Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

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Letters

- July 29th, 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.

Cast not the first stone...

The Defense of Marriage Act was stuck down. It’s a bitter pill for many Christians who believe that homosexuality is narrowly defined as a sexual act devoid of human emotion.

They contend that gayness is a choice. They believe that acceptance of homosexuality is the ruination of America; to the exclusion of poverty, exploitation, greed and the violence we visit upon each other and the people of other nations.

It’s not as if Christians have not erred in the judgment of others. They ethnically cleansed Native Americans. They believed black slaves were genetically equal to animals. They fought interracial marriage.

Time and time again throughout history some Christians have denounced “others” as morally and mentally inferior, denying them liberty, respect and acceptance.

Martin Luther King Jr. once described the depth of love God asked of us to show towards our neighbors as well as our enemies. “It is a love that seeks nothing in return. It is an overflowing love; it’s what theologians would call the love of God working in the lives of men. And when you rise to love on this level, you begin to love men, not because they are likeable, but because God loves them. You look at every man, and you love him because you know God loves him.”

To those who believe that gay marriage is a bridge too far, your feelings have been heard and duly noted. You are free to stand alone in judgment before God and confess you tried to stop it, socially stigmatizing homosexuals, fostering an atmosphere of discrimination, bullying, suicides and murder. God have mercy on you. Ezekiel writes God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of pride, haughtiness, excess food and prosperous ease, inhospitality towards strangers and indifference to the poor; ironically a perfect description of the U.S today.

Julie A Racine • Marion

The coming water wars

Water is a finite resource. All the fresh water there ever was, or will be, is on Earth now, and 20% of it is in the Great Lakes Watershed .

Threats to our precious water are already here. Pollution and invasive species are a part of this. Climate change, diversion and extraction are depleting the availability of clean water in Pure Michigan.

We allow the taking of up to 30 million gallons per well for the hydro-fracking process, poison it with numerous chemicals that don’t have to be disclosed, and it is then forever unusable.

What will that do to the needs of people and the ecosystems that support us? What will happen to our Pure Michigan economy, one that is based on tourism and agriculture?

We need a change of consciousness.

Think about it.

Ann Rogers • TC

A must-see film

I would like to thank Gary Howe for sponsoring the important film, “The Human Scale,” on Wednesday, 7/31 at Milliken Auditorium and on Thursday, 8/1 at the Bijou by the Bay. The film is about designing the future around people rather than letting cars cause such a mess. So many of our current problems, from global warming to childhood obesity are exacerbated by car-centric design. Jan Gehl’s ideas and leadership deserve our attention.

Mark Nixon • TC

A liberal definition

Fascinated by recent attempts to create definitions of “liberal” and “conservative,” I, a proud liberal, feel compelled to offer a fact-based definition.

“Liberalism (from the Latin liberalis) is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. In Spain, the Liberales were the first group to use the liberal label in a political context, and that is the reason why it is currently used.

Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas such as free and fair elections, civil rights, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free trade, and private property (Wikipedia).”

Of course we liberals want everyone to agree with us but a main theme of liberalism is protecting the rights of all people and all opinions (even if we think those opinions are antediluvian).

One attribute of liberals is the time taken to explain complex positions and ideas. Too much of the current political conversation involves attacks on everything from Medicare, Social Security, public schools and voting rights, to nasty personal attacks on President Obama.

To me one of the burdens of being “liberal” is to be open and intellectually honest. It is ideas and the course of our nation we need to discuss, in a thoughtful manner.

One of the discouraging aspects of our current political climate is the vitriol, the misconstruction of the other’s position, a lot of outright falsification, and just plain rudeness.

And so, this is one “liberal’s” plea for honest discussion, not distortion.

Sara Gay Dammann • via email

Supreme arrogance

I’m usually in nearly total agreement with anything Stephen Tuttle writes, but I want to take slight exception to his apparent view of our current Supreme Court in “On Life Support.”

He implies in a recent column that they are a bit doddering, that they have lost touch with reality, that “Their America and the one in which the rest of us live don’t seem to be the same place,” that they have “drifted away” from us, that they “(live) in a world in which the past no longer needs to inform the present ...”

I think Roberts and Co. know exactly what they are doing. It’s all about power. In direct contradiction to Chief Justice Roberts’ promises during his confirmation, the Court has taken nearly every opportunity –-even, in Citizens United, throwing judicial restraint aside and MANUFACTURING an opportunity—to increase corporate power. And in its most important directly political case the Court threw precedent AND evidence aside to gut the Voting Rights Act, thus almost certainly increasing Republican political power. Its main “liberal” rulings --on upholding ObamaCare and striking down federal restrictions on marriage equality—have little to do with power, and in my opinion aim to create a sense of judicial even-handedness, to keep the Court from being seen for what it is, an extremely conservative and activist Court.

Of course, who knows what those five Republican-appointed justices are really thinking. But given their record on important cases, is there any question about where they want to take us? About which side of the political and corporate scales they have their thumbs on?

Ron Tschudy, Central Lake


 
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