Ed McIntosh does a good job protecting the interests of the Benzie Fishery Coalition (“Access Denied?“ 7/11). Fortunately for the rest of us The Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore needs to balance the concerns of all the people who use the park, not just fishermen.
Whether you are a fisherman or not SBNL is simply asking for your rational input in the planning process for the care and management of the park for all people concerned. Hopefully people realize that most businesses cater to people other than just fishermen, that the park isn‘t going to close “miles of beaches“ and that much of what McIntosh promotes simply isn‘t true.
Richard Kooyman via email
Shame on the sensationalist tone of your article, “Access Denied?“ I appreciate and applaud the National Park Service‘s effort to protect public land and water.
Consider just one aspect of the preferred plan -- the proposed road closings for Otter Creek and Peterson beach. Sure there are plenty of people who think it‘s their right to park 100 feet from the water‘s edge, but there are lots of other folks who would welcome the walk, outside in the fresh air and sunshine, free from exhaust fumes and traffic noise. Perhaps the NPS could offer the disabled special access privileges but for the rest of us, we need the exercise.
Walking to Lake Michigan from M22 via trails might take between 15 and 30 minutes -
heaven forbid that anyone should slow down and actually relax BEFORE they get to the beach.
Regional wilderness is vanishing, even our local farms are threatened. God bless the NPS for promoting a little bit of Northern Michigan nature for all Americans. Please remember that the NPS gives preferential consideration to veterans when hiring. These folks are highly educated professionals who have dedicated their lives to preserving the nation‘s natural resources - they know what they are doing and they deserve our support.
Dan Kelly Beulah
Land of the Sheep
I would like to thank Robert Downes for his article (Random Thoughts 6/27), for explaining to me why the Million Marijuana March, 5/4, didn‘t deserve to be covered. Also, why we will never get the laws change. I hear a lot of that from “closet smokers.“
A march usually doesn‘t garner much attention and nobody wants to lose any sleep over it. Now if it were something sensational, like a puppy stuck in a drain hole, the reporters would be flying down the firepoles in hot pursuit. Either way, both events are not your usual daily fare.
As far as the been-there-done-that crowd, it‘s a good place to find closet smokers. They just dropped the ball and we picked it up. I don‘t know if they registered any voters lately, have you? We register while petitioning and are at all times offering to register those who would like to. Visit our site at http://www.michigancan.org. That‘s the Michigan Cannabis Action Network site.
It really is too bad that young, been-there-done-thats and others trust in this democracy. A democracy run by dictator-select Bush and his cronies bent on taking away what‘s left of your rights. Don‘t close your eyes or the last verse of the National Anthem will be, “Land of the sheep and you better behave.“ Take some time and look at the erosion of our rights. So, get out and say something. Press, cover it. And vote! There are good parties out there.
Last but not least, I would like to thank the Northern Express for putting our notice of the march in the paper. You print unpopular subjects and don‘t worry about offending a few fuddy-duddies. Why do you think you‘re so popular?
Jeff Fillmore GT Coordinator Michigan Cannabis Action Network
(Here‘s a vow to all the marchers that you can put in the bank, Jeff. Northern Express will cover next year‘s march, and no doubt the rest of the media will too as a result of airing the matter in these pages. -- ed.)
Ready to flip for the flag
Long may our flapping flag fly free of flip and truly unhip ravings over the pledge. Know you, the pledge, written by the Christian Socialist Baptist minister, Francis Bellamy, was publicized, propagandized, puffed, huffed and propagated to boost sales and subscriptions to THE YOUTH‘S COMPANION, the Reader‘s Digest of its day.
Dig what I hip you to now!
Bellamy was pressured into leaving his Baptist church for his socialist sermons. Daniel Ford, owner and editor of Youth Companion hired him as a fellow liberal and controversial figure. Ford was also chairman of the committee of state superintendents in the National Education Association. As chairman he set up a Columbus Day program for the public schools of the nation around a flag raising ceremony and a FLAG SALUTE. (Where could the kids get a copy of this salute?) Guess what, kids -- check out the September 8 1892 edition of THE YOUTH‘S COMPANION and read the following:
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.“
The three great ideas of the American political tradition (Mortimer Adler) are liberty and justice and EQUALITY, but he knew the superintendents on the committee wouldn‘t stand for granting equality to women and blacks. Note that equality STILL is not in the pledge. How ‘bout that, blacks and women?
Later, leaders of the American Legion and the DAR, scared that waves of immigrants might be cheerfully pledging to their original country‘s flag altered it to, “the flag of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.“ Dig it cats and kittens? You ain‘t heard the last!
It was the practice when pledging (anyone over the age of 60 will recall this), that as one said, “to the flag,“ one extended one‘s right hand from it‘s place over your heart, thrusting it vigorously toward the flag, palm up, fingers joined and extended. Well, you know kids. Some would get their hand out palm down. A busybody passing a schoolroom shook with alarm realizing some of these kids might as well be heiling Hitler!! Thus, the order came down, no more saluting; i.e. extending the hand. To help us break the habit teachers were advised to instruct their students to hook the thumb of their right hand under the opening between buttons of their shirts.
Thus, all over the United States, the sound of buttons ripped loose and blouses torn, gave proof through the day that our flag was not being heiled.
Yet, sanity reared it‘s seldom-seen head as Americans were fighting and dying for that flag around the planet when the United States Supreme Court ruled AGAINST compulsory pledges of allegiance and flag salutes ON FLAG DAY, 1943. Did Americans object? No. In fact they applauded the decision as a good statement of what this country was fighting for. Note again: it is still against the law to compel students or any American citizen to give the pledge of allegiance or salute the Flag.
This didn‘t stop the Knights of Columbus from using it‘s considerable Catholic clout to force Congress to add, “under God“ in 1954 even though no one has to pledge anyway. What‘s next? Maybe the next step for those who would link patriotism with religion will be to try to amend the Constitution to include God. Can You Dig It?
John Robert Alberts Charlevoix
The working poor
Just a note. Read your excellent article, “Rising Tide of the Working Poor.“ Too bad about the ending. Looking forward to next week‘s issue.
Question, does anyone know what our Senators and Representatives in Washington
have for health insurance coverage? I had been told it was the Cadillac of benefits extending into retirement. Can that be found out?
Thanks for your newspaper and its comments about matters that really count.
Marilyn Prezkop via email
(Thanks Marilyn -- since many readers called regarding the missing conclusion, its tagged onto this issues Random Thoughts column and is also available at www.northernexpress.com. -- ed.)