Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · The Fallout from Terry...
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The Fallout from Terry Schiavo

George Foster - March 31st, 2005
I don‘t know the answer.
Let me say up front that the tragic case of Terry Schiavo, the mentally incapacitated woman lying in a Florida care center, is a tough one for me. I‘ve changed my opinion several times.
I like to think my own ambivalence reflects our nation‘s highly charged, emotional response to the Schiavo case. The right to avoid artificial life support if our wishes are made known is a given. On the other hand, all life is sacred and conventional medical knowledge has provided erroneous diagnoses concerning life expectancy on countless occasions.
Even though similar life and death decisions are made everyday, it is the video footage of Terry Schiavo circulating on the national media that sets this case apart. These pictures of Ms. Schiavo, in a seemingly vegetative state, are disturbing on several different levels. The images drive home the reality of Terry‘s helpless innocence, the sadness of a formerly close family torn apart over differences about her care, and most of all - what would we do in similar circumstances?
As parents, our instincts are to fight for our children‘s survival. Yet, would you want to be fed artificially for the rest of your time on earth? Anyone who says these are simple questions must be joking.
What I do know is that politicians who attempt to pass quick-fix legislation to override laws that go against current popular opinion are spineless panderers. In 1999, one state‘s governor signed into law the right for hospitals to remove life support in cases like Terry Schiavo. As a result, when the family cannot pay, no matter what the family‘s desires, the feeding tube must be removed.
That state was Texas and the governor: George W. Bush. Now, with the political winds blowing in favor of keeping Ms. Schiavo on life support, the president believes the feeding tubes should be suddenly turned on. Hmmm.
The president isn‘t the only one making political hay on this issue. Other Republican and Democratic officials have jumped on the same grandstanding bandwagon. It is nothing short of an attempt by federal officials to meddle in a family affair that is legally governed by state law and judicial rulings.
The other farce wasting our tax dollars is the recent House hearings on steroid use in baseball. What was the point of these hearings other than to advance the career of sponsoring federal officials who haven‘t been able to resolve issues of national health care, the federal spending deficit, and the war on terrorism?
We all know that steroid use in Major League baseball is a problem. It is also a problem in cycling, track and field, football, weight lifting, etc. Wake-up politicians - the increasing use of steroids in baseball is a reflection of a big problem with American society as a whole. Mark McGwire didn‘t create the demand for steroids. Barry Bonds is not the root of the problem.
Among high school students, those who have tried these drugs have doubled since 1991. Studies have shown that the recent federal hearings on steroid use in baseball have actually resulted in a further increase in experimentation by young people.
Instead of wasting time and tax dollars dragging celebrity sports stars into the woodshed, Congress might think about taking steps to help eliminate the physiological need for drugs or promote enforcement of the current laws.
Now repeat after me, Mr. and Ms. Congressman, “I was not elected to give a knee-jerk reaction to the issue of the week. “I was not elected to...“









 
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