Letters

Letters 08-29-2016

Religious Bigotry President Obama has been roundly criticized for his apparent unwillingness to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” His critics seem to suggest that through the mere use of that terminology, the defeat of ISIS would be assured...

TC DDA: Focus On Your Mission What on earth is the Traverse City DDA thinking? Purchasing land around (not within) its TIF boundaries and then offering it at a discount to developers? That is not its mission. Sadly enough, it is already falling down on the job regarding what is its mission. Crosswalks are deteriorating all around downtown, trees aren’t trimmed, sidewalks are uneven. Why can’t the DDA do a better job of maintaining what it already has? And still no public restrooms downtown, despite all the tax dollars captured since 1997. What a joke...

European-Americans Are Boring “20 Fascinating People” in northern Michigan -- and every single one is European-American? Sorry, but this is journalistically incorrect. It’s easy for editors to assign and reporters to write stories about people who are already within their personal and professional networks. It’s harder to dig up stuff about people you don’t know and have never met. Harder is better...

Be Aware Of Lawsuit While most non-Indians were sleep walking, local Odawa leaders filed a lawsuit seeking to potentially have most of Emmet County and part of Charlevoix County declared within their reservation and thus under their jurisdiction. This assertion of jurisdiction is embedded in their recently constructed constitution as documentation of their intent...

More Parking Headaches I have another comment to make about downtown TC parking following Pat Sullivan’s recent article. My hubby and I parked in a handicap spot (with a meter) behind Mackinaw Brew Pub for lunch. The handicap spot happens to be 8-10 spaces away from the payment center. Now isn’t that interesting...

Demand Change At Women’s Resource Center Change is needed for the Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area (WRCGT). As Patrick Sullivan pointed out in his article, former employees and supporters don’t like the direction WRCGT has taken. As former employees, we are downright terrified at the direction Juliette Schultz and Ralph Soffredine have led the organization...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Why I Love the Dixie...
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Why I Love the Dixie Chicks

George Foster - June 1st, 2006
It has nothing to do with spring fever. Also, I have heard enough of the Dixie Chicks to know that these country stars must be talented musicians, but I can’t name one song they have recorded. All three women are easy on the eyes, but good looks alone will never be enough to capture my heart.
I know what you might be thinking, but my affection for them has nothing to do with their famous dislike for President Bush’s policies. I love the Dixie Chicks because they are not afraid to take a stand, whether or not others agree with it.
The Chicks could have just kept their mouths shut and continued to rake in millions of dollars as the hottest country act in the U.S. Instead, before the 2003 Iraq invasion, lead singer Natalie Maines expressed her shame that the President is from her home state of Texas.
Well, recently the Dixie Chicks had a new CD come out that has earned critical acclaim - and the controversy has bubbled-up all over again. The fall-out from those comments continue to result in sagging record sales, boycotting of their concerts by former fans, the elimination of the Dixie Chicks from play lists of many of the nation’s country radio stations, and even death threats to the musicians. The Dixie Chicks have paid a big, big price for exercising their First Amendment right of freedom of speech.
Several years ago, Rick Coates interviewed legendary Detroit rocker Ted Nugent for a Northern Express cover story. You may not agree with all of Nugent’s powerful convictions, but they deserve our respect. Whether Nugent is supporting hunters’ rights, promoting drug and alcohol-free lifestyles, or arguing against the “tax-and-spend welfare state,” everyone knows where he stands.
The political talk-show hosts and other media types who rant about how famous persons should “just shut up” and do their jobs are envious that the Dixie Chicks, Ted Nugent, and other celebs often have their opinions publicized. I say, “Bill O’Reilly - you shut up. Don Imus, you put a lid on it. “Northern Express columnists, you, most of all, should shut up once in awhile.”
Who has more credibility on an issue such as illegal immigration or the Iraq War - Rush Limbaugh or Al Franken who get paid to express an opinion (usually predictable) during regular programming - or a celebrity who has nothing to gain and a lucrative career to lose if he or she alienates enough people?
Let’s make one thing clear, though, no actor or musician’s opinion should have any more or less influence over the direction of our country than yours or mine - and it doesn’t. Only a person with a peabrain would have run out and demonstrated against the war in Viet Nam because that is what Jane Fonda did.
Those who say our troops and military operations are undercut by the dissent of famous Americans at home have got to be kidding. Do you really think soldiers are inclined to lay down their arms and give up because Susan Sarandon doesn’t agree with the administration’s policies in Iraq? Conversely, will our troops get fired up and do a better job in a battle zone if discovering that someone like Bruce Willis supports the President’s strategy in the Middle East?
Three years later, the Dixie Chicks have not been forgiven by many Americans. Don’t forget, they slammed Bush a couple of weeks before the invasion of Iraq when a solid majority of Americans supported Bush’s policies. It doesn’t take much backbone to criticize a beleaguered president with ratings in the gutter - instead, the Chicks’ criticism took on the majority view at the time when the idea of an Iraq War was popular.
It is because of their outspokenness that the Dixie Chicks and Ted Nugent are among the most patriotic of Americans. What we need are more Americans to stand up and speak their minds, not less. If more of us were passionate about issues that affect our country and respected the opinions of others - even celebrities - a majority of Americans might then care enough to at least vote on Election Day.
 
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