Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

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Really rich Americans for prosperity

Stephen Tuttle - August 6th, 2010
Really Rich Americans for Prosperity
We are now being bombarded by anti-government commercials sponsored by
something called Americans for Prosperity. The idea of these spots is
that we little guys are being screwed, squeezed and destroyed by
government excesses. They would have you believe Americans for
Prosperity is some kind of grassroots organization willing to rise up
and smite the evil government.
In fact, Americans for Prosperity is a front group funded primarily by
Charles and David Koch.
The Koch brothers are not well known by design, preferring to dance in
the shadows rather than come out and play in the light. They own 84%
of Koch Industries, the second largest privately held conglomerate in
the country. Koch Industries is not exactly one of the little guys
about whom they feign such concern. Their holdings include mining
(Koch Minerals), oil refining equipment (Koch Engineering), oil
exploration and production (Koch Petroleum Group), petroleum-based
chemicals (Koch Fertilizer and Flint Hill Resources), oil and natural
gas pipelines (Koch Pipeline), textiles and polymer-based fibers
(Invista), lumbering and paper products (Georgia-Pacific), cattle and
trophy hunting (Matador Ranching Company) and their own securities and
investment business. They have more than 70,000 employees in nearly
60 countries.
Together, the Koch brothers are richer than everyone in the country
except Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
Their disdain for regulation manifests itself in the long and
impressive list of environmental and regulatory violations and
accompanying fines levied against their various enterprises. Their
most famous violation occurred in Lively, Texas, in the ‘90s when a
leaking natural gas pipeline exploded, incinerating two men in a
pick-up who had the misfortune of driving into the leak.
Koch Industries was started in 1940 by the late Fred Koch, who also
co-founded the John Birch Society. The late Mr. Koch had an
interesting take on what the United States should be. Aside from his
virulent anti-communist rants, Mr. Koch didn’t much like any
government that either regulated his businesses or took any of his
money in taxes. In 1980 he ran as the vice presidential candidate on
the Libertarian ticket (he founded the U.S. Libertarian Party). Among
other bits of extremism, he called for the abolition of Social
Security, nearly all federal regulatory agencies, the F.B.I, the
C.I.A. and all public schools.
His sons are apples that haven’t fallen far from the tree.
Their Koch Family Foundation funds or has funded many of the groups
now denying climate change science (they’ve funneled almost $50
million to these groups since 1997), groups attempting to debunk the
dangers of second-hand smoke, much of the so-called tea party
movement, the Cato Institute, the Republican Governor’s Conference and
many libertarian causes. They’ve spent almost $40 million lobbying
for the fossil fuels industry in the last dozen years.
But it’s Americans for Prosperity that keeps cropping up on our
television sets with its forlorn small business owner wondering how
she’s going to tell her employees they’re going to be laid off because
she has to provide them health insurance.
(Ironically, despite spending additional millions attempting to defeat
the healthcare reform legislation, they were among the first companies
to apply for federal money to supplement healthcare costs for workers
over 55 not yet eligible for Medicare.)
To be fair, the Brothers Koch are entitled to their inheritance from
daddy, are entitled to their far-flung business enterprises and are
entitled to their political perspectives. None of it is illegal.
The problem is the deception of their political activity, couching
their true intent behind populist front groups. We are entitled to
know they are the money behind Americans for Prosperity and their
efforts have nothing to do with protecting small or medium-sized
businesses. It’s a charade.
The Koch brothers do not travel this road alone. Rupert Murdoch, who
owns the Fox television networks among his far-flung holdings, is a
kindred spirit to the Kochs. But Murdoch at least lets us know what
he’s financing so we can make an honest judgment about the efficacy of
his efforts. On the liberal side, George Soros has been more than
generous with his checkbook. But Soros can hardly be pulled out of
the spotlight so eager is he to take credit for his largesse.
The Koch brothers are in a class by themselves when it comes to
financing their political proclivities while hiding in the darkness.
There is no law, of course, preventing them from camouflaging their
efforts in the name of anything. But we view their efforts through
more jaundiced eyes when we know Americans for Prosperity is not a
legitimate grassroots effort aimed at helping Ms. Small Business Owner
but an attempt by extraordinarily rich, huge business owners to make
the government butt out of their massive corporate enterprises and let
them make their billions without paying those annoying taxes.
It is not unreasonable for us to ask the Koch brothers to be up front
about their real intentions. Just tell us the truth about who you are
and what you want. If you’re convinced yours is the right path for
America then don’t hide behind the sham of cutely named front groups
that have almost nothing to do with your real intent. Step up, step
out and let’s have the debate in the daylight.

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