Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Still another turning...
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Still another turning point in Iraq

George Foster - June 22nd, 2006
Still another turning point in Iraq
It is about time.
For three years, thousands of Iraqi and U.S. military agents have chased the murderous terrorist, Abu Mousab al-Zaqawi, in a country not much larger than the state of Michigan. When the elusive leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq was recently killed in a farmhouse by two 500 pound bombs launched by F-16 fighter jets, many including President Bush tempered their response as to its significance.
Actually, there can be little doubt al-Zaqawi’s “termination” is a very important moment relating to the violence that has been spewing out of control in Iraq – for better or worse. While it may be true that al-Zaqawi’s band number only a few hundred of the 25,000 to 50,000 insurgents thought to be fighting in Iraq, his death is symbolic as the new government struggles to bring security to the country. The momentum gained from “terminating” the world’s most ruthless jihadist gives renewed hope to Iraqis struggling to bring their bickering factions together. Any major success also gives Americans encouragement that our soldiers might come home sometime soon.
On the other hand, heightened pressure has now been laid on the U.S. military and Iraqi security forces to bring the chaos under control. If there is no visible reduction in violence as a result of eliminating al-Zaqawi, the American public will grow even more impatient with the prospect of our troops standing in the crossfire of increased sectarian violence in the most populous areas of Iraq.
Which way will the conflict go? The next three or four months should give us the answer.

Speaking of terrorists, you may have heard that the conservative author and TV political attack-dog, Ann Coulter, angrily referred to certain 9/11 widows as witches and concluded that no one is allowed to debate their views because of their status as victims.
Coulter stated, “I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much.” She added, “And by the way, how do we know their husbands weren’t planning to divorce these harpies?” Whew - Coulter has given the word “cruel” new meaning.
Even beyond civility, Ann Coulter cannot comprehend family members of the deceased pressing to find out why the attacks occurred. If not for these widows and other relatives of the victims, there would have been no independent 9/11 commission. For months, the Bush administration refused to authorize such a review until family members pressured them into doing the obvious – setting up a group of experts to study the most deadly terrorist attacks in history.
By this act alone, these widows did a great service for all Americans. Though not expecting praise, who could have guessed these women could be ripped for doing what any caring, grieving spouse would do?
No one should be surprised, though, because this is the same compassionate Ann Coulter who once said, “There should be a poll tax and literacy test for people to vote.” She must long for the good old days of the Jim Crow South, if not a return to slavery.
She also referred to founding father Alexander Hamilton as a former President of the U.S. during a cable news debate. When attorney Alan Dershowitz gently corrected her that Hamilton had never been president, it was a precious moment in which Ann Coulter had nothing to say.
As Dershowitz knows, Ann Coulter can spout any absurd notion that supports her political point of view, while the rest of us struggle to respond without lowering ourselves to her undignified level.
 
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