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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Letters 1/27/05

Various - January 27th, 2005
Bush: just a figurehead
It appears that many people have found a scapegoat for this country’s ills and his name is George W. Bush. Our current president my be callous, indifferent, and have sub-par intelligence, but I doubt very much that he is personally responsible for any policy decision this government makes (other than signing his name on the dotted line). W. can’t keep up with his tele-prompter, do you really think the G.O.P. will let him be responsible for legislation?
George W. Bush is a figurehead. He is only the face that Republicans put on their agenda. Bush has proven his figurehead status repeatedly through his actions. He sat in a Florida classroom reading “My Pet Goat” as the second tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. If W. was a man of responsibility, he would have sprang into action.
There was the infamous photo-op in which W. landed on an aircraft carrier in full fightgear, smiling broadly with a “Mission Accomplished” banner in the background. A man with vision would have turned down the stunt, knowing full well that winning one battle does not mean the end of a war. (Perhaps if Bush had been in Vietnam rather than Texas during that conflict, he would have a better understanding of war.)
There are the photographs showing the receiver in Bush’s back during the first debate. W. is not trusted by his own people to provide answers during a debate and, judging by the looks of disgust he made during that debate, they have ample reason for distrusting him. The excuses the G.O.P. came up with for that bulge show a lack of respect for the American people. The Administration claimed that the bulge was an unsightly fold caused by poor dry-cleaning. If you believe that, look up the pictures on the Internet and see for yourself. Obviously, this Administration does not believe that
you know how.
My point is that blame should not be focused on Bush. He isn’t coming up with these ideas on his own. The ideas come from the members of his cabinet and the corporations that they represent. This administration is unafraid to lie to the American public. They have taken the war on terror and created a separate war in Iraq out of it. Every member of the Bush administration got in front of the cameras after September llth and did their best to convince the American people that Saddam Hussein represented a serious threat to America. Sadly, many of our fellow Americans were scared enough to believe them. Now the administration sings a different tune, claiming that this is a war of freedom, that the goal of this war was to bring democracy to the Iraqi people.
America established its autonomy with the Revolutionary War. We would not have won that war without the help of the French, but we would not have won independence if the French had initiated that war.
I think what truly stirs the ire of “Bush haters” is that the lies told by this administration are impeachable offenses, at least they would be if President Clinton had told them. At the very least, the misuse of intelligence is worthy of some administrative heads rolling; after all, look at the scandal caused by Dan Rather’s investigative report into Bush’s service in the Texas National Guard. While Clinton and Rather were relentlessly pummeled by our media. Bush and his ilk have been treated with kid gloves, seemingly unscathed by such scandals as Enron (large contributors to the Bush campaign), memos condoning prisoner abuse, and withdrawal from the Kyoto protocol.
It is important to remember that getting rid of Bush won’t solve our problems, except perhaps, re-establishing legitimacy in the eyes of foreign countries. Four years from now a new representative of corporate interests will be nominated by the Republican political machine. The agenda will remain the same; protection of corporate interests at the expense of those whose labor comprises the backbone of America’s economy. We owe it to ourselves to fight this political machine any way we can. Future generations will thank us for it.

Jeff Karafa • Cedar

King George‘s values
Let’s see: record $7.5+ trillion deficits (up from a $250 billion surplus), ranked 37th in health care by the World Health Organization, 45+ million uninsured (the only industrialized country without universal health coverage), in international high school testing we ranked 24th in math, 18th in reading, 22nd in science (this is our future folks), an unnecessary, incompetently run war based on lies that has killed tens of thousands and is costing hundreds of billions, 16th in foreign aid as percent of GNP, the lowest world opinion of the United States in history, government sponsored torture and 36 million Americans living in poverty.
Now King George’s priorities are to put the “fix” on Social Security, make the tax cuts permanent, appoint a bunch of right-wing judges, and the ownership society. Instead of teaching children to read, Laura should be teaching George. Maybe then he could read the writing on the wall.

Craig Laurent • TC

 
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