Letters

Letters 04-25-2016

Taking Our Trees Seconds ago this pine tree was alive. Well, Mr. Cook — our County Road Commission head —and Peninsula Township government … by not weighing in (I guess it’s not your problem or responsibility to communicate with residents), you allowed the County Road Commission to bulldoze down huge swaths of lakeside trees in order to increase the bike lane. This can’t be happening. I have no clue why they would cut trees down that help block snow from creating drifts on Peninsula Drive and help keep the beach area intact. Plus, they are not increasing the width of the road when they repave. I just don’t get it. This is amateur hour at county and township government...

Government Service Unrewarded I served the federal government for XX years with the [agency], [doing XX]. I also worked in the private sector, [doing XX]. When I retired, I was surprised to learn my Social Security benefit would be $XXX less per month than my colleagues and neighbors who had never worked for the federal government. This is all because of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) under the Social Security law...

Which Greased Palm Now that “Chicago values” have utterly corrupted the executive and judicial branches of our federal government, this November We the Plebeians shall either vote to right the governing integrity of the United States constitution’s twin pillars of limited government and separation of powers or turn and step collectively onto the blood soaked road to serfdom...

The Political Mess And Challenge As citizens we are faced with a real challenge. The media and the political candidates have taken over a year to attack those whom they are opposing. The unfavorable ratings of those who may be nominated are above 50 percent. That should be no surprise, considering the length of time given to bloodying one another with opinions that have little relationship to truth. The polling companies, which confess they are not reliable, make everything a game of winning...

CORRECTIONS In last week’s issue we had photos with the incorrect stories on page five. The dance photo should have accompanied the story about grants to nonprofits. The image of Crooked Tree Arts Center Petoskey should have accompanied the story about the ArtPrize exhibit at CTAC.

We also reported the incorrect day for the Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City. The correct date is Sat., May 28.

We apologize for these errors.

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · On our own in New...
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On our own in New Orleans and beyond

George Foster - September 15th, 2005
Images of hurricane victims fighting for their lives in rising waters of the Gulf Coast, while looters rape the cities, will not soon be forgotten - if ever.
But what did you expect? The Lone Ranger riding into downtown New Orleans to save the good guys from the bad? Superman using his super-breath to dry up the flood-waters before carrying the victims to safety?
There is no denying that Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst natural disasters in American history. The refugees of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama who lost everything: their homes, possessions, and jobs - happened to be the lucky ones.
Unfortunately, many victims stranded by Hurricane Katrina and waiting for rescue by EMS, Homeland Security, FEMA, or National Guard troops are gone. Tens of thousands stranded in the hurricane’s wake may have already died.
Before you join the mob and start the finger-pointing blame-game at federal, state, or local government officials - quick... think of a major crisis when any level of government rescued a significant number of people with prompt and thoughtful action.
If September 11, 2001 comes to mind as an example of swift government intervention, you are suffering from acute memory loss, my friend. Communication problems within the NYPD and NYFD cost many lives that could have been saved on 9/11. The most critical problem of all was that no one seemed to be in charge for days after the attacks.
The former chairmen of the independent 9/11 Commission are now saying these same mistakes were made during Hurricane Katrina that plagued our relief efforts for 9/11, only worse. Former federal terrorism official Richard Clark could have been referring to Hurricane Katrina when he addressed the 9/11 victims, “Your government failed you, those entrusted with protecting you failed you, and I failed you.”
Though we are paying hundreds of billions in taxes to fund Homeland Security, the Defense Department, and FEMA, first responder heroes in the Gulf Coast were unlikely rescuers such as Sean Penn, Geraldo Rivera, and the Canadian Mounties. How were these parties able to enter disaster areas and save lives before official government relief was well underway? The absence of a major disaster effort until almost five days after the hurricane struck the Gulf Coast underscores each individual American’s responsibility for their loved ones’ well-being. We have been put on notice once again - so don’t blame the police, the governor, or the president the next time we suffer a major disaster. You and I are on our own, buddy.
Speaking of Homeland Security, what good was this over-hyped new federal department during the hurricane crisis? Just as many feared - it was one more bureaucratic hoop to jump through before relief could be given to the victims. Let’s save the $50 billion spent on Homeland Security and get rid of bureaucrats that only get in the way. We don’t need more red tape - traditional agencies such as FEMA, the FBI, and CIA have to perform better, much better. These agencies do some good work, just don’t count on it.
By the way, can you believe New Orleans officials are threatening to bodily remove locals who want to stay home? It is bad enough not to show up while the neighborhood is drowning, but for government officials to kick New Orleans residents out of their homes when they finally arrive seems like an outrageous irony.
After what these victims have experienced, I couldn’t blame anyone for hunkering down in their home while stockpiling guns, water, and provisions. I would also recommend the use of a couple of good guard dogs similar to mine.
The idea isn’t to hurt anyone, just to send the message - I am not counting on Uncle Sam or anyone else to save me. Ultimately, only I can take responsibility for me.




 
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