Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · Time to regulate oil...
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Time to regulate oil companies

Jim Ramelis - June 9th, 2008
Are we there yet? As the never ending rising price of gas and food surges onward, are we starting to get it? As the oil companies suck us dry of our blood like big fat wood ticks that won’t let go until they are gorged with our blood, are we starting to feel the pain? Are we finally starting to understand that something is terribly wrong with the way we are doing things? Is the failed notion that if we let the corporations do whatever they like, somehow everybody benefits from the “trickle down” effect, starting to sink in as a lie?
We have been here before. At the turn of the last century, Teddy Roosevelt brought the monopolies and robber barons to heal as they plundered America.
We forgot the lesson though, and in 1929 run-away fiscal insanity brought global economic collapse. Another Roosevelt, F.D.R., straightened it out. We have forgotten our lessons again.
This new revolution began in 1980 with Ronald Reagan, has continued through two Bush presidencies and Bill Clinton. Clinton continued in the same economic vein as his predecessors; he was just a better money manager.
The idea is let the multi-national corporations have their way in the world and everything will be just grand for America. We now let the oil companies rape us with little protest.
We have become a docile, obedient, brainwashed people. We send our jobs to communist China and India who now, thanks to our own stupidity, have plenty of money to demand more oil and help drive the price up. What irony that those of us who fought in Vietnam and Korea against the “communist menace” are now terribly unpatriotic if we speak up about American jobs going to communist China. As if American workers should have no problem competing against sweatshop labor with no environmental regard.
The answer is the same to our problems as it was at the turn of the century and after the 1929 Wall Street Crash. It is called GOVERNMENT REGULATION!
We the people elect a government to serve us: we the people, not the profit margins of the multi-national corporations.
Our government can easily stop American jobs from going overseas. They are called laws. We long ago used tariffs on foreign produced goods to balance competition and replace taxes. It is called stop giving American companies tax breaks to send jobs overseas.
Our government can bring the oil companies and their incredible profits to heel; it is called setting limits on prices for emergency purposes and windfall profits taxes. It is called the end of price gouging and market manipulation.
It is called investigating the relationship between our president, whose family is heavily invested in oil, our vice president, who is the former CEO of a company that services Big Oil, and our secretary of state who was a former Chevron employee.
Gas was $1.46 a gallon when George W. Bush took office; it is now at or approaching $4 a gallon. Are we starting to get it yet or will we continue to be bled dry as we remain obedient and subservient?
Don’t let the propaganda agents of big business tell you that all we need to do is let Big Oil drill in ANWR (the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) and everywhere else they want in the U.S. We use 60% of the world’s oil and we have 2% of it. If we started drilling for oil in ANWR today, it wouldn’t be flowing for about 10 years, and by today’s prices, its quantity would only be enough to reduce prices by maybe one cent per gallon. Drilling in ANWR and other domestic drilling is not a solution -- it is just more spin so you won’t see the truth.
The truth is we need a government. A government that won’t let our children chew on toxic toys from China and won’t let the oil companies rape us. We need a government that encourages alternative energy exploration. We need a government that cares about its people.
We are a country, not a gigantic corporation. We breathe the same air and drink the same water and drive the same roads. There is a common good. We are all in this together.
You have been told since 1980, the start of the “me generation,” that only profit is good and the market is your god. It is time to reclaim our heritage. You have been fed a lie, it doesn’t work. Are we beginning to understand? Are we there yet?

Jim Ramelis is president of Crossleft.org, a progressive Christian political action site in Mackinac County.

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