Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Letters · Letters 5/9/02
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Letters 5/9/02

Various - May 9th, 2002
Dillenbeck & Sprawl

Your article on Mike Dillenbeck was as eye-opening as it was frightening. To think that a public official who makes his living tearing down trees, paving land and helping to create sprawl could be disheartened at any oppostion is cause for concern.
“We‘re building this through wetlands,“ he says... isn‘t THAT disheartening? “There‘s nothing natural about the river,“ he says... isn‘t THAT disheartening?
I would suggest that IF this bridge is built the powers that be should extract some documentation from Mr. Dillenbeck beforehand relating to the verifiable effects of the construction. If any of what he professes turns out to be false, he should be held legally
accountable. Let him use his models and predictions of no sprawl, “better ecosystems,“ and his promise of “real environmental enhancements“ in his defense.
Rivers are more than their banks, and should be revered as something other than impediments to transportation. It‘s true there are old animal corridoers there, not to mention hundreds of plant and animal species, but what of the sky over the river? Imagine from water level, looking up into the expanse of 200 feet of steel, listening to thousands of cars a day. This project has been fueled by greed and arrogance since it started. It was ugly in the mind at its inception, ugly on the drafting table and will be even uglier in the real world. If it does go up, take notes.

Michael Delp • Green Lake Township

Letter from Israel

I just came back from Bethlehem and Nablus, and was slightly wounded by a bullet fired by an Israeli soldier. He also hit six others in our group, including two head wounds and a very serious stomach wound to the woman next to me, and a news cameraman, as well.
It‘s a long road from the picture portrayed by the media in the U.S. and Israel to the truth, or at least balanced coverage. We tend to see things through Israeli eyes, and even the Israelis tend to have too much faith in what their government tells them. Know any other people like that?
I don‘t think I have ever seen the Palestinian point of view ever expressed in any publication in the U.S., and I have tried to express it and get it published myself, so far without success except for a few letters to the editor. I think it is important to try to see the picture through Palestinian eyes, as well.
Before the creation of Israel, the place was called Palestine, and it was a British mandate, even though the British had promised independence after WWI. The British “viewed with favor the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine“ in 1924, without ever taking into consideration the wishes of the population. Just prior to the creation of Israel, the Jewish population had grown to 33%, or around 600,000, and they owned between 6% and 8% of the total land area. After independence, they had 78% of the land and had expelled 750,000 Palestinian Arabs who, contrary to international law, have never been allowed to return to their homes.
The Palestinians have paid an enormous price for the creation of Israel. They had already lost 78% of their homeland prior to 1967, and they are in the process of losing the other 22%. Israel has already confiscated more than half of the reamaining land, and is continuing its encroachment on the rest. Israel wants the land, but not the people who are on it. That‘s what this is about, and it is known as ethnic cleansing. The subject is taboo in this country.
Surprisingly, the Palestinians have offered to settle for the 22%, and to offer full peace in return. In that respect, they know when they are beaten. But try to find any mention of this in the U.S. press. Why? Because to say so might undermine U.S. foreign policy, which is to support Israel in this crime.
The Palestinians consider suicide bombers to be the only weapon of resistance at their disposal. I disagree, as do many Palestinians, and think that it is counterproductive as well as immoral, but I have to admit that it is probably slowing down the resettlement of Jewish Israelis in the Palestinian territories.
By the way, what is the point of the settlements? They create a security problem rather than solving one. Their only function is to populate an area with Jews which had previously been inhabited by Palestinian Arabs. Is there a better definition of ethnic cleansing? The cost of building the settlements is enormous, along with the road system connecting them to each other and the rest of Israel. However, it is heavily subsidized and paid for by the U.S. taxpayer, and offered to Israeli Jewish settlers at ridiculously low rates - some free - to get them to live there. Destitute new immigrants from Russia and Argentina have almost no
choice but to live there.
I haven‘t even spoken of the oppression of the occupation, the destruction, the diverting of 80% of the water resources, the shooting at farmers who try to work their land, the wanton destruction of everything in sight that I saw in Nablus (roughly 300 cars simply run over by tanks in all parts of the city for no reason at all), the chopping up of Palestinian territory into 226 separate areas, each blocked off from all but foot traffic from all others, and even then only by going through checkpoints.
Do we see a different picture here? You bet. How would you feel if the Jewish homeland had been Illinois instead of Palestine?

Paul Larudee • San Francisco.

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