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 05-05-2014

- May 5th, 2014  

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Accept The Mysteries of Faith

In the “Crossed” column, Mr. Singer presents a timeless subject matter. One could say he tasted the water of man’s being as to spirituality but not deep enough, so at present he is an atheist.

My comment is brief on the very deep subject, not intended to polarize the debate, but rather to review what the great 17th Century philosopher Blase Pascal had to say.

There are two kinds of argument for theism. Traditional, epistemic arguments hold that God exists. Modern, pragmatic arguments hold that, regardless of whether God exists, believing in God is good for us, or is the right thing to do, a bet on the safe side. Nonbelief is a bet on the very risky down side.

Not having the brainpower of the world’s great and famous philosophers through the ages, I find it helpful to accept the mysteries on faith, with lots of hope thrown in and that Mr. Singer can do the same, especially at the eleventh hour.

Thomas Hagan, Empire

Does Government Care About Pipeline?

I am very frustrated with our state and federal government and the elected officials including Gov. Snyder. I wrote a letter to the Governor and to eight other state and federal officials, conveying my serious concern about a failure of the 60 yearold pipeline that goes under the Straits of Mackinac and carries Canadian tar sands oil at high temperatures and pressure.

I enclosed recent articles in the Wall Street Journal (“Remote Sensors Fail to Spot Many Oil Leaks”) and Northern Express (“Water, West Virginia and Why We Should Take Note”). Enbridge has a very bad track record on oil pipeline leads and responses to them. Imagine what it would do to our Great Lakes if we had a blowout or event a steady, hard-todetect leak from this underwater pipeline.

I have not yet received a reply from anyone, except for two generic emails from a Governor’s aide. I even called Sen. Darwin Booher’s Lansing office and did not even get a return call. Does anybody in government care at all?

Donald Ramsdell, Northport

Ramps and a Rye Boule

On the narrow lane to our house, there’s a very old fence neatly defining a small green field and a cool leafy woods just beyond.

It’s very Robert Frost…well, no snow of course, it’s spring.

At the edge of the field, just inside the woods we have a small patch of wild leeks…“ramps” as they’re called around our small town. Mind you, these are not those cloddish things smuggled into food stores from Chile. These are small, delicate greens that pop up through last year’s damp brown leaves at the foot of the maples in our little woods.

We had a soft, early spring this year and there is a bumper crop of these extraordinary plants. With a few of the best leaves, and heaps of golden, fat laden, farm-fresh butter we made lots of leek butter; baked a rye boule; slathered the warm fresh bread with great gobs of that bright, subtle leek confection… And in the sunny late afternoon … in radiant contentment…we savored every last bite.

And at the end of the day…there isn’t a thing our meddlesome politicians and food police can do about it. And so it goes…5.2.14

Frank Liebert, Harbor Springs

 
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