I always read with great anticipation Stephen Tuttles 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 dont care if youre 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 whove lost a loved one?
But perhaps most importantly, why are WE silent? I surely dont claim to have the answers but I am so missing the rational dialog to help us out of this mess!
Suz McLaughlin Frankfort
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 Im 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. Id 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, Id 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 hadnt dawned on me that those leaves didnt 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, Ill 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, thats interesting... wonder how big theyll get?
There are many mysteries and marvels in this world. Im 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
In President George W. Bushs 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 nations 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 nations use of torture. Only then can we understand how to prevent it from happening in the future.
Barbara McIntyre TC