Letters 12-05-2016

Trump going back on promises I’m beginning to suspect that we’ve been conned by our new president. He’s backpedaling on nearly every campaign promise he made to us...

This Christmas, think before you speak Now that Trump has won the election, a lot of folks who call themselves Christians seem to believe they have a mandate to force their beliefs on the rest of us. Think about doing this before you start yelling about people saying “happy holidays,” whining about Starbucks coffee cup image(s), complaining about other’s lifestyles…

First Amendment protects prayer (Re: Atheist Gary Singer’s contribution to the Crossed column titled “What will it take to make America great again?” in the Nov. 21 edition of Northern Express.) Mr. Singer, the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

Evidence of global warming Two basic facts underlay climate science: first, carbon dioxide was known to be a heat-trapping gas as early as 1850; and second, humans are significantly increasing the amount of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels and other activities. We are in fact well on our way to doubling the CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere...

Other community backpack programs I just read your article in the Nov. 28 issue titled “Beneficial backpacks: Two local programs help children.” It is a good article, but there are at least two other such programs in the Traverse City area that I am aware of...

A ‘fox’ in the schoolhouse Trump’s proposed secretary of education, Betsy DeVos (“the fox” in Dutch), is a right-wing billionaire; relentless promoter of unlimited, unregulated charter schools and vouchers; and enemy of public schooling...

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters
. . . .


- November 29th, 2010
From: colleenzan@gmail.com
Subject: letters
Date: November 29, 2010 8:31:19 AM EST
To: lynn@northernexpress.com

Save our film industry
Rick Snyder wants to eliminate film and TV incentives: Sound judgement
or pragmatic disillusionment?
His disregard of economic stimulation hangs a dark cloud over new and
growing entrepreneurs, especially when it comes to the movie and
television industry in our state. Calling the film industry
incentives “dumb and “a gimmick” is just plain ludicrous and
completely preposterous.
Hypocrisy is staring you in the face, Mr. Snyder. You talk about jobs,
jobs, jobs. Yet that is exactly what the movie and film industry is
currently doing in this state. Jobs not only in the film industry,
but jobs for art directors, animators, graphic designers, film
directors, photographers, editors, musicians, composers, writers,
actors, educators, developers, realtors, interior designers, builders,
carpenters, policemen, auto technicians, transport servers, caterers,
painters, and artisans of all kinds.
This doesn’t even include the increased business for restaurants,
entertainment, and the rental and sporting industry throughout our
More importantly, this industry is one of the better and faster ways
of diversifying our state‘s economy. The facts are striking. Since
offering a 40% tax incentive for film companies from out of state,
total income has increased from $2 million in film and TV activity to
more than $600 million in less than three years.
And that is just the beginning. New studios and production houses are
being planned along with existing businesses expanding to handle the
additional workload.
Many of these projects involve cutting-edge technology, while hiring
some of the best and most creative minds from the arts, science, and
education of our state. By keeping the film incentives intact, one
will not only see continual growth and economic expansion, but a sense
of triumph, self-worth, and pride of what Michigan can accomplish.
The film industry is a powerful force. It’s highly creative,
economically lucrative, and can have an emotional and visual impact
that profoundly effects people‘s lives for a lifetime. And Rick Snyder
wants to kill it! WHY?

Robert K. Schewe • via email

The coming water war
Thanks to Stephen Tuttle for another good article regarding everyone
in the world trying to steal Great Lakes water.
And I’m not mocking his commentary, since our western states aren’t
the only ones who want what we’ve got -- China has floated the idea of
taking out tanker-fulls to water their parched Gobi desert.
But we shouldn’t worry too much about knuckleheads who move to a
desert and then expect that we will kindly let them continue in their
insane water-wasteful life style. Those tapping the Ogallala aquifer,
and draining it lower daily, are all far away - 700 to 1800 miles -
and are all uphill. Waaaay uphill. At least 400 feet to over 1000 feet
in higher elevation than Lake Michigan.
So not only is it a long way to go, there will have to be pumping
stations, and lots of them. Hundreds of billions of dollars worth to
build and then maintain.
So don’t be too afraid for now. Money will be tight for quite awhile.
And for a historical review of what people have done to get hold of
our water, read “The Great Lakes Water Wars” by Peter Annin.

Mark Contrucci • Boyne City
The TSA uproar
The controversy about airport screening and the complaints about
invasion of privacy and offending our constitutional right against
unreasonable search we could simply dismiss as necessary for
everyone’s security.
But I believe it should be put in perspective. The terrorists
certainly achieved some of their aim to hurt this country. Not only
have we lost thousands of American lives but also spent billions of
dollars in the resulting wars. We also have to care for our security
at home. This not only costs millions in unproductive labor, but more
importantly has led to an increased polarization of our society and,
yes, to some curtailment of our freedoms.
It is the latter which needs to be put into perspective: The
Constitution guarantees us certain rights. These rights have received
increasing attention in the last years. Some even referred to them as
“natural rights” derived from a “natural law” and that these inspired
our Founding Fathers. We must realize, however, that even among
experts the concept of natural law is unsettled. Our Founding Fathers
took those concepts they thought important for a viable democracy and
enshrined them into a legal-political document. They remain the basis,
but they have to be applied and interpreted in the context of a
developing society.
One example is the right to vote. At the time of the Founding Fathers
it was limited to property-owning males. It took about 150 years to
extend it to women and another 50 to include African Americans. It is
in this sense that I look at the right to privacy in relation to the
invasive airport screening. Unfortunately, in view of the experiences
it is not “unreasonable” and it is a right we should allow to be
curtailed for the good of our fellows. That the screening should be
carried out in a dignified manner goes without question and offenders
should be disciplined. With rights come duties.

Klaus Hergt • Cheboygan

The bean option
Governmental suggestions for diet moderation were adopted in
Washington DC, San Francisco, and as part of Cincinnati‘s Green Plan.
The links between meat-eating and diabetes, obesity, heart disease and
certain cancers is indisputable. The regular string of animal product
recalls shows us how often fecal bacteria contaminate meat products,
sometimes leading to deadly infections. Think you’ve got the stomach
flu? Think again.
What about all the vegetarians and vegans out there? The director of
the Framingham Study, the largest and longest study of lifestyle and
its’ impact on health, states, “the best health is reserved for the
As our healthcare costs threaten our economy and our personal health
reaches an all-time low, it may be a good use of city government’s
time to suggest moderation. 42% of people get a bakery item in their
diet each day, while only 14% get the recommended servings of
There are plenty of yummy meat choices, but there are tasty veggie
choices too. It’s about a bean burrito instead of a burger. Cajun
beans and rice instead of meatloaf. A bean has the same amount of
protein, but it’s plant instead of animal, and no saturated fat or
cholesterol. It’s simple and cheap. Whether we are thinking of our
coronary arteries, our children, or the Earth, it is time to rethink
our food choices and act accordingly.

Dr. Mary Clifton • via email

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