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 · Letters · Letters 4/21/08
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Letters 4/21/08

- April 21st, 2008
Get informed
In their respective letters, Lisa Mai Shoemaker (“So childish,” April 7) and Gary Woodhams (“Cut the crap,” April 14) both show a detrimental level of cynicism toward our political process.
In her letter, Ms. Shoemaker fancies herself an “independent” and labels those who see a difference between Republicans and Democrats as “childish.” She tells readers that “nobody gives a damn” about their opinions.
A week later, Mr. Woodhams follows suit by openly mocking anyone who “swear[s] total allegiance to any political party” and even finds political jokes from coworkers insufferable.
Ms. Shoemaker laments that there are no “perfect” candidates and that no party can claim to have any “brains.” For his part, Mr. Woodhams rejects candidates Obama, Clinton, and McCain as being equally unsatisfactory.
In other words, Mr. Woodhams and Ms. Shoemaker would like us to think that they are somehow above the fray of politics, as if it were a pursuit only for simpletons and knuckle-draggers of the worst kind.
It is precisely this type of cynicism that degrades our political discourse instead of elevating it and, to borrow a phrase from Ms. Shoemaker, “makes me want to ralf.”
Cynicism of this kind is merely a transparent stand-in for doing actual political homework, and it prevents one from making an informed decision come election time.
The truth is our choices in the election booth do matter, and in this election cycle there is a lot at stake. Economic and foreign policy decisions, which profoundly affect us all, don’t just sprout out of the ground; they are made by the people we choose to make them, which means that now is not the time to plug our ears and scream, as Ms. Shoemaker would have us do, solely to dodge our civic responsibilities or to avoid “offensive” political commentary.
The president wields an enormous amount of power and influence. It is our job to pick one that will use it in the right way, and, despite what Mr. Woodhams would have us believe, there are significant ideological differences in the candidates. Furthermore, if Mr. Woodhams is right that lobbyists and special interests control Washington, it is only because we the people collectively sit back, throw up our hands, and let them.
An uninformed, cynical citizenry allows good politicians but bad leaders to seize the reigns of power. In the last few years, we have seen and felt the consequences of electing these types of people. But don’t blame it on them. We put them there.

Chip Corwin • Bellaire

Sorry state
I totally agree with the sentiments expressed by Mr. Woodhams concerning the current crop of presidential candidates and the sorry state of our country. Unfortunately, I do not have an answer as to what to do to change it.
It takes money to run a campaign and the average person who may think of running for office does not stand a chance against the big money machines which drives both parties. How do we elect someone who represents the people, if the people themselves would rather watch more smoke and mirrors campaigning?
Change, hope, tax breaks, needless wars, health care, social security, crumbling schools etc. All of these have been talked about before and every four years, what happens? NOTHING. It is also interesting to note that the three current campaigners are responsible for having a hand in the decisions of this disastrous administration by rubber stamping his every idea; now they are telling us how they are going to make it better for everybody. Where were they when it became necessary to reach across the aisle to try and do something for the good of the American people and our allies by working against some of his plans?
Our country is bankrupt because of the administration’s decisions, our troops are being killed for oil and bin Laden still lives. I love my country and for the first time in my life I can honestly say I will not be voting because it will be just more of the same. Until we as a united people demand the change that is truly necessary, our kids, grandchildren and great grandchildren will be paying for all of this when they could be spending it on their families.

Marilyn Prezkop • via email

Defending John McCain
In his recent letter to the editor, Bradford Krull comes off as very misinformed regarding Sen. John McCain. Krull states:
1. “Soldiers don’t make leaders, only followers...”
2. “He has a criminal past in being one of the Keating Five”
3. “I wish Jesse Ventura was running, if he could. He put it right as to starting war a: ‘you would only go to war if you were willing to send your own son or daughter.’ Very wise words and where is that in McCain?”
The first statement is ridiculous and insulting to Republicans and Democrats alike. PT 109? The Founder of our Country? Jackson, Carter, etc, etc, it seems almost silly to continue.
As to the Keating 5: The U.S. Senate determined that John Glenn (another useless military “follower”?) and John McCain were only minimally involved and did not receive censure. Add to that the work that John McCain has done to push for transparency in government, and the statement is even more asinine.
Lastly, the Jesse Ventura remark... First, I know that at the very least, McCain’s youngest sons serve in the military. The last time I checked, his son Jack was in the Naval Academy and his son Jimmy was stationed in Iraq.
I know there are many reasons to criticize Sen. John McCain. Apparently Mr. Krull cannot find a real one. As for me, I am passing on Jesse “The Body” Ventura‘s candidacy and holding out hope that the “Macho Man” Randy Savage throws his hat in the ring...Ohhhhh Yeeeeaah!

Mike Shockley • via email
 
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