Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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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