Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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Our Men‘s Issue

Robert Downes - September 6th, 2007
Hey, whatever happened to old
what’s-his-name? The so-called Angry White Male of the ’90s? He swept the Republicans into absolute power and marched around for a decade or so, pounding his chest with his neoconservative views.
He’s been pretty quiet lately. These days, you barely hear a peep out of him.
Maybe he‘s rethinking a few things that used to send him into a tizzy.
Back in the early ’90s, we launched an annual issue in the Express that focused on the theme of “Women Today.” It wasn’t long before men were saying, hey, what about us?
At that time, men -- some at least -- were in a state of flux. The ’90s were the era of the “men’s movement,” with books like “Iron John” spelling out the responsibilities and mysteries (such as they are) of maledom. Groups like Fathers for Equal Rights were raising a howl over perceived injustices in child custody cases. It was a time when men were reading each other the riot act over their responsibilities as fathers. It was the age of the “Angry White Male,” marching in step with Rush Limbaugh, castigating “feminazis” and the Clintons.
Some felt threatened by the fact that women were achieving positions of power -- I remember one guy griping about having a woman for a boss. He assumed that as a man I shared his us-against-them
outlook. But I was embarrassed for him for being so insecure.
Were men angrier in the ’90s? You
decide. But it does seem like we’re mellower in the ’00s.
If anything, we’re in a bit of a retreat because of all the disastrous male examples in recent years.
Other than our brave soldiers -- both male and female -- in Iraq and Afghanistan, who do men have as role models to look up to today? The leaders of the war and subsequent occupation -- Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, Wolfowicz and Bremer -- have created one of the biggest disasters in our country’s history. The blunders of the war are already being studied at the U.S. Army War College as textbook examples of how to blow it, according to “Fiasco,” an excellent book on Iraq.
Among the disgraces mentioned above, we can add Karl Rove, Alberto Gonzales, Scooter Libby, Jack Abramoff and “Good Job, Brownie” Michael Brown. Men with an anti-government agenda who came to Washington at the behest of the Angry White Male and did a number on us. Nice work, guys.
Today, the federal government seems directionless
and ineffective, our Justice Department is a disgrace, much of New Orleans is still a wreck two years after Hurricane Katrina, and our nation’s infrastructure is at risk. America’s image in the world has been dragged through the mud by torture scandals, a war of aggression, and policies of surveillance and
imprisonment without trial that are more in step with a police state than a democracy.
And let’s not forget the moralizers who whipped the Angry White Men into a frenzy during the Clinton years. The replacement team has turned out to be as freaky as a drag queen revue, with the likes of Sen. Larry
“I Am Not Gay” Craig, intern-lover Rep. Mark Foley, and evangelical cheerleader Rev. Ted “It was just a massage” Haggard. These days it seems as if the gay-bashing GOP has come out of the closet as the Gay Old Party.
At least we men still have our sports celebrities to look up to: Barry Bonds, Mike Vick, the Tour de France cheaters...
You still hear echoes and whispers from the Angry White Male these days, even if he’s been chastened by the goofs of recent years. He’s the guy who says that Sen. Hillary Clinton will never be president because she’s a woman.
But maybe that’s precisely why we should elect her.


New faces in new places at the Express


Northern Express would like to welcome Kristi Kates to the role of interim editor this week. Kristi is temporarily taking over for Robert Downes, who is pursuing a personal project over the next few months.
Kates brings strong writing and copy editing skills to the job. She also writes the Modern Rock column for Express, along with 4Play CD reviews, concert coverage and photography, and numerous features.
Additionally, she is a regular contributor to national music magazine Remix, and she‘s an accomplished indie musician, singer, and songwriter in her own right.


Also new is account representative Gayle Lyn Smith, who is reaching out to advertisers in a wide-ranging sales territory that includes Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island, Gaylord, Cheboygan and Indian River in the north, and the Cadillac-Manistee area at the southern end of the Express’s area
of coverage.
Smith is the former Northern Michigan Director of Donor Recruitment-BioMed for the American Red Cross. Personable and energetic, Smith has a strong background in public relations along with being active in local community issues for the last 10 years. her interests range from delving into computer technology to breeding Portugese water dogs. She and her husband Mike, who is an attorney, have twin 13-year-olds and live in Lake Ann.
Welcome aboard to Kristi Kates and Gayle Lyn Smith.
 
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