Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

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Lincoln‘s Example... and a way out of the war in Iraq

Senator Carl Levin - July 12th, 2007
In his only term in Congress, Abraham Lincoln was an ardent opponent of the Mexican War. He introduced a series of resolutions that challenged President James Polk to show the “spot” of American soil on which Mexicans had spilled American blood, and he voted for an amendment stating that the war was “unnecessarily and unconstitutionally begun by the President.”
But when the question of funding for the troops fighting that war came, Lincoln voted their supplies without hesitation.
Sound familiar? President Bush recently vetoed a bill I helped draft because it would have required him to begin reducing U.S. force levels in Iraq within four months. In the wake of that veto, calls from those who want Congress to try to stop funding the war have grown louder.
Today, some of us are facing the same dilemma that Lincoln faced: Do you fund the troops fighting a war that you oppose?
I voted against going to war in Iraq; I have consistently challenged the administration’s conduct of the war; and I have long fought to change our policy there. But I cannot vote to stop funding the troops while they are in harm’s way, conducting dangerous missions such as those recently begun north of Baghdad. I agree with Lincoln, who decided “that the Administration had done wrong in getting us into the war, but that the Officers and soldiers who went to the field must be supplied and sustained at all events.” As long as our nation’s policies put them there, our troops should hear an unequivocal message from Congress that we support them.
That shouldn’t be a cause for frustration among those of us who want to bring the war to a prompt and responsible end.
There are a number of ways for Congress to try to change course in Iraq. I emphasize “try” because Democrats can’t succeed without Republican support, given the realities of Senate procedure. One way to try to change course is to stop funding for the war, which sends the wrong message to the troops and won’t pass in Congress. The better way to change course, an option that is also more likely to succeed, is to place in law a requirement that the president do so.
We can end the war without stopping funding for the troops. For more than a year, I, along with Sen. Jack Reed, have introduced legislation requiring the president to begin reducing the number of American troops in Iraq within four months while transitioning our military mission there to limited force protection, training of Iraqi security forces and counterterrorism missions.
Setting a date to begin reducing and transitioning our forces would make clear to Iraqi leaders that we will not be their security blanket indefinitely. It would force them to take responsibility for their future and to make the political compromises that only they can make. It would also give them sufficient time to make those compromises. After all, they promised to make nearly all of them by the end of last year and the rest by the beginning of this year but have yet to do so. The timeline would also allow us to plan for redeploying our forces.
By setting a policy that begins with putting into law a timetable for starting a troop reduction, rather than trying to stop funding, we offer the best chance for stabilizing a country that we invaded while also sending the message to our troops that, even though we oppose the president’s policy, we are united behind them.
Support for our approach has grown steadily. In June 2006, our measure received 39 votes. In March, it received 48 votes. In April, it received 51 votes, including those of two Republican senators. By contrast, only 29 senators so far -- none of them Republican -- have voted for a funding cutoff. That’s a long way from the 60 votes needed to end a filibuster or the 67 needed to override a veto.
Sen. Reed and I will introduce this plan again as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Bill. As previous efforts did, this amendment will require a reduction to begin within 120 days, but this amendment will also provide that all troops be out of Iraq by April 1, 2008, except for the forces needed for specified, limited missions to which they would transition.
Democrats, and I hope a growing number of Republicans, will keep fighting for this approach until either the president signs it or we override his veto. Until that day, we will continue to fund the troops, following the example so wisely set by Abraham Lincoln 160 years ago.

Carl Levin is a Democratic senator from Michigan.



 
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