Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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Letters 05-28-2013

- May 28th, 2013  

Email your letter to: info@northernexpress.com

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.

Head injuries & helmets

Letter writer Matt Woodruff has not thought the helmet situation through in my opinion (re: “Helmets and Motorcycles,” Letters 5/13).

Serious head injuries do cost all of us because no one carries enough insurance coverage to pay for a lifetime of care, yet the bills will be paid by some means.

We all see this reflected in our insurance premiums and taxes.

The non-monetary toll on the families and friends of the injured victim cannot be discounted either.

I have been riding motorcycles since the mid ’70s and every time I see a rider without a helmet it makes me cringe. I have been down and if it were not for my helmet and chin guard I would definitely have needed reconstructive surgery at the least.

Without your brain you are nothing.

Everyone who loves you rides with you. Show them some respect.

Marilyn Wilkie • via email

Robbing the vote

We’re all, regardless of party affiliation, small-d democrats, that is, staunch defenders of the Constitution and its democratic principles.

Let’s look at the actual state of one principle, majority rule.

In the 2012 Michigan election 352,000 MORE voters voted for Democrats (54%, actually) to be in our House than voted for Republicans. Because of Republican gerrymandering, though, Republicans control the state House. The minority rules.

In the U.S. House of Representatives 1.3 million more voters nationwide voted for Democrats, but again because of Republican gerrymandering, Republicans also control that House. (In fact, without a freshly gerrymandered district, Congressman Benishek would have been voted out of office in 2012.) Here also the minority rules.

In the U.S. Senate, through abuse of the filibuster, a minority of Republicans decides what can even be debated, let alone voted on. Thus, background check gun control legislation favored by 90% or so of Americans -- and a majority of Senators! -- was recently filibustered to death by a minority of Republican senators. In the Senate, the minority rules by veto power.

Minority rights do NOT include minority rule!

In Michigan and other states Republicans are poised to enact legislation changing how a state’s Presidential electoral votes are divided between Presidential candidates. In effect, Republicans want to gerrymander Presidential elections as they have gerrymandered other elections. These efforts could result in their candidate being elected with a small minority, maybe less than 40% of the popular vote! They may feel entitled, but, again, minority rights do not include minority rule.

Our strength as a nation depends on the health of our political system. Right now, it’s not so healthy. And any political party that mounts a sustained, systematic, wellfunded and (so far) successful attack on a foundational principle of our democracy does not deserve anyone’s vote.

Ron Tschudy • Central Lake

Money talks in Congress

Stephen Tuttle’s column bemoaning the lack of attention paid by elected officials to will of the people forgets one important point. I think it’s made clear in a line from the film, Charlie Wilson’s War: “The hell with the voters, all I care about are the donors.”

That situation has been woven into a Gordian knot over a long period of time and has made elections -- and voters -- very nearly irrelevant, obscuring the democratic process at the heart of our republic. ‘Tis a shame on the U.S. and a great misfortune to her people.

Audrey McMullen • Petoskey

 
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