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Families Need Representation When one party dominates the Michigan administration and legislature, half of Michigan families are not represented on the important issues that face our state. When a policy affects the non-voting K-12 students, they too are left out, especially when it comes to graduation requirements...

Raise The Minimum Wage I wanted to offer a different perspective on the issue of raising the minimum wage. The argument that raising the minimum wage will result in job loss is a bogus scare tactic. The need for labor will not change, just the cost of it, which will be passed on to the consumer, as it always has...

Make Cherryland Respect Renewable Cherryland Electric is about to change their net metering policy. In a nutshell, they want to buy the electricity from those of us who produce clean renewable electric at a rate far below the rate they buy electricity from other sources. They believe very few people have an interest in renewable energy...

Settled Science Climate change science is based on the accumulated evidence gained from studying the greenhouse effect for 200 years. The greenhouse effect keeps our planet 50 degrees warmer due to heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. Basic principles of physics and chemistry dictate that Earth will warm as concentrations of greenhouse gases increase...

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 8/26/04
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Letters 8/26/04

Various - August 26th, 2004
The gauntlet thrown down
A writer recently complained that there were not a lot of conservative letters in the Northern Express, and the response of the editor was that not many supporting President Bush were received. Well, here we go!
Bush and the War in Iraq: I am tired of hearing so many people say this is a phony war, or an oil war, or a revenge war. Don’t people read or listen to news that is not based on Democratic talking points? EVERYONE THOUGHT SADDAM HAD THE WEAPONS. Hilary Clinton, October 10. 2002: “... intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock... He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Queda members...” Dick Gephardt, September, 2002: “I share the administration’s goals in dealing with Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction.” Ted Kennedy, September 27, 2002: “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking out and developing weapons of mass destruction.” And John Kerry? January 23, 2003: “We need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime.” Bush made a decision based on information everyone agreed at the time was correct.
The Iraq/Al Qaeda connection: Read the article by Richard Miniter called “The Iraq-Al Qaeda Connections” (www.techcentralstation.com). Public records, from government reports to congressional testimony, show a clear link since at least 1994. Also try Andrew C. McCarthy’s article “Iraq and al Qaeda” at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).
Michael Moore: Michael Moore’s documentary is clearly more fiction than fact. He consistently misrepresents, manipulates, and at worst lies. The most foundational premise of his movie, the accusation that Bush flew the Bin Ladens out of the country after 9/11, is demonstrably false, even according to the official 9/11 report. Look it up! Look up a critical analysis of anything by Michael Moore!
Finally, rich people and taxes. Here are some statistics that are easy to find, though apparently not many people are putting forth the effort. The top 50% of wage earners pay 96% of the taxes; the top 10% pay 64% of the taxes; the top 5% pay 53% of the taxes; and the top 1% pay 33% of the taxes. As I write this, 39 to 45 million families of low and middle incomes have no tax liability, and the Bush tax cut made four million of those possible.
Speaking of the taxes, why is there so much support for soaking people who have more money?
Whether they earned it themselves or inherited it, somebody worked for it! It’s not the government’s money to redistribute!
Alright, the conservative gauntlet has been thrown. Let the liberal onslaught begin!

Anthony Weber • TC

(We invite conservative-minded readers to check out the new Right Stuff column which debuts on page 11 with a light-hearted opinion from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. -- ed.)

Hope for horses
Thanks for running the story on “Hope for Hooves” (Aug. 5). It has raised much interest and awareness in our cause.
We are getting many inquiries as to how people can help. That article has given us much needed exposure and for that we are very grateful. Thanks for caring.

Diana Parsel • Hope for Hooves, Charlevoix/Petoskey

No horse atrocities
I would like to respond to the article on the PMU (pregnant mare urine) horses in the Aug. 5-11 issue, “Hope for Horses.” There is much misinformation in that article. IF interested readers and reporters would go to the NAERIC’s (National American Equine Ranching Information Council) www.naeric.org website you will learn the truth about what goes on at these ranches. People have a right to see the correct information, not a one-sided view. This information will help you make up your own mind about these ranches.
My own personal PMU gelding came through one of the yearly production auctions held each fall by these ranches. These are much like the thoroughbred auctions you see for our race horses. Top buyers from all walks of life attend these auctions. Many of the horses sold in these auctions are sold at top price because of their desirable breeding. To call these horses rescued is false. Many go on to be top show horses. The PMU horses have a lot of positive human contact as you will see in the web articles.
My intention is not to discredit anyone. I just want people to have the correct information from the horses’ mouth so to speak.

Gerry Boris • via email

(We too invite readers to visit the FAQ section of www.naeric.org under its Reports header to judge for themselves how premarin mares are treated, bearing in mind that this is a public relations/marketing website for ranchers. -- ed.)

Save power plant building
The issue of saving or demolishing the brick portions of the old Traverse City power plant has become a very hot political subject in recent weeks and months. Most succinctly, the battling is over the value to the people in this community of an unimpeded view of that portion of the West Bay versus having a multi-use, year-round access community building.
I have been hearing for 30 years ( at least) of the need for the City of Traverse City to remove or relocate the power plant from its location on West Bay. The who or whom of the supporters of its removal has changed little over the years; it’s “they” or “we,” usually represented by an authoritative spokesperson. I use the phrasing “they” or “we” for a reason. If this becomes a situation where a public vote is required for resolution of the dispute, “they” or “we” will have to become a specific identifiable number. One person, one vote. Most votes wins. Democracy in action.
On the other side of the debate, a rapidly growing grassroots movement is fighting for the right to let the community decide whether or not they want to save the two brick buildings (removal of the giant blue portion and smokestack is not an issue). This fight itself has developed into two separate battles. First is the struggle to allow the public (read taxpayers) access to the buildings to decide for themselves if they would like to save them for year around community use buildings. Commissioner Orth is strongly (to say the least) against the public viewing the inside of the buildings. The second struggle is all about due process involving both the City Commission and the Light and Power Board. Questions have been raised over what I will call tactical techniques in an apparent attempt to quickly secure the procedural votes necessary to assure the demolition of all the power plant buildings. When the public is saying, “Whoa, let’s slow down and look at this a little closer,” it should happen. Town meetings. Voting. Democracy.
These are big impressive buildings which are full of potential for multiple year-around community uses. They are paid for (you paid for them). They have parking. It’s unfortunate that they are located on the bay, but they are. For me, I think it’s more important to keep the buildings than to raze them. If given the choice of having a place to participate in activities in the long “off” season or see more of the bay, I’ll take the activities.
I would like to thank mayor Linda Smyka and commissioner Anne Melichar for working so diligently to keep the public process public in what is becoming a very combative environment.

Rick Buckhalter • TC

Liars & Swift boat vets
With the recent furor over the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” advertisement, and the accusations of being “liars” being freely thrown around by both sides of the argument, it seems an interesting dilemma is developing.
If what the Swift boat veterans are saying is true, they observed no atrocities committed by their outfits during their tenure in Vietnam. If Kerry is telling the truth, then there were atrocities committed, and Kerry testified that it was so to Congress.
If we are to believe Sen. Kerry, then he had first hand knowledge of these atrocities, and as a commissioned Naval officer, he stood by and did nothing to stop or prevent these atrocities which as a commissioned officer it was his DUTY to do. The Kerry supporters don’t seem to question this at all, but would rather ignore it. How do we court-martial Army Lt. William Calley for atrocities at My Lai, shout for the heads of everyone from Rumsfeld on down for Abu Ghraib, and then turn around and condemn anyone who questions the record of and atrocities that were admitted to by a man who is presently running for President of the United States? Everybody else’s record but his is fair game?
If Sen. Kerry wants to make his Vietnam record part of his campaign, then shouldn’t he and his supporters be ready to answer those who may disagree with or question it instead of just calling them liars? Wouldn’t it be better to just clear the air?
Truth becomes nothing but partisan ideology when it becomes whatever fits a political agenda. When down becomes up and up becomes down just because someone says it is so without having to prove it, we are in serious trouble. When a person is still accused of being a liar despite at least three separate BIPARTISAN commissions exonerating him of doing so then truth no longer matters -- it becomes not what is true and can be proven, but whatever ideologues want it to be. The prophet Isaiah was right. Truth lies dead in the street.

Lee Oslund • Mackinaw City

Bush & Great Lakes water
While I share in the history of the moment, President Bush’s recent visit to Traverse City obscured the real issues in this presidential race. The most reported comment made by our President concerned Senator Kerry’s position on diverting water from the Great Lakes. President Bush stated that his opponent takes a rather ambiguous position on this issue. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Senator Kerry has stated on numerous occasions that he unequivably opposes diversion of water from the Great Lakes region. He has supported funding for municipalities which would improve water quality for all the Great Lakes.
Unfortunately the Bush administration has seen fit to cut federal funding for a program known as the “state revolving fund.” As a result of these cuts, in May of this year alone, 10 billion gallons of raw sewage were dumped into the Great Lakes by the cities of Milwaukee and Detroit. The Bush administration has also cut funding for Great Lakes water treatment and ecosystem restoration by over $249 million dollars.
This is not the only area where the Bush team misrepresents Senator Kerry. A group known as the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” has come out with several ads questioning Senator Kerry’s service in the Vietnam war. None of the Vietnam veterans used for these political ads ever served on John Kerry‘s boat and this whole effort is funded by a rich Texas GOP political operative who is one of our President’s fundraising “Pioneers.”
Every veteran who has ever served with John Kerry states that their lives were at numerous times saved by his courage and leadership under fire. The most notable supporter of John Kerry is a registered Republican who served with the Senator and whose life was saved by the actions of Commander Kerry in the rivers of South Vietnam in the spring of 1969.
All Americans should wish their presidents of whatever party that measure of success which the nation requires. However I do wish that the President would take responsibility for those supporters around him who do nothing but sling mud at whomever he happens to be running against. If he did so ,both his own reputation in history as well as the nation’s well-being would be preserved and enhanced.

Brian Morgan • Gaylord
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