Special thanks and congratulations to Spartan Stores General Manager Kevin Clark for being so prompt and responsive.
While walking to my neighborhood Prevo‘s store, I spotted an SUV emblazoned with the phrase “Kill ‘em all- let Allah sort ‘em out“ on the back window. I was disturbed by this racist and genocidal message and went to find the owner.
The owner was doing business with Spartan Stores. He was hostile to me when I questioned his message, and did not want to discuss the matter. He just kept replying that “Americans are dying over there.“ He was sure that nothing was wrong with his racist, genocidal message and would not take it off his car.
But Spartan Stores no longer does business with this individual because of this issue, and I am grateful.
Karen via email
Name withheld by request
Have you guessed?
In answer to Harley L. Sachs, (Letters, 9/12).
QUIZ # 2
Which head of state prays daily?
Who reads and meditates on the Bible daily?
Who mentions God in his speeches?
Who is supported by all religions? (What is a religious extremist?
Someone who belongs to a religion and doesn‘t agree with your
Which head of state recently signed a treaty to significantly decrease
the size of his nation‘s nuclear arsenal?
Who abides by and honors the international agreement to destroy
chemical and biologiclal weapons and to never use them?
Whose administration negotiated an agreement between India and Pakistan
thereby avoiding a nuclear conflict?
Which head of state commands a powerful armed force whose mission is to
eliminate terrorism ?
Whose armed forces have suffered few casualties on this mission?
Which head of state understands that prisoners of war or those who are a
threat to the security of the country are not entitled to a trial or legal
Who encourages the reporting of activity suspicious of terrorism without
forming a “citizen army“ or any other organization?
Which head of state had the courage to visit “Ground Zero,“ the Pentagon
and the site of the Flight 93 crash shortly after 9/11?
Who visited the same sites on the anniversay of 9/11 and showed emotion
Which head of state‘s policies and actions have resulted in no terrorist
attacks in this country since 9/11/01?
Have you guessed?
It‘s George W. Bush
E. Patrick Juras, M.D. Kewadin
Stop domestic violence
As you‘re probably aware October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Traditionally the fact domestic violence is the number one health problem for women is overshadowed by breast cancer awareness.
I am making a personal appeal for more coverage on domestic violence during October in collaboration with organizations in your area providing prevention and intervention services to women victimized by their intimate partners and the children exposed to family violence.
I have lost two children directly on indirectly to domestic violence and know firsthand the pain and suffering of parents, friends, and co-workers who must witness the pain and suffering of a woman in a toxic and lethal relationship.
My daughter Nichole died from childbirth complications after being beaten by her husband who then played for the Indianapolis Colts.
My only son Brian died from a gunshot wound to the head during a dispute with his girlfriend.
In my view, there is little difference between a woman being shot in the head while millions look on in a public stadium (in Afghanistan) and a woman being shot in the head or beaten in the privacy of her own home while children witness the violence.
For more information visit http://heartofthefamily.tripod.com.
Michael F Craig, President
Heart of the Family South Bend, IN
Stop the swap
As our regions population continues to grow, development sprawls into the farms, meadows, forests, and wetlands in every direction. The creation of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was an amazing saving grace, not only for those of us who reside in the area, but for visitors from throughout this country and abroad. As habitat is destroyed elsewhere, the Park provides a haven for wildlife and humans alike, and preserves both natural and historic cultural areas.
Shielding Tree Nature Center is a local non-profit organization, and has been offering ecological programs for all ages in our region for ten years. Since signing our agreement in 1999, the Center has been located in the Lawr Farmstead in the Historic Port Oneida District of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Our organization has a Statement of Values, which includes the following: Teaching stewardship by example; honoring the intrinsic value of green space, wilderness, and agricultural land; and in strengthening teamwork through respect, honesty, and open communication.
In following those beliefs set forth in our statement of values, we are adamantly opposed to the proposal to swap National Park Land with the Homestead Resort for Crystal River frontage. This proposal is at the great expense of our environment and the public, and sets a dangerous precedent. The stretch of Crystal River frontage should unquestionably be protected, as should the land the Homestead Resort desires to develop. We feel the Crystal River frontage should be purchased from the Homestead Resort by the federal government, and included in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park.
As partners with Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park, we are deeply committed to the well-being and preservation of the Park, as well as to holding true to the mission and values of Shielding Tree Nature Center.
The Board of Directors of Shielding Tree Nature Center Maple City
Is there a problem with the UN?
It was encouraging to see President Bush address the United Nations.
Several in his own constituency harbor a deep dislike and distrust for that
agency. Bush himself has often strayed far from “showing humility in our
actions among the nations of the world“ - a phrase he used during his
debates with Al Gore.
Regardless, circumstances now have led President
George Bush to address the world community through the agency of the United
Nations, and to call for strong enforcement of international resolutions
regarding Iraq. His speech was both well-written and well-delivered, and
it effectively called attention to Iraq‘s repeated noncompliance with UN
resolutions and therefor the threats it poses to the international rule of
law. Bush then suggested that the U.N. might loose its own tenuous
legitimacy in the eyes of the world if it failed to take effective action
What is the problem with the U.N.? Is it too weak, or too hesitant, to
enforce its own resolutions? If so, who is responsible and how can the
problem effectively be addressed? As President Bush noted in his speech,
the U.S. is a charter founding member of the U.N. He might well have added
that as one of five nations with voting and veto power on the elite U.N.
security council, the U.S. is one of the most powerful shaping forces in the
United Nations today. When we threaten to “do what‘s necessary“ and “go it
alone“ if the security council doesn‘t agree with us, or fails to follow
through with the speed and forcefulness we want it too, are we
strengthening or weakening the U.N.‘s legitimacy and the role of
President Bush is right to call attention to Iraq‘s noncompliance with U.N. resolutions - in his words labelling Iraq “an outlaw state.“ But if we are
to have any moral authority with that statement, we must ourselves not
become an “outlaw“ state by ignoring the consensus of world opinion in our
own actions. By repeatedly acting from “self-interest“ over the best hopes
of the world (not signing the Koyoto Global Warming Protocol, boycotting
the World Court, ignoring the International Treaty to Ban the use Land
Mines, cancelling the ABM Treaty, and now threatening to “do what‘s
necessary“ if the U.N. does not meet our timetable with Iraq) we have
weakened the very fiber of our international leadership. We cannot
convincingly fault other nations (i.e. Iraq) for acting in their own self
interests in defiance of world opinion if we are doing the same. After all
is said and done, the United Nations represents no more than the best hopes
and dreams of its member nations, hopes for the rule of civility and law
over the simple rule of brutal military might. If the U.N. now appears too
weak to President Bush, this is no more than a reflection of our own
commitment (or lack of it) to work towards building a world consensus for
the greater hopes of all nations.
Jim Norgaard Petoskey
Patriotism is Not Evil
I was visiting in Traverse City last week to attend a reunion of my father‘s World War II shipmates. I saw the letter in your paper from a lady who stated that she tired of the flag-waving and shows of patriotism since the September 11th tragedies (“Enough,“ 9/19).
The writer indicated that such displays of nationalism have tended to promote arrogance toward other countries and peoples, and justification for violent foreign policy.
Certainly, there are examples in history (e.g. the Roman Empire, the Third Reich) of nationalism carried to the extreme of thinking one superior to others and worthy to dominate by force if necessary. But, there are many more examples in which national pride has spurred nations to greater deeds of good and philanthropy toward one‘s fellow man. I think my father and his shipmates are examples of that kind of benevolent patriotism.
For me, I have not felt prouder to be an American than when I am in these men‘s company. Even today, at their advanced age, seeing the American flag can bring tears to their eyes. I know that they would not hesitate to serve today in whatever capacity their country asked of them. The risked their own lives, and had close friends who died in the course of military service, in order to protect freedoms for their countrymen and a way of life they held dear. Like our service men and women of today, these WWII vets did not think twice about making the ultimate sacrifice. They would not run from the responsibility or be content to remain safe while others paid their price. To me, these are true American heroes, yet to a man they are humble, do not espouse hatred of any people or nation, and they are kind people.
I believe that national pride can propel citizens to a higher view of their country and standards of behavior. It is not necessary that pride result in a superior feeling or the desire to dominate or enslave others. In fact, I believe that having low self-esteem and being plagued by self-doubts has led more individuals and nations to the barbarism and cruelty the writer attributes to patriotism. Clearly, America has helped to rebuild most of the nations it shattered in war. We have taken in many peoples from around the world who seek shelter here. This is not a nation that need worry about national pride -- these old vets helped earn us that right.
Robert Troxell Centerville
Letter was right-on
Dawn Wolfe‘s letter in the Sept. 19 issue of the Northern Express “hit the nail on the head.“ Enough.
Every religion in the world has its Golden Rule: Do unto others as we would like them to do unto us, only in different words -- and different languages.
When we bomb to fight terrorism, we are acting like the terrorists. We become terrorists.
When are we going to concentrate on making our world better? Fighting hunger, homelessness, taking care of our environment, that‘s where I like to see my tax dollars going. When will our leaders get smart?
Marion Stow Frankfort.
You really got schmoozed by the schmoozmeister of Leelanau County.You apparently printed everything that Bobbie Kuras, Homestead eco-mucker, told you... a lot of which needs de-smoking.
I have heard the Homestead likened to a Hollywood movie set... looks really good from the road... heavily fertilized, manicured lawns polluting the groundwaters of the Crystal River and Lake Michigan, against all recommendations for sound environmental land management. In spite of his protestations, Mr. Eco-friendly, Kuras is NOT. Mr. Greenwash is more like it. How much more of our county must be trashed in order to satisfy this greedy lust for power and money? And before the people rise up in discontent? So far, we hear the responses are 10-1 AGAINST the proposed swap.
Others have clearly articulated the obvious reasons why yet another of Kuras repetitively proposed swaps need to be rejected finally, totally, and with dispatch. They are sound, reputable, organizations of long standing: Friends of the Crystal River, Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council, Sierra Club, and others. Some have even pointed out that this current proposal is an even worse proposition for the citizens than the others. And, for the life of me, I cant figure out how such a development found its way into the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore WILDERNESS plan. Kinda‘ like insider-trading?
Supporters of these repeated blatant attempts to con the public and circumvent the legal process usually include a few employees, paid consultants, hired professionals, construction companies, D.C. lobbyists; an ongoing, Pom Pom squad of hand-picked old hack township and county officials, people who might have been intimidated not to support him; this, beginning from the time that he “served“ on the Glen Arbor Zoning and Planning Commission --during those crucial years, a duly ignored major conflict of interest. In fact, these born-again swapnik cheer-leaders are the very people who loved his ill-fated plan of a golf course and multi-unit housing ghetto on the wetlands of the very same pristine Crystal River they now want to “save.“ What a hoot.
In spite of Kuras‘ sidekick V.P. Shirley Debelacks protestations that there are no threats involved in this issue, we have always heard from their camp, noises like, if you dont give us what we want, well develop the hell out of the Crystal River. Seriously, blackmail aside, many parts of the CR property that is proposed for swap DOESN‘T EVEN PERK... motivation for a swap?
Write to Dusty Schultz at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Empire, MI 49630; tell her that it simply ain‘t right to acquire private property by eminent domain to subsequently hand over to a developer; they just need to purchase it for inclusion in our lakeshore, why not just attach a rider?
Sally MacFarlane Neal Northport