Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · If the shoe fits...
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If the shoe fits...

Robert Downes - December 22nd, 2008
There’s been so little fanfare over the latest news from Iraq that most Americans probably don’t have a clue: the war is essentially over.
Okay, let’s qualify that by saying “barring some unforseen calamity, the war is over...” because you just never know.
But on Thanksgiving Day, the Iraqi parliament approved a new security pact that requires the United States to withdraw our troops by 2011.
The Iraqi government also voted on new restrictions for U.S. troops when it comes to searching homes, detaining citizens, and conducting military operations. Iraqi officials will also have oversight over U.S. troops and our soldiers will be prosecuted in Iraqi courts for serious crimes that are committed off-duty.
There are also plans to pull U.S. troops out of the cities and confine them to bases out in the countryside until we get our ticket home in 2011 -- three years from now.
Britain will start withdrawing its 4,100 troops in March, expecting to be out of Iraq by June.
Just a year ago, this sort of bombshell would have blown conservative stacks on the talk show circuit. That was back when candidate John McCain vowed never to “surrender” in Iraq (as if some insurgent general was going to hand over his sword like Robert E. Lee at Appomattox). Imagine the effrontery of the Iraqis telling us what to do in their own country!
But now, the mood in America seems to be: “let’s pack our bags and split before they change their minds.”
President Bush is happy. “The vote affirms the growth of Iraq’s democracy and increasing ability to secure itself,” he said earlier this month.
President-elect Barack Obama has got to be happy, because the news means we’ll no longer be pumping $12 billion or more into the futile sands of Iraq each month. He and Congress are going to need every cent they can scrape up to move the country forward -- not to mention Obama’s plan to send thousands of new troops into Afghanistan.
American hawks can be happy because they can declare victory. And the same applies to the American peace movement. What’s not to like?
Of course, there are some naysayers who wonder if Iraq’s government can get it together to run the country on their own within three years’ time. Or, will they be engulfed by the insurgent militias that have made Iraq a moonscape of bomb craters and bloody markets?
Well, consider this: a sizeable number of Iraqis are ticked off that our troops will be allowed to stay in their country for three more years. In early December, 10,000 of them protested allowing us to stay that long.
Now, the journalist who threw his shoes at Bush last week is a big hero to many Iraqis, who would like to see us gone immediately. He yelled: “This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog!”
Question: Can an old dog learn new tricks? Let’s use those shoes to tip-toe out of Iraq while the getting is good.

 
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