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 Stewarts 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 schools 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 Germans 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 nations 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 nations 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.
Youre 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. Michigans 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 weeks Express. The correct number is 995-0313.