Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · There aughta‘ be a...
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There aughta‘ be a law...

Robert Downes - July 20th, 2009
Random Thought
There aughta‘ be a law...
Robert Downes 7/20/09
Here‘s another idea for marketing Michigan out of its troubles. Allow every restaurant in the state to sell Michigan-made beers and wines without a liquor license.
A bright spot in Michigan‘s economy is the success of our wineries and microbreweries. We have more than 50 wineries in the state, and as Rick Coates has noted in his “Bottoms Up“ column, Michigan is now considered one of the top destinations in America for the quality of its brewpubs and microbrews.
So what is Lansing doing to coax this goose into laying more golden eggs? Lip service.
But imagine the benefits if Michigan reformed its discriminatory liquor license laws in favor of the relaxed approach followed by restaurants in countries around the world.
For a small fee, every restaurant should be allowed to sell Michigan-made beers and wines to their patrons. Beverages from other states or countries would not qualify, and restaurants that cheated would lose their privileges.
This would pump tens (or even hundreds) of millions of dollars into Michigan‘s beer and wine industry, in addition to benefiting thousands of Mom & Pop restaurants that don‘t qualify for a liquor license or can‘t afford one. It would also be a bonanza for state tax revenues.
It‘s a no-brainer to promote your own products in your own state with such a simple expedient.
Currently, our liquor license laws are on par with a state-run organized crime racket that shuts out and punishes small restaurants while extorting obscene fees from bar owners and larger restaurants.
It‘s also absurd that diners can‘t enjoy a bottle of wine in an Italian, Greek or French restaurant that doesn‘t have a liquor license. Or beer in a German restaurant or American steakhouse. These beverages are part of the cultural heritage and cuisine of those institutions and it‘s ridiculous to deny patrons and restaurant owners alike, based on archaic temperance laws dating back to the 1800s.
Michigan has lost billions in new business and tax revenues by ignoring social trends. We need a legislator who‘ll pick up the ball for our state‘s beer and wine industry and run with it for an easy touchdown.

I felt a bit sheepish reading Garrett Ellison‘s excellent letter on “The Myth of Good News“ in this week‘s Express, because for this issue at least, we‘re guilty of being packed with features and lacking in hard news. Fortunately, we have plenty of sparky letters to keep things interesting.
But I too want to heave whenever someone puts forth the bogus idea that newspapers need more “good news,“ because that‘s also a euphemism for “cover-up.“
Take, for example, the cabal of ‘good old boys‘ in Traverse City who tried to engineer the ruin of the Record-Eagle with the dream of bringing a paper to town that would focus on “good news“ as its replacement. They were angry that the paper reported on an underhanded parking deck fiasco in TC and the shady dealings of Meijer‘s in its fight with Acme Township, among other issues.
If TC‘s daily newspaper printed only “good news,“ then none of those stories would have seen the light of day. City taxpayers would be paying for a parking deck we don‘t need during a recession, and a corporate criminal scheme would have undermined the will of voters in Acme Township.
Old-timers often look to the past through pink lemonade spectacles to a time when newspapers printed government handouts as “the news“ and “good news“ ruled the day. Prior to the mid-‘60s, “bad news“ about child abuse, domestic violence, rape, the perils of drunk driving, incest, prostitution, racism, poverty and other social ills didn‘t exist... in the newspaper, at least. At best, “bad news“ was codified in newspapers of the time and being “unsuitable“; at worst, it was kept in the dark and allowed to fester.
One could argue that our country wouldn‘t be in the mess it is today if America‘s financial press had done its job, exposing the evil practices of Wall Street, the banking system, the mortgage bubble and the reckless deregulation policies of the Bush administration. The financial press was too busy covering the “good news“ of the too-good-to-be-true real estate market and the Dow Jones average heading past 14,000 points. But that was before it all came crashing down, with the economy of the entire world losing 30-40 percent of its value. Perhaps a little more “bad news“ would have prevented that disaster and the loss of millions of jobs and retirement plans.

Are you sick of “social networking“ yet? The idea is to link your business, band or pet cause to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube and a galaxy of websites and blogs. Then you get your friends, old high school chums, distant family and friends of friends to pass on the news about Grandma Cracker‘s Old-Style Tofu Chewing Gum, or whatever you‘re selling, and wait for the bucks to roll in.
The problem with social networking is that everyone‘s piling on, producing a roar of commercial white noise on the Net that we‘ll eventually tune out.
That, and the fact that past a certain point, you don‘t know who your “friends“ are on the Internet. An article in the June issue of the IPBA Independent notes that once you get to the “fourth circle“ of your viral marketing blitz, the pornographers and hookers start showing up, followed by a fifth circle tidal wave of marketers and kooks with messages such as “Amanda is throwing a Striptease Party today!“
Locally, Facebook was recently hacked by a porn ring with the message going viral to many furious members. An in-your-face (literally) porn photo is not the kind of greeting you want to send to your great Aunt Nelly.
It makes you wonder what the next Net craze will be and how to get there before a billion other people do.

Republicans in Congress are worried sick that private health care will soon be a thing of the past and a socialistic big government scheme will take away our cherished access to the doctor of our choice.
Translation: their friends in the big insurance companies face the extremely slight threat of losing a few bucks under the Democrats‘ national health care plan.
Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress hope to be all things to every American, even if national health care requires pandering to those same insurance companies and spending trillions to tweak 85-year-olds back to their teenage state of health.
Either way, no one seems to be throwing around the word “sacrifice“ much in the plans for national health care. And although the results are still out on how the health of the average American will fare under the new plan, one can only imagine that the health insurance companies will come out of this very healthy indeed.

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