Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Anti-government militias... then & now

Robert Downes - April 5th, 2010
Perhaps Charles Poole’s biggest “crime” was that he was an employee of
the federal government.
Poole was a 32-year-old employee of the Works Progress Administration,
an agency set up by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide jobs
for millions of unemployed Americans during the Great Depression.
One night in May, 1936, Poole was lured to a location in Dearborn by
members of a violent nightshirt group called the Black
Legion. He had been told that he was needed to round out a sandlot
baseball team as a pretext for his torture and murder.
After a round of drinks, members of the Black Legion realized that
they had forgotten to bring a rope along to hang Charles, so their
ringleader pumped five slugs into his body. The pretext for his murder
was that he was a wife-beater, something his widow denied at the
subsequent trial.
The Black Legion was a militia-style group founded in Detroit in 1933.
Some said it was the particularly vicious enforcement wing of the Ku
Klux Klan, which was still semi-respectable at the time. The group had
an estimated 20,000-30,000 members in Michigan. According to a 1936
Time magazine article, the group was made up mostly of “Southern
hillbillies” who came north to seek jobs in auto factories. Members of
the Black Legion vowed to uphold “Protestantism, Americanism and
Here’s what Time had to say about the group in its June, 1936 story:

“No man could apply for membership, but if sponsored by friends, was
enticed to a meeting. There, with a revolver at his heart, he was
permitted to declare his willingness to “be torn limb from limb and
scattered to the carrion” if he betrayed a word of society secrets.
After swearing to support God and the Constitution, to give his all in
any ‘war’ against Catholics, Jews, Negroes, aliens and Communists, he
paid $7 for a robe, 10¢ monthly dues, bought himself a gun, became a
member in good standing.”

They also hated government employees and labor organizers, including the U.A.W.
Sound familiar? Change a few words and you’ve got much the same
scenario as that of the nine members of the Hutaree Christian militia
group arrested and charged last week in a plot to kill Michigan police
You’ve probably heard of Hutaree’s alleged plan to kill an
unsuspecting police officer and then bomb the funeral in the hope of
sparking a war against the federal government. But the group also
reportedly considered killing the family members of cops. Here are the
details from the indictment filed in U.S. District Court:

“Possible acts which were discussed included killing a member of law
enforcement after a traffic stop, killing a member of law enforcement
and his or her family at home, killing a member of law enforcement in
rural communities, luring a member of law enforcement into a false 911
emergency call and then killing him or her, and killing a member of
law enforcement and then attacking the funeral procession motorcade
with weapons of mass destruction.”

According to the federal indictment, Hutaree militia members thought
that planting an IED bomb alongside a funeral procession or shooting
up the ceremony would “intimidate and demoralize“ the cops and rally
regular Americans against the “Antichrist.”
Talk about kicking up a hornet’s nest. More likely, these guys would
have been used for some well-justified target practice.
The Hutaree bust demonstrates that some Americans have become so
unhinged by their racist fears of the Obama administration that
they‘ve become kissing cousins with the likes of Charles Manson, who
hoped to launch a race war called “Helter Skelter” by luring young
people into his violent Family.
And the story of Charles Poole offers proof that violent,
anti-government kooks have always been with us. In fact, since the
earliest days of the United States we‘ve always had militias in our
country in one form or another, made up of angry, impotent people and
religious fanatics who feel entirely justified to pursue violent ends
rather than going through the democratic process of the ballot box and
the law.
But these groups can also be stopped. The Black Legion hatched plans
to pump cyanide gas into synagogues in Detroit and to inject typhoid
germs into milk and cheese to deliver to blacks, Catholics and Jews in
various neighborhoods. But the organization fell apart in the face of
public outrage over the death of Charles Poole.
It’s said that black robes were found in trash cans all over Detroit
the day after Poole‘s body was found and the evils of the Black Legion
were brought to light. Let’s hope the same is true of our modern-day
militia members in the aftermath of the Hutaree trial. The alternative
is an America torn apart by roadside bombs, cop killings and shopping
mall attacks, no different than what goes on with the religious
fanatics of the Mideast.

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