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 · Letters · Letters 9/4/03
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Letters 9/4/03

Various - September 4th, 2003
Lost hikers

I was surprised by your July 31, 2003 response to Gerry Harsch’s point-by-point correction of the MLUI‘s position on the Hartman-Hammond Connection project. You state hundreds of residents who‘ve walked along the river found the proposed bridge 0.5 mile south of South Airport Road. A mile is 5,280’ whether you walk or drive. If you trust your vehicle’s odometer, check the distance next time you cross South Airport Road on Cass Road when you get to Hartman Road. If you travel LaFranier or Garfield Road, check the distance to Hammond Road. If it’s not showing 1.25 miles, you had better get the odometer fixed because all the land surveys show the distance to be 6,600 feet, not 2,600 feet. I would say you and Thayer are about a mile off on your “facts“.
The “Smart Roads“ option publicly discussed by the MLU is readily available. This literature proposes closing driveways, improving BATA, limiting sewers and water service extensions, building roundabouts and sidewalks. Smart Roads doesn’t state that additional lanes will be added to Cass, Keystone and Beitner Roads – the roads they propose all the traffic south of South Airport Road use for the next 20 years. A typical two-lane road can safely and conveniently handle about 12,000 cars a day. So how are these existing two lane road going to handle the estimated 30,000 cars a day coming off South Airport Road onto Hartman-Hammond 20 years from now?
The old saying goes, “You can fool some of the people, some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people, all of the time“? The last public survey in our county found that 61% of the residents supported the Hartman Hammond Connection. When told there was opposition, 6% dropped their support. Is this 6% the hundreds of area residents that have found a bridge crossing at 0.5 mile from South Airport Road?

Michael Dillenbeck • Manager, Grand Traverse County Road Commission

Attention gay people

Letter to T.C. citizens,gay and/or otherwise inclined. You oughta‘ know, but apparently many of you don‘t. This is a new era in American culture, and you can own your sexuality. You don‘t have to hide anymore. You no longer need two
personalities; one for your friends and another for your co-workers. You no
longer need to perpetuate cultural stereotypes.
When you hide who you are, you‘re only empowering the rednecks, and the “Christian“ right. As for the redneck, yes, the potential threat of violence is always there, but know this, it‘s rooted in their own confused sexuality.
I‘ve mostly had straight male friends -- guys who were comfortable in their own skin -- me being gay? It was a non-issue. As for the Christian right, well, due to the sheer economic power of the gay community, they don‘t have a chance (in their own private hell) of pushing anybody back in the closet. Traverse City residents need to realize this. If all the local gay business owners and investors took to
the hills, this town would evaporate.
Also people on average just don‘t care anymore whether you‘re “straight“ or “gay.“ It‘s irrelevent. So own who you are, and own your economic power; because in a town like this, it‘s all that really matters. And keep that in mind this fall when you vote for community leaders.

Mike Morey • TC

We Created Saddam

Every week there is a new “reason“ to justify invading Iraq. This week it is because 200,000 people disappeared under Saddam Hussein‘s rule. This is intolerable.
But let‘s explore this history. In the mid 1950s the Iraqi people overthrew the British and began a process of democratic elections. The U.S. didn‘t like the direction Iraq was heading and installed Saddam Hussein. We trained him and his people, we supplied him with weapons and money, and we supported his overthrow of democratically elected leaders. Over the years we encouraged Saddam‘s tactics. We used him to fight Iran and supplied him with chemical weapons. Rumsfeld (during his first tour) met with him on numerous occasions. We were neutral when Saddam asked our State Dept. for permission to invade Kuwait.
During the first Gulf “war“ we bombed Baghdad (killing hundreds of civilians) and much of Iraq. We destroyed their water, sewer and electrical systems. We used depleted uranium in our shells and bombs and permanently contaminated the earth. Then we lead sanctions and bombing to prevent rebuilding and cleanup. The World Health Organization said that during the 10 years of U.S.-lead sanctions, 1.2 million Iraqis died because of lack of clean water, proper sewage treatment and medicines. And most of these were children. We are now beginning to see the effects of depleted uranium - deformed children, high cancer rates - in Iraq and our troops.
We have “outkilled“ Saddam Hussein 6-to-1 in less than half the time. We installed him and fully supported him. To invade a country, to kill Iraqis, to place U.S. troops in harm‘s way to correct a problem that we created is beyond intolerable. Its barbaric. I believe all parties involved in this atrocity must go before an international court and be tried for crimes against humanity.
I left Vietnam 32 years ago. I had hoped that we learned a lesson. What I see that we learned is that the military/industrial/media/political complex is alive and well and getting fatter at the expense of WE THE PEOPLE.

Arnold Stieber • Grass Lake

No draft necessary

Chairman Mao once said that the United states government was like a hand with five fingers trying to hold down six flies. That is especially true now.
Political leader orders have forced a military manpower shortage on the Pentagon. That shortage has developed because American military forces have been sent to an excessive number of foreign countries and left there.
The reason is because political leaders have ordered the Pentagon to train a growing number of foreign military forces in order to have a controlling interest in them and their governments.
But it was the military manpower demands of the unnecessary war in Iraq that both caused and exposed such a strategic military weakening of national security. That can be fixed, but not all of the anti-American threats created by such an internationally understood war of aggression.
If the military manpower shortage is made up by bringing back another unnecessary draft as a congressional bill seeks to do, then American families will be hurt again just as they were during the Vietnam War.
Because that war was clearly proven unnecessary for national security, that clearly proves that the military draft supporting it was unnecessary.
Added to the observation of Chairman Mao should be a related one of warning from Frederick the Great: One who attempts holding down all finishes by losing all.

Louis Burford • Petoskey
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