Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Letters 1/23/03

Various - January 23rd, 2003
Bomb Iraq

This song (was) performed live, by a surprise musical guest at Saturday‘s peace demonstration in Petoskey.

Michele Burian • via email

If You‘re Happy And You Know It Bomb Iraq -- By John Robbins

If you cannot find Osama, bomb Iraq.
If the markets are a drama, bomb Iraq.
If the terrorists are Saudi,
And your alibi is shoddy,
And your tastes remain quite gaudy,
Bomb Iraq.

If you never were elected, bomb Iraq.
If your mood is quite dejected, bomb Iraq.
If you think that SUVs,
Are the best thing since sliced cheese,
And your father you must please,
Bomb Iraq.

If the globe is quickly warming, bomb Iraq.
If the poor will soon be storming, bomb Iraq.
We assert that might makes right,
Burning oil is a delight,
For the empire we will fight,
Bomb Iraq.

If we have no allies with us, bomb Iraq.
If we think that someone‘s dissed us, bomb Iraq.
So to hell with the inspections,
Let‘s look tough for the elections,
Close your mind and take directions,
Bomb Iraq.

If corporate fraud is growin‘, bomb Iraq.
If your ties to it are showin‘, bomb Iraq.
If your politics are sleazy,
And hiding that ain‘t easy,
And your manhood‘s getting queasy,
Bomb Iraq.

Fall in line and follow orders, bomb Iraq.
For our might now knows no borders, bomb Iraq.
Disagree? We‘ll call it treason,
It‘s the make war not love season,
Even if we have no reason,
Bomb Iraq.

America, then & now

What don‘t I understand? Three years ago we were paying down the national debt; today we are increasing the national debt by a billion and a half dollars every month. Three years ago we were not at war and there was no Axis of Evil; today we are at war (even though only Congress can declare war and hasn‘t) and half the world‘s population hates our guts.
Three years ago unemployment was a little over 3%; today it is double that and growing. Three years ago there was no 9/11 (although there was the Oklahoma City bombing perpetuated by white American males, one a veteran); today, we are a country of paranoids willing to give up our citizen rights out of fear.
Okay, maybe I do get it! Wave your flag and let the government do anything they want to in order to get you the gas you need for your SUVs. Believe that Muslims are all bad guys (remember that in the past that Germany, Japanese, Jews, Indians and even the English were bad guys); send our sons and daughters off to get shot at... and sit in front of your TV and count the body bags. Yes, I do get it... it makes you feel good... it makes you PROUD AMERICANS.
I was born an American. I will die an American. I‘m ashamed of my country and am against the use of American forces anywhere in the world unless and until there is an attack on American interests. Such force should only be used against those countries or groups that are responsible for American loss.

Micheal M. Cromley • Afton

Our punishing ways

Re: Dean Robb’s “Say yes to treatment instead of punishment” (Letters 1/9).
Dean, I’m surprised by you. Surely by now you know that our society is into creating criminals. If they were to be treated or rehabilitated, they would no longer be criminals. In fact society does everything possible to produce criminals, and then make them as evil as possible. Here’s a few examples:

Prisoners who have contact with family and friends on the outside “are 1/6th as likely to be back in prison a year later.” So... limit that contact!
a. House them far from home. (Especially Effective with Poor People =EEPP)
b. Make expensive collect calls difficult.
i. May take up to 6 months to get a number on an inmates phone list and visitors list. Will cost about 50 cents a minute (EEPP).
ii. Even then limit the amount that can be charged. Make them pay in advance regardless of credit.
iii. ½ day labor is required to purchase one stamp. (EECP)

Limit job training and educational opportunities to almost non-existent levels. Make college and university training difficult.
a. Approval of correspondence classes - lengthy and difficult, and require multilevel approval.
b. Eliminate all sources of educational funding for these classes.
c. Limit the vocational opportunities to a select few. Lengthy waiting lists and then just as they are about to be accepted, transfer them to another prison to begin the process all over (same for dental care, etc. but that’s another story).
d. Eliminate or offer only token job training at all prisons.

Extend the sentences as much as possible. Make a 1 ½ to 20 year sentence into a 20 year sentence.
a Allows more time for criminal training and more detachment from family and friends that might help him re-enter society.
b. Provides more opportunities to network with other criminals both inside and outside.
c. Promotes a mood of despair and that unfairness is OK.

As a society, we seem to feel a need to beat people down as much as possible. Perhaps, we think that our own evil will be overlooked if we can show greater evil in others. We attempt to increase our stature by knocking people down, and then standing upon them. So perhaps the counseling should go first to the “get tough on crime” judges and the MDOC. It might lessen the need to feed their egos by hurting others. So... now your guy is off to Crime University and soon after he “graduates,” the judge will be able to pat himself on the back and say, “See I told you he was no good.”

Dave Forbush • Frederic
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