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 1/13/05
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Letters 1/13/05

Various - January 13th, 2005
Confidence builder?
Mr. Bush urges us to have “full confidence” in his handling of Social Security. He says it’s broke, but it isn’t, say the experts. So maybe the real issue here is “full confidence,” not economics.
Let’s parse “full confidence” in the Bush panoply of diction, using the historical method. (Following Dana Milbank, Washington Post.)
Iraq czar Paul Bremer had Mr. Bush’s “full confidence,” but unfortunately admitted he needed more troops--a no no-- after dissolving the Iraqi army. Mr. Ashcroft enjoyed the “full confidence” of Mr. Bush before putting his foot on the slippery slope. And Mr. Tenet had the “full confidence” of Mr. Bush as he led him wittingly down the “slam dunk” path. Bush was “fully confident” in our relations with Spain--before Spain withdrew. “We have “full confidence” in his (Kerik’s) integrity” intoned Mr. McClellan, press secretary. McClellan should have updated his resume in June 2003 when Bush said: “I’ve got “full confidence” in my new press secretary.” Now he has “high confidence” in Mr. Rumsfeld...
And so, it should afford some relief to Mr. Gonzales, candidate for Ashcroft‘s replacement, that Mr. Bush has not yet given him the embellishment of “full confidence.” This in spite of his calling the Geneva Convention and International Law “quaint” and giving a big “okay” to torturing prisoners.
It appears that “full confidence” is really another example of “Bushphemism,” a highly virulent form of euphemism.
So, death in Iraq is the “folded flag” given to relatives. Borrowing trillions for Social Security is “upfront transition financing.” Missing weapons of mass destruction are now “weapons of mass destruction program related activities.” Capping lawsuits is “reducing lawsuit abuse.” Eliminating right to choice becomes “a culture of life.” Drilling in ANWR is part of “a comprehensive energy plan.”
Got “confidence”?

Robert E. Marshall • Lake Leelanau

Wrong policy
It seems the rich getting richer is the status quo with the Bush administration and rewriting Social Security seems to be no exception. Basing our retirement funds on inflation rates instead of wages is the WRONG policy! Why do so many Americans just sit back and accept this as good policy?
Maybe they believe this is what “God” told George to do!!
Beware the false prophets and follow the money.
Terri Johnson • Frankfort

Stereotyping
So the “Red States” are poor, ignorant, and polluted (Random Thoughts, 12/30). How clever of you to avoid the accusation of stereotyping and prejudice by attributing those slanders to Fox News! Of course we all know that liberals never, never are guilty of stereotyping or prejudice. Well, perhaps with the exception of demonizing anyone who doesn’t discard the inconvenient parts of the Bible.
How about we have an honest, intellectual discussion in 2005 instead of hurling insults.

Nancy Brimhall, RN • via email

Social Security blunder
President Bush is taking the first step in his plan to dismantle Social Security.
Recently, White House sources revealed their plan to cut promised benefits to retirees by nearly a third. And these cuts are guaranteed -- whether you opt in to the Bush plan or not.
For those entering the workforce today, that means more than a 25 percent cut in the retirement benefits we are counting on.
We can’t stand by and let George W. Bush and this adminstration cut our promised guaranteed retirement benefits, to fund more of their trademark fiscal irresponsibility.

Patrick DeGue • Suttons Bay

Disregard for science
As a Christmas gift to some, but certainly not to those who concern themselves with endangered species protection and the ecological health of our national forests, the Bush administration issued new rules, eliminating some environmental protections that date to the Reagan administration.
Part of the deal, certainly, is their dedication to corporate interests and their unwillingness to face the “bad news” of present day environmental science. But there is more. It is the reality of the “more” that leaves me almost without hope for the future. It is a philosophy of all too many of our country’s leaders; its essence was articulated by Bill Moyers when he accepted the Center for Health and the Global Environment’s Global Environment Citizen Award at the beginning of December.
Moyer’s speech was titled “Battlefield Earth.” In it he pointed out that millions of Christian fundamentalists welcome environmental destruction as a sign of the apocalypse. These people believe in the rapture, a theology proposed by 19th century immigrant preachers. They think that true believers will be transported to heaven (even the dead will rise from their graves!) and others, like me and other political and religious opponents, will suffer years of tribulation. Where is compassion? What became of Jesus‘s commandment to “love thy neighbor”?
I have long wondered why some fundamental-ist Christians who insist on the doctrine of “creation science” are not also worried about endangered species and have little interest in environmental preservation. What about God’s injunction in the Genesis stories of creation that man is to “till and to keep” the Garden, to be stewards of creation?
We have more than 231 legislators backed by the religious right, many of them doubtless making decisions with the apocalypse in mind. They dismiss a preponderance of current scientific evidence, minimizing hazards of mercury in the air, vastly overrating the oil potential of the arctic Wildlife National Refuge, and denying the pending economic, social and environmental disasters of global climate change.
Decisions for my future, your future, and the future of the planet are being made by apocalyptic thinkers who have a blatant disregard for science. Let’s hope we make it through the next four years!

Alison Heins • TC

Ill planet
Our planet may be terminally ill. Our global greenhouse melts glaciers and polar ice caps, harming forests, lakes, polar wild life. Vehicles multiply in the Third World. Many informed friends are truly alarmed. We are not crying “Wolf”! Scientific studies abound. Without corrective efforts, global warming and pollution may soon be beyond control.
Washington and media often ignore this sobering reality! U.S. may be the only advanced nation refusing to sign the Kyoto treaty, setting goals to reduce pollution. How could our leaders forget their children?
While Denmark and Japan get harmless energy abundantly from windmills and solar panels, our laws actually tolerate more pollution! One scientific projection shows solar panels in an area under 1/10 of New Mexico would produce all our nation’s energy needs. Harnessing ocean wave action is available.
We should fear for our offspring. I’ll write long-hand to our leaders: will you help our kids?

Grafton “Mac” Thomas • Northport

Retirement threat
President Bush is endangering the retirement of millions of Americans by taking the first step in his plan to dismantle Social Security. I am already retired but I cannot see my children, grand and great grandchildren being short changed by this administration.
Recently, White House sources revealed their plan to cut promised benefits to retirees by nearly a third. And these cuts are guaranteed -- whether you opt in to the Bush plan or not. The plan does not insure that those affected would be finanically savy to cope with what needs to be done to insure their retirement years through investing on their own. It sounds good, but reality must overcome the glad-handed promise.
For those entering the workforce today, that means more than a 25% cut in the retirement benefits they’re counting on; for their children, it guarantees a 46% cut. This plan has the potential of being the demise of what we know as the standard of living for the elderly in the future.
We can’t stand by and let George W. Bush and the Republican dominated Congress cut our promised guaranteed retirement benefits -- especially when so many are looking to Social Security to help lead a happy, healthy life when they retire. He wants to be the hero by giving billions to the world and its needs at our expense. We need to let him know we are not buying his rhetoric.

Jim Williams • Kalkaska

 
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