After reading State Senator Jason Allens comment on the Michigan Film Incentive (3/29), I was left with a few questions:
1. If the state legislature supports a 20 percent refund of operating costs to an industry that provides mostly intermittent employment, why not a similar deal for employers willing to offer full-time employment with substantial benefits to Michigan residents, such as the beleaguered auto industry? If Michigan faces a fiscal crisis so terrible that the state is looking to again cut per-student funding to schools, wouldnt our tax dollars be better spent on, oh, perhaps public education?
2. Why cant the legislature provide such incentives for businesses and industries that address serious issues, like medical research, green energy, improved education or environmentally friendly transportation?
Admittedly I have liked Michigans notable films: Roger and Me (even if Moore left out a few key interviews), Pets or Meat (Ah, Flint) and Escanaba in Da Moonlight (Jeff Daniels script and performance were great). In fact, I like a lot of movies, but does our state government really need to play executive producer?
3. I thought Republicans were upset because the Hollywood elite and leftist artists are corrupting America. (Im not saying theyre wrong; I worry every time Quentin Tarantino has a new release.) Isnt that why Republicans oppose funding the National Endowment for the Arts?
What will Sen. Allen say if the dreaded Michael Moore produces a movie that qualifies for the Michigan Film Incentive?
During the Great Depression, Hollywood produced many uplifting movies like the Zeigfield Follies to improve the nations morale. Similarly the state legislatures solution for troubled modern Michigan seems to be, Let them eat popcorn.
Kenneth Arbogast Alden
An inconvenient truth
I was not surprised by recent revelations of Al Gores consumptive lifestyle. While I applaud his film and found it strong on science, I thought it was woefully weak on solutions. Spoken like a wealthy career politician, he tells us we can fix the problem and maintain our current lifestyle and strong economy by electing good leaders. Well, Lord help us if our salvation is dependent on politicians! The whole system is bought and paid for by corporate interests, so dont look for a visionary to rise in its ranks.
The inconvenient truth is that things will change only when we assume individual responsibility, and that will require sacrifice! ...a word Americans loathe and no politician dares to utter. The truth is the earth is a living, breathing organism, she is sick, we are the disease, and warming is fever. We must honor and revere nature and learn to share and live in peace with all living creatures. We need to rethink every aspect of how we live... from the energy to power our travel and homes, to the food we eat, how we grow it, and how we deal with our waste.
Waiting for policies to change is gambling with our childrens‘ world. Actions we take today can affect change right now live simply, ride a bike, grow food, plant trees, shop local, walk the walk . . . you too Al.
Richard Allen Leland
Needs a Pepto
Thanks for leaving multiple copies of your paper in various places for us to pick up and peruse.
I picked up subject issue today at the Big Boy Restaurant and was scanning it while I waited for my breakfast. After reading Robert Downes Fireman in the Well piece and a couple political cartoons: Tom Tomorrow and Stripwax, I wanted to cancel my ham n eggs breakfast and order a dose of Pepto-Bismol for my nausea.
It probably wouldnt hurt you to be on a regimen of Pepto-Bismol also... it might help you with your EBS (Excessive Bile Secretion) problem.
I brought the paper home and put it to good use where it is getting the attention it deserves: in the bottom of our cockatiels cage. Although if he complains I will remove it and take it up to hunting camp and put it on a nail in the out-house.
Next time I need reading material waiting for breakfast, Ill have brought along a copy of Ann Coulters latest column, trying to explain just where you folks got so screwed up.
Richard Diebold via email
Focus on lost jobs
Remember the campaign slogan, Its the economy, stupid!? It still is.
State Senator Michelle McManus says Michigan has a budget crisis. We cant argue with that statement. But, neither raising, nor cutting taxes will solve this crisis. We can cut services until we become a third world nation with dirt roads, no public education system, no police protection, unaffordable healthcare, substandard housing, and two classes of people... rich and poor. Is that what we want? Thats where were headed!
A quote from Robert Downes‘ Random Thoughts in the March 22, issue of Northern Express Weekly states: These days, weve got infinitely more problems in government with people who pledge allegiance to ideologies than those who have a secret agenda on behalf of a foreign government.
Ponder that statement and you begin to wonder. If the United States government is working on our behalf, then why isnt
money trickling down to us, instead of pouring out of this country?
Remember when Ross Perot talked about the giant sucking sound from the south? Thats the sound of millions of jobs leaving this country for not only Mexico, but India and Communist China... and that sound is now deafening! Is anyone looking out for US?
Our federal government needs to fix the unfair international free trade agreements (NAFTA, GATT, etc.) they have gotten us involved in; but apparently they refuse to do so without massive pressure from us. Does anyone care? If you do, then tell them! Write them. Phone them. Email them.
We need a new slogan. Its the lost jobs, stupid!
Barbara Bernier Manistee
Dangerous drug industry
In Michigan, and only in Michigan, victims of deadly prescription drugs are completely without recourse. High priced drug industry lobbyists have succeeded in demoting us to second class citizens, and placing the drug industry above the law.
According to Bush administration officials, 55,000 people have been killed and injured by Vioxx. Vioxx-maker Merck admits it made more than $11 billion dollars selling Vioxx, long after it knew of the danger.
Michigan taxpayers now pay the immense costs of injuries, illness, death and the aftermath from dangerous drugs like Vioxx, because the drug industry is immune from the law.
Michigan taxpayers deserve better than to be injured by deadly drugs, locked out of our courts, and stuck with the cost of cleaning up the mess.
Restore accountability, and make the drug industry play by the same rules as everyone else.
Dan ONeil TC
It‘s the berries
Your article, Berry Interesting, by Rick Coates in the March 1-8 issue was fabulous! As a cherry grower/processor from Leelanau County, I feel that it is THE most accurately written and succinct article that I have read so far about what were doing and how cherries fare in the big food world. And I have read numerous articles -- everything from the info put forth by Cherry Marketing Institute itself, to the local AP writers version. Good job, Northern Express!
I also am a member of the newly reorganized National Cherry Festival Board of Governors and plan to give a copy of the article to my colleagues and to Exec Dir Tom Menzel and staff. It will help in educating all of us about the cherry world, and I thank you.
Judy LaCross Cedar
What a great article you wrote about Migun, of Northern Michigan, in your March 8 issue. I have been using the infrared massage bed since last April. I suffered from lower back pain, and some days I had trouble walking. It hurt so bad. My lower back pain is gone, and I use the bed three to four times a week. If you are reading this and have not tried the Bed of Bliss, its not too late. Walk in and try it out. I highly recommend it.
Judy Sheffer via email
That was Ron Hancock who won the award of “Best Bartender“ in Boyne City and not Ray, as reported incorrectly in last week‘s issue.
Also, the Express failed to note that our “Next Best Thing,“ Apple‘s iPhone, won‘t be available in Northern Michigan because its service provider, Cingular, is not available here.