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.

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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