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.
Even when I disagree with Mr. Tuttle, I always credit him with a degree of fairness. Unfortunately, in his piece regarding the Palestinian/Israeli conflict he falls well short of offering any insights that might advance his readers’ understanding of the conflict...The True Northport
I was disappointed by your piece on Northport. While I agree that the sewer system had a big impact on the village, I don’t agree with your “power of retirees” position. I see that I am thrown in with the group of new businesses started by “well-off retirees” and I feel that I have been thoroughly misrepresented, as has the village...
Conservatives and Obamacare
What is it about Obamacare that sends conservatives over the edge? There are some obvious answers...
I read the letter from Don Turner of Beulah and it seems he lives in that magical part of the Fox News Universe where no matter how many offices the Republican Party controls they are not responsible for anything bad that happens...
I read your
paper because it’s free and I enjoy the ads. But I struggle through the
left wing tripe that fills every page, from political cartoons to the
vitriolic pen of Mr. Tuttle. What a shame this
beautiful area of the state has such an abundance of
Socialist/democrats. Or perhaps the silent majority chooses to stay
Doom, Yet a Cup Half Full
In the news we are told of the civil unrest at Ferguson, Mo; ISIS war radicals in Iraq and Syria; the great corporate tax heist at home. You name it. Trouble, trouble, everywhere. It seems to me the U.S. Congress is partially to blame...Uncomfortable Questions
defending the positions of the Israelis vs Hamas are far too narrow.
Even Mr. Tuttle seems to have failed in looking deeply into the divide.
American media is not biased against Israel, nor or are they pro
Palestine or Hamas...
The Evolution of Man Revisited
As the expectations of manhood evolve, so too do the rules of love. In Mr. Holmes’s statement [from “Our Therapist Will See Us Now” in last week’s issue] he narrows the key to a successful relationship to the basic need to have your wants and needs understood, and it is on this point I expand...
Climate change isn’t an easy subject. A class I’m taking compared it to medicine in a way that was helpful for me: Climate
scientists are like planetary physicians. Our understanding of medicine
is incomplete, but what we know is useful...
Beware Non-Locally Grown
The article “Farm Fresh?” couldn’t be any more true than exactly stated. As an avid shopper at the local farm markets I want to know “exactly” what I am buying, from GMO free to organic or not organic, sprayed or not sprayed and with what...Media Bias Must End
wish to thank Joel Weberman for his letter “Seeking Balanced Israel
Coverage.” The pro-Palestinian bias includes TV news coverage...
Proud of My President
world is a mess. According to many conservative voices, it would not be
in such a mess if Obama was not the president. I am finally
understanding that the problem with our president is that he is too
thoughtful, too rational, too realistic, too inclined to see things
differently and change his mind, too compassionate to be the leader of a
Build A Better Cherry Fest
strongly disagree with Mr. Tuttle’s piece insisting that we keep
National Cherry Festival exactly as it remains. Many residents,
including myself, are not in favor of eliminating the festival, but
rather asking some very poignant questions...
A Real Farmers Market
ongoing practice of farmer’s market vendors reselling produce they
don’t grow themselves, and failing to identify it as such, has never
been about “big farmer versus little farmer,” as one of the resellers
claims, but rather about transparency and being straightforward and
telling the truth to buyers...
Congrats on the Wet House
wonderful to see that there are people who are intelligent,
compassionate and actively doing something to help those with addictions
and mental differences which are viewed with critical disapproval by
many. Mental challenges and addictions to drugs and alcohol are not
unique to homeless men, these things affect both men and women and
people from all income levels...
What will you tell your children about climate change? Will you tell them how the increase of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere caused more severe storms, the melting of Arctic sea ice and the Antarctic ice shield, and the warming and rising of our oceans? Will you tell them how this caused water and food shortages around the world?Seeking Balanced Israel Coverage
I’ve noticed that over the last couple of years letters printed in the Northern Express concerning Israel have all been critical of Israel with no blame assigned to the Palestinians. With this current offensive against Hamas, no doubt there will be plenty more criticism of Israel...Taxing Retirees
How remarkable to see letters from rational folks instead of the usual loony rants about the Koch brothers, Citizens United, corporate evils in general, global warming, fracking, and how by some twisted logic, women’s rights to purchase and use birth control are infringed unless her selection is fully paid for by a third party...Symphony Masterpiece
I’m writing to draw attention to a recent presentation of professional classical music outdoors. The
audience experienced a new sort of sound and light show Saturday, July
19, when the Traverse Symphony Orchestra presented its first ever
concert on the lawn of the Grand Traverse Commons...
Revisiting The Wethouse
The Christie Minervini column on “wethouses” was insightful and I hope received positively by the community. Our drug and alcohol policies are built on failure and powerlessness. We try to live up to some undefined moral code, and pay no attention to “reducing the harm” we all face from alcoholism and addiction. A priest or minister won’t solve this problem but maybe, God willing, an engineer can!
can’t figure out what perplexes me more, the misinformation everywhere
in the media or those who believe it to be true. Take the Hobby Lobby
case; as a company that is primarily owned by a religious family, they
felt their First Amendment rights were infringed upon by the
“Affordable” Care Act...
Stop Labeling and Enjoy
have been struggling to find a simple way of understanding for myself
the concepts of conservative, liberal, and moderation as it relates to
our social interactions with each other...
Proposal One & The Public Good
Are you kidding me? Another corporate giveaway with loopholes for large corporations who rule us? Hasn’t our corrupt and worthless governor done enough to raise taxes, provide corporate welfare, unjustly tax pensions, and shut down elected officials with his emergency manager racket...The Truth About Road Workers
Apparently Mr. Kachadurian did not catch on to the fact that the MDOT Employee Memorial in Clare is a tribute to highway workers who lost their lives building our transportation systems. It was paid for by current and former MDOT employees who likely knew some of these people personally...Idiotic and Misguided
As a seasonal resident, I always look forward to reading your paper, if only because of the idiotic letters to the editor and off the wall columns...
observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were
subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are
conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social
diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning
women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors,
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...
Things That Matter
All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...
So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...
we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly
”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the
pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax
businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share
of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state
purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and
Fix VA Tragedy
The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...
I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...
Immigration, Birth Control & Population
The recent and enormous increase in young illegal immigrants (mostly from Central America) crossing our southern border highlights the need for an immigration bill that could provide a bipartisan solution to this current and significant threat to our country...Guns in Schools Are Bullying
State law defines bullying in the school as activity that “adversely affects the ability of a pupil to participate in or benefit from the school district’s or public school’s educational programs or activities by placing the pupil in reasonable fear of physical harm or by causing emotional distress.”...Global Warming Debate Over
Global warming will become the mother of all environmental issues because it strikes at the very root of economic activity: the use of energy. So perhaps not surprisingly, the same people who questioned acid rain, doubted the ozone hole, and defended tobacco now attack the scientific evidence of global warming...Learn More About Fluoride Dangers
The issue about fluoride in our municipal water is not going away - for good reason. Concerned people who have studied the complete story about fluoride are taking action to inform the public about its extreme toxicity and health dangers...Open Carry An Uproar To Come
While perhaps unnecessary, I’m writing in response to Anne Stanton’s “Open Carry” article of 1 July. Given the increasingly common discussion of this issue in our region, I found it helpful in that it identifies an emerging discussion and has provided a fairly neutral platform from which the discussion can continue...
What are they thinking in Empire? Most of the small towns up north are jumping through hoops to attract visitors. But Empire has decided to charge a dollar an hour for parking access to their main attraction, the Lake Michigan beach...No Debate About Greater Power
I can’t help but chuckle at your featured debates between a pastor and atheist. With over 40,000 different protestant and non-denominational denominations in the world and counting, asking only Pastor Nick Twomey to define theological explanations for Trinitarian believing Christians is like shopping for car insurance on the Internet; I know what I need, so many to choose from before I commit, will coverage meet my needs...Column Correct: No Guns in School
Hardy’s Guest Opinion “Get Guns Out of Schools” is spot on...
I would like to refute the statistic quoted in Richard Denneaus’s letter in the June 2, 2014 Northern Express. He states that “....the cost to produce electricity from renewable sources is at least double our current costs.”...What is that giant sucking sound?
is not the sounds of jobs leaving our country due to the one-way trade
agreements. There is not much left of decent jobs to be sucked away. The
sucking sound I am referring to is caused by the vacuum of leadership
My wife’s elderly cousin had moved into a nice care home to spend his final days. When I went to visit him, there was no television, and I asked him why. “Don’t want one. It stresses me out”. Every time we visited him, his door was open and he was out an about with his walker visiting people instead of watching the tube...My Peace Corps
I have a different perspective from Frederik Stig-Nielsen on serving in the Peace Corps. I volunteered in Niger, West Africa from 1980- 83 and count it among life’s richest experiences...Applauding Tolerance
loved the front cover of the May 14 paper. Of course, I am a little
partial as the man on the right is my son Andy, with his partner Joel.
Your article was eye-opening, chilling, and reassuring...
Emergency Shelter Fulfilling 2006 Plan
the Grand Traverse community has been discussing the issues of
emergency shelter and homelessness these last few months, a document has
surfaced from 2006 that spells out some of the challenges we face...
ad for the strip club in the June 9 issue was pretty terrible.
“Supporting single moms one dollar at a time” is cruel and belittling to
the women who have no other option but to strip for a living to feed
During the Memorial Day Parade in Petoskey, I noticed that Congressman Dan Benishek was walking with local veterans...Letters to Jail
A big thank you to Sheriff Ted Schendel of Benzie County for rescinding the “Postcard Only” policy on May 23. This policy was initiated by the sheriff on April 27th. At the urging of Benzie citizens, Schendel reviewed the policy and then made a compassionate and legal decision...In Defense of Our Climate
So what’s going on in Washington? On May 22, the US House of Representatives passed the McKinley Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (the military budget), which would forbid the Department of Defense to spend any money to implement the recommendations of the National Climate Assessment, the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and two other climate reports when considering the national security impacts of climate change...Littering Never Okay
God made this world. He was here first and is still watching. He
loaned the world to us...
read the recent version of “Crossed” with interest. I can only respond
by quoting Mr. Lennon: “Imagine there’s no heaven It’s easy if you try
No hell below us Above us only sky Imagine all the people Living for
Stop The Fluoridation
The decision of the Boyne City Commissioners to stop adding fluoride to the water supply is very good news for the citizens...The Reality at Griswold Mountain
letters to the editor to local newspapers by some Griswold Mountain
racetrack supporters have contained hostile references to “the
anti-trackers” that cloud the fact that racing on the mountain is a
zoning issue, not an issue of class warfare nor a debate about economic
development in Indian River...
Renewable Energy and Fracking
When Edison figured out how to harness electricity, the world was changed. What a wonderful addition to our lives. And now we have the knowhow to produce our needs from wind and solar which means we no longer need to drill these awful wells to produce natural gas. And no more fracking...
Stop Damage to Waters Lake Bellaire is a northern Michigan treasure, enjoyed by its residents and visitors for fishing, boating, and majestic views. But there is an unwelcome surprise awaiting those who love the Antrim Chain of Lakes, and Lake Bellaire...Learn About NSA’s Powers I read and watch the news with growing concern over the expansive powers of the National Security Administration (NSA). The explosive revelations by Edward Snowden now being reported by Glenn Greenwald and others hopefully are triggering thoughts and renewed debate over the tension between national security and information privacy...
Too Much War Are we addicted to war? A recent speaker on international affairs reported that the current military budget is 20 percent of the total U.S. budget. Those figures are “suspect.” Since 9/11, the US military budget has swollen by 49 percent over its 2000 levels, not including two wars...