Please join me in scrutinizing the costs and ramifications of the Federal REAL ID rider which was attached to a military spending bill (H.R. 1268) and passed without any debate, and signed into law by President Bush on May 11, 2005.
I encourage you to become informed about this legislation. Folks with web access might consider Googling REAL ID. The issue has become more relevant to Michigan taxpayers due to a package of bills recently introduced by the Michigan Secretary of State supposedly intended to bring Michigan into compliance with federal requirements that 33 other states have rejected as too costly, and an invasion of individual privacy.
The unfunded mandates of the federal legislation are projected to cost the nations taxpayers $23B, according to the Department of Homeland Security. More troubling are concerns about the show me your papers mentality of a defacto National ID Card.
Benjamin Franklin said, Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both...
Thomas P. O‘Rourke TC
And Next Up On ESPN,
Your recent fitness issue was hugely disappointing in terms of the absence in coverage of seasonal Northern Michigan activities. Especially for newcomers to the area, its a disservice not to review fitness pursuits favored by locals. Since this is the winter season, Ill focus on just one of the best winter activities that was not covered: roof shoveling.
This rigorous former Winter Olympic event, discontinued due to the death of all participants during the Moscow Onion Dome shoveling debacle, is a regional favorite and can be performed in two forms.
The ladder form of course involves climbing a ladder, standing on the step labeled do not stand on this step, and using an implement to reach up on the roof and drag snow into the body until the ladder is safely buried in snow and unable to be moved until spring. Its largely an upper body workout and quite helpful in developing rotator cuff problems.
The more avant-garde form is called the roof mount and involves freestyle climbing to the roofs peak, then the use of smaller implements such as shovels and axes until damage is done to the roof. Labeled an extreme sport by Evil Knievel, the roof mount style actually combines a variety of training techniques, including Pilates-like movement for flexibility and reach, skating/skiing/luging techniques while sliding down the roofs pitch, and upper back strength while hanging from rain gutters or satellite dishes.
I would like to suggest that future fitness issues be produced by season and include other local favorites, such as spring Sorel Boot Beach Volleyball, summer Men Grilling Meat on Boats Near Flammable Outboard Motors, and a personal favorite of autumn, Leaf Piling on City Streets Until Oncoming Traffic Cant be Seen.
Dave Murphy TC
Are you going to tell me that the white domestic turkey was not developed by some sort of selective breeding program? That some turkeys are not now so docile the noise of thunder can influence them to look up, and in heavy rain fill their lungs with enough water to cause a condition just like pneumonia? That Ben Franklin was only just kidding around about the wild turkey?
I ask you this. Is there much white meat on a wild turkey? Can Wild turkeys be very aggressive if the need arises? Have you ever seen two toms fight? Do they roost in the trees? Do you really think that Old Ben was just kidding about this magnificent bird?
I would lay my life on the line for the flag topped by the symbol of our country. But, I also know the eagle. I have seen them in a state called rapture. Have you ever seen eagles dance in the sky? Have you ever seen them eating road kill?
I‘ve picked up lifeless bodies of turkeys that were outside during a thunderstorm. Held them head down. Squished them a bit and had them revive. Not all but some.
Michael H. MacCready Manton
I need some help in understanding the concept of global warming. It seems to me that in order to prove any type of change in any area of inquiry, one must first establish a base measurement. To prove that earths average temperature has warmed over this past century, one must prove the base average temperature one hundred years ago.
So not only do we need an accurate temperature reading from the year 1907, but in order to reach a global average, we need about 10,000 such readings from around the world, from areas populated and remote.
I wonder who in the world, in 1907 or even 1947, possessed the inclination or the instruments needed to establish even one precise temperature reading at any one point on earth?
An average earth temperature would then require accurate readings from about 10,000 points on the globe, all on the same day, at the same hour of the day. This, of course, must include all unpopulated areas such as parts of Africa, Siberia, Gobi Desert, and thousands of ocean surface locations.
Finally, I presume that any years average temperature, at any particular location, requires these same accurate readings taken at least four times a year, once during each of the four seasons.
As soon as I resolve these minor objections, I expect to convert to the Church of Global Warming & Climate Change.
Joseph Pasulka Southport, NC
Travel Club, Anyone?
The International Circumnavigators Club, the largest such club in the world, needs a Northern Michigan chapter.
In 1970, the late George Pierrot wrote an article for the AAA Michigan Living Magazine (which I ran), beginning with ...the International Circumnavigators Club, the world‘s most prestigious group of globe trotters, with members from Detroit and Michigan, now make up its largest chapter with 76 members, but it was never aimed at bigness. It was organized in 1902 by two men who were sailing across the Indian Ocean.
Pierrot was, for 35 years, the person who ran the World Adventure Series at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and was also the originator of a five-times-a-week travel show on a Detroit TV station. As for myself, I was Michigan‘s only representative with the Society of American Travel Writers. The current Michigan president is John Carroll of the Detroit area.
Now, Circum Don Schwendemann and his wife Barbara and I hope to get more persons from Northern Michigan who have traveled around the world to contact us if they are interested in starting a group locally. I may be reached at 231-933-9756.
Len Barnes TC
Correction: In an article about the disenfranchisement of state voters in last week‘s primary, the phone number for the Democratic National Committee should have said: 877-336-7200; 202-863-8000.