Occasionally -- know thy enemy and all -- I tune in to Rush Limbaugh. I was particularly interested in what his spin might be on the recent peace demonstrations. After all, the “Talent on Loan From God“ has the proper view on everything, and I was not surprised to hear him say that those calling for no war are “anti-Americans“ and “fascists“.
Fascism is defined as “a system of govemment that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.“ Now who does that really sound like?
I have a position dealing with the public, and very few of the people I talk to are for another oil war. So, using Mr. L.‘s logic, I am apparently surrounded by fascist anti-Americans, yet, somehow, they don‘t worry me as much as some others do.
However, improper name-calling and hate-mongering by those like Rush is neither mature nor nice. The odds of me reading the dictionary to the Great (in the sense of girth) One on the air seem pretty small, so I‘ve been calling businesses which advertise on his show to tell them I‘m one of the millions of people insulted by Rush and I, for one, will not spend my hard earned dollars on those who support his program. Results have varied from polite brush-offs (“The ad agency did it“) to promises of a letter from consumer affairs. Corporate America is usually pretty nervous about negative publicity.
If every non-fascist in radioland made a few calls, Rush would go away. History shows people tend to tire of the ugly and oppressive. The Berlin Wall was pretty big, but it came down. The same can be said about Rush -- he‘s pretty big right now, but he too can fall.
Bob VanderLewn Manistee
Cruelty to horses
Please do not take Premarin. Please do not pay for cruelty. Tell your daughters, your mothers, your sisters, your aunts, and your friends.“ -- Bea Arthur
This year, approximately 75,000 mares throughout North Dakota and Canada will be impregnated and confined to cramped stalls so their estrogen-rich urine can be collected. Most of the foals will be killed before their first birthday. To produce Premarin, pregnant mares are tethered to the front of stalls measuring just 3 1/2 to 5 feet wide and 8 feet long. For six months, while their bodies are producing the most estrogen, these mares are unable to take more than a step or two in any direction, turn around, or even lie down comfortably.
Lameness often develops. Mares are forced to wear cumbersome rubber urine-collection bags, which chafe their legs and cause sores, 24 hours a day to collect their urine. They are also denied free access to water so that their urine will yield more concentrated estrogens. This can lead to renal and liver problems and cause the mares to struggle and injure themselves during water-distribution times to get to the water they so desperately crave. So that they can be put right back into production the next winter, the mares are re-impregnated within days of giving birth.
A few months after giving birth, they are separated from their foals and put back on the “pee line.“ Fertile mares may go through this same grueling cycle year after year.
When the mares become old, infertile, or crippled, they are auctioned off for slaughter.
George Sarkisian Farmington Hills
Unbelieveable jail plan
It is unbelievable that the past Leelanau County Commissioners had a groundbreaking ceremony in the dead of winter for a jail at a site where soil tests have been inconclusive. Not only is it eight miles from the courthouse, but site acreage far exceeds need. However, one consolation is that the other 36 acres will make an excellent habitat for deer, raccoons, and skunks at taxpayer‘s expense.
Whatever happened to the 900 petition signatures requesting the board give the people a complete plan, cost, and vote? The board never responded which is typical of government officials at all levels. This board had their own agenda with government offices at three different locations and could care less about taxpayers who will have to come up with the $25 million construction dollars.
Wexford voters turned down mileage for a jail miles from the courthouse. Every jail in the area now has excess beds, so who will use the 72 beds? The governor has the authority to direct excess space to be used to house prison inmates to preclude prison expansion. If this county proceeds, it will find itself strapped just like most states and local governments are today because of lost revenue.
Well over a million dollars has already been spent since 1989 on studies, legal fees and two parcels of questionable land without so much as a plan or vote. But, the groundbreaking ceremony had to be held to cement the last board action before the new seven-member board took office.
I certainly hope that the new board will resurrect the 900 signature petition and take the requested action. There is no reason why the taxpayers of Leelanau County should be burdened with an unbelievable expenditure to satisfy the interest of a few commissioners.
It is in the best interest of every voter, taxpayer, and citizen of Leelanau to have county facilities constructed at the most accessible location for all, at an acceptable cost and be most efficient and time saving operation to serve everyone at the lowest annual cost.
Wanda Marie Lake, RN Jackson
Bush‘s tax plan
When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership. The economic growth package he recently proposed takes us in the right direction by accelerating the successful tax cuts of 2001, providing marriage penalty relief, and providing incentives for individuals and small businesses to save and invest.
Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking the president‘s plan, the proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, and especially the middle class. This year alone, 92 million taxpayers will receive an immediate tax cut averaging $1,083 - and 46 million married couples will get back an average of $1,714. That‘s not pocket change for a family struggling through uncertain economic times. This plan gets people back to work and helps every sector of our economy.
Joshua Handell Saginaw