The Supreme Court issued a decision this week that may be the single
most dangerous blow to democracy ever conceived. By granting
individual rights to corporations they have undermined the very
premise our country was founded upon.
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were created to protect
individual rights from being trampled by rich and powerful groups like
the court of King George III. By granting individual rights to
corporations the Supreme Court is creating openings for a new set of
royals to arise.
Incorporation was created to allow individuals to shield themselves
from the dangers of being in business. This allowed business and
industry to grow and prosper in ways it might otherwise not have done.
Corporations diffuse risk among many individuals, making the risks
easier to face for anyone growing a business. Instead of doing
business as a sole proprietor (read that as individual), one can
incorporate and gain a certain amount of protection not afforded
individuals in business.
Special rights applying only to corporations come with its
establishment. So, you create a corporation so as not to function as
Now the Supreme Court says corporations are individuals. I defy
anyone on the Supreme Court to produce any individual whose rights had
been infringed upon by the ruling that was overturned. Placing
restrictions upon a corporation in no way restricts the rights of the
individuals who exist under the umbrella of incorporation.
By granting individual rights to corporations the Supreme Court has,
in effect, created super persons that have not only individual rights
but a second layer of corporate individual rights.
If a corporation breaks the law is it now possible to hold the entire
corporation at fault? Should every share holder be completely
responsible for corporate behavior? If not then how can they have
rights separate from, but equal to, an individuals own rights? And,
as it has been pointed out by many other people this week, how are we
to know with any certainty who is behind the veil of the corporate
structure? We cannot.
We should all be very afraid for our democracy at this moment in time
and I believe there should be a massive outcry from the people to
remove from office the persons who have visited this plague upon our
house. Impeach them now!
J. Grant Mesick
Go slow on biomass
The Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) would like
to praise Traverse City Light & Power (TCLP) for their goal to use 30%
renewable energy by the year 2020. This is an ambitious and worthy
goal that should be supported by the entire Grand Traverse region. The
question is... how should this goal be achieved?
NMEAC also praises TCLP for its willingness to hold two public forums
on February 25 and February 27. It is hoped these forums will discuss
all forms of renewable energy including the pros and cons of building
biomass plants in or near Traverse City. Let the people of the city
and region freely express their concerns and ideas and help decide
which forms of renewable energy are the best fit for Traverse City.
In recent weeks, many concerns about building biomass plants have been
expressed. Let those concerns have a full airing at the upcoming
forums. Some have even suggested possible alternatives to biomass and
these should be given serious consideration.
It is also important for TCLP to further explore energy conservation
to help achieve its goals as well as work with the Grand Vision Energy
Group. There may be additional ways to reduce our energy use and lower
demand for electricity over the next three to five years.
Please slow down any final decisions on biomass plants until the
community can discuss all of the alternatives at these open forums
scheduled for late February.
Greg Reisig, Chair NMEAC
Digital threat to jobs
Concerning your column, The Great Job Eater, all I can say to you is
Are we willing to pay a little more out of our own tight pockets to
save jobs here in the U.S.? First it was manufacturing (its cheaper
made overseas!), now its our service industries (its cheaper
All so we can have a few more toys. If we dont change our ways, we
wont have ANY toys to play with; we will have been bought and paid
for by another country, and owned by them.
To a very large degree, the power is in our hands, not the
governments. Obama can give tax incentives left and right to small
businesses, etc., but if we refuse to support them, we run the risk of
losing our freedoms we hold dear and welcome the hangmans noose.
Cecilia Droz Lake Ann
Looking for leaders
Considering that one family has left Michigan every 12 minutes in
recent years, you would think politicians in Lansing would wake up and
realize that partisan gamesmanship will not turn around our great
Michigan cannot afford -- literally and figuratively -- to continue
waving goodbye to her future.
With 280,000 jobs lost in 2009 and 22,000 students expected to leave
elementary and secondary schools for a brighter future in another
state this year, the challenges may be daunting, but they arent
We have the workers, agriculture and entrepreneurs, the
innovation-ready universities, and abundant natural resources to
overcome the Lost Decade and remake this state for the 21st century.
All that is missing is the political leadership to move Michigan forward.
Our great state deserves leaders willing to put Michigan first and
work across the aisle in the tradition of former governors Romney and
Dennis Lennox Drain Commissioner, County of Cheboygan
War is no solution
President Obama has asked Congress for an additional $33 billion on
top of $708 billion for the Defense Department to fight the wars in
Iraq and Afghanistan. This $33 billion will mostly go to expand the
war in Afghanistan and Pakistan along with Predator and Reaper drone
These pilotless drones are used for surveillance and attack missions.
Over 1,000 civilians have been killed in these attacks and the drones
terrify women and children by their presence.
As we watch the heroic actions of Americans and our service personnel
in Haiti, and see the gratitude and respect for their actions around
the world. I am reminded of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hatred
cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.
War does not work to bring peace and democracy. We must be a force
for justice and peace around the world if we are to have peace and
security in America.
Jo Anne Beemon Antrim County
To clarify the article on Shirley Vinson last week, the Child
Protective Services in Utah conducted an investigation of Vinson
before moving to terminate her parental rights of her toddler daughter
and newborn baby boy. CPS had concerns about Vinsons ability to
parent, due to her anger problems, and because Vinson exposed her
daughter to scenes of domestic violence. The CPS also alleged that
Vinson, while homeless, stayed with strangers, who had alcohol and
drug problems. Vinson voluntarily gave up her rights.