Letters

Letters 11-28-2016

Trump should avoid self-dealing President-elect Donald Trump plans to turn over running of The Trump Organization to his children, who are also involved in the transition and will probably be informal advisers during his administration. This is not a “blind trust.” In this scenario Trump and family could make decisions based on what’s best for them rather than what’s best for the country...

Trump the change we need?  I have had a couple of weeks to digest the results of this election and reflect. There is no way the selection of Trump as POTUS could ever come close to being normal. It is not normal to have a president-elect settle a fraud case for millions a couple of months before the inauguration. It is not normal to have racists considered for cabinet posts. It is not normal for a president-elect tweet outrageous comments on his Twitter feed to respond to supposed insults at all hours of the early morning...

Health care system should benefit all It is no secret that the health insurance situation in our country is controversial. Some say the Affordable Care Act is “the most terrible thing that has happened to our country in years”; others are thrilled that, “for the first time in years I can get and afford health insurance.” Those who have not been closely involved in the medical field cannot be expected to understand how precarious the previous medical insurance structure was...

Christmas tradition needs change The Christmas light we need most is the divine, and to receive it we do not need electricity, probably only prayers and good deeds. But not everyone has this understanding, as we see in the energy waste that follows with the Christmas decorations...

CORRECTIONS & CLARIFICATIONS 

A story in last week’s edition about parasailing businesses on East Grand Traverse Bay mistakenly described Grand Traverse Parasail as a business that is affiliated with the ParkShore Resort. It operates from a beach club two doors down from the resort. The story also should have noted that prior to the filing of a civil lawsuit in federal court by Saburi Boyer and Traverse Bay Parasail against Bryan Punturo and the ParkShore Resort, a similar lawsuit was dismissed from 13th Circuit Court in Traverse City upon a motion from the defendant’s attorney. Express regrets the error and omission.

A story in last week’s edition about The Fillmore restaurant in Manistee misstated Jacob Slonecki’s job at Arcadia Bluffs Golf Course. He was a cook. Express regrets the error.

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Random Thoughts

George Foster - May 15th, 2003
Falling in love with the Dixie Chicks

Just who are these women? They have been called traitors, activists, Saddam‘s Angels, purveyors of free speech, and the most popular country band in U.S. history.
Truthfully, I didn‘t know the Dixie Chicks from TLC or the Lennon Sisters before the firestorm that resulted from their criticism of President Bush. Their comments seemed to crystallize the backlash against entertainers who have publicly opposed the war against Iraq. Such outspoken notables as Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore, and Sean Penn have also felt the wrath of Americans who favored toppling Saddam Hussein.
But when our troops invaded Iraq and the three All-American girls from Texas said that they were ashamed the president was from Texas (presumably because of the Iraq invasion), the outrage of pro-war America was near the explosiveness of a terrorist attack. Radio stations have refused to play Dixie Chicks music. Fans are trashing their CDs. Protestors chant anti-Chick slogans during their concerts. Overnight, the divas have experienced a breathless Landslide from maybe the most popular band in America to the most reviled individuals in this country.
That is precisely why I love the Dixie Chicks. Give me those CDs before you begin stomping on them. Where can I see the trio in concert? Goll dang it, maybe I am even becoming a country music fan. You see, whether you agree with them or not, the Dixie Chicks have an opinion and care about something that transcends their padded bank accounts.
To those who criticize entertainers for exercising their right of free speech, I ask you to consider the alternative - rich celebrities who live in their Hollywood mansions and view the concerns of regular folk with distain. Sarandon, Timothy Hutton and notable conservatives Arnold Swartznegger and Bruce Willis care about something other than making money and should be applauded. The reasoning of Sean Penn may be totally distorted but at least he gives a damn.
Give me my beautiful Dixie Chicks any day over someone like Michael Jordan whose only concern in life is Michael Jordan. When asked about topical issues in our inner cities, Jordan‘s pat response is, “They buy Nikes like everyone else.“ In other words, zillionaire Jordan would rather keep quiet than to risk millions in losses of endorsement deals.
Muhammad Ali, on the other hand, put his money when his big mouth was. By speaking out against the Vietnam War, Ali lost millions in fight revenue at the peak of his abilities. Had he joined the army, Ali would have undoubtedly spent any military tour far from the front lines and no one would have cared. Whether you agree with Ali‘s stand or not, you must respect him for having strong beliefs and not backing down when jail time and the loss of his boxing career seemed imminent.
There can be no better time or more important of a debate than before or during a war. Thousands of lives are at stake - most importantly, those of our own troops. Where did some Americans get this idea that opposing the president is off-limits? I criticized President Clinton‘s military operations in the Balkans, as did many of Clinton‘s political opponents. Yet, I didn‘t hear one voice complaining that opposition to Clinton‘s use of the U.S. military was un-American.
I agree with a notorious super-patriot named Theodore Roosevelt who said, “To announce that there must be no criticism of the president or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.“
Can we agree that freedom of speech should always be encouraged? God bless America because it is our right to voice opposition to our government‘s policies or opinions of the Dixie Chicks. Even in time of war.




 
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