Letters

Letters 10-20-2014

Doctor Dan? After several email conversations with Rep. Benishek, he has confirmed that he doesn’t have a clue of what he does. Here’s why...

In Favor Of Our Parks [Traverse] City Proposal 1 is a creative way to improve our city parks without using our tax dollars. By using a small portion of our oil and gas royalties from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund, our parks can be improved for our children and grandchildren.

From January 1970 Popular Mechanics: “Drastic climate changes will occur within the next 50 years if the use of fossil fuels keeps rising at current rates.” That warning comes from Eugene K. Peterson of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Newcomers Might Leave: Recently we had guests from India who came over as students with the plan to stay in America. He has a master’s degree in engineering and she is doing her residency in Chicago and plans to specialize in oncology. They talked very candidly about American politics and said that after observing...

Someone Is You: On Sept 21, I joined the 400,000 who took to the streets of New York in the People’s Climate March, followed by a UN Climate Summit and many speeches. On October 13, the Pentagon issued a report calling climate change a significant threat to national security requiring immediate action. How do we move from marches, speeches and reports to meaningful work on this problem? In NYC I read a sign with a simple answer...

Necessary To Pay: Last fall, Grand Traverse voters authorized a new tax to fix roads. It is good, it is necessary.

The Real Reasons for Wolf Hunt: I have really been surprised that no one has been commenting on the true reason for the wolf hunt. All this effort has not been expended so 23 wolves can be killed each year. Instead this manufactured controversy about the wolf hunt has been very carefully crafted to get Proposal 14-2 passed.

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Letters

- 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
values.
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

Corrections
-- 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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