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

- November 15th, 2010
Candidates ignored wars
I always read with great anticipation Stephen Tuttle’s piece, as I generally find some very like-minded observations and opinions that are always helpful to hear from someone else!
I was, however, noticing a glaring omission in last weeks article and it strikes me to the core as Stephen Tuttle has been so often the lone voice of reminder of the ‘elephant in the room’...
Last week was the 10th Veterans Day since the U.S. engaged in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not one candidate, that I heard of, had the gumption to even bring up during this last election campaign. We are, as a nation, DISGRACEFULLY silent on this subject! I don’t care if you’re red, blue or green with envy.
Where are the ‘Walter Cronkites’ to bring this subject in graphic details to us nightly, over our dinner tables? Where is THE elected official speaking out for the continued funding of this effort while we struggle with so many issues on the home front? Where are the true moral voices to guide us through this mess? Where are the LOBBYISTS for the returning vets struggling to deal with their experiences or the families who’ve lost a loved one?
But perhaps most importantly, why are WE silent? I surely don’t claim to have the answers but I am so missing the rational dialog to help us out of this mess!

Suz McLaughlin • Frankfort

Tipping point
The custom of tipping has its roots in England more than 200 years ago. Samuel Johnson is given credit for establishing the tradition that has evolved into the present-day tip. In the 18th century London coffee houses, Johnson and his friends would hand their server a slip of paper with coins attached. On the paper was written, “To Insure Promptness.” The acronym of this phrase is apparently the derivative of the word “tip.”
As someone who has worked over three decades in the ultimate hospitality business, casino gaming, and have over the past 15 years written a syndicated column about it, when I walk into an establishment, I recognize an employee gets paid minimum wage, or close to it. Additional income comes through the gratuities of patrons, like myself. I, like I’m sure everyone else who tosses gratuities into the “Feeling Tipsy?” jar assumes it is going to those fresh, pleasant faces we encounter, and not ownership reaching into the cookie jar at the expense of teenage employees.

Mark Pilarski • TC

Mysterious leaf mounds
Paranormal events are reported from time to time and might include phenomena such as UFO sightings, crop circles, and Tea Parties. I’d like to report another: Leaf mounds.
Archaeologists have determined that ancient indigenous peoples of the Americas constructed mounds for ceremonies, burials, residential uses or perhaps just to give 21st century archaeologists something puzzling to discuss on Wikipedia.
After noticing the proliferation of leaf mounds in our area, I’d like to invite archaeologists or even residents of Roswell, New Mexico to visit Birchwood Avenue at the base of Old Mission Peninsula to investigate.
I became interested in leaf mounds several years ago after playing chicken with a speeding, oncoming SUV and a pair of joggers with dogs on leash while navigating a leaf mound maze on Birchwood Avenue. Until that point, it hadn’t dawned on me that those leaves didn’t just fall in an enormous pile that occupies most of a lane of traffic. No, it appears that sentient beings determined that it was safe to create one-lane traffic on a public two-lane road.
After my near accident, I called central dispatch to see if the city might like to re-mark the road as one-way and declare a direction. The dispatcher said, “I’ll send someone out to take a look.” Weeks passed and the mounds grew, leaving me curious about police action. But then I realized that the police probably did as promised. They took a look and said, “Wow, that’s interesting... wonder how big they’ll get?”
There are many mysteries and marvels in this world. I’m proud that we have one of our own here in Traverse City. Well, actually we have two: Leaf mounds and municipal sprinkler systems that operate in the rain to irrigate concrete.

Dave Murphy • TC



Investigate torture
In President George W. Bush’s memoir, Decision Points, the former president claims he gave permission to torture by use of waterboarding to the CIA.
Torture is against the law. Torture does not make us safer; instead its use inspires extremists. Also, victims of torture frequently provide false information. Torture does not make us safer; it makes us a target.
President Bush has admitted to authorizing the use of waterboarding, a technique that violates our nation’s morals and our laws. There is consequently a profound question before the American people: Should we as a nation hold accountable those who violated U.S. law and our most fundamental moral standards?
I join with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture to call for a comprehensive investigation of our nation’s use of torture. Only then can we understand how to prevent it from happening in the future.

Barbara McIntyre • TC

 
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