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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Big Government to the Rescue

George Foster - September 29th, 2008
Big Government to the rescue?
Yikes, what happened over the last few days?
A little over a week ago Senator John McCain assured us the “fundamentals of our economy are strong.” Yet, last night President George Bush warned us that the economy is melting down so fast that a crisis of unprecedented proportions will occur if we don’t implement his radical plan immediately.
As of this writing, there is no guarantee that the administration’s $700 billion bailout plan, brokered by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulsen and Federal Reverse Chairman Ben Bernanke, will prevail. Unlikely allies Barack Obama and McCain are endorsing a plan similar to Bush’s, while many of the President’s fellow Republican congressmen are fiercely opposed.
My reaction is similar to how a majority of Americans must feel; why are we even thinking about paying $700 billion to rich Wall Street executives who have tried run our country into the ground? Many of the CEOs who manage these financial firms are crooks whose purpose in life is squeezing money out of the rest of us to support their fat cat lifestyles.
To make matters worse, the guys who got us into this financial mess are the same ones hatching the brilliant plans to save us from ruin. Secretary Paulson is a 32-year veteran of Goldman Sachs and former CEO. Goldman Sachs also happens to be one of the financial institutions likely benefiting from the proposed bailout.
And where are we going to get the money? The U.S. government is already running record annual spending deficits of over $400 billion and rising since the year 2000. When individuals and small businessmen and women make bad management decisions, we lose everything and start over. We don’t look for government to bail us out - there is no safety net for us. Nor should there be.
The financial experts tell us that Big Government is needed to fix this problem or the public’s confidence will be shaken and some of the largest loan companies will go belly up. Maybe someone should tell the experts that our faith in the economy has been shot for some time and isn’t the huge debt load carried by the average American consumer one of the causes of our current crisis?
If this bailout plan comes to fruition, don’t be surprised when the financially stressed Big-Three auto companies and airlines industry soon line up for more billions in handouts from U.S. taxpayers. But if all of the bailouts fail, then what - a chicken in every pot?
Bottom line: there is no quick-fix solution to our financial problems. Our message to the panicking executives of Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, A.I.G, and Bear Stearns should be the same advice for all of us, “There is no free lunch, baby.”
 
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