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...

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Random Thoughts

George Foster - August 14th, 2003
The Silver Lining in California‘s Recall Election
At first glance, the election to recall California Governor Gray Davis in an October election seems to be a mockery of democracy. Anyone with 65 signatures and $3500 can run? Come on.
Others are saying the attempt to recall Davis is just another sinister attempt by the Republicans to overturn elections that didn‘t go their way. The recent examples sited include the impeachment of Bill Clinton for lying about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Clinton had been elected for two terms and during the time of the scandal still had a near 70% approval rating among Americans.
Also, polls show that 38% of Americans still don‘t think Republican George W. Bush is a legitimate president after U.S. Supreme Court ended the 2000 election process in Florida. A razor-thin majority of justices forced into the presidency a candidate who did not get the most votes.
And now, the Republicans are after Democratic governor, Gray Davis. The principal reason for canning Davis is the budget deficit crises in California. The 2003 shortfall in California of $38 billion is an eye-opener. Davis certainly must shoulder some of the blame but where was the legislature in California while the financial crises was developing - tanning on the beach?
A majority of states in this country including Michigan are battling similar financial challenges. Very few are blaming former Michigan governor Engler for the financial crises that his successor inherited. And what about the Bush administration? The president finally admitted that recent federal tax cuts have contributed significantly to the federal budget deficit.
Let‘s get real. There is plenty of blame to go around for budget deficits besides Gray Davis. If high crimes and misdemeanors are the standard for kicking elected officials out of office, nothing close has occurred in the California governor‘s office.
On the other hand, the recall election may be a good thing overall. In an era where a mediocre 50% turnout is considered excellent for an election in the U.S., Gray Davis‘ recall has captured the imagination of Californians and the rest of the country. Why not let the voters decide whom they want as governor?
This election is an anomaly: every vote potentially makes a huge difference. If Davis is voted out, the next governor may be elected with a very small percentage of the votes - say 10%.
My fearless predictions: Gray Davis is a goner. Gary Coleman, Arianna Huffington, Larry Flynt, and others will liven up the election but have no chance to be governor.
Meet the new chief executive of California - Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is smart and well-connected socially (his wife is a Kennedy and political journalist). Rich enough to buy the election if so chooses, Schwarzenegger also is blessed with the best name recognition of any candidate.
His rags-to-riches story is well known. Emigrating to the U. S. from Austria, Arnold arrived with $20 in his pocket. Astute real estate purchases made him rich before he was famous as a bodybuilder and actor. His tireless work with the Special Olympics and other philanthropic causes is legendary.
Additionally, Arnold‘s moderate Republican views make him a shoo-in for the October election. If he can somehow overcome a serious dearth of political experience, he might just make a good governor, too.
 
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