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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The Return of Dr. Kissinger

George Foster - December 12th, 2002
You must be joking, not Henry Kissinger. Please... anyone but the doctor of death. Oliver North, Bill Clinton, or Osama bin Laden would be more independent. Give us Pierre Salinger or Kim Basinger - but not Kissinger.
The families of 9/11 victims are reportedly very upset with Kissinger‘s selection as the chairman of a new commission overseeing a 9/11 investigation. Can you blame them? At 79, Kissinger has spent decades as a player in the federal institutions he would be investigating.
When George W. Bush said, “A no-brainer“ in reference to his selection of Kissinger, what exactly did he mean? Maybe noted columnist Daniel Schorr knew when he commented on the commission appointment, “What is sure is that Dr. Kissinger will do nothing to embarrass the president.“ Oh. You would hope that independence and integrity would be the top requirements for such an important position, not a proclivity to modify the investigation.
It might be valuable to take a little trip back in history to refresh our memories concerning the good doctor. How do Kissinger‘s accomplishments stack up compared to his reputation as an eminent statesman?
The following is only a partial list of his miserable record as Secretary of State and National Security Advisor: (1) He was Nixon‘s point person for foreign policy in arguably the most corrupt presidential administration in U.S. history. (2) Directed the illegal and secret U.S. bombing campaign in Cambodia, which led to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians and later, the murderous rule of the Khmer Rouge. (3) Authorized the kidnap and execution of a Chilean military official in 1970, which paved the way for the genocidal coup by Pinochet against an elected Chilean leader. (4) During Kissinger‘s term in office, 21,000 Americans and one million Asians died needlessly in the Vietnam War while he was supposedly negotiating a “just peace.“ (5) Supported the Indonesian generals who murdered 200,000 civilians in East Timor. (6) Backed a Pakistani government whose oppression of Bangladesh caused at least hundreds of thousands of deaths, maybe millions.
Some have recently called for Kissinger‘s indictment as a war criminal. Of course, it may not happen anytime soon. Unlike others who become fugitives in the wake of such charges, Dr. Henry Kissnger is worshiped in the elite circles of celebrity. He receives at least $25,000 a speech, gives professional advise to the wealthiest of corporations, and makes millions on the books he publishes.
Another disturbing reason that Kissinger may not be fit to lead an independent investigation has nothing to do with his abysmal record as a government official. Even more troubling in terms of independence is his role as a principal in Kissinger Associates, a firm that specializes in assisting multinational corporations. Though the client roll of Kissinger Associates has never been publicly divulged, Arco, Exxon Mobil, and the Chinese government have been reported to be on that directory.
Lacking a list of Kissinger clients, we can only speculate about conflicts of interest. If Exxon Mobil or the Saudi government are Kissinger clients, could he impartially review a trail that led to middle-east governments during the investigation? No way.
Questions about Kissinger‘s independence are only speculation, though, because of his resistance to disclosing names of companies and individuals with which he has business dealings. Such disclosures by commission members are required by government ethics rules though it remains to be seen if he will be forced to comply.
The bottom line is that Henry Kissinger is the last person on this planet who should be entrusted with the chairmanship of an independent agency investigating 9/11. If Kissinger remains in this critical position, the conclusions of the commission will always be covered by the ominous stain of its chairman.

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