Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · The enemy within
. . . .

The enemy within

Stephen Tuttle - January 25th, 2010
The Enemy Within
Let’s review, shall we?
Slightly more than a year into Barack Obama’s presidency it is quite clear
all the problems we now face are his fault because he is a radical
left-wing ultra-liberal socialist Democrat who has surrounded himself with
a Chicago mafia of incompetent czars hell-bent on destroying our
Constitution and our country. And he probably isn’t even an American
citizen and might be a Muslim terrorist. Not to mention all of his liberal
pals.
Wait a minute... that’s not exactly right.
Slightly more than a year into Barack Obama’s presidency it is quite clear
all the problems we now face are the fault of George W. Bush because he is
a radical right-wing ultra conservative who surrounded himself with a
jack-booted neo-con Mafia of incompetent ideologues hell-bent on
destroying our Constitution and our country. And he was probably an
alcoholic and cocaine addict who faked his way out of the military. Not to
mention all of his conservative pals.
No, that’s not quite right, either.
In fact, neither scenario is even remotely close to reality. But that’s
what the political landscape has become – a conspiracy of ignorance and
invective in which no problems get solved because everyone is too busy
calling each other names. The stridency on every side of every issue has
become ever more infantile. We have officially reached the Am Not – Are
Too Age of American politics. Our citizenry has developed eyes that don’t
see, ears that don’t hear and brains that don’t work. We’ve jumped down
the rabbit hole and pulled the dirt in after us.
The fact is it was Republicans, led by Phil Gramm, who started
de-regulating the banks and investment houses. It was Democrats who
insisted we provide mortgages to folks who couldn’t really afford them.
The result was adjustable rate mortgages provided to people who could not
pay that were then bundled into securities known as derivatives and sold
as investments. A bipartisan effort that crashed the housing market and
collapsed the banks and investment houses.
It was Republicans who used the Big Lie of weapons of mass destruction
(WMD) to conjure up an illegitimate war and Democrat lemmings who voted
for both the war in Iraq and the onerous intrusions into Constitutional
protections inherent in the Patriot Act. The result has been two wars, a
death toll exceeding 6,000 Americans, with nearly 35,000 wounded -- many
grievously -- and a Bill of Rights in shambles. A bipartisan effort that
led to the Wars That Never End and a Constitution that no longer protects.
It was Republicans who were gung-ho to outsource jobs overseas to help
their big business friends. And Democrats who supported unsustainable
contracts in several industries to help their big labor friends. The
result was manufacturing jobs that disappeared by the millions and labor
unions in tatters. A bipartisan effort that has turned us into a nation
that exports waste and imports foreign-made goods we can’t afford because
our economy is crippled.
Are you starting to get the picture?
Partisans on both sides now search desperately for issues that solve no
problems but divert our already limited attention. There is no real
debate about anything. The idea is to find something that will scare or
enrage us, then find someone from the other party to blame.
We could accept this, as we have for decades, if it was the exception.
But intransigent incompetence is now the rule. You’ve likely heard of the
U.S. Senate needing 60 votes to pass legislation. There is no law that
requires 60 votes – a simple majority of 51 is sufficient. Not anymore.
All significant legislation is now threatened by filibuster (think Jimmy
Stewart in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” but with ignoble purpose) and it
takes 60 votes to achieve cloture, the end of a filibuster so a vote can
be taken. The Republicans needed 60 votes when they were in power because
the Democrats wanted to stop everything in its tracks and the Democrats
now need 60 votes because the Republicans are engaged in the same
shameless cause.
It’s enough to make you wish you were Moe, you had a hammer, and the
politicians in Washington were all Larry and Curly. Boink!
What is most discouraging is we absolutely know the root cause of this
problem. It isn’t Rush Limbaugh and it isn’t Sarah Palin. It isn’t the
liberal pundits or columnists. It isn’t even our self-appointed national
churl, Dick Cheney. We look at the source of this farce every morning in
the mirror. We elect these folks and then re-elect them over and over.
Instead of demanding they listen to us, we keep listening to them.
Instead of demanding solutions, we keep nodding at their accusations.
To steal shamelessly from Walt Kelly, we have met the enemy and he is us.
What the hell is wrong with us?

Political consultant Stephen Tuttle has advised both Republican and
Democrat candidates for office. He formerly wrote for the Arizona
Republic.







 
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