Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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Random Thoughts

George Foster - March 11th, 2004
The Largest Group of Second-Class Citizens in History
When George W. Bush calls marriage between a man and woman “the most fundamental institution of civilization“, he might be correct. It may also be the most fundamentally dysfunctional institution in this country.
The president ought to know. As an ex-alcoholic with daughters and nieces in and out of trouble, the Bush clan isn‘t that much different that the Gores and most other families.
Never having taken the trip down the aisle, myself, it is obvious that I am far from an expert on the topic of wedded bliss. Yet, it does not take a Rhodes scholar to realize that much is amiss in Leave It To Beaver land. I hate to be judgmental, but for you married types: don‘t try to con me - most of you haven‘t a clue about achieving a successful marriage.
Even if you can‘t admit it, the numbers don‘t lie. First of all, the divorce rate in this country is a scandal. On the average, one out of two marriages break up. Adultery, spousal battering and child abuse rates are rising. Marriage is the lifestyle that we single people are supposed to be striving to attain some day? These are the family values that married people espouse so patronizingly? Give me solo values any day.
Statistics aside, it has been my personal experience that getting married should something to take very, very, very seriously before... running. More often that not, my dreamingly, romantic friends who have taken the big plunge end up reporting a long list of matrimonial disasters that no one could ever make up. It is jarring when some of the enduring marriages, that I have admired, end in bitter divorces. Maybe a constitutional amendment to outlaw marriage is a good idea -ALL MARRIAGE, that is.
Actually, it is largely a secret to married Americans, but singles in this country are the objects of unprecedented discrimination at this time. Corporate benefit plans often benefit married employees over singles. Insurers give lower rates to married couples. Health clubs and auto clubs give discounted rates to married members.
There has been much in the news about the marriage penalty in the tax code, recently. Overwhelming, the tax code is set up favoring married taxpayers. There are far more taxpayers that take advantage of the marriage “bonus“ by filing as joint taxpayers than the marriage “penalty“ that affects relatively few. Also, unmarried taxpayers can have over 50% of their estates gobbled up by the federal government upon death, but the same estates can be left tax-free to a surviving spouse.
A 1997 study by the U.S. General Accounting Office counted 1049 federal laws where marriage was a consideration. And on and on and on.
As the largest minority group ever assembled in this country, we singles won‘t continue to be second class citizens long. There are 86 million unmarried adults in the U.S. We make up almost half of the adult population and are growing into the majority in the near future. By contrast, in 1950 only 20% of American adults were unmarried.
You married couples can revel in restricting who is allowed to get married for the time being. Soon, singles will be running the show. When that occurs, don‘t be surprised if you find yourself subject to laws that restrict who is allowed to become single.









 
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