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...

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Letters

- July 26th, 2010
Not censorship
Your article entitled “X’ed 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
impediment.
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
state’s 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, let’s 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

Scare tactics
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.”
It’s 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 don’t know who these “environmentalists” are; I’m 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, let’s mention the 1,000-plus TC
residents (whom I’m 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 TCLP’s boundaries.
It includes not only the burning of trees, but tires, garbage and all
things that fall under the biomass umbrella. So, don’t get too
comfortable.
For more “damaging misinformation” visit MCE3.org and
www.energyjustice.net/biomass/.

Valorie Gibbs • TC

(TCLP voted to abandon pursuing biomass at last week’s board meeting,
citing public disapproval of the proposed plant. - ed.)

Correction
An article in last week’s 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.

 
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