Those of us who live here were thrilled that ABCs Good Morning America
show cited the Sleeping Bear Dunes as being the most beautiful place in
the country last week. I myself put a link to the news clip on my
Facebook page to brag about my hometown to friends living overseas.
On the other hand, if you look at other beautiful places around the
country -- Carmel, Cape Cod, Bar Harbor, Hilton Head, Jacksons Hole,
etc. -- its pretty clear what happens when you start waving the
figurative red cape in the bull ring of the national media.
You get run over by the bulldozers of development.
This summer, Bicycling magazine touted Northern Michigan as one of the
top regions in the country for cycling. Thats just one item in a long
list of kudos from Outside, Mens Journal, National Geographic, Midwest
Living, Backpacking Magazine, AARP Magazine, Readers Digest, Parade,
MotorHome Magazine, the New York Times and perhaps dozens of
Northern Michigan has been credited as being a top destination for
fishing, camping, retirement, biking, foodies, RVing, beaches, outdoor
recreation... We havent gotten an award for being the best place to
get a bikini wax yet, but that day is surely coming because when the
media loves a place, it tends to love it to death.
Okay, we‘re “guilty as charged“ at Northern Express for sharing the
love about our region too, but it makes you wonder: Where is this all
this ‘good news‘ taking us?
Its nice that chef Mario Batali is proud of his new home and went on
at length about what life is like in the paradise of Northern
Michigan on Good Morning America.
But Joni Mitchell told us more than 40 years ago what happens to Eden
once the word gets out: They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.
Many in the tourist industry wouldnt agree with a mums the word
strategy (futile at best, anyway), even if it means wrecking the
blissful lifestyle we enjoy here with more traffic, crime and chain
But these could be the same folks whod consider cutting all the trees
to put em in a tree museum if it meant more tourists. Charge all the
people a dollar and a half just to see em.
Heres an ominous bit of historical symmetry. Does anyone remember
what the big news story was in the summer of 2001, just before 9/11?
Shark attacks. Theres actually a page in Wikipedia on the Summer of
the Shark in 2001, which describes the media circus that year in which
shark attacks weighed in as the third biggest news story behind the
western forest fires and the disappearance of Chandra Levi.
Cut to 2011 and sharks are back in a big way in the news: Shark
attacks in the Seychelles, North Carolina, Florida and California.
Meanwhile, the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is only three weeks away. It
signifies nothing, but seems an odd coincidence.
Beware the tiger muskie, my friends -- it‘s out there... lurking in the
dim shadows of your favorite lake.
If Republicans are trying to wreck the economy just to keep President
Obama from being re-elected, they seem to be doing a very good job of
The recent stock market crash came courtesy of the bogus debt ceiling
crisis engineered by the tea party. This 1,000-point drop in the Dow
has been a disaster for retirees who depend on their investments.
The downgrade of America‘s AAA credit rating was a direct result of
the hostage situation created by Republicans, which suggested that our
nation would blow off paying its bills. This is expected to add to the
country‘s debt, rather than decreasing it.
Republican have hamstrung government efforts to create jobs, despite
the consensus of economists around the world that a federal stimulus is
a wise course of action.
Here‘s the kicker: 95% of Republicans in Congress have made a pledge
to an anti-tax activist named Grover Norquist that they will not raise
taxes or close loopholes on multinational corporations or the super
rich under any circumstances, no matter how grave the emergency. As in
the one we‘re in at present.
Doesn‘t a pledge to uphold the Constitution and serve their
constituents trump a pledge to some nerd named Grover? Apparently not.
Rush Limbaugh gave away the GOP‘s game plan four years ago when he
decreed that his party should do whatever it takes to wreck Obama‘s
presidency. That strategy seems to be working very well, at the
expense and suffering of the American people.