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

- 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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