Letters

Letters 04-25-2016

Taking Our Trees Seconds ago this pine tree was alive. Well, Mr. Cook — our County Road Commission head —and Peninsula Township government … by not weighing in (I guess it’s not your problem or responsibility to communicate with residents), you allowed the County Road Commission to bulldoze down huge swaths of lakeside trees in order to increase the bike lane. This can’t be happening. I have no clue why they would cut trees down that help block snow from creating drifts on Peninsula Drive and help keep the beach area intact. Plus, they are not increasing the width of the road when they repave. I just don’t get it. This is amateur hour at county and township government...

Government Service Unrewarded I served the federal government for XX years with the [agency], [doing XX]. I also worked in the private sector, [doing XX]. When I retired, I was surprised to learn my Social Security benefit would be $XXX less per month than my colleagues and neighbors who had never worked for the federal government. This is all because of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) under the Social Security law...

Which Greased Palm Now that “Chicago values” have utterly corrupted the executive and judicial branches of our federal government, this November We the Plebeians shall either vote to right the governing integrity of the United States constitution’s twin pillars of limited government and separation of powers or turn and step collectively onto the blood soaked road to serfdom...

The Political Mess And Challenge As citizens we are faced with a real challenge. The media and the political candidates have taken over a year to attack those whom they are opposing. The unfavorable ratings of those who may be nominated are above 50 percent. That should be no surprise, considering the length of time given to bloodying one another with opinions that have little relationship to truth. The polling companies, which confess they are not reliable, make everything a game of winning...

CORRECTIONS In last week’s issue we had photos with the incorrect stories on page five. The dance photo should have accompanied the story about grants to nonprofits. The image of Crooked Tree Arts Center Petoskey should have accompanied the story about the ArtPrize exhibit at CTAC.

We also reported the incorrect day for the Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City. The correct date is Sat., May 28.

We apologize for these errors.

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Random Thoughts

George Foster - April 10th, 2003
Thoughts on the War
Come on, no one really thought this would be much of a contest, did they?
You don‘t need to be a Harvard scholar of military history to realize that coalition forces have infinitely more firepower than the Iraqis. It is only a matter of time before our military might prevails over a hopelessly outgunned foe.
Yet, there is more of a rush than we have been led to believe. The coalition forces need to win this war in a matter of weeks for geo-political reasons. If the battle for Baghdad takes months, any pretense of the U.S. liberating the Iraqi people transforms into the image of an invasion and occupation by a foreign aggressor - America.
You might be saying, “Who cares what other nations think. After all, we know our motive for sending troops to Iraq is to free its people or topple Saddam or get rid of weapons of mass destruction or FILL IN THE BLANK.“ The problem is a little matter called guerrilla warfare. Listening to young American soldiers talk on TV of winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people before the battle for Baghdad even begins, indicates the urgency of a quick victory passing down through the ranks. They all know that strategically the biggest danger of this conflict will occur after the regular Iraqi troops are defeated.
The possibility of Iraqis and foreign extremists in the Muslim world continuing the fight by taking lessons from the Mujahideen of Afghanistan, Fidel Castro‘s ragtag forces in the mountains of Cuba, and our own experiences fighting the American Revolution is very real. A guerrilla war fought in the streets of Iraq or bordering mountains could last for years.
We need to end this war as soon as possible and bring our troops home safe and sound.
Speaking of coming home, Jessica Lynch is the most famous U.S. soldier in the last 30 years - and rightfully so. The story of her ferocious fight for survival will become a book and movie that defies believability. What does it say about our country that a woman is now being used as the model for everything an American soldier should stand for? Something very good.
Next to Saddam Hussein, the journalists covering this war are made out to be the biggest losers. Some would have Peter Arnett and Geraldo Rivera shot on sight for talking too much.
Is it a coincidence that 99% of their critics are sitting safely at home on a sofa thousands of miles from the battlefield? I think not. Yeah, a few of the reporters may have made bad errors in judgment. You try embedding yourself with the military on battlefields complete with flying bullets, grenades and artillery shells. Could you volunteer to do your job on the front lines of Iraq where the potential of deadly chemical weapons is high and do your best every moment? These journalists are risking their lives to bring us the news and they don‘t have so much as a BB gun to protect themselves. I salute them for their bravery.
The Arab news organization, Al Jazeera, the most popular media among Arabs, has won new converts around the world during the conflict for their independent reporting. When the U.S. ostracized Al Jazeera for showing grisly photos of victims in the war, they joined a long list of those who have attempted to silence Al Jazeera.
I agree with U.S. journalists Ted Koppel and Joe Klein who have supported an uncensored reporting of the war. It seems to me that we either cover the war thoroughly or not at all. War is never pretty and most Americans want to see the truth, not some sanitized version of a glorious victory. For goodness sake, PG-rated movies that we allow our kids to view in this country often contain more violence than we could possibly see during one day on live TV in Iraq. If war coverage gets too gruesome, there is always something that can be resorted to known as the “off-switch.“
Al Jazeera must be doing something right. Recently, what is left of the Iraqi government outlawed Al Jazeera from reporting in Baghdad. Iraqi leaders joined the rulers of several other oil kingdoms that have barred Al Jazeera reporters. Why? They were kicked out for fearlessly reporting on the oppression that exists in these countries. It is telling that many relatives of U.S. troops listen to the Arab media to find out what really is going on with family members that are missing in Iraq.
Personally, I prefer BBC radio (when I can find it). BBC seems to be a step ahead and has less of an editorial agenda than most of the other media.
I swear we can handle it - just give us the truth. It is undeniable that ABC, Fox, CNN, and Al Jazeera all give us a different slant on the news. Thankfully in our country, unlike Iraq, Americans are allowed to sort it all out for themselves.

 
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