Your article entitled Xed Out recalls a controversy that surfaced
several years ago regarding the National Endowment for the Arts and
its attempt to withhold funds from some grant applicants.
Near the crux of both controversies is the definition of censorship.
That word refers to the prohibition of the direct and open expression
of ideas and information. To the best of my knowledge, no new
prohibitions have been installed here, and the films that were denied
public support in Michigan and elsewhere may still be made in those
same places, privately, with alternative funding, and without public
Simply witholding support, which is the right of any funding entity,
does not constitute censorship.
The author of the article is welcome to express his disapproval of the
states film funding process and its result, but his reference to the
stink of censorship is both innacurate and inflammatory. The
applicants who were denied public support were not censored by the
state. It merely refused to offer them financial benefits.
Harvey Gordon Glen Arbor
Time on their side
So readers can better understand why we cannot win a war in
Afghanistan, lets turn the coin to another side. If the USA were a
Christian nation (which it is not) we would have the problem of which
Christianity ruled? Evangelicals? Catholics? One of the over 100
church groups here in the Copper Country? And if they were militant,
would we have a situation like Northern Ireland where one Christian
group murders the other? Now take it another step:
This hypothetical Christian nation is attacked by Moslems who believe
that our alcoholic, depraved, pornographic, immoral culture must be
reformed from the outside along with imposing Orthodox Sharia law.
Even if the invaders had superior arms and killer drones, Americans
would fight by whatever means to throw the invaders out. We would
never surrender to that foreign culture.
So why would the Taliban? Taliban means students of the Qhoran who
happen to use violence and coercion to enforce their concept of
Shariah law. In Saudi Arabia they have the religious police, stoning
and beheading of adulterers. In Israel the Haredi, the so-called
black hat Jews refused to let their girls go to school with
Ashkenazis or Sephardics because those are not Jewish enough.
Religious intolerance comes in all stripes and colors.
Add to the Afghan definition the tradition and culture of revenge.
Kill a civilian and you recruit a dozen avengers who will do anything
in their power to settle the score against the invader. Would we do
the same in their circumstance? As the Taliban say, The Americans
have the watches, but we have the time. As soon as we leave, they
will be back.
As long as a $10 IED can destroy a $1 million armored vehicle, the
economics are on their side.
Harley Sachs Houghton
A response to Jim Carruthers comment in the July 12 article, Natural
Gas. Mr. Carruthers stated in reference to the local fight against
biomass, A handful of environmentalists are leading our community
astray with misinformation, which is most damaging.
Its too easy to spit out such minimizing and fear-breeding blanket
terminology, i.e. handful environmentalists, astray,
misinformation and damaging without any facts or specifics. Again
Mr. Carruthers, I challenge you to specify to whom you are referring,
state what misinformation and the exact damage it has caused. These
scare tactics are getting tiresome and negate the intelligence of our
community. This is why Traverse City Light & Power (TCLP) falls short.
I dont know who these environmentalists are; Im just a local TC
citizen who read the current scientific studies (those which have no
financial or political ties to biomass) and decided against it. I made
an informed decision all by myself. Many other Average Joes did the
same thing and formed a group specifically to stop biomass in our
area, our state, and nationally (MCE3 or Michigan Citizens for
Energy, the Economy, and Environment).
Other non-environmentalists, such as our local physicians, have
organized against biomass. Lastly, lets mention the 1,000-plus TC
residents (whom Im pretty sure are not environmentalists) who
endorsed both biomass petitions and want to rally against the issue in
November. What do you have against environmentalists anyway?
The biomass fight is far from over. It goes beyond TCLPs boundaries.
It includes not only the burning of trees, but tires, garbage and all
things that fall under the biomass umbrella. So, dont get too
For more damaging misinformation visit MCE3.org and
Valorie Gibbs TC
(TCLP voted to abandon pursuing biomass at last weeks board meeting,
citing public disapproval of the proposed plant. - ed.)
An article in last weeks Express erroneously stated that Frankfort
policemen entered the home of Elaine Vanderberg without a search
warrant. It was, in fact, a different law enforcement agency.