Email letters to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please keep your letter under 300 words (one page). Only one letter per reader in a two month period will be accepted. may be edited for length or to correct factual errors. Letters must be signed to be considered for print and a phone number is required for verification. Faxed letters are not accepted.
Evil liberal media
Hey there, y’all, I am here visiting beautiful Northern Michigan from Oklahoma. I picked up a copy of your paper and enjoyed it very much. I got a chuckle out of and felt a need to respond to Bob Lovik’s letter (“Setting things straight,” 8/6). Perhaps I can help “set him straight.”
Thanks to the uninformed, fear-mongering liberal media, this new and threatening process called fracking is the latest and greatest threat to our environment. News flash, fracking has been around for DECADES. Feel free to consult U-M or MSU professors of geology or petroleum engineering to confirm.
Procuring energy in any of its many forms can pose some environmental threats. For example, the thousands of birds, many of which are endangered species, killed by the giant windmills that generate electricity.
There is little evidence to support that fracking is some kind of environmental threat waiting to happen. I don’t glow in the dark, my son is perfectly normal, my water doesn’t spontaneously combust.
I have lived in Oklahoma since 1970 and in Texas before that. Golly gee, my dad was fracking wells in both states for as long as I can remember.
Folks might do well to talk to informed academician and professional gas and oil people before forming an opinion and running scared because of articles or “news” reports from unenlightened media people.
We all need energy in some form or fashion.
Vicki Righthouse • Oklahoma City, OK
Evil conservative media
Two of the events offered in Northern Michigan last week have a strong connection. On July 31, Jennifer Douglas, coproducer of SAVE KLSD shared her documentary about the media and a progressive radio station. The event was hosted by the Straits Area Concerned Citizens.
The San Diego radio station take-over was an example of the attack on the few remaining progressive radio programs in the U.S. The progressive programming got excellent ratings, yet Clear Channel killed it.
Over the weekend ex-mayor Cal Tillman of Dish, Texas presented the story of what hydraulic fracturing, aka “fracking,” did to his town. He did not get into politics nor a description of fracking. Instead he described in detail the noise, the smell, the poisoned air, the ugly site of a town invaded by fracking wells, as well as health implications to his young children.
So what’s the connection between these two events? Too few persons know about fracking, including our elected representatives on all levels.
Mainstream conservative media is not going to cover fracking in an honest in-depth manner. In fact far too often they act as oil/ gas industry cheerleaders. Progressive radio, where it still exists, is the more likely to cover this story accurately.
Many Americans know little about fracking. If you ask (and I have), many will look glassy eyed.
We need our nation’s media to tell us important stories. We do not need a week on the Michael Jackson death/funeral. We need to learn about fracking, climate change, the difference between national deficit and debt, etc. We do not need Rush Limbaugh and Fox News spewing spin and propaganda all day long, week after week.
We need honest news sources, and less spinmeisters.
Fight for honesty in news, contact your representatives, boycott sponsors of any programmer that lies to you.
Karen Martin • Cheboygan
Unions benefit all of us
If you think that destroying unions will help address inequality in this country, think again.
Unions put people first, and in doing so have ended such things as child labor, and unpaid overtime. They have given us the eight-hour work day and the 40-hour work week. They have improved workplace safety, given us workmen’s compensation, unemployment insurance and paid sick leave.
Unions and management bargain together to set standards that others can follow. They make bargaining at both union and non-union jobs possible.
It is an overlooked face that management is an equal partner in the negotiating process, yet unions are the ones demonized.
As the decline of unions continues, so does the ability of all workers to bargain for a fair wage. We are becoming a nation of not service workers, but servant workers.
Imagine a life without human dignity, where every aspect of work is dominated and controlled by an overseer, and where you can be fired for no reason at all. That’s what prevails in the sweatshops of China, Thailand, and other places that make our goods.
Vote to support collective bargaining. It benefits everyone.
Ann Rogers • TC
Democracy & socialism
detractors of socialism don't seem to be aware that some strands of the
economic policy have evolved to support capitalism and protect people
from its potential negative effects.
Socialism sought to make subsistence independent of the marketplace and guarantee a minimum of support to all. Socialists sought to maintain high levels of employment to support the working class.
When former socialist countries adopted capitalism, they did it without protecting their citizens from the negative aspects of the free market. For example, Russia's experience with pollution and China's with unsafe consumer goods.
On the other hand, democratic capitalistic countries not only support free markets, but also protect their citizens from the inability of the markets to provide a safety net. Most democratic capitalistic countries provide universal health care, pensions and labor laws to protect the worker from poor working conditions.
Democratic countries have been able to provide feedback on the inherent problems of a free market economy. In response to the Great Depression, democracy brought reforms to the banking system, eliminated poverty for seniors by establishing Social Security, and created jobs for the unemployed through government programs.
Currently, due to special interests, the ability of our country to correct the negative effects of capitalism is being undermined. Special interests have dismantled regulations, allowing the banks to nearly collapse, weakened the ability of unions to counterbalance the large corporations through adequate wages and benefits, and rigged our tax laws so that the wealthy use tax loopholes to avoid paying their share of taxes.
Yet in the past, democracy has protected its citizens from the inherent negative aspects of the free market by using so-called socialist approaches.
Ronald Marshall • Petoskey