Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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Letters 08-04-2014

- August 4th, 2014  
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What Will You Tell Your Children?

What will you tell your children about climate change?

Will you tell them how the increase of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere caused more severe storms, the melting of Arctic sea ice and the Antarctic ice shield, and the warming and rising of our oceans? Will you tell them how this caused water and food shortages around the world?

The climate doesn’t care about politics. It affects everyone on earth. This means we had better be working together on this most pressing issue of our times. Scientists are warning that we don’t have much time to change and adapt so we had better get going. Changing our fossil fuel addiction is crucial. Energy efficiency saves approximately 25 percent, but we must do more. We cannot solve our problems with the current way of thinking that just proposes using different fossil fuels. Renewable energies like wind and solar are critical. In Michigan they would create jobs in manufacturing, installation and maintenance — a real “buy local” initiative! It would also diversify and secure our grid.

Doing nothing is not an option. What will you tell your grandchildren?

Ann Rogers, Traverse City

Seeking Balanced Israel Coverage

I’ve noticed that over the last couple of years letters printed in the Northern Express concerning Israel have all been critical of Israel with no blame assigned to the Palestinians. With this current offensive against Hamas, no doubt there will be plenty more criticism of Israel.

Of all those critical of Israel, however, I have yet to see expressed any concern about the documented war crimes being committed by Hamas, as defined by the United Nations itself. Those crimes include rockets being store-housed in schools, command centers in hospitals, ammo dumps in mosques, missle batteries around apartment buildings, and on and on.

Legitimate criticism of actions Israel has taken in its own defense is not anti- Semitic. However, when those supporters of Palestinians and Hamas hold Israel to standards they hold no other nation to, constantly accuse Israel of committing crimes while ignoring crimes committed by Palestinians, distort facts, accuse Israel of genocide and outright lie in order to defame Israel, that is what constitutes anti- Semitism.

It would be refreshing to see letters with an opposite point of view to counter what seems to be a massive worldwide campaign to slander, defame, blame and accuse Israel of all manner of crimes.

Joel Weberman, Mesick

Taxing Retirees

How remarkable to see letters from rational folks instead of the usual loony rants about the Koch brothers, Citizens United, corporate evils in general, global warming, fracking, and how by some twisted logic, women’s rights to purchase and use birth control are infringed unless her selection is fully paid for by a third party. Thank you!

The latest issue did have a letter from a misguided soul who believes that corporations actually pay taxes, instead of building the cost into the market price of the product that all consumers must pay. A further rant was aimed at Governor Snyder and the emergency manager “racket,” a law first signed by Democrat Governor James Blanchard in 1988 and used by subsequent governors of both parties.

I am also a retiree, living on my pension. Why should retired persons not pay taxes? Our children already pay for our drugs, Medicare, and Social Security. How is it “unjust” to tax retired people? In my age group, pension and benefit income must exceed $94,000 for joint filers ($47,000 for single filers) before being taxed by the State of Michigan. The median household (combined) income is just over $48,000, yet it would be just for folks getting twice that much to pay no tax? Wow!

Jim Trout, Onekama

Symphony Masterpiece

I’m writing to draw attention to a recent presentation of professional classical music outdoors.

The audience experienced a new sort of sound and light show Saturday, July 19, when the Traverse Symphony Orchestra presented its first ever concert on the lawn of the Grand Traverse Commons. An ebullient conductor Kevin Rhodes led his 80 musicians through two tours of blockbuster classical pieces. The reason for Rhodes’ good cheer was the spectacular setting and sound system used by Porterhouse Productions.

Centerpiece of the performance was the piece Mangrove, written and performed by artist/songwriter, Savannah Buist of The Accidentals along with her partner, Katie Larson with the backing of the Traverse Symphony Orchestra. The evocative performance brought the audience to its feet.

Other standing ovations followed as the audience experienced the second tour of the evening, that through a musical timeline of orchestral favorites. Rhodes’ impeccable programming ended with the popular Sousa Stars and Stripes Forever, as the delighted audience of all ages exited the venue. I encourage readers to experience the TSO.

Judith W. Weaver, Traverse City

Revisiting The Wethouse

The Christie Minervini column on “wethouses” was insightful and I hope received positively by the community. Our drug and alcohol policies are built on failure and powerlessness. We try to live up to some undefined moral code, and pay no attention to “reducing the harm” we all face from alcoholism and addiction. A priest or minister won’t solve this problem but maybe, God willing, an engineer can!

Bill Bustance, Traverse City

 
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