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Letters 4-30-2012

- April 30th, 2012  

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Government waste

The CAGW ( Citizens Against Government Waste) released the 2012 Pig Book recently, and boy oh boy, what a story.

It reminds me of the famous Walt Kelly cartoon character from the Okeefenokee swamp – Pogo – who said, “We have met the enemy, and it is us.”

Why? Because we have elected the Senators and Congressmen who fail, especially at this turning point in our history, to be bipartisan. They promise to go to Wshington to work for their constituents and end up protecting their turf and giving in to special interest – the infamous lobbyist.

Check out the CAGW website to learn about the appropriations marked,”Ear Marked Free.” Millions of dollars are spent, many with duplications. The book sites 152 projects involved.

Where does this situation put us with only one vote? Perhaps we can all turn up the volume to both sides of the aisle in Congress to listen up – work together now on the budget. The welfare of the whole nation is depending on you.

It’s not just the size of government, but also how it treats the people.

Thomas E. Hagan • Empire

Nugent out of bounds

Ted Nugent, guitarist and longtime gunrights activist, at last weekend’s National Rifle Association convention stated that “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”

He then later stated in his own defense that “by no stretch of the imagination did I threaten anyone’s life or hint at violence or mayhem.”

I am left wondering just exactly what actions short of murder or mayhem could lead to Mr. Nugent’s death or imprisonment. I would hope that the Secret Service would have asked that same question before releasing him.

Ted Nugent’s apparent advice to American citizens whose political favorite has lost an election would be to respond with the level of violence required to make them liable for death or imprisonment.

His desired form of democracy sounds more like anarchy to me, and even if Mr. Nugent lacks the courage to act out his anarchist prescription, his words alone may provoke violent actions by those even less rational than himself.

In any case, we can certainly agree that Ted’s world is not the kind of world we want to live in. As patriotic Americans, we must respect the office of the President, and the electoral process that elected him no matter which political party happens to win the election.

Bob Ross • Pellston

So many poles

This letter is really addressed to the general manager of Cherryland Electric Cooperative, who put a message on my email this morning. He was responding to the many concerns his members have made known following our March outages.... especially the dilemmas of overground vs. underground wiring.

Mr. General Manager: I understand your points attempting to justify above ground wiring. However, there is an important issue you overlooked and which would go a long way toward improving our acceptance of your above ground position! That is the proposition of pole sharing.

I live in lovely Leelanau County, which depends on its attractiveness to tourists. The perfect example of my issue with electricity providers is now glaringly evident on Otto Center Road, as well as a number of other locations throughout our beautiful county!

On Otto Center, the third set of poles is now being installed, clearing trees and cluttering the view down that farmland road. It is the second set of very tall poles to be recently installed there, and they strut down BOTH sides of what was once a lovely country road past farms, between tidy fields and beside picturesque orchards.

One might ask where are our township officials who say they weren’t consulted? Probably fussing about how one or two tall white wind turbines would look in a field somewhere.

Want another example? Count the number of poles on and near the corner where Center Road (M-633) intersects Herman Road (close to Suttons Bay schools). Then imagine a school bus accident at that corner! The issue is not only beauty and conservation. It should be a roadway safety concern as well!

Your email spoke of greater underground expense. Humbug! We’re continuing to pay the bill for duplication, “overlooking” more strings of poles daily, while company decision-makers continue to install with little concern for tomorrow, for efficiency, for environmental equity, or for esthetics.

Barbara Coye • Suttons Bay

Resemblance?

Does anyone else see a (dysfunctional) family resemblance between 1) the Bush- Cheney doctrine of pre-emptive war; 2) the Florida Stand-Your-Ground law; and 3) the justification given by the Norwegian, Anders Breivik, for his murder of 77 children and adults?

Ron Tschudy • Central Lake

Give Gitmo back

In last week’s issue Mr. Tuttle called for ending our fruitless blockade of Cuba. This is laudable and sensible.

The blockade has been an abject failure. Fidel Castro has outlasted now nine presidents. More importantly, had our blockade been ended decades ago, communism in Cuba would have been long gone and Cuba would now be a major trading partner and American vacation destination.

It was disappointing, however, that an editorial calling for an end to the blockade didn’t have a word about “Gitmo.” You know, the prison nickname for our Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Gitmo, the place where we hold “detainees” indefinitely without real trials. Gitmo, the place where we torture people. Gitmo, the place where detainee suicide is described by us as an act of “asymmetrical warfare.”

Guantanamo Bay was part of the “booty” we got from our splendid big splash into modern imperialism: The Spanish-American War. Having decimated the indigenous population of North America, the northern European masters of the Land of the Free saw it as their manifest destiny to subjugate the remaining underdeveloped world.

We “Remember the Maine” in spirit to this day. We belligerently threaten “rogue” states such as Iran with “all options ...” if they don’t see eye-to-eye with us.

Few remember, or have ever even heard, the view expressed by Mark Twain after he witnessed our seizure of Spain’s former colonies: “I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.”

It’s not enough to end the blockade, a blockade as archaic and as ridiculous as the state of North Korea. It’s not enough to close Gitmo, the place where we have forsaken the rule of law.

It’s time to roll back our entire bankrupting military empire. The place to start is Cuba. Guantanamo should be returned to the Cubans as part of normalizing full relations with Cuba.

Matt Malpass • East Jordan

 
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