In response to David J. Newland‘s letter (“Do Nothing Democrats,“ 7/26), in which he suggests that Democrats in Congress lack the moral courage to end the Iraq war, I would point out that the two wars our nation has fought against Iraq have smashed the Iraqi military. Our troops have shown terrific and terrifying professionalism and overwhelming capability. The oilfields of Iraq are placed beyond the reach of insurgent forces who may desire to disrupt the flow of oil to the U.S. and its economic allies. This is the victory that Mr. Newland overlooks.
What has our engine of war done to ensure the future flow of oil? It has impoverished an entire nation with bombing and sanctions, dissolved the Iraqi police and employed only foreign contractors. The U.S. has done everything it can to create a hopeless and enraged underclass in Iraq. House-to-house sweeps, arrests, brutal interrogations, torture, and random and targeted killings complete the mission of permanently destabilizing the average Iraqi.
There is now self-sustaining violence in Iraq. All that remains is the task of propping up whichever faction supplies us oil, a matter of supplying weapons and resources at a reasonable price. This worked marvellously throughout the Iran-Iraq war.
The men and women who have gone to Iraq are no longer children to be lied to. No political party is going to send them any divine message. It is the American people who must hear the message our troops are sending us.
Lastly, I ask you sir, precisely what sort of moral courage would be most appropriate for Democrats who wish to end this current war? And what moral courage was necesssary to begin these wars?
Eric Pyne Frankfort
The straight poop
Thanks to Anne Stanton for a great article about poop in the July 26 Northern Express. It sure isnt a fun summer topic, but Anne gets right in and shovels it up. The bottom line is that Michigans laws are very weak in dealing with septage waste, whether from animals or humans. And to top it off, the legislature is constantly decreasing the budget of the DEQ for investigation and enforcement.
At a dairy Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) with 1,000 cows, more poop is created in a day than all of Traverse Citys humans. Traverse City has a state-of-the-art water treatment plant, but a CAFO operator can spread that much on a field to wash into drainage ditches and streams. This just doesnt make sense, unless you are a lobbyist for the Farm Bureau.
And hats off to Keith Termaat and the Milton Neighbors for their grassroots organizing to help Antrim County deal with land application of poopage. The Sierra Club has been trying for years now to strengthen regulations on CAFOs; we appreciate local efforts to keep the topic in front of legislators. We are all neighbors, and we all live downstream.
Tom Karas Mackinac Chapter,
Tip of the drug iceberg
Thanks to Anne Stanton and Northern Express for addressing issues around kids and antidepressants. We all need to become more aware of some of the unconscionable things that are going on behind the scenes affecting all of us, including and especially our children.
Ms. Stantons articles have only touched the tip of the iceberg. Dr. Fawcets comment in his letter to the editor in the July 21 issue about All prescription drugs being approved by the FDA. is really the crux of the problem. We have blindly put our faith and trust in a governmental agency that has been shown to be riddled with conflicts of interest, falsified research, cover-ups, and drug - testing scandals. All we have to do is follow the money trail.
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that 87% of authors that write drug guidelines had some type of financial relationship with the drug companies.
And then we have the drug companies themselves. For instance, Merc officials were notified in March and May of 2000 of possible heart risks associated with Vioxx. The reaction was to ignore further studies. The result was 27,000 heart attacks or deaths linked to cardiac problems. A GlaxoSmithKline executive has admitted that fewer than 50 percent of patients on expensive prescription medications gain any benefit at all. And the rates of autism, add/adhd, and other neurodevelopmental problems skyrocketed in the ‘90s as officials turned a blind eye to the use of toxic mercury as a preservative in childhood vaccinations.
The root problem is that we attempt to patch up our physical and emotional challenges by throwing pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drugs at them. Why are we not looking at the underlying causes of those problems: deficiencies in nutrition, exercise and stress management; toxic exposures; and an improperly functioning nervous system?
Drugs have nothing to do with health they treat sickness and disease. In the process of helping people feel better and improving a specific function artificially, they kill over 100,000 and hospitalize millions each year!
Isnt it time we address our lifestyle choices and get back to experiencing the joys of living in a body and mind that is creating and expressing an innate state of health, as opposed to suffering the ravages of that which has been allowed to deteriorate into sickness and disease?
Dr. Greg Chappell Chappell
Chiropractic Wellness Center, Acme
Don‘t close great school
I do not have children of my own, but I have spent my entire adult life as an educator.
I live in Acme Township. When we moved up north, we were very impressed with the quality of Bertha Vos Elementary School, as evidenced by neighbors who chose to move here specifically so they could send their kids to that institution.
For the past seven years, I have spent several days a week volunteering at TC Central High School, and it is obvious that the graduates of Bertha Vos are among the most talented and academically well-prepared students I have encountered. Acme Township is growing by leaps and bounds, and not having a neighborhood school would certainly be detrimental to that growth.
We are miles from any other elementary school. If Bertha Vos closes, it is unlikely that TCAPS will save any money, since so many of the students will end up enrolling in the Elk Rapids schools. Bertha Vos is the heart of our community. I am asking the Board to reject the recommendation to close the one school that services the entire northeast corner of the TCAPS school district, for the sake of our children, our community and itself.
Lois Goldstein Williamsburg