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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. . . .


- December 6th, 2010
Gestapo tactics
After reading the Express article “Nightmare on the Border,” I found
myself wondering if I’m living in the United States or Nazi Germany.
The methods and treatment in “rounding up” illegals is akin to the
tactics practiced by the Gestapo against the Jews.
Are the Mexicans the Jews of America? As an American I’m embarrassed
by the treatment that Liz Larios received. Nazi Germany can never
happen here, or can it?

Don Strzynski • TC

(The Express will be following up on Liz Larios’ story and that of
other border sweeps in upcoming issues, including the double standard
Mexican nationals face in becoming U.S. citizens. -- ed.)

Rethinking Christmas
In our family, the insanity of rushing out on Black Friday or any
other day to do Christmas shopping doesn’t exist. In less than an
hour, olive trees are sponsored, children’s camps supported, and
funds for the homeless added plus a few more. I am often saddened by
the idea that shopping as a means of celebrating the birth of Christ
seems acceptable. Finding an article from 2009 by George Will, I can
happily join the scrooges knowing that buying via guilt is not only
stupid but not an economic benefit to the country.
At least the Christmas stimulus strengthens the economy, right? Wrong,
says economist Joel Waldfogel. If all spending justified itself, we
would pay people to dig holes and then refill them -- or build bridges
to unpopulated Alaskan islands. Spending is good if the purchaser, or
the recipient of a gift, values the commodity more than he does the
money it costs. Otherwise, there is a subtraction from society’s store
of value.
Furthermore, he says, there are some goods -- e.g., Spam -- that
people spend less on as they become richer, and there are other things
on which people spend larger portions of their incomes as their
incomes rise. These are called luxuries. One such is charity. So,
particularly for the rich or ascetic person who has everything he or
she wants, why not gift cards usable only for charities? Some
organizations (e.g., CharityNavigator.org and
Charitygiftcertificates.org) facilitate this. (“The Gift of Not
Giving,” George Will, November 2009.)
So stay at home, enjoy the quiet, and know you haven’t contributed to
the insanity.

Barbara Young • Bear Lake

Catholic view on gays
On November 2, 2011, the voters of Traverse City will vote on an
amendment to the Ordinances of the City of Traverse City relating to
the definition of “discriminate” and “discrimination” as those terms
are used in the city’s Employment and Fair Housing Law.
The definitions would be expanded to prohibit the denial of housing to
persons because of among other classifications, their “gender, gender
expression, and gender identity.”
While decent housing is a right everyone should enjoy, and while
citizens of Traverse City assert that persons with a homosexual
orientation should not be subject to unjust discrimination, the
expansion of the definition of discrimination as contained in the
proposed ordinance is cause for concern.
If the ordinance passes, sexual orientation will be elevated to the
status of race and religion in our constitutionally protected classes.
In 1992 the (Catholic Vatican) Congregation for the Doctrine of the
Faith in Rome addressed this issue with the following observations:
“Homosexual persons have the same rights as all persons, including the
right of not being treated in a manner which offends their personal
dignity. Among other rights, all persons have the right to work, to
housing, etc, (No 12).
However, “including ‘homosexual orientation’ among the considerations
on the basis of which it is illegal to discriminate can easily to
regarding homosexuality as a positive source of human rights. The
passage from the recognition of homosexuality as a factor on which
basis it is illegal to discriminate can easily lead to the legislative
protection and promotion of homosexuality. A person’s homosexuality
would be invoked in opposition to alleged dis crimination, and thus
the exercise of rights would be defended precisely via the affirmation
of the homosexual condition instead of in terms of a violation of
basic human rights” (No 13).
“Sexual orientation does not constitute a quality comparable to race,
ethnic background, etc., in suspect to non-discrimination” (No 10).
The concerns expressed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the
Faith are valid. Careful consideration needs to be given to the
effect that passage of such laws will have on family life, understood
on the basis of the marriage of one man and one woman, and the public
morality of the entire civil society on the basis of fundamental moral
These concerns should cause all Traverse City voters to seriously
question the appropriateness of the proposed legislation.

Paul Nepote • TC

Getting it straight
Re: voting rights mentioned in Klaus Hergt’s letter, 11/29/2010.
My understanding of the history of voting rights is as follows: In
1870, the 15th Amendment gave African Americans the right to vote,
excluding women.
Women, black and white, didn’t get the vote until 1920 with the
passage of the 19th Amendment. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed
discriminatory practices that prevented African Americans from
exercising their right to vote, but technically black men had the
right 50 years before all American women.

Kate Mosher • via email

-- The “Operation Save Liz” bank account mentioned in last week‘s
story about Liz Larios’ deportation has been moved from Members Credit
Union to Fifth Third Bank by her fiance, Russell Horn.
-- Last week’s article on SmartLipo incorrectly identified Courtney
Sumpter as a physician; she is a physicians assistant.
-- Also, a guest opinion about high school drug sweeps erroneously
stated that an ACLU talk was given at a local school; it was given at
the TC District Library.

A Reminder: Northern Express Weekly does not accept
unsigned letters (except under extraordinary
circumstances) or those using assumed names.

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