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 · Letters · Letters 7/7/08
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Letters 7/7/08

- July 7th, 2008
Mining disaster
Over a dozen mines for copper, nickel, gold, zinc, and possibly uranium are currently on the drawing boards for the Upper Peninsula, home to some of the most pristine rivers and aquifers in the world.
Acid sulfide mining has the potential to pollute both Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. This type of mining is not like that of the old days. It has the potential to pollute for hundreds of years.
This type of mining has already caused irreparable harm near the Flambeau River in northern Wisconsin. The mine there closed in 1997; however, 10 years later, there are still toxic levels of iron, copper, and manganese in the region. Very harmful to fish, manganese is also known to cause Parkinson-like tremors in humans. In fact, the state of Wisconsin will no longer allow such type of mining unless or until a company can show that a mine has operated and been closed for 10 years without causing such mess.
This type of mining is being explored less than 25 miles from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Minnesota. Sulfide mining also has the potential to permanently eradicate the last known spawning grounds of the rare coaster brook trout along the south shore of Lake Superior.
The demand for raw materials to feed China’s industrial machine could turn Michigan into a “colony.” All so we here in the U.S. can consume more “stuff” and China and other developing nations can have items like cars, refrigerators, and cell phones. The chickens (vultures?) have finally come home to roost.
It is a really dumb idea to pollute pristine rivers that feed our Great Lakes -- our only source of fresh water. As the issues of “not enough clean water” rise to the forefront here in the U.S., we will be left with a nightmare if these types of mines are allowed to take foot anywhere near the Great Lakes.
Join mine protesters as we walk from the Yellow Dog Plains (western Marquette County) to the Mackinac Bridge during the last two weeks in August – just in time to walk The Bridge on Labor Day. You can walk for a few hours, a weekend, or do the entire trip.
Contact us at www.yellowdogwatershed.org, www.savethewildup.org, www.northwoodswild.org for more details.

Margaret Comfort
• Bourbonnais, IL

The coming crisis
Fuel pricing has a more deliberate and insidious aspect than what has been reported. It is not simply true that oil has become more valuable; the dollar has been devalued to a point where it takes more of them to buy a gallon of gas.
Think of it this way. An ounce of gold would buy a decent men‘s suit in Dante’s day. The same amount of gold will buy one of equal value today. The suit only seems more expensive because there are more dollars involved.
The main culprit is the Federal Reserve Bank, which has been politicized by an oil-baron president. This president is also obsessed with his “legacy.” The cost of energy has risen to record levels, and yet, our Republican administration thinks inflation is low. The Federal Reserve takes this cue and lowers the interest rates. This devalues the dollar, which causes the price of gas to spike.
The European Central Bank (ECB) recently raised interest rates due to its perception that inflation is being “imported” from America. The mere suggestion that the ECB is contemplating another interest rate hike is enough to send the price of oil skyrocketing.
This is due to a global lack of confidence in this Republican administration, and its perceived influence on the Fed. How can two major financial institutions look at the same thing and come to such different conclusions?
Like other branches of our government, the Fed has been politicized by a rogue faction of politicians known as the neo-conservatives. It was the neocons who were the architects in the war for petroleum wealth. The bulk of the powerful Washington neocons involved in the Iraq war strategy are oil barons.
A low interest rate has helped to keep the lid on their huge war deficit. The totally irresponsible parties somehow appear a little bit more responsible in a delusional sort of way.
The passing of the presidential gas this November will make it appear that the new administration is to blame as the old one scoots out the door just in time. George Bush will bask in the illusion of his legacy while sticking his “lingering” consequences to someone else. Old pot-hole Engler, and his misguided choir of fiscal irresponsible Republicans did the same thing to our current governor.
The real Bush legacy is best described as a poisoned well.

Timothy Wiley • via email

Still time to impeach
On June 10, Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio introduced House Resolution 1258, calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush. That resolution was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
On June 14, the Steering Committee of the Leelanau County Democratic Party passed a motion expressing strong support urged the Speaker and the Committee on the Judiciary to conduct a hearing as soon as possible so that the full House of Representatives may take action before the 110th Congress adjourns.
Now, some have said that impeachment would take too long and chew up too much time in the Congress. Not true. According to Elizabeth Holtzmann, a member of the Nixon Committee, commenting on the Nixon impeachment, the total time from start to his resignation was three months. One month of which was spent in preparations by the Judiciary Committee, which is not necessary this time. Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit) already wrote the book (on Bush administration abuses).
Nixon was never impeached or convicted -- he resigned. There was no Senate trial. Such was the increased pressure of this investigation and the impeachment resolutions.
Others have said that we should just wait it out and he’ll be gone. Yes, but, look at the legacy we leave for the next administration and our children: signing statements, illegal declarations of war, unconstitutional wiretapping of our citizens, violations of treaties, contempt by our allies, shattered relations with other nations, massive debt, thousands dead....
Why leave such a terrible legacy intact? Should these acts go unpunished or unreproved? Do you think this administration will be criminally prosecuted after they leave? Not likely.
Impeachment is the only required and constitutionally mandated action. Let’s get on with it!

Robert Marshall • Lake Leelanau

Raw deal for veteran
Regarding your recent Region Watch article by Anne Stanton, concerning Calvin Murphy’s VA disability, “Vet Must Share Disability With Ex-wife.” This is a shame, how this Vietnam veteran has been treated by this Manistee judge. The awarding of this veteran’s VA disability as alimony, in contrast to other Michigan case law, has shocked me. It’s as if our federal laws, Constitution, and the United States Supremacy Clause, 38 USC 5301, in protecting this veteran‘s rights, has no meaning, and is of no consequence.
In other Michigan courts, justice seems to work. I’m confused. In compliance with Supreme Court rulings, of a Michigan judgment in North v. North (2001) was reversed with a ruling that the case was a blatant violation of veterans‘ benefits. And Judge Curtis J. Bell (Kalamazoo) found that VA disability compensation as alimony is exempt in the case of Army Sgt. Gordon Sutton, a disabled Vietnam veteran.
Calvin Murphy did not ask for, or expect, more than any other veteran. Sadly, in Michigan, the law, and his veterans rights did not work for Calvin Murphy. And sadly for those fine men and women who are returning from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Walter Reed, this is the justice, and fair dealing they can expect for serving their country.

William H. Heino Sr. • via email

Skeptical of voting
Do you think “voting rocks”? Voting is only a tiny part of the political process. If your political participation is limited to voting, you are doing your countrymen a disservice.
Our word “sufferage” has an interesting history. Today, it means the ability to vote. “Sufferage” comes from Latin- “suffragium.“ In the early days of the republic, it meant a voting tablet or ballot.
Over time, power became centralized and more corrupt. Voting became pointless. “Suffragium” came to mean political pressure or advantage that you could get a powerful friend to employ on your behalf. Perhaps he could get you a government job, or political favors.
Eventually, corruption became universal. Suffragium came to mean the gift, payment, or bribe that the tyrants demanded for every little thing they did. In the last days of the rotting, festering Roman Empire, all public transactions required a fee -- kind of like now.
Let us move on to modern times. Joseph Stalin said: “Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count me votes decide everything.” As computerized voting becomes more prevalent, and many of the machines leave no paper trail, how much faith do you have in the system?
Why should you attend political meetings? If 90 people in your town go to a meeting supporting one candidate, and the official results say that only 12 voted for him, you have reason to suspect something foul has taken place. That candidate could have had 200 votes. Without the meetings, after the election, each of the 200 would believe that he or she was one of the 12 listed in the “official” results.
Do not allow yourself to be manipulated by glossy political ads with pretty pictures. Please do not cast your vote with blind party loyalty. Our republic, our country, and our liberty is too precious to be trifled with in this manner. Please remember always, that if you vote for the lesser of two evils, that you are still voting for evil. When faced with this option, write in a good person, vote for a third party, vote for Pedro.

J. Douglas Holmes • Frankfort
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