My wife, our seven-month-old baby girl, and I were dining recently at a restaurant in Traverse City. The hostess and wait staff were very hospitable and arranged for us to sit outside on the patio to enjoy the wonderful pre-Autumn weather.
While my wife and I were entertaining our baby and awaiting our appetizer, a gentleman arrived with three guests and sat at the table next to us. He began smoking in the direction of my baby girl. I kindly requested if he could please refrain from smoking out of consideration for the tender lungs of the baby, to which he proclaimed that he was the owner of the restaurant and said, You should not have brought your baby to my restaurant. It is odd that he would proclaim his restaurant to be anti-baby when he has high chairs along the wall.
Since the experience, I have become aware of Senate Bill 186, proposing a smoke-free dining act. The bill has been stalled for over a year by Republican Senator Jason Allen of Traverse City.
Research not funded by tobacco companies strongly connect second-hand smoke to lung damage, including cancer. Especially susceptible to the harmful effects of second hand smoke are the lungs of children. Since some people seem to care little about the health risks of smoking even when a minor is sitting right across from them, Senate Bill 186 may be the only way to curb such inhumane behavior. I encourage readers who feel as I do to sign the petition supporting this bill at the following website: www.smokefreediningpetition.com/.
Peter Kim Dearborn
Devil in the details
I am amazed and astounded by the number of Republicans who are either unable or unwilling to articulate their positions. I have yet to meet one single flag-waving, SUV- driving, Limbaugh-loving GOP diehard that can maintain a debate for any more than a couple of seconds before storming off in a dark cloud of ignorant frustration.
Once beyond their tax-and-spend, Kerry flip-flops, Clinton bashing rhetoric, their ammo is spent. There is no serious discourse about policy, the state of the economy, the root causes of terrorism, health care, the environment or the Patriot Act and how it impacts the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th amendments in our Bill of Rights.
Republicans, the devil is in the details. Get beyond the sloganeering and jingoism and look for the facts. You will either buttress your position and sound more knowledgeable or you will see for yourselves what a complete sham this administration represents.
David Gault Cedar
More on Mr. Disgusted
Dear Disgusted Downstater (Letters 9/23), Did you happen to pick up the Record-Eagle or watch the local news on TV? Neither media outlet gave more than two minutes to covering the protest against President Bush.
And please (regarding the woman who was kicked out of the rally), a “hostile message“? It was a Kerry/Edwards button she was wearing, not some obscene phrase or even a negative Bush sticker. This is a democracy, not a bushocracy, and you need to grow up.
Kristen Spears Petoskey
Rotten in Acme
Here are some observations of a retired editor concerning the Acme Township proposal called the Village at Grand Traverse and the Downtown Development Authority which are being pursued so actively by the lame-duck township board.
Why have the names of the investors in the village proposal never been made known except for frontman Jim Goss? They must have formed a corporation, and all corporations must file the names of investors.
Thats public information. Knowing who the investors are might help explain the extraordinary push to get the proposal approved before the supervisor and trustees leave office in the wake of the Aug. 3 primary in which they were all defeated by about two-to-one. It seems to me that this is a hole in the coverage of the story that needs to be filled.
Another hole that needs filling are the names of the land owners who would be included in the 2,400-acre Downtown Development Authority being so actively perused by the Acme trustees. This might explain why a township which has no downtown needs a downtown authority. Most of the 2,400-acre area is composed of orchards and farmland.
Something is rotten in Denmark. Maybe it‘s the decaying body of representative government.
Wallace P. Town Acme
He‘s no conservative
Bush claims a cloak of conservative. What exactly is he conserving? Not my tax dollars. Not my liberty. Not the moral standards of my society. The only thing he seems to be conserving rapidly expanding is more like it is the arbitrary power that the federal government holds over our lives. We should be afraid, very afraid. Did we learn nothing from the 50s? Do not give up your voice!
Karla Smith Cadillac
Short ‘n‘ sweet
Although the president is an idiot who led us to war, we must support him because: were at war. This proves we are a nation of idiots.
Ben Hansen TC
The political fray to which the people of this country are subjected makes for deep concern.
The divisions which exist in a once united nation are evil by their nature and subvert democracy. They may be compared to those of the Civil War. Economic and social disunities are similar in degree if not in kind as is the useless destruction of lives.
Our period of peril is created by an administration whose leadership instituted a program which attempts to democratize the world based on a lust for geopolitical and domestic power as the major motivation behind global misadventures.
Blaise Pascal, a 17th century philosopher ,said, “Men never do evil more completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.“ Transpose this idea to the zeal with which we are asked to consider the enforced “liberation“ of a nation as a worthy goal without responsible understanding of consequences. Evil manifests itself in many ways. The evil we face is a divided nation.
Frank Tosiello TC
Deadly mistakes in Iraq
Don‘t confuse stubborness with leadership. George W. Bush has said he “miscalculated“ what the conditions would be in Iraq after the invasion. This was apparently his father‘s reason for not sending troops into Baghdad in 1991, and current information made no impression.
In “Blind into Baghdad“ (Atlantic Monthly, Jan. 2004), James Fallows documents the extensive post-war planning, inside and outside the government, that preceded the war.
All information agreed with the Army War College assessment that occupying Iraq would be much more difficult than defeating it. All groups were specific in their warnings, but the administration remained aloof.
The office of Secretary of Defense forbade Pentagon representatives to attend a two-day post-war exercise organized by the National Intelligence Council at the CIA. Non-governmental organizations with long years of post-war experience around the world were ignored.
Ultimately, the problems we‘ve encountered are the very ones the administration was warned against by U.S. agencies.
This behavior follows the Bush pattern of ignoring people and facts that don‘t agree with him.
Miscalculation? No, this was a deadly mistake, born of arrogance and passed off as leadership -- an error of truly tragic proportions. Only the electorate can tell the emperor he has no clothes.
Linda Badalucco Carp Lake