What happened to us? How have we turned into a nation that invades and totally destroys a country, causing the death of up to a million innocent civilians? Is it not immoral to kill? Is it not immoral to seek the treasures of another country for our own gain (i.e, oil)? Isnt there a commandment about coveting thy neighbors things?
As if all of this were not enough, the U.S. government now condones torture. The evil ones have given the word torture new names, such as “abuse“ and enhanced interrogation techniques. Water boarding made the news for weeks, as it was debated as a form of torture or not. Did you know we tried the Japanese in WWII for using water boarding? Water tortures have been considered torture for centuries, but under the Bush regime, its acceptable.
The election of George W. Bush and the religious right is a strong connection. I still ponder how any Christian is okay with the death and suffering of innocent people in Iraq. I ponder how any Christian can support a regime that legitimized and legalized torture.
Did you know that five cases of detainee deaths as a result of abuse (i.e. torture) by U.S. personnel have occurred? In addition, 23 other cases of detainee deaths are still under investigation. (The Schlesinger Report, cited in “Torture and Truth“ by Mark Danner). These detainees were not charged, tried, nor convicted for any crime to my knowledge.
From everything Ive read on torture, ITS UNRELIABLE. Innocent people will say anything they think is required to end torture. Even those who are guilty may still give false information, thus leading investigators on wild goose chases.
How can anyone be okay with torturing a human being? These detainee victims were someones brother, son, or father. These victims may have been guilty of nothing more than lacking the ability to speak English as they were picked up off the streets. Even if guilty of something, does that justify torture? I say to you, who would Jesus torture? Would Jesus prefer the water boarding technique or perhaps a stress position for hours? Or perhaps exposure to extreme temperatures for long time periods?
In recognition of National Torture Awareness Month in June, please contact your representatives in Congress and tell them that we Americans do not support torture.
Torture is absolutely immoral, it is an aberrant behavior, it is opposite of everything the America I knew once represented.
Karen Martin Cheboygan
(A rebuttal to “Time to regulate oil companies,“ Express, 6/9)
Why are gasoline prices soaring past $4 a gallon at the pump, and a barrel of oil trading for nearly $135? The answer has little to do with Big Oil and more to do with a fixed supply of petroleum, an increased demand for it, and a diminished value of the dollar. Why is the supply of oil unable to increase at a pace rapid enough to match its increasing global demand? The guilty party is none other than your federal government.
Lets begin by dispelling the notion that oil companies can yank up the price of gasoline and then sit back, feet-up, sipping a martini, while docile, obedient, and brainwashed consumers are bled at the pump. On the contrary, as the price of oil increases, consumers have responded by purchasing less gasoline, signaling to oil companies that we have better places to spend our money than at the pump. Consumers are using gasoline more conservatively, which is exactly how the market responds to protect a scarce resource such as oil.
While there is no doubt oil companies are enjoying the increased price of oil, it is not Big Oil, but instead the number of buyers and sellers in the market that determine the price of the petroleum.
What we have today is a sharp increase in the demand for oil caused by a number of emerging markets, including the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries that are leaving the third world behind. They are industrializing and using energy building homes with electricity, running water and air conditioning, buying cars, and building hospitals. The increase in what we pay for oil is worth sacrificing when millions of people around the globe can begin to crawl out of poverty.
In order to keep up with the rising demand for oil, we must supply more of it. We have the resources and technology to tap a large domestic supply, but unfortunately our government has made this next to impossible. Oil companies are burdened by excessive regulation and must wait, sometimes several months, for permits from the government to explore and drill.
Exploration in the Great Lakes and in ANWR is off limits due to exaggerated allegations that environmental destruction will ensue.
Whats more alarming is that the government is discouraging the construction of nuclear energy plantswhich supply the cleanest, safest, and most efficient form of energy known to man. The least we can do is thank China for approving the construction of 12 nuclear generators, in addition to the 11 currently in use, which will depress their demand for oil and place downward pressure on oil prices.
The truth is we need to think twice about government intervention. What we have today is a market that has miraculously survived the heavy burden of government over-regulation. It is illogical to suggest that increased taxation on oil companies, and cutting the profits taken by them will lower the price of oil. This is a recipe for higher prices.
Government intervention in energy has succeeded in ensuring that oil producers do not meet the rising demand for oil, at your expense. If the government stays out of the picture, the profit incentive we see today from increased oil prices will draw more firms into the industry, and oil supply will increase to supplement the rising demand.
Unfortunately, the government has a vested interest in keeping oil prices high: political candidates can fool you into believing there is a need for regulation while reaping huge tax revenues from oil profits, which in the past 30 years have summed to $1.34 trillionmore than twice the revenue earned by oil producers themselves during that time.
Jenny Bowser TC
Not fade away...
Recently I was jolted out of my ho-hum existence and worries about getting older by the sight of an iconic senior citizen prancing, dancing, strutting his stuff, totally engaged with a crowd on their feet, arms in the air, smiles on their faces, and young enough to be his grandchildren. I wouldnt have believed it if I hadnt seen it with my own eyes.
Resolved: To kick my exercise program up a notch.
Recommended: Reset the minimum age for senior citizen to 70. Better make that 75.
All those who cant get no satisfaction and missed the Rolling Stones film Shine A Light at the State Theatre might want to buy, rent, beg, or steal the DVD for a shot of pure joy.
Surrounded by the States great sound system, I heard one of the best bands ever shift effortlessly from rock to country to Motown to blues. I wanted to dance in the aisle. The thought even crossed my mind that the sound was a bit too loud until I realized with horror I had become my parents from 40 years ago.
Forty years ago, and our music is still listened to and our musicians are still performing. We didnt go deaf from our music, we made the world hear us: on racial equality, womens rights, and environmental protection. We did something back then started movements, ended a shameful war, and proved that the biggest changes in the world can be brought about by standing convention on its head.
Theres a point in Shine A Light where the original lovable pirate is asked what he thinks about while performing, to which he replies: “Theres no thinking on stage, only feeling.“
For this baby boomer, the classic rock of the ‘60s and early ‘70s never fails to lift my spirits, but its also much deeper than that - its an indescribable feeling embedded in my cells. I had to go back and watch it again for another fix.
Everyone who came of age during that time and knows what I mean should see this film, crank up the sound, and witness the past and the present at the same time. Youll end up with your ears ringing, a flood of old memories, a new outlook, and believing that time, time, time, is on our side.
Yes it is.
Andrea Stewart TC
Fighting to the end
I am writing in response to the article about my divorce and the letters that have been sent in regard to this matter.
First, this is not just about veteran Calvin Murphy, this is about the American veteran of the past, present, and future and the benefits they earn while serving our country.
Are these benefits ours or not? There seems to be a lot of confusion about the laws that pertain to this issue, lawyers and judges can “not“ agree on how the law reads and the veteran has to suffer because of this. Second, everyone‘s story is different and we can “not“ compare all stories to one. Third, it was put out there the amount of money I receive for my disabilities. Are we now putting a price on freedom?
And last, I think of the O.J. Simpson civil trial, where they said he had to turn over all earnings to the victims‘ families, but the pension and other money from his football days were protected and they could not touch them. That is a shame when you can play football and what you earn is protected, but you can serve your country and be willing to give your life, and what you earned is not protected.
There is something wrong here. Federal law says that Veterans Disability is protected by Title 38 Sec. 5301 and I will fight this on behalf of all veterans as long as I can. That is a soldier‘s way to stand up for what you believe in. And we are supporting our troops in this fight because divorce is at an all time high in the military. Thank You!!
Calvin Murphy Manistee