Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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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