Letters 10-12-2015

Replacing Pipeline Is Safe Bet On Sept. 25, Al Monaco, president and CEO of Enbridge, addressed members of the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance. His message was, “I want to be clear. We wouldn’t be operating this line if we didn’t think it was safe.”

We pretty much have to take him for his word...

Know The Root Of Activism Author and rabbi Harold Kushner has said, “People become activists to overcome their childhood fear of insignificance.” The need to feel important drives them. They endeavor good works not to help the poor or sick or unfortunate but to fill the void in their own empty souls. Their various “causes” are simply a means to an end as they work to assuage their own broken hearts...

Climate’s Cost One of the arguments used to delay action on climate change is that it would be too expensive. Such proponents think leaving environmental problems alone would save us money. This viewpoint ignores the cost of extreme weather events that are related to global warming...

A Special Edition Cuckoo Clock The Republican National Committee should issue a special edition cuckoo clock commemorating the great (and lesser) debates and campaign 2016...

Problems On The Left Contrary to letters in the Oct 5th edition, Julie Racine’s letter is nothing but drivel, a mindless regurgitation of left-wing stuff, nonsense, and talking points. They are a litany of all that is wrong with the left: Never address an issue honestly, avoid all facts, blame instead of solving; and when all else fails, do it all over again...

Thanks, Jack It is so very difficult for the average American to understand the complex issues our country faces in far off places around the globe. (Columnist) Jack Segal’s career and his special ability to explain these issues in plain English in many forums make him a precious asset to all of us in northern Michigan...

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 3/17/05
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Letters 3/17/05

Various - March 17th, 2005
A no-win plan
On February 23rd, a Republican group outside Senator Rick Santorum’s Social Security town hall meeting in Philadelphia was caught on CNN chanting, “Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Social Security has got to go.”
The “Social Security has got to go” chants of Republicans show that for the Republican base, privatization is just the first step towards getting rid of Social Security. The Republican Party opposed Social Security when it started and has opposed its expansion.
George Bush’s plan would make massive cuts in Social Security benefits for future retirees in order to pay for private accounts. Privatization diverts Social Security taxes used to pay current benefits into private accounts.
Privatization means trillions of dollars of new national debt. Because current Social Security taxes are used to pay for private accounts taking that money out means huge deficits -- as high as $15 trillion over the next 40 years.
The Republican plan would turn a guaranteed benefit into a guaranteed gamble. The stock market is risky and can’t be predicted -- that could mean millions of people won’t have the money they need when they need it.
The only clear winner of this plan are the members of Wall Street who receive a commission on every dollar invested, ranging from 1-5%. With annual management fees, and up front commissions, the rich get richer, and the rest of us get stuck paying the bill.
Jeff Culver • TC

Anti-war march planned
This weekend will mark the second year of the U.S. War on Iraq. This war is still illegal and any goals set by the United States first and foremost are for the benefit of the oil industry, the arms industry, the neo-liberal free-marketeers/privateers as well as the neo-conservative “new world order” builders. Neither the U.S. nor the Iraqi exiles hand-picked by the U.S. should determine the future of Iraq. The future of Iraq is for the Iraqis to determine.
Join the demonstration at Grandview and Parkway in Traverse City on Saturday, March 19 at noon against this war and acknowledge the 10s of 1,000s of Iraqis killed and/or wounded, the 1500 plus U.S. soldiers killed and the 16,000 plus U.S. soldiers injured in Iraq. Enough is enough!

Marian Kromkowski
• Suttons Bay

Phoney crisis
Mr. Bush cries “crisis.” And Social Security thereby is in crisis?
The Actuaries of Social Security, who are charged with maintaining the soundness of the program, say it’s okay until 2042. The Congressional Budget Office says it’s good until 2052. And a little tweak now and it’s okay forever. And now even the Bush budgeteers admit that’s right and privatization does no good.
So Mr. Bush, whose credentials manifestly lie more in the direction of mendacity than actuarial science, is mistaken, wrong, fallacious, deliberately misleading, etc... He is the “crisis.”
Why lie? Has he been listening to his voices? No. He really wants to bankrupt this country.
Well, there really is a rationale for this course of action and it was well expressed in the conservative mantra of Grover Norquist and Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute. They say: expand the deficit, correct it by sacrificing any social responsibilities, shrink the social government until you can drown it in a bathtub.
This sacrifices the concept that the government is entrusted with the public good and the welfare of all the people. The goal of the non-compassionate conservatives since the time of Roosevelt has been to divest government of responsibility for any social doctrine. They’re working on it. Guns and butter? No, just guns.
Now many of these same folks advocate adopting a flat tax on income? Which is not a bad idea applied to wages and income, say, by removing the cap on wages for Social Security. That’s a great flat tax.
And, further, if we were to exempt wages/income below the poverty level, say $15,000, from taxation, just to introduce some progressivity into the tax, we could do wonders for the health of Social Security. And, for the health of the people who pay into it.

Robert E. Marshall • Lake Leelanau

Think of women
Now that March is upon us, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize Women’s History Month. This is a time to honor women’s equality and contributions to our society. However, this year I would ask that readers will not just observe this month, but take action to help improve the lives of women who are not fortunate enough to live in the same circumstances as most of us in the U.S.
Each year, thousands of brides in India are burned to death for having insufficient dowries. In many countries, women who have been raped are killed by their own families to preserve the family’s honor. Female genital mutilation still occurs in about 28 African countries. Rape is still used as a weapon of war in Rwanda, Haiti, Colombia, Yugoslavia, and elsewhere.
Please give your time or money to organizations that address these issues. You can also ask your elected officials to help make these issues a priority in the United State’s foreign policy.

Monica Evans • Honor

Towering debt
The focus on Social Security, which is not in crisis, is a diversion from the national debt, which is in crisis.
Social Security is funded well into the future, even if nothing is done to fix it. The national debt is a huge burden we pass on to future generations. This is the inheritance we leave our children and grandchildren.

Orpha Shinn • Saginaw

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