I must admit that my curiosity got the better of me on Saturday, January 18. I made a solemn vow to myself not to venture anywhere near downtown at noon because of the scheduled peace march and had every intention of sticking to that vow. Unfortunately, demonstrations by the hopelessly naïve tend to draw me like a moth to a flame and I was unable to stop myself from stumbling, zombie-like, to the center of town.
What I noticed as I passed the staging area at Central School was the preponderance of late-model vans and SUVs parked there, obviously used to transport the sensitive types in from the suburbs or, in some cases, from only a few blocks away. There appears to be no need to suffer any discomfort while expressing opposition to an impending war for oil.
Upon arrival at Mitchell Street, I found a middling crowd of well-fed and comfortably clad people marching solemnly, some carrying signs (Trans End War?). Unlike their brethren in Washington and San Francisco, they were remarkably well behaved and well groomed even as they disrupted traffic near Bentleys and headed off in various directions to spread their heartfelt message of peace and love.
As I watched this sad but comic display of 1960s pacifism, I couldnt help reflecting on the poor victims of 9/11 and what they must think as they look down upon these misguided individuals. At the end of the day, the marchers returned to their starting point, listened to a few smugly superior harangues, climbed into their luxury vehicles and returned to their warm and comfortable homes (in all probability heated by gas).
I am quite sure that Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein would find much satisfaction in the activities of these good folks.
Bill Mayer, USN (Ret) Petoskey
War is not inevitable
I was at the anti-war protest in Washington DC, on January 18th. I was so happy to be a part of it; so lucky to be a part of it. There were so many people there who all felt the same way that I did, and that was the best part.
It‘s so sad, to be here in Traverse City, where people only watch the media and take our president‘s word about the war instead of educating themselves about something that will affect our country very much. And thinking, “Well there is nothing I can do about it. It‘s inevitable.“ War is not inevitable.
In Traverse City, we think that a war in far-away Iraq won‘t really affect us. But it will, and already does. Our brothers, sons, fathers, friends will die for the greed of our government. We are so lucky to have what we do, fresh-water lakes, beautiful trees, a hospital. We get to choose how our lives are led. We don‘t have to spend days in hospitals where our children are starving, or dying of things that can easily treated here. If you know anything about Iraq, it‘s that they have nothing.
I am so disgusted by our government, and by the uninformed people around me. Before you dismiss me as a teenager who hasn‘t lived in the real world, or who hasn‘t opened her eyes, educate yourself on what our country is doing. Then maybe you will understand why terrorism happens -- WAR BREEDS TERRORISM.
I have opened my eyes, my heart, and my mind. I hope you will do the same. So next time you hear something on the news, or read a headline in our newspaper, you‘ll already know what the truth is. It‘s time to start paying attention to the problems of the world, instead of a judge who smoked a joint, and an electric power pole. And start making a difference.
Ruthy Posluszny Traverse City
Ruminating on the rubble
The coverage of the Waters Township Big Rock Clean Rubble meeting was interesting and intriguing. The expert from U of M, advocating for the safety of the Clean Rubble said two things that warrant inquiry.
1. She said the radioactivity in the Clean Rubble was only 1%. It was not clear what that meant. Did she mean 1% of the 85 million pounds of debris was somewhat radioactive? On the ridiculous end, if 1% of 85 million pounds of clean rubble was plutonium, that would be a very big problem if it was not isolated from the water table.
2. She said she was totally comfortable and would let her dogs play on the debris. Does she have children?
And... What is the current definition of what Clean rubble is? Is this similar to the old Below regulatory concern? This landfill is not intended to isolate waste from the environment.
I will try to find the answers.
Jo Anne Beemon via email
Video gamester responds
When I first picked up your Shape Up For 2003 issue, and read your resolutions cover, I was surprised to seeno more video games listed among known avenues to physical fitness. As with most leisure activities, video games require very little physical activity but this hardly gives reason to avoid them altogether if you wish to get fit. In fact, I find that compared to other non-physical recreation, like watching television, I am less likely to do unhealthy snacking because my hands are constantly occupied. Combine this with the fact that playing games is a great stress reducer, I see no health reason for not playing a little Playstation.
Robert Ordiway TC