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...

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 11/18/04
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Letters 11/18/04

Various - November 18th, 2004
Deficit disaster coming
When Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan started lowering interest rates, I was not surprised, but when he kept lowering them, I was. He didn’t stop until rates were at 1%, way too low to accomplish what he said he was trying to do. That was to help stimulate the economy. When he started to raise rates, I was again puzzled. At that time, the economy was not doing well, job creation was falling, and inflation was mild. So why was he raising rates?
It finally dawned on me, rates were lowered not only to stimulate the economy, the primary reason was to shore up the financial industry for what is to come. He didn’t disclose his true reason so as not to create a panic.
He warned Washington several times about the deficit with zero response. When the dollar continued to fall after the first of the year, he changed the Fed stance and warned that interest rates would be rising at a steady rate.
I hope the change in stance was not too late. You see, Greenspan is trying to stabilize the dollar, again without creating a panic.
The dollar has been setting new lows against all major currencies almost every week this year and recently set a new all time low against the Euro.
If the dollar falls too far, we are in deep financial trouble. Foreign investors will start selling our bonds instead of buying them. Depending on how fast events unfold will determine how severe the coming recession will be, and if the mental midgets in Washington make a major mistake or if we have a major event, look out ‘29, we will set a new record.
What to watch: if the dollar continues its slide, interest rates keep rising, and Washington does nothing to control the deficit, grab your hat.
What to do? First, don’t borrow any more money, pay off as many debts as you can, own gold, gold coins, gold stock. Buy resource stocks, especially the metals. Agri business stocks may also help. Do not own government bonds or dot.com stocks. Avoid risky stocks. Your goal should be to limit your losses, not to make money.
We should know by March if Greenspan has moved quickly enough, yet he can only do so much and then it is out of his control.
If events start to happen quickly, get a supply of dry foods, oatmeal, dried beans, canned goods, etc. and pray.
Send your house rep and both of your senators a three-word message: “Balance the budget.“

Richard R. Riker • Mackinaw City

Peace is partisan?
“Boston!” boomed the election official in my face. I was standing in East Bay Township Hall on November 2, with my ballot in hand, waiting to vote. I looked down at my sweatshirt. I was wearing my navy blue and white nautical sweatshirt from Boston.
“Did anyone say anything to you?“ he sneered, motioning to the election officials that gave me my ballot.
“What do you mean?” I replied calmly.
“Boston! ...Hey, what’s that pin say?”
I was wearing my omnipresent peace pin on my shoulder. “May peace prevail on Earth.”
“Did anyone say anything to you about wearing that in here?”
“No. Why?” I queried.
“That’s a political statement.”
“Peace? Or Boston?”
“Peace is an under-the-wire political statement,” he exclaimed.
“Peace is partisan?” I looked at him in disbelief. “Now, that is sad.” He turned and walked away. I voted.
As I was leaving, I saw him standing by the front door of the township hall. I passed him silently. Was he on the lookout for more peace buttons?
What’s happening to our country? We all want peace. Don’t we?

Judy Childs • TC

The child killers
The answer to Max Holden’s question is Iman Sameer Al-Hams (re: “Bullets for Bullies,“ 11/4 Letters). She is his modern Ann Frank, the 13-year-old Palestinian girl shot 15 times by an Israeli officer in Gaza’s Rafah Camp on October 5 on her way to school.
An Israeli soldier reported: “Then our commander shot her twice. He made sure she was dead and then, I don’t know why, but he decided to turn back towards her body and unloaded a round of bullets into it ... this was the most revolting thing I have ever seen as a soldier.”
The Israelis cleared the commander of any wrongdoing. The name of the 10-year-old girl that was shot and killed while sitting at her desk school in Gaza’s Khan Yunis refugee camp on October 12 was Ghadir Mathmar. The name of her fellow 10-year-old classmate that was shot and killed at the same school while sitting at her desk on September 7 was Ragdah Adnan Al-Assar.
Since 2000, Israelis have killed 647 Palestinian children under the age of 18 and the Palestinians have killed 117 Israeli children under the age of 18. During the latest incursion into Gaza, the Israelis killed 27 Palestinian children. All of their names can be found at www.RememberTheseChildren.org.
The lopsidedness of the numbers is symbolic of the imbalance of power in this conflict. Many say the violence will only end with the end of the Israeli Occupation. If that is so, the Occupation will end only when the United States stops funding Israel at the rate of $15,000,000 a day.
I agree with Holden when he says, “Americans bought every one of the 15 bullets fired into Iman Sameer Al-Hams.“ Without speaking out we have the same blood on our hands as those who knew but did not speak out about the Holocaust. To learn more go to www.ifamericansknew.org

Marian Kromkowski • Suttons Bay

Copycats can‘t win
A political party that thinks it must ape the winning party will never win.
Being born again will not work and trying to walk in the Republican Party’s shadow is for losing only. To win, go back to acting for the poor, the upper lower class, the working people, vets, the middle class, senior citizens, homeless, gays and women.
Find a future president that can make sense like President Clinton did; one that went to public schools, served in the armed forces with honor, worked his or her way through college, made his own fortune, is still married to whoever he or she started with and does not back-peddle in a fight but knows how to fight with passion.
The Republicans have put too much dependence on the far-right churches, corporations and the rich.

Marshall Raftery • Brutus

Three cheers for Hagerty
I am writing to congratulate you on the excellent article about the Hagerty Women (11/4).
I had the wonderful experience of working for this unusual company and could not let this subject close without the mention of a very important woman. Linda Austin (titled ‘unknown goddess‘ to most of us) trained me and probably more than 100 customer service representatives on all the ins and outs of this very complicated business. I am sure that there were times that she would have liked to clobber most of us (especially me) over the head with a baseball bat. She cleaned up my mistakes and kept her temper in check (at least we never saw it) through every error that was ever made.
Hagerty is a company that Traverse City should be proud of and is very lucky to have here. I am grateful to have worked there and to show them as part of my work history.

Thomas (Drake) Kincaid • TC

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