Letters

Letters 08-29-2016

Religious Bigotry President Obama has been roundly criticized for his apparent unwillingness to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” His critics seem to suggest that through the mere use of that terminology, the defeat of ISIS would be assured...

TC DDA: Focus On Your Mission What on earth is the Traverse City DDA thinking? Purchasing land around (not within) its TIF boundaries and then offering it at a discount to developers? That is not its mission. Sadly enough, it is already falling down on the job regarding what is its mission. Crosswalks are deteriorating all around downtown, trees aren’t trimmed, sidewalks are uneven. Why can’t the DDA do a better job of maintaining what it already has? And still no public restrooms downtown, despite all the tax dollars captured since 1997. What a joke...

European-Americans Are Boring “20 Fascinating People” in northern Michigan -- and every single one is European-American? Sorry, but this is journalistically incorrect. It’s easy for editors to assign and reporters to write stories about people who are already within their personal and professional networks. It’s harder to dig up stuff about people you don’t know and have never met. Harder is better...

Be Aware Of Lawsuit While most non-Indians were sleep walking, local Odawa leaders filed a lawsuit seeking to potentially have most of Emmet County and part of Charlevoix County declared within their reservation and thus under their jurisdiction. This assertion of jurisdiction is embedded in their recently constructed constitution as documentation of their intent...

More Parking Headaches I have another comment to make about downtown TC parking following Pat Sullivan’s recent article. My hubby and I parked in a handicap spot (with a meter) behind Mackinaw Brew Pub for lunch. The handicap spot happens to be 8-10 spaces away from the payment center. Now isn’t that interesting...

Demand Change At Women’s Resource Center Change is needed for the Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area (WRCGT). As Patrick Sullivan pointed out in his article, former employees and supporters don’t like the direction WRCGT has taken. As former employees, we are downright terrified at the direction Juliette Schultz and Ralph Soffredine have led the organization...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Coming Together
. . . .

Coming Together

Robert Downes - February 2nd, 2009
Talk about bad timing.
When Rush Limbaugh states his wish that President Barack Obama’s policies fail, he might as well desire that millions of Americans be laid off. Of course rich talk-show hosts are unlikely to experience the anguish of unemployment, but it seems astonishing that anyone could hope for more suffering by his countrymen.
Is Limbaugh also hoping that Obama is a failure as Commander-in-Chief, leading to unnecessary deaths of our troops? If Rush really feels this way, he must be enjoying attempts to sabotage bi-partisan efforts by our lawmakers that might relieve the pain of Americans unemployed and not covered by health insurance.
No one, including Obama and Limbaugh, knows for sure what, if anything, the government can do to fix the economy. Yet, we only need to flash back a couple of generations to discover the short-term solution for helping Americans who are hurting financially.
During the 1930s, the Great Depression ravaged the United States and global economy far beyond what we are currently experiencing. By the peak of the Depression, 11,000 of the 25,000 banks in the United States had failed. 25 percent of Americans were unemployed compared to less than 10 percent unable to find work today. The average household income dropped by 40 percent between 1929 and 1932.
Still, the impact of such economic crises goes far beyond a stack of dire statistics. Many of us recall or have relatives who have strong memories of surviving the Great Depression era.
During that time, my dad’s family took in two children left homeless by the sudden death of a co-worker. My grandparents didn’t think twice about raising these young children and opening their home to others in need.
My mother is old enough to remember that her grandparents lost all of their life savings by bank failure during that period. Not long afterward her grandfather died, forcing his wife (and daughter) to move in with another family as a full-time housekeeper. A little later, my mother’s parents took in her recently divorced uncle who was recuperating from a leg being amputated. While he recovered, the six other family members slept in the home’s only other bedroom.
Bottom line - there was no government safety net for financially distressed families during the Great Depression. There were stimulus programs that helped put people back to work over a period of years, but in the interim most people pooled their resources to help each other survive until the good times returned.
Today, we can’t expect politicians to bail us out of our financial problems. Even the president stated that government is not the ultimate answer. He implored us in front of the largest gathering in Washington D.C. history that “we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin the work of remaking America.”
Immediately after September 11, 2001, virtually everyone stood behind our president, George W. Bush, in unity. The current economic crisis, too, is not a time for divisiveness or to wish failure on anyone.
The moment has come, again, to pull together as Americans. Sometimes we forget that life isn’t all about money and possessions - which come and go. I believe my mother when she tells me, “People are the important thing.”
 
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