Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

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Letters 3/10/05

Various - March 10th, 2005
Why we despair
After reading Lisa Franseen’s recent Express article on environmental despair (3/3), I was left with the distinct sense that the only way I could honestly deal with my feelings was by immediately buying tickets to her upcoming seminar.
But as I am impecunious -- that is, I don’t have the money to purchase admission to seminars -- I was able to resist this impulse. So, I was forced to take up a most desperate alternative: thinking about what Franseen had written. This in spite of the fact that Franseen warns against thinking as a mere “distraction” from important business like attending seminars.
Reading Franseen’s experience with the disappearance of the field she used to play on as a child struck a chord with me, as I‘m sure it does with many readers. The feelings Franseen describes are quite like my feelings when I visit my old stomping grounds in New Jersey. I feel sad when I see the old corner store has closed, or that the freight rail lines where I used to play are now defunct, or that the parking lot I played stickball on is now fenced off, or that the warehouse I watched burn down as a child is now a brownfield redevelopment, or that there is no longer a junkyard. I get a tear in my eye when I see all these changes.
That lump has nothing to do with environmental degradation, though. The place I lived in New Jersey is considered by most people to be a wasteland. By any objective measure, the town I grew up in was an armpit, and today it’d be fair to say that it’s a slightly de-odorized armpit.
And in spite of the fact that many of the changes I see are actually improvements, I still get a lump in my throat. Why?
Because that old place that I knew and loved in spite of -- no, FOR -- its faults is lost to me forever. I wouldn’t care if they turned my junkyard into an institute that found the cure for cancer; I’m sad to see it gone.
These feelings do not constitute despair over the fate of the Lebanese guys who ran the corner store, or for a generation of Americans who will grow up not knowing the pleasure of hopping a freight, these feelings are about me, my sense of loss, and, ultimately, about my mortality. For I, too, will go away someday, to be missed by a few for a while and after a while forgotten about.
It’s easy when you have feelings like these to latch them onto some idea to give it a less selfish shape. You might condemn today’s youth, or question what the world is coming to, or be bitter about change or even tell yourself that what you really feel bad about is global environmental degradation.
But, if you dare to think and reflect a bit, you might see that your concerns are focused rather closer to home: what you really despair of is you. I’m not Ayn Rand: I don’t think we ought to celebrate our selfishness, but we ought to recognize it.
If you have any trouble seeing these feelings in yourself, I’ll be holding a seminar in the near future to help you rid yourself of avoidance strategies and finally come to grips with reality.

Oran Kelley • TC

Sex monitor
Out of conscience, I feel compelled to comment on the abundance of sexual content in many of the articles which appeared in your February 17-23 issue of Northern Express.
See the following examples:
• Your cover features a pornographic actress.
• Page 5: You yourself write or paraphrase a story about a paraplegic male and how much sex means to a 21 year old male... “It means everything.”
• Page 6: (...male monkeys will forgo rewards (juice) in exchange for being permitted to view pictures of female monkey bottoms (News of the Weird).”
• Page 6: “Recent Sexual Obsessions (News of the Weird).”
• Page 7: Condoms.
• Page 7: Erectile Dysfunction.
• Page 31: You present a syndicated advice column by one Amy Alkon from Santa Monica, CA. The subject matter focuses on the size of female breasts.
Why is it so important that you find it necessary to feature a good percentage of your tabloid to sexually related issues? Would not your publication be just as effective without being laced with so much sexual content?

Michael W. Koskus • Petoskey

Hits the spot
I’ve praised you before, but I feel the need to praise you again.
Many of you know that we (my British wife and I) spend three months here, three months in her house in Southampton, England. When we get back here, I almost immediately pick up my free copy of Northern Express.
If I want to read about what is going on in our town, I tune in to the pages of this newspaper, not the bigger, very expensive, advertisement-filled other paper. In the recent (Feb. 24) Northern Express you once again wrote articles about people we know -- or want to get to know.
Sarah Jane Bye (“A Life With the Amish“). I began reading the article because I know a Bye, and I thought this might be his daughter. I read on, fascinated, and I decided I must visit this store -- and before I finished the article I found out this is the wife of the Steve Bye I know. I recently interacted with her on the dance floor at a Bayside Traveler’s dance, and we’ve urged Steve and her to come visit us in England. Now that we know a little more about his new wife, we are even more eager to have them visit.
And then there is Margaret Dodd and the State Hospital (“A Cottage Fit for a Mayor“)! For many, many years I (and many, many others) fought hard to save Building 50 and the surrounding buildings. Now not only has most of the complex been saved, someone we know is going to be the first resident in the renovated cottages.
We met Margaret Dodd long ago -- she (a Scot) and my wife (a Brit) bonded immediately: two “foreigners” in this brash new country, the U.S. of A. We were with her when she made her successful bid for mayor of T.C.
And now we read about her, and the State hospital grounds, and Sarah Jane Bye, and all in our local, free, up to date, community paper.
I’ve quoted the recently deceased Arthur Miller’s words over and over, because his words are well worth quoting: “A good newspaper is a nation [read city] talking to itself.”
The Northern Express is Northern Michigan citizens talking to each other. Long may you live and thrive in our midst.

Henry Morgenstein
• TC & Southampton, UK

Simple arithmetic
This partisan whining and sniping over the Social Security issue has gone past annoying to the nauseating. Let’s sit down and do an exercise in demographics and simple arithmetic. There are fewer workers paying into Social Security today than 40 years ago.
This number will continue to go down as the number of retiring baby-boomers goes up. Simple. Now, as the number of dollars in goes down, and the number of dollars out goes up, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the result. There has to be a point where the two lines on the graph cross.
Trouble is, nobody is addressing the real problem with the system which is Congress and the Senate. For too many years, the Social Security program has been pilfered for spending programs. For those who choose to be informed, the money Social Security gets from our paychecks doesn’t always stay in Social Security. Some money goes out to pay benefits, the rest goes into the Treasury which gives Social Security T-bonds.
So, this money is spent. It’s gone. The only way to get it back is to either have a government surplus or raise our taxes. So, when we reach the point that outgo exceeds income, the money that should be there isn’t!
This situation has been going on for decades. So, anyone who wants to whine about Bush would do well to remember that for 50 of the last 60 years the Democrats were in control of the House and Senate, so they and the Republicans are equally guilty.
Let’s all drop the partisan whining and all band together and demand that our representatives in Washington have to pay FICA too. My bet is that it would get fixed like yesterday. The solution? Remove the FICA cap. Institute a flat tax. No loopholes, no exceptions except the poor. Demand legislation that makes it illegal for Social Security money to be used for anything else. When government officials are stuck with the same programs we are, who wants to bet the bull will stop and an honest evaluation will begin?

Lee Oslund • Mackinaw City

“Today’s White House press corps is less likely to be invaded by maverick talents like a drug-addled reporter from a renegade start-up magazine (Hunter S. Thompson) than by a paid propagandist like Jeff Gannon, a fake reporter for a fake news organization (Talon News) run by a bona fide Texas Republican operative who was a delegate to the 2000 Bush convention.”

-- TV critic Frank Rich, New York Times

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