Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 7/22/04
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Letters 7/22/04

Various - July 22nd, 2004
Outsource government
Recently on CNN, I saw an economic advisor in a nice suit insisting that, “Outsourcing was good for America.” Speaking as one of many former Lear employees whose jobs got passports and left town, I’m comforted to know we are all doing our part for the good of the country.
In a perfect world this gentleman would have been informed that his job had been outsourced, on camera. Then the commentators would cut live via satellite to Saddam’s former Minister of Dis-information, “Baghdad Bob.” Gee, if exporting our jobs is so good for the United States, maybe it’s time to OUTSOURCE GOVERNMENT.

Joseph Morio • via email

Who will prevail?
This is in response to Harley Sachs’ article on “Polarized Thinking” (7/15). I believe a large part of the problem with having any kind of rational discussion of issues today is that partisans find it to their advantage to mischaracterize the opposition as extreme and rely on emotional and ad hominum illogic. This is more than a tactic. It is a philosophy (“postmodernism”) that denies that any objectively knowable truth exists, so large chunks of morality and social policy and behavior become matters of personal taste rather than matters of right and wrong, or of having positive or negative consequences for society. Anyone who applies religious or rational arguments to an issue is rejected as intolerant and arrogant. Everything is an opinion, so one is as good as another unless a claim for universal applicability is made. Then the one making that claim is the equivalent of the Taliban!
In the medical field this results in people believing every sort of nonsense, mixed in with alternative therapies that really work, mixed in with scientifically based medicine that sometimes has its own negative consequences. It’s no wonder people are confused.
People are even more confused on social issues and the role of religion in society. All religious thought is mischaracterized by the opposition as irrational and extreme. I had the experience of taking a college course in ethics at a Catholic university even though I’m not Catholic. I was impressed by the complex and nuanced thinking that went into their ethical principles and their application. They certainly didn’t see the world in black and white and they took into account the complexities and conflicts inherent in ethical dilemas. Yet the opposition demonizes Catholic positions as extreme and simplistic and people buy it.
Much of the bitter hatred of George Bush results from his claims that there are clear moral principles we are bound to follow. The intellectuals can get so confused by the complexities that they are paralized when it comes to choosing a clear course of action and sticking with it.
Our society is evenly divided between two mutually exclusive world views that ultimately cannot co-exist. One will prevail and the other will be repressed.
So, in fact, there is an either-or choice to be made. We live in interesting times.

Nancy Brimhall, RN • via email

Green Party is no joke
Re: “More proof that the Green Party may be a huge joke,” Express, 7/8-14. I’m happy you have enjoyed my singing. It’s in the pipes, as we singer/drain commissioners say.
Water is life. We cannot live without it. The quality of our lives is rooted in the quality of our water. The Great Lakes Basin holds 20% of the freshwater of the world and over 85% of the freshwater of the United States and that water is finite. The water coming into the basin and the water going out are in perfect balance. All water transported commercially out of the watershed is gone forever.
As populations increase and war and conspicuous consumption devour the resources of the Earth, water supplies have become more and more polluted. The world thirsts. Wars are being fought over water in Israel/Palestine and around the world. Here in Northern Michigan where sweetwater rushes pure and clean from the hillsides, it is becoming more and more difficult to access uncontaminated water. Petoskey and Charlevoix have had to abandon polluted groundwater sources and must now use chlorinated water pulled from Lake Michigan. “Self monitored” industries poison the air and water and unwise and illegal development destroys the last trout streams. Rather than protecting groundwater, we drill down one more aquifer for drinkable water.
Water is more valuable than oil. Bechtel and Halliburton and other multi-nationals are buying water rights around the world. In villages of South America and South Africa, water “credit cards” give access to clean water to the few families who can pay for it. In Stanwood, Nestles of Sweden (Ice Mountain/Perrier) continues to take the water in spite of a judge’s ruling that it negatively impacts a stream and lowers the water table. In the western United States, rivers no longer reach the sea and groundwater tables and reservoirs are dropping at alarming rates.
As a child, I did not aspire to be a drain commissioner. But I have always loved frogs and fish and streams. Drain commissioners are elected officials, responsible for the health, safety and well being of the public and their water. The quality of our lives, the economics of this region, the survival and abundance of creatures, ALL are rooted in the quality of our water.
I love democracy and democracy is bigger than two voices. The path the U.S. and world are on is a path leading to the death and destruction of the human race. The path of war and mindless consumption is anti-life. Who will lead in turning the great ship America around? Who will forge a new path of wisdom and conservation, compassion and diplomacy, respect and prosperity for all?
The Green Party has been a voice for justice, the environment, peace and democracy and for the people. I was honored that Michigan’s delegation asked me to carry the message “Water is Life!” and “Water is a Human Right” to their national presidential convention. David Cobb, the elected Green Party presidential candidate, has vowed that he will work against the taking and diminishment of our water for profit.
And yes, I am just a drain commissioner, but my voice and my work count as much as the pedigreed and privileged. My work is most definitely not a “huge joke.” It is what democracy is all about.

JoAnn Bier Beemon
Charlevoix County

Real patriots
ask questions
It is the duty, responsibility, and obligation of every American who considers themselves any kind of a patriot to ask tough questions of their elected leaders, even in times of tension such as this. Doing so serves several vital functions:
- It reminds our elected officials that the people they have to thank for their jobs are paying attention to them and are aware of what they are up to.
- It reminds our elected officials just who they are ultimately accountable to - US, the citizens (and registered voters) of America. It is US who will decide who among them will last past November. If this means they need a figurative pitchfork in the butt to remind them of this fact, then so be it.
- It serves to remind those who live under totalitarian regimes that there is something better than the yoke they live under. It reminds them that the actions and policies of their leaders CAN be called into question and put under the light of public scrutiny and debate. It will reinforce this concept: “If the citizens in America can question their leaders, why can’t we question ours?”
If you ask no questions and simply accept what they hand you, then you are ripe for being on the receiving end of deceit and tyranny. As the old saying goes: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll go for anything.”

Karl Kitchen • Suttons Bay


 
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