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 1/20/05

Various - January 20th, 2005
One-sided view
Defenders of militant Zionism like Joel Weberman (letter, 12/23/04) draw from a quiver full of arrows to smite anyone who dares support the rights of Palestinians to a free and independent nation of their own. One arrow in the quiver charges that critics of Israeli state policies are anti-Semitic (forgetting that Palestinians themselves are also Semites). Another argues that those who support Palestinian self-determination fail to acknowledge the suffering of Jews during the Holocaust (ignoring the fact that Palestinians shouldn’t be made to suffer for what Europeans did to Europeans.). A third arrow -- directed at Jews who criticize Israeli/U.S. policies and actions against Palestinians (see jewishvoiceforpeace.com, among many Jewish peace and solidarity organizations) -- castigates Jews for being “self hating.” A fourth arrow -- the one that Weberman slings at letter-writer Mary Heffron -- is the “you need a history lesson, dearie” response.
Unleashing these arrows stifles honest and open-minded efforts to understand and support the rights of Palestinians and Israelis in the Middle East. Forget about reading, studying, discussing; the answers are clear and unassailable. Weberman evidently received his history lessons on tablets of stone. Thus, he’s absolutely certain that what most of the rest of the world sees as an Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian people is no such thing. There’s no hope of convincing him otherwise... and it’s not worth trying.
Northern Express readers who wish to learn more about how “history” has been employed to drive political agendas such as Weberman’s are encouraged to read “Lies My Teacher Told Me,“ by James Loewen (New Press, 1995), and “History Lessons: How Textbooks from around the World Portray U.S. History“ by Dana Lindaman and Kyle War (New Press, 2004). Check the website of MidEast: Just Peace for other resources and local educational events: www.mideastjustpeace.org.

Tom Fenton • Cedar

Charade of a Parade
What could be more divorced from reality than events unfolding in Washington, D.C. on January 20 as George Bush takes the oath of office? Although we do not have $40 million or four days to spend on a “party” like the crew in D.C., a “Theater of the Absurd” and the “Charade of a Parade” will take place in Traverse City. Participants will meet at the parking structure on Park Street between Front and State at 11:30 a.m. and proceed to the Post Office for a swearing in ceremony at 12 noon. You are welcome to bring your own signs and musical instruments. All are welcome.
Billionaires for Bush, Mother Earth, Chief Justice, the Opposition Chorus and, of course, the Emperor himself will be in attendance at the local inaugural event. Although the Emperor usually wears no clothes, in consideration of the youngsters who may be in attendance, he will be dressed so as to avoid further scandals. The Down Home Security Department will be on hand to assure all citizens of protection. For more information and a flyer see www.traversepeacealerts.org

Marian Kromkowski •Suttons Bay

Imagine this
Imagine a nation where state funded “abstinence only” programs give medically inaccurate, biased information, putting teenagers at risk for unintended pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections.
Imagine a nation where a woman can be turned away at her local pharmacy when trying to refill her prescription for birth control pills simply because the pharmacist does not believe in contraception.
Imagine a country where a woman faces harassment, humiliation, and sometimes even violence for choosing to end a pregnancy that is unintended, the result of rape or incest, or that she is unable to cope with for any number of other real life reasons.
You needn’t imagine any further. Thirty-two years after the landmark legal decision, Roe v. Wade, women are still struggling to have full access to reproductive health care and accurate reproductive information here in the United States. Legislators and anti-choice zealots have steadily chipped away at reproductive rights, and access to reproductive health services is increasingly at risk, especially in non-urban areas like our own.
It’s time that women, our partners, and all citizens take a stand to make it known that we support a woman‘s right to make decisions about childbearing, birth control, and to obtain accurate and comprehensive sexuality education.
I encourage you to contact your legislators and tell them that you support these basic rights. In the meantime, support the women in your life who are no doubt making decisions about their bodies and about their future with too few options and not enough information.

Holly Wren Spaulding • Cedar


Last week‘s bridal section incorrectly stated that Castle Farms in Charlevoix was hosting a bridal expo in February. The actual date is Oct. 1.

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