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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The Return to Red Ink in Washington

George Foster - March 7th, 2002
I hope you enjoyed the ride while it lasted.
It might be time to start saving grocery coupons and recycling those old clothes, again. Largely a result of stamping out deficit spending in the 1990‘s, the United States has recently celebrated low unemployment, low interest rates, and stock markets skyrocketing at dizzying new heights. During that period our booming economy was unprecedented in growth and duration.
When President Bush proposed an increase in defense spending of $48 billion for next year and billions in more tax cuts, he may have ended runaway prosperity for decades to come. In addition to the tax cuts passed last year and a stumbling economy that has produced less revenue than originally projected, new military spending, if enacted, will leave a budgeted deficit for next year of $106 billion. The actual shortfall of revenue compared to expenditures could be far worst when the dust settles at year-end.
Yeah, but we are at war, you say? According to Ivan Eland, director of defense policy studies at the conservative Cato Institute, “The current $350 billion total is already more than enough to fight the small-to medium-scale conflicts overseas - such as the war in Afghanistan or even a larger campaign against Iraq - needed to fight terrorism.“
If we need more military spending to combat terrorism, where is it in the proposed budget? The administration wants to use the $48 billion increase in taxes for building missile systems and pay increases for personnel. Do you really think Osama bin Laden and other terror operatives will lay down their arms when they find out we have a defense shield in place that launches nuclear missiles thousands of miles in space? That won‘t do much good against terrorists who sneak into our country through Canada and certainly wouldn‘t have prevented the September 11th disaster. Maybe someone in our defense department needs to be informed that the old Soviet Union disappeared over a decade ago.
The administration has been accused of trying to deliver each of the military services everything they wanted in the new budget. A blank check obviously is not the wisest way to promote efficiency in government. On the other hand, as reported by Michael Moran of MSNBC, one of the best kept secrets of the debate is that a large portion of American military officers (one third to half) feel the huge expenditures for a missile defense system would serve our country‘s defense better elsewhere. Maybe such a protective shield in space has potential but it sure doesn‘t seem to be the answer for our fight against terrorism.
Of course we need to root out the murderers and bring them to justice but maybe the question needs to be asked, “Is bombing the Middle-East into submission the long-term solution to ending terrorism?“ Good news for fiscal conservatives: the most cost-efficient option to combat terrorism might also be the best way. Ending our dependency on foreign oil could change the dynamics of the Middle East and end terrorism.
Just think - no more billions spent each day by our military while toppling Middle East and Asian governments that support terrorists. No more filling the pockets of the Islamic dictatorships that are hated by their own countrymen. No more supplying military armaments and propping up royal families who ensure the wells pumping Arab crude remain open. Our interests in this region would greatly reduced, mostly focused on promoting peace, not oil importation.
Of course, an actual war on foreign oil dependency would need to be waged that attacked the problem on all fronts other than the military. Renewal sources of energy such as solar, fusion, and wind would need to be developed. Conservation of resources would become in vogue once more. Drilling more oil in some environmental sensitive areas might also be required.
Whatever steps a war against U.S. oil dependency took, no matter how painful, it would be well worth the effort to end terrorism once and for all.

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