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 7/22/04
. . . .

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

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5