Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

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Back to School for the White House

George Foster - November 17th, 2005
When President Bush recently sent White House staff officials to required classes for ethics instruction it raised many questions.
After reaching middle age, will completing a course in good behavior change someone who has not exhibited ethical conduct before? Specifically, what are the ethical violations of the White House staff that the
Bush administration acknowledges led to such remedial study for its officials? Just what is to be done with any staffer who fails an ethics class?
In part, the President must be requiring such courses because a majority of Americans now say the indictment of White House aide Scooter Libby is an indication of wider ethical problems in the Bush administration. The same polls also show that nearly half of Americans believe that honesty in the government has declined since President Bush took office.
The following is a list of appropriate courses and instructors for the White House staff.

Torture 101 taught by Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. The secretary will be sure to begin with the premise that the Geneva Convention (outlawing torture and abuse of prisoners) is no longer relevant. Even though the U.S. is a signatory, White House lawyers have proven international laws do not apply to us after 9/11/01.
Sure, torturing Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians, etc. endangers our own troops when Americans are imprisoned and abusive interrogation has proved to be ineffective. Still, U.S. torture of captured foreigners is okay, even preferable, because… ah…. well, because Rumsfeld says so. Oh yeah, terrorists cut off the heads of their enemies, so isn’t it ethical for us to respond in kind?
Mr. Rumsfeld is sure to emphasize that U.S. officials should be working to track down and prosecute those who are leaking locations of our secret prisons around the world that avoid Geneva Convention restrictions, not prevent torture itself.
Plumbing 2005: When to leak and not to leak by Karl Rove. There can be only one instructor for this important course – political guru emeritus Karl Rove. The Bush administration’s top advisor knows it is a felony to disclose the identity of intelligence officers to the public – it puts lives in danger. He also knows that it is effective to intimidate political opponents at critical moments
(like just before going to war).
Rove will teach in his course that it is only ethical to leak sensitive information illegally when it helps your party stay in power. If others take the fall (i.e. Scooter Libby and reporter Judith Miller) - no problem. They will receive their reward later – see the course on cronyism below.
Advanced Cronyism 901 – instructor President Bush (with guest speaker V/P Cheney via live webcast from an undisclosed location). To his credit, the President values his friends so highly that he continually selects them for high positions in government despite their lack of qualifications.
When he nominated a loyal campaign worker, Mike Brown, to head FEMA, who could have guessed that Brown would actually need experience in coordinating disaster relief efforts during hurricane season? It was more important that Brown needed a job and his old buddy, the President, had compassion on him.
Harriet Miers seemed like the perfect choice by Bush for a vacant Supreme Court justice position a couple of weeks ago. Sure, she had no experience as a judge, let alone reviewing Constitutional law cases, but she is the president’s loyal, personal attorney. When his own Republican supporters accused him of cronyism, the president reminded them that Miers goes to church almost every Sunday.
We could all learn a valuable from the president. When society turns on us, all we have left are our friends. It is better to take care of old buddies than to please millions of fickle voters we don’t even know.



 
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