Letters

Letters 8-18-2014

The Climate Clarified

Climate change isn’t an easy subject. A class I’m taking compared it to medicine in a way that was helpful for me: Climate scientists are like planetary physicians. Our understanding of medicine is incomplete, but what we know is useful...

Beware Non-Locally Grown

The article “Farm Fresh?” couldn’t be any more true than exactly stated. As an avid shopper at the local farm markets I want to know “exactly” what I am buying, from GMO free to organic or not organic, sprayed or not sprayed and with what...

Media Bias Must End

I wish to thank Joel Weberman for his letter “Seeking Balanced Israel Coverage.” The pro-Palestinian bias includes TV news coverage...

Proud of My President

The world is a mess. According to many conservative voices, it would not be in such a mess if Obama was not the president. I am finally understanding that the problem with our president is that he is too thoughtful, too rational, too realistic, too inclined to see things differently and change his mind, too compassionate to be the leader of a free world...

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 5/25/09
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Letters 5/25/09

- May 25th, 2009
The war racket
Memorial Day is a very sad day for me. I’m a military veteran (Army infantry, Vietnam) and as I get farther down the path, my grasp of life and humanity increases.
We are all on this planet together and we are all related. The Golden Rule applies to everyone. “They” are not the “enemy.” The “leaders” tell us that if we (the working class) send our children to kill all of “them,” then we will be safe and our children who die or are physically and/or mentally wounded are heroes. The words of the “leaders” are hollow. They sell fear and we buy and become the pawns.
Two-time Medal of Honor recipient Marine Major General Smedley Butler said “War is a racket.” I agree. Weapons are America‘s #1 export product. To keep our weapons industry going we promote conflicts and wars. We have over 700 military bases in over 140 countries. Our military is the largest violence educational institution in the world.
On this Memorial Day think about the death and destruction that is being perpetrated in our name all over the world. It’s not about freedom or democracy, it’s about profit. It’s for “U.S. interests.” As I read about Memorial Day events I get sad. I suspect many of the people who attend are thinking like pawns.

Arnold Stieber • Grass Lake
Eye of the beholder...
A question for Ted Rall (re: “Oprah‘s Book Snub,“ 5/18): Would he disregard Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon as art because it doesn’t follow the conventional image of a woman? Why should Cormac McCarthy’s The Road be exempt from “good book” status because it doesn’t meet Rall’s definition?
While I completely agree that the New York Times Bestsellers List, Oprah’s Book Club and other such standard-setters shouldn’t be credited as finding the best literature of our time (can we say Twilight?), I do believe that the reason we all read what we do is a matter of personal preference, be it escapism fiction to (cough-boring-cough) U.S foreign relation tomes.
And Ted, “bad and dishonest writers” are as much to blame for the books floating around in the market pond as the publishers, reviewers and consumers. After all, we couldn’t be accused of reading the crap if it were never written to begin with.

Kristy Phillips • Interlochen

Don‘t blame unions
For all you folks who blame unions for the loss of jobs, you need to educate yourself on the realities of criminal manipulation of funds allowed with assistance from some of our government officials.
Let‘s start with the $10 billion a month invasion of Iraq: then the $12 billion airlifted on a skid packaged in $100 dollar bills to Iraq with NO accounting controls; $18 billion for reconstruction that was not properly used, allowing an Iraq defense minister to steal $1 billion and fly to London. Halliburton, Bechtel, Blackwater Brown, etc. have raked in billions of U.S. taxpayers dollars undeservingly.
America, wake up. The administration on both sides of the political aisle continues to have a blind eye to our white collar felons. The unbridled greed of economic elites were all enabled by our political structure in Washington.
These profiteers are still looking for more. Remember the attempt to privatize Social Security and transfer funds to Wall Street?
We’re going to have to pull together and stop the attempt to continually invade pension plans, Medicare, the UAW/GM VESA Contract which was negotiated in good faith, and Social Security.
Those of you who continue to knock labor’s effort to negotiate fair wages and benefits, which allow workers to maintain their dignity of contributing to a healthy economic society, educate yourselves. Look at our politician’s retirement, health care coverage,
and many other perks. They all seem to be above the economic turmoil.

John Sanchez
Chairman NW Lower Peninsula UAW Retired Workers Council

Calling the kettle black
Americans who are quick to criticize Israel’s treatment of Arabs would do well to first examine our own treatment of the indigenous peoples here.
Americans called the natives savages, slaughtered them, stole their land, and drove them out by forced march (The Trail of Tears) to inhospitable, arid lands, reducing their numbers to a mere remnant.
Still not satisfied, Americans seized the children of the native peoples and forced them into missionary schools to convert them to Christianity, then forbad them from speaking their own language or eating their own tribal foods. Though given quasi “nation” status, Americans did not bestow U.S. citizenship on those native born residents until 1956.
When Mark Twain visited Jerusalem he found a nearly deserted city populated by a few Orthodox Jews, some donkeys, and a few impoverished Arabs. When the Zionists fleeing pogroms in Eastern Europe moved to the area to set up socialist agricultural settlements, the area began to prosper. This attracted Arabs from neighboring, feudal lands.
Since the 1967 war, the Israelis have expropriated some land from the Arabs, but Arab residents are citizens, vote, serve in parliament, and are exempt from military service. Their children are not kidnapped and forced into missionary schools to convert to Judaism, learn exclusively Hebrew, forbidden to speak Arabic, or forced to eat only Jewish foods.
Instead of being given blankets infected with smallpox, the Arabs in Israel enjoy the best national medical care in the Middle East. Arabs have not been driven on foot to “reservations” in the Negev desert.
If Israel followed the American model there would be few surviving Arabs in Israel. Before Americans leap onto the anti-Israel bandwagon, they should first consider our own behavior.

Harley Sachs • Houghton


 
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