Letters

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...

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High school lesson in free speech

Express Staff - November 14th, 2002
High school lesson in free speech

Quoting from the likes of Mahatma Gandhi can apparently put students in hot water in high school these days, as Troy Stewart found out when the Marquette High School senior was suspended for speaking out against the proposed war in Iraq at a pep rally.
The Oct. 18 suspension was put on hold by a Marquette County judge to determine whether the school had violated Stewart’s First Amendment right to free speech.
What kind of dangerous talk did Stewart fill his fellow students’ ears with? The beginning of his speech is as follows:
“To start off this speech, I would like to quote the great Mahatma Gandhi in saying that ‘violence will only create more violence.’ As I am sure that all of you are aware of our escalating situation with Iraq, I would like to stand up and speak out against it. Our rage influenced President George Bush to recently propose what he puts as ‘using military force’ against Iraq. Military force, my fellow classmates, is a war, and war is the slaughtering of innocent people.”
Stewart went on to warn students about the shaky U.S. economy and that a draft could be in their future, Stewart, a member of the school’s varsity soccer team, received a standing ovation from hundreds of students and faculty for his 45-second speech, which the school superintendant compared to the German’s response to Adolf Hitler. A court order and public outrage over the suspension made it possible for Stewart to play soccer against Traverse City last week.

Down the hatch

What are the “The Best Restaurants in the World for Wine Lovers“? Some are right here in Northern Michigan, according to Wine Spectator magazine. The magazine recently added 848 restaurants to its list of 2,866 worldwide that had tip-top wine lists. Those receiving awards in the region included Sagamore‘s restaurant at The Inn at Bay Harbor, Hattie‘s of Suttons Bay, Pontresina of Gaylord, The Riverside Inn of Leland, Tapawingo of Ellsworth, City Park Grill and Villa Ristorante Italiano of Petoskey, New York of Harbor Springs and Windows of Traverse City.

Eco fall-out from the elections

New Republican majorities in the U.S. House and Senate will have a devastating effect on the environment by rolling back a number of protections, say advocates for clean water and public forests.
Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow says the Bush administration has plans to weaken the 1972 Clean Water Act which “could gut the nation’s longstanding ‘no net loss of wetlands’ goal.”
Stabenow also said she was concerned that the Bush administration was supportive of “efforts to delay and weaken critical Clean Water Act programs to reduce pollution loadings and discharges of raw sewage to the nation’s waters.”
In a related development, the National Forest Protection Alliance said the Republican Congress would result in “political armageddon for forests,” with a dramatic increase in logging on public lands.
The group said pending legislation will gut basic law governing environmental impact; interfere with the judicial process in protecting forests and other resources; give timber companies a “license to steal” on public lands; and threaten communities with brush fires as the result of the destruction of forest habitat.

Empty pockets?

You’re not alone. More than 50% of Michigan workers have 401k plans, but the statewide value of those funds fell by $7.67 billion in the past year, according to Sen. Debbie Stabenow. Michigan’s public pension funds recorded a drop of $116 million due to corporate malfeasance in the current scandals surrounding Enron, Adelphia, Xerox, etc.

Correction: A number for contact information on the Nov. 12 Heritage Center concert with songwriter Chuck Brodsky was incorrect in last week’s Express. The correct number is 995-0313.
 
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