For the past eight weeks I have taken a stand for peace along with other folks every Tuesday afternoon in Manistee. I never believed that war could be averted, or doubted the ability of the U.S. military to easily smash its way into Iraq, but my conscience requires that I publicly object to the Bush administration‘s dangerous, destructive and profoundly stupid foreign policy.
Also, even though the reception to our peace stand was quite warm before the bombing started, I never doubted that, once our military started killing and being killed, war fever would take hold and we would receive some abuse. If anything, given the overwhelming government/media propaganda saturation, I have been impressed by how many people have remained opposed to this war. And my spirit has been strengthened from knowing that I am standing with “the other superpower“ -- the vast majority of the world‘s people who oppose U.S. military domination.
Brutal dictators can be either henchmen or bogeymen, depending on the needs of the moment. In the 1980s, when Saddam Hussein was at the peak of his brutality, our government aided and supported him. Now, although I‘m glad his ouster has been a byproduct of this war, I have no illusions that we invaded Iraq to “liberate“ anyone. As for “weapons of mass destruction,“ well, I‘m sure we‘ll find some. Somewhere.
I will not be on the sidewalk next Tuesday. Life goes on. And eight weeks is enough. I hope our stand has given other people courage and heart. I will continue, along with my friends, to stand for peace and democracy every day of my life.
Tim Joseph Brethren
Nurses & Teamsters
I am writing again about the nurses strike at Northern Michigan Hospital. I am one of the 274 nurses, yes, this is the actual number, on strike since November 14. I have been working in Sacramento for the last three months.
The continued lack of misinformation getting the publicity has been very frustrating. I continue to keep in touch with the local community via the web. The Petoskey News Review has been especially upsetting.
On a night out at the show, I ran into one of the anesthesiologists from the hospital. I am utterly flabergasted to learn that there is still this idiotic belief that the nurses are being led around by the nose by the Teamsters. The comment was “I absolutely believe the nurses needed to do what they did, but not with the Teamsters“ and “the nurses are a professional group, the Teamsters are not.“
Okay, here we go again. The nurses are the Teamsters. They are one and the same. They are here because we asked them to be. We became Teamsters to have a common voice that will eventually be heard. If people could take their heads out of the sand, or whatever, they would see that we are the Teamsters.
I feel like shouting it from the rooftops. We would never have been able to hold together this long without the support and encouragement from each other and the Teamsters. Thank God we had the sense to choose this group to represent us.
I am doubly blessed by having two physicians, that I work with primarily, to be completely supportive. Dr. Bill Avery and Dr. Howie Beck have been not only personally supportive of me, but have from day one supported all of us on the picket line.
I have had the pleasure of working with five cardiac surgeons in Sacramento. And to defy all odds, they have been absolutely amazing. They are courteous, supportive, and kind. They are excellent technicians who do not use their exceptional skill as an excuse for rude, degrading and borderline abusive behavior. They are in shock that an institution would ignore their nurses and that the physicians would not be more supportive. This is something new. If I did not have two such supportive surgeons, whom I consider great friends, to return to, I would not return to this hospital. I hope this ends soon. It has been a great experience though, learning there are more supportive opinions out there and that some physicians here could learn a thing or two.
Dawn Whiteside, R.N., Teamleader ENT
RE: Where will it end? (Express 4/24).
We support nurses... not Teamsters.
Many of us in Petoskey are all for the nurses we just think they chose the wrong union to represent them.
The well documented Teamster history and their oft-reported strong arm tactics and internal fraud problems raise obvious questions about their credibility.
Recent reports of threats against our mayor and others in our community reinforce their long standing organizing methods.
Who amongst us has not been following the Teamsters‘ saga in the media for the past several decades?
What makes the Teamsters qualified to assist the nurses and their mission of compassionate care? Its a laughable and transparent proposition! You rightly point out that the Teamsters goal is to become the number one ranked union. Their mission is about themselves and more dues for their slush fund not quality medical care in our community. They likely thought they could come up north and find a bunch of dirt farmers to roll over so they could get a cheap and easy foothold in their nurses organizing adventure.
Interesting that 270 or so nurses are on strike, but only a small percentage of them are on the picket line, and even less on bad weather days or at nights, etc. Their own passion for the cause is clearly of the “fair weather“ variety. And the imported “goons“ from downstate waited for a nice spring weekend to put on a show of strength around town. Real tough bunch !
We support all nurses. The ones on strike and the other half who are still on duty. We just think they should find a “nurses“ union -- one that understands the issues and opportunities in the health care profession. Let the Teamsters organize more truckers; their history, tactics and “persona“ are more in line with that mission.
J.D. Reed Petoskey
Safe in Lake Leelanau
Re: “A Time for Violence‘‘ (Letters 4/17).
To the good Dr. Breen:
Whether or not the Rev. Donaldson has his head in the sand, I cannot say; but there is little doubt to where you have yours. Your asinine remarks are the essence of the Neo-lgnorance that ostensibly appears to be the prevailing mindset in this country: Two wrongs now make a right; the end justifies the means. . . Ignorance is wisdom; two and two makes five, or is it four?
The Rev. Donaldson may not have to dodge any shrapnel, and neither do you. I would posit that Lake Leelanau is far from any fighting.
You spoke about Nazi aggression going unchecked because of appeasement, but you failed to mention the United States‘ part. You don‘t mention that, this time, we are the aggressors. But it‘s all in a good cause: We‘re freeing the Iraqi people, getting rid of Weapons of Mass Destruction, nurturing democracy and, on and on. . . You‘re right, this has nothing to do with oil, our national interests. . .
When “Amerika Uber Allen“ becomes our anthem, no doubt you‘ll be goose-stepping with the rest of the mob. There will be need for doctors too: To sort-out the traitors at the camps, it will be some to the left and some to the right; you‘ll get smart looking uniform too.
Looking to the Bible to justify violence is low, it being Easter and all. What will Christ think when He comes back on Sunday and sees what we have done in His name? Maybe He ought to be giving us a healthy dose of the old “Shock and Awe.“
Who was it said: “What you do to the least of these, you do to Me.“ And, “As you sow, so shall you reap.“ It escapes me now. Nevertheless, we have won the war and to the victor come the spoils. The world is safer, we can bask in the glory purchased at the cost of other folk‘s suffering. However, “All glory is fleeting, and “This too shall come to pass.“
So, Doctor, I wish you Happy Easter. Christ be with you, as we say so often.
J.P. Henderson TC
Write what you know
Thanks for the review of my new CD, “CherryTown.“ It‘s that old adage, write what you know... what is important to you.
That fact is that you can‘t live on this planet without displacing or affecting something and I‘m not naive enough to think that we can stop the growth in the area, but we damn sure need to have some control over it, or as the lyric goes, “without any plans it‘s just sand through our hands, another paradise lost.“
And a long overdue thank you to the Express for supporting local music.
Dennis Palmer via email
Who needs proof?
Hooray and Hoo-Haa as well! Let us all cheer G.W. Bush‘s visionary concept of PREVENTIVE ATTACK.
Shoot first and ask questions afterward. Hang em now; we can have the trial later.
Wars of prevention that‘s our intention. Phooey on proofs, just slip on the noose. Who needs UN inspections, why wait for detection? “Seek and Ye Shall Find“ is the rule we‘ve got. And we‘ll find, believe it, whether it‘s there... or NOT! And Hip, Hip-Hooray for a sidekick supreme, Sir Rumsfeld whom I quote on this too jolly scheme, “the absence of proofs does not mean there are no proofs.“
I think you all know what Don Rumsfeld now means. Of course there are proofs as their absence just proves.
So buckle on armour, get ready to fight. Our humiliation of Iraq is just the first delight. The axis of evil awaits our bright swords.
First was Iraq. (And Syria if you‘re thinking the North side Koreans next would be hit, get a grip, the goggles and such that to Iraq you did slip. Guess what homies, of that we are hip.) Get serious Syria, not so fast Iran, yep, you‘re part of our plan. For proofs in the lack of it. We‘ll attack for the hack of it.
See! Wars of prevention never need end. Where there‘s GOOD there is EVIL; from which we defend. You‘re on our side or the wrong side. BEHOLD THE COOLNESS OF THE MIGHTY COALITION -- 40 NATIONS STRONG, (only 30 in the Gulf War). There‘s us the U.S. with our 250,000 and the Brits with 75,000 and Austrailia committed to 2,000. The other 37 of the COALITION wish us well I guess. So look out world. Dang the lack of proof say George W. and Rummy, full speed ahead for the lack of proof, the lack of proof, the stunning lack of proof.
P.S. Oh Gosh, I almost forgot! Democracy looms for the state of Iraq. They‘ll elect a heavy hitter (maybe like Hitler). Don‘t you recall? Germany elected him, in voting quite free, whereas Bush is our leader by Supreme Court decree.
And look who we can thank for blocking our tanks from crossing through Turkey for to set Iraq free! By golly, by gosh, by another democracy we wuz stopped, when our $15 billion buck bribe they just tossed aside.
Now for the good news my fellow non-travellers, thanks to Bush the world hates us. Why travel there so they can bait us? The dollars we save we use to campaign for Bush to be Prez by the courts once again.
John R. Alberts Charlevoix
In East Bay Township, what could be the largest wetlands fill in the state has taken place.
Eastwood Custom Homes has a history of illegally filling in wetlands for development purposes without the proper permits. One of the most recent cases in point: the “Preserve“ in Elk Rapids where over 30 acres of critical wetlands were bulldozed, filled and readied for development. The Army Corp of Engineers has taken jurisdiction of the site, and development has been on hold since last May. What was once a healthy, thriving wetland is now a wasteland.
So Eastwood moves on to East Bay; 90 acres are destroyed, again without the proper legal permits. Two feeder streams are located near the site, which run into Mitchell Creek and finally, into the Bay.
Our regions wetlands are disappearing. Wetlands are critical for filtering our water, protecting us from flooding, preventing fires, reducing the impact of climate change. They are home to diverse animals, fish and reptiles that depend on wetlands for habitat, food, and protection from predators.
For any company to knowingly fill in wetlands without the proper permits is irresponsible, reprehensible and, the bottom line, a crime. Eastwood must be stopped. The land may belong to Mr. Claus, but the water than runs through his property belongs to us all.
Monica Evans Chair,
Traverse Group of the Sierra Club