed the seeds of the standards’ failure, says Jonathan Plucker, former director of Indiana University’s Center for Evaluation and Education Policy. “There was not enough grass-roots support for these reforms to be sold on.”

That lack of support worked against Common Core when the federal government began using it to dole out millions in education dollars.

Tuesday

Good start on law's clutter

What may turn out to be one of the most important pieces of legislation of all was approved by the General Assembly almost without notice last session. HEA 1005, which Gov. Mike Pence signed into law last week, is a government-reduction bill that eliminates overly burdensome programs and regulations.

House Republicans say the bill will cut red tape in government and improve our business climate. They are right, but it will also do more by restoring Hoosiers’ faith in the system of laws they live under.

Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, points out that the language in Indiana’s state code has nearly doubled in size since 1976. The new law, he says, ends outdated measures going back as far as the 1960s. The new law also strikes duplicate entries in the state code. The changes will improve efficiency for both government and business.

Wednesday

No. 1 in meth lab measures

Indiana has achieved the dubious distinction of leading the U.S. in methamphetamine lab seizures – a whopping 1,800 of them last year, according to state and federal statistics. And it’s even worse than the raw number indicates. Only three other states had meth lab incidents above 1,000: Tennessee with 1,500, Missouri with 1,400 and Ohio with 1,010. Incidents were in the single or double digits in a majority of states.

It is possible – barely – to look on the bright side and say that the high number reflects good police work being done. It is also an indication that the public is paying attention and reporting the labs to police.

But there’s no escaping the fact that we have a problem. Meth is too addictive, there is too much profit in it for the lowlifes to stop making it, and there are too many idiots willing to suffer and die from it.

Thursday

Let's hear it for birders

Too often when considering tourism, we think about the big, splashy things and ignore the smaller, quieter successes. We try to land the big convention or sporting event that can draw thousands in a single day or weekend and overlook the genealogy enthusiasts who visit the Allen County Public Library by the thousands year-round.

So let’s hear it for birds and birders.

As our Kevin Kilbane reported, Fort Wayne recently became the fifth community to be named a Bird Town Indiana site, along with Geneva and Rome City in this area, Chesterton in northwest Indiana and Nashville in Brown County. The program is sponsored by the Indiana Audubon Society and is designed to recognize communities that demonstrate “an active and ongoing commitment to the protection and conservation of bird populations and habitat.”

Friday