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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The Euphoria of Rising Gas Prices

George Foster - June 21st, 2007
Driving to work last week, I noticed several service stations reduced their price for regular gasoline from $3.49 to $3.29. The next day it dropped to $3.19. Talk about bad news. My depression has not lifted a week later.
You see, I become overjoyed whenever I see those little numbers representing gas prices on station signs go up-up-up. Each day I give little pep talks from my car, “Don’t stop now, Speedway old buddy, way up there. “You can do it, Shell, charge me more. “Come on Marathon - higher, higher.”
Significant long-term jumps in prices cause most Americans to get serious about energy conservation, whether we want to or not. I do realize increased gas prices have resulted in financial hardships for many families and businesses of late. Believe me, I have not been spared, but overall it is worth the short-term pain.
If for no other reason, you should join me in clamoring for higher prices because reduced fuel usage means less dependence on foreign oil imports. The U.S. now purchases 63% of our oil from foreign countries (and rising). None of us relishes being held hostage by Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, who believe they can wreck our economy instantly by temporarily shutting off their oil spigots. And you think prices are high now?
Venezuela’s leader Hugo Chavez may hate President Bush but Saudi Arabia would never pull the plug on us, you say? Don’t forget that our Saudi “friends” use oil revenues to fund Madrasah Islamic schools that teach hatred for the West. Also, I don’t need to remind you that 15 of the 19 September 11th hijackers were from Saudi Arabia (none were from Iraq). Whose oil money do you think continues to indirectly fund Middle East terrorist plots against the U.S.?
We should also celebrate our journey to $5 per gallon gas and higher because Americans tend to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles when these prices are high. In recent years, even I have begun to see the light and sold my beloved SUV. Still, the replacement Subaru only gets 27 mpg - at best. My next vehicle purchased should be a retooled GM or Ford product that burns only half as much fuel. Are you listening Detroit?
So much for progress; the typical car in the U.S. now gets around 25 mpg compared to 26 mpg for the average auto 20 years ago. Since it is estimated that an average of 45 mpg would allow the U.S. to completely eliminate our dependence on foreign oil, the importance of dramatically improved fuel efficiency in the near future is obvious.
Additionally, high gas prices encourage people to use their vehicles less. A reduced amount of vehicles on the road result in less traffic jams, fewer accidents, and lower air pollution. Will you now join me in praying for higher prices at the pump?
Award-winning author Thomas Friedman has a plan that adds an additional gasoline tax of 50 cents per gallon to ensure that prices do not go back down. His reasoning is that Americans will break their oil addiction and businesses will produce more environmentally friendly products if they believe energy prices will not fall over the long haul. The additional tax revenue would then be used for such things as paying down the federal deficit and the development of renewable energy.
In 1980 President Carter put solar panels on the White House and proposed a 60-cent a gallon gasoline tax. He was, of course, defeated in the 1980 presidential race. During the 1990s President Clinton suggested a tax to promote fuel-efficient cars and general energy conservation. As usual, Congress snickered as it instantly dismissed any notion of higher taxes.
I don’t hear anyone laughing now. The only guarantee is that the next President and V-P will not be former oil executives. But will any Presidential candidate be brave enough to advocate an increased gasoline tax?
None of the major candidates have seriously discussed the topic of oil independence and conservation to date. Many of the Republicans have yet to discovery we have an energy problem. The Democrats don’t have enough backbone to bring up “taxes” (s-h-h-h-h, don’t say that word) in the middle of a Presidential campaign.
The only viable candidate (and he is not running at the moment) pushing for a new gasoline tax is Al Gore. His idea is to tax pollution, not payroll. In Gore’s plan, the additional tax revenue from gasoline would replace payroll taxes that all employees pay to Uncle Sam.
Does it add-up to pay more at the pump to ensure a bigger paycheck (less withholding) and increased energy conservation? Yes and it makes sense to vote for Al Gore in 2008 or any Republican or Democratic Presidential candidate who favors a policy embracing higher gasoline prices.
 
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