Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

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Letters

 
Monday, October 6, 2008

Letters 10/6/08

Letters Who‘s to blame?
The consensus is that the crisis in financial markets relates to the sub-prime mortgage scandal. Until mortgages are under control, even the Fed cannot bail us out and return prosperity in America.
But no one is addressing the cause, or fixing the blame for the crisis. That is a bad mistake. People who get caught doing wrong always say, “Don’t look back; let’s just fix the problem.”
Blame is important because it acknowledges that a right way of doing things still exists, as opposed to what happened here. If there is no blame, then the public gets the mistaken impression that “the system” is flawed. Instead of focusing the problem where it belongs – on the crooks who created and then milked a disaster – the public sees the entire system as at fault, and takes money out of the system, further damaging it.
I‘m reminded of something I read earlier this year: a February 14 article, “Predatory Lenders’ Partner in Crime,” in the Washington Post by then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.
Spitzer, who was later caught in a scandal, wrote that the sub-prime crisis, which caused the current banking crisis, was not caused by a mysterious, insoluble flaw in the American system. It was caused by predatory lending – bankers and mortgage companies enticed people to borrow money without the slightest ability to pay it back. Then they sold the mortgages to others, who invested in mortgage-backed securities.
As of 2003 – years ago – 50 state attorney generals filed suit or brought civil claims against subprime lenders to stop the gathering disaster. Fifty state attorney generals saw the risk of this crisis.
The Bush administration – the “partner in crime” – forced the 50 states to stop their civil actions. The Bush administration turned loose the speculators and manipulators, and sided with financial rogues against the American public.
The financial crisis that threatens the world did not come out of nowhere. Real, live bad people caused this to happen. They hurt real, live Americans trying to make a living and save for retirement. They hurt, for example, local hospitals that invest savings and provide medical help to the community. They hurt school teachers; they hurt yard workers; they hurt Republicans and Democrats alike.
And the Bush administration intentionally assisted in this crime. As of 2003 the states were trying to stop this disaster. The Bush administration actively prevented lawyers from saving American citizens from this financial disaster – a disaster my children will be paying for over the next 50 years.
My message may be a little strange, but here it is – The American system is a good system that has worked for many decades. It has not failed. What failed is a corrupt presidential administration.

Grant W. Parsons • TC

 
Monday, September 29, 2008

Letters 9/29/08

Letters Supporting Sarah

Here we go – Wayne Erreca and Robert Downes prove Sarah Palin has something going for her and is vice presidential material. At first, reading their vicious attack, I was offended, then I had to chuckle as she really has the Democrats scrambling to cut her down. Way to go Sarah.

Donna Edgerton • Indian River

Republican Doubletalk

I am sick of one political party claiming the title “pro-life,” as if the rest of us are “anti-life.” What about “life” after birth?
What party lied to trick us into a war that has killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of God’s children?
What party is so protective of big business and the insurance industry that millions are left with poor coverage or none at all?
What party tells people: “Pull yourselves up by your bootstraps?,” “We’ll give you a hand up, not a hand out?,” then they create business incentives for companies to outsource American jobs to other countries?
What party justifies tax breaks to the wealthy, telling us it’ll create jobs…the money will “trickle down” to us? In reality, they invest in jobs overseas where labor is cheap!
Which party promises tax cuts, never reminding us about our huge debt and enormously expensive war? They don’t tell us they’ll pay for those by cutting social programs such as Social Security and Medicare? What about our crumbling infrastructure?
Which party claims “family values” while members of their party prove repeatedly that their morals are no different than anyone else’s?
Which party has created a climate of greed allowing millions of Americans to lose their homes?
Which party has denied the need for clean, renewable energy (benefiting not only the health of the environment, but human health), because of their connection to the oil industry?
My point is that all life counts! Our future depends on this election. We need to recognize all this kissing up to average, working class Americans for what it is… Republican desperation to get votes! Study the issues. Forget the emotion, gender, race and personalities. Vote on the issues that will impact us and our children’s lives for years to come.

Barbara Bernier • Manistee
 
Monday, September 22, 2008

Letters 9/22/08

Letters Our world standing
As a long-time visitor to Northern Michigan from the United Kingdom, I find visits during election years fascinating. None more so than this one.
Candidates may be ranting on about jobs, the economy, education or security, but presidential elections are also about America’s standing in the world. The last eight years have been a disaster.
It is shocking to see how reviled and ridiculed this country is around the world. That’s not healthy for the U.S. or the planet as a whole.
In a recent BBC poll conducted in 22 countries, Barak Obama was favored by a margin of 4-to-1 to become president. Not only would a McCain presidency smack of business as usual, but in his choice of running mate, the derision has reached new heights.
One can smugly declare that this does not matter since these people have no vote in the elections anyway. But the major issues facing our planet will only be resolved if we all work together to resolve them. And that will not happen if the United States continues to be disliked and mistrusted, let alone a continuous laughing stock.

Alan Deverell • TC

Exxon outrage
I saw a news story about how Exxon had made a record profit, one of their highest yet. We have paid outrageous prices at the pump for them to make this profit.
We have paid higher prices in grocery stores, retail stores, and restaurants so Exxon could make a huge profit. We have paid so they could celebrate their good fortune while record numbers fill local food banks and thousands of people are losing their homes because they can’t make ends meet.
I think it is long past time we stand up and let Exxon know this kind of business practice is not acceptable in America. It is time we stop complaining about gas prices and do something about it
Plan your shopping and work to minimize what time you spend driving, start walking whenever possible, use the bus system, ride a bike, car pool to work... do whatever you can to reduce the amount of gas you buy. Shop stations not owned by Exxon. If enough people follow through with this, it will send a very loud message through reduced profits: that doing business at the expense of the American people doesn’t work!

Peggy Zinn
via email
 
Monday, September 15, 2008

Letters 9/15/08

Letters Palin: more of the same
Who is Sarah Palin? Her nomination came like a sniper shot from nowhere, and Republican assurances that their private “due diligence” constitutes investigation is laughable.
The vetting process is crucial when the primary candidate is 72 years old. Their cavalier attitude may be emblematic of another “bums‘ rush” for the White House as conceived by Karl Rove.
Aside from the age and gender differences, I see few moderating distinctions between the Bush administration and this Republican proposal. We know that McCain voted with Bush 90% of the time during the past eight years, an indication of his presidency, but what if Palin outlives him?
President Palin would oppose abortion even in the case of rape or incest; believes that creationism should be taught in schools; does not believe humans affect global warming; actually sued the Bush administration for calling Polar Bears an endangered species; supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000; believes in a “Big Oil First” energy policy; supports the war; and she even received praise from Rush Limbaugh. This is not change.
It’s odd when a candidate touts their religiosity on a platform of “change.” Frankly, I don’t think anything new has come from religion since the Bronze Age. Change is not accepted within the evangelical realm unless it is to “change” someone else back to a 3,000-year-old sense of morality. A world where scientific inquiry was met with torture, where most sexual sins were punished by death, and when children were sold into slavery. A horrific return to the superstitious world where human sacrifice is rationalized into an “expression of love” for the purpose of placating an angry God is recidivism. It is not change.
Will the Alaskan Governor‘s foreign policy simply be big oil‘s wish list? It was. And, this is change?

Tim Wiley • TC

 
Monday, September 8, 2008

Letters 9/8/08

Letters A dangerous choice
In the midst of all the hype and make-believe over Sarah Palin, the idea of John McCain as decision maker shows with great clarity. His radical choice of VP has seriously dangerous possibilities. If she were to be required to step up to the task of president, the outcome would be horrendous at best.
This woman is under investigation and has ties with an anti-American group in Alaska. Who in their right mind would choose her as a running mate? Nobody.
I am sorry, but I can’t vote for a man solely because he was a war hero. He is no more so than any of the thousands of others who served in Vietnam many of whom gave much more than he did.
The Republicans have a long history of twisting and ignoring the truth without regard for the future of our country.America can’t stand four more years of Bush’s failed policies. Because I love America, I will vote against McCain.

Darrell Carlisle • TC

The pitbull in lipstick
If elected, John McCain and his VP “pitbull” in lipstick will swing our nation so far to the right, it’ll make Bush’s administration appear liberal in comparison.
A few journalist say: “He intends to deliver a new Republican Party to the people.” New? They’ll still be about the rich getting richer, making war against others for the good of Wall Street, robbing women of their rights, refusing proper healthcare for the under-privileged, securing a dominant foot-hold in the Middle East, and whatever ragged relationship we still have with Russia will be reduced to a block of ice. Voters should look beneath the skin and not be easily influenced by cleverly scripted campaign speeches delivered to McCain’s hand by one of Bush’s writers.

Wayne Erreca • TC

A feel-good moment
I was in Denver last week, in the stadium with 70,000 people, wearing my tri-colored hat, waving my flag, chanting “Yes we can,” clapping rhythmically, sharing hopes for the future.
Well, I wasn’t really there, but I was in the Antrim delegation (complete with tall signs designating our space) in the jam-packed State Theatre in Traverse City, watching the historic activity on the enormous screen, and it sure seemed that we were in Denver.
At first we hesitated about applauding people who couldn’t hear us or leaping up with our Obama signs, which only our audience in the theater could see. That hesitation was short-lived.
Michael Moore repeated that the State Theatre belongs to the community – for the viewing of the Metropolitan Opera, for high school football tournaments, for events like the final night of the 2008 Democratic Convention, and the final night of the Republican Convention.
On the way home, our carload of delegates identified our favorite moments. We all agreed that the Teamster from Detroit, the brow-striking woman from Ohio, the bubbly teacher from New Mexico, and the rest of that group of people just like us finished up on one giant high note of the evening. The plaid-shirted, life-long Republican Barney Smith from Indiana brought down both houses with his stern-faced comment: “I want a government that pays attention to Barney Smith, not Smith-Barney.”

Patti Fox • Bellaire

 
Monday, September 1, 2008

Letters 9/01/08

Letters Madonna & the orphans
I missed Rick Coates’ article regarding Madonna’s visit to Traverse City, so perhaps I’m not addressing the concern of Angelina Randazzo (August 18 Letters).
However, I was privileged to see Madonna and the film I Am Because We Are at the State Theatre. I applaud Madonna wholeheartedly. Her assistance to the orphans of Malawi is outstanding. Hopefully, her generosity will inspire others to follow -- not only to assist the downtrodden in foreign lands but in our many pockets of poverty. I felt uplifted and proud of this accomplished Michigan woman.
While it is easy to criticize “imperfections” (and don’t we all have them?), few are able to measure up to the many positive accomplishments of Madonna, Michael Moore, and others who have done wonderful things for Michigan, for Traverse City, and for this small world.
Thank you, Michael Moore, for your unceasing efforts to educate, to highlight Michigan talent and to further causes that elicit caring and compassion. Traverse City is a nicer place thanks to you.

Theresa Walter • Suttons Bay

Don‘t dis Madonna
The reader who wrote the letter criticizing Madonna’s appearance at the recent Traverse City Film Festival obviously missed the point of the festival and Madonna.
Madonna did not appear representing anything other than her excellent film about the plight of children, poverty and AIDS in Malawi. As a mother, a woman and an artist, she speaks volumes about the importance of giving back to the world and being involved.
Sexual exploitation in her path to stardom is another cheap shot and is ignorant of what it takes to be successful at anything -- hard work, discipline, and a point of view.
Final point: I imagine Madonna’s daughter will have the intelligence and curiosity to learn and discuss these issues with a mother who is open to dialogue and not given to ignorant, judgmental thinking. I encourage the reader to get involved with life in a more balanced way and stop worrying about Madonna.

Jim Damberg • TC



A no-class act
Regarding Angela Crandall’s letter “Quit knocking Madonna“ in your Aug. 25 issue, Angela says: “She (Madonna) rarely judges others as we do, or puts people on pedestals.”
Well, Angela, how do you explain the video interlude during Madonna’s concert in Cardiff recently, where she mixed images of Hitler, Zimbabwe’s authoritarian ruler Robert Mugabe, and John McCain?
It’s one thing to voice your displeasure of a political candidate, but comparing a former United States POW to Hitler is absolutely classless.
The AP story of Madonna’s recent concert is at www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2008-08-23-madonna

Steve Roman • Alden

The flame burns on
The flame has been doused, and I’m not sure whether I’m angry with China or proud of U.S. responses to the 29th Olympiad in Beijing.
We forgave the opening ceremony director for “digitally enhancing” the fireworks. Hey, you guys, you invented fireworks centuries ago. Why the need for the 21st century “enhancements”? Okay, we probably would have done it or something equally nationalistic to prove we were still ahead in that game.
We kinda‘ understood your concentrating on gold medals or nothing, because we hadn’t thought of it, always considering the total number of medals as the most important. For our national ego, we still must cling to that concept for now, and will probably change focus for London in 2012.
But your attitude, China, toward little kids is something I/we couldn’t handle. First, you had a cuter little girl lip sync the national anthem, because another little girl singer wasn’t “adorable” enough. OK. We swallowed hard. Then you tried lying about the ages of those little baby girls in gymnastics. That did it. In how many more years will they be 16? How long were they children of the state, not of their families? Or were they children beyond the one child per family allowable number, so somehow they belonged to Beijing? The Beijing-driven regulations probably don’t work exactly like that, but . . . .
Golly, you also had a totally controlled citizenry. Not a single request for a protest in the established protest areas was governmentally found worthy. Furthermore, citizens individually (willingly or not) gave up their roads and streets, their cars, and their jobs in polluting industries for two weeks.
Most of the U.S. thanks you, China, for the incredible technical spectacles of the opening and closing ceremonies and the brilliant presentations of the skills of international athletes.
Yeah, proud of you or not, angry or not, I (we?) thank you. Doused or not, the Olympic flame burns on.

Patricia W. Fox • Bellaire

 
Monday, August 25, 2008

Letters 8/25/08

Letters Film Fest too elitist?
Does the Traverse City Film Festival love the people of Traverse City? The festival has demonstrated tremendous potential, but is at risk of losing focus of its mission to “just show great movies.“
There were several moments throughout the 2008 festival -- like ushering the audience out of the theatre before the credits could roll -- that made it seem that maybe good films are no longer behind the excitement of the festival.
Although festivals like this rely on the generous support of the community, the motivation to become a “Friend” or an individual sponsor denotes a certain status that allows special access to the films rather than a desire to donate to the festival.
Rather than reserving tickets for sale to the general public, many movies were sold out prior to the opening of sales, and standby tickets for these films were not available. Failing to make the movies available to the ‘people that love to go to the movies’ – especially those in the community that may not be able to afford a ‘generous donation’ – taints the ‘magic’ of the TC Film Festival.
In their mission, the Traverse City Film Festival pledges to “enrich the human spirit and the art of filmmaking — not the bottom line.” And this mission is fulfilled when audiences are invited to engage in thoughtful discussion with the filmmakers after screening films like Captain Abu Raed and Body of War.
These films inspire and provoke, ask us to look beyond ourselves, and remind us of what success is really about. In these films, success is about giving hope and meaning, especially to those that need it the most. How can our Film Festival give hope and meaning to those that need it the most in our community?
Knowing all the good reasons to go see these films, many people waited in standby lines for hours and failed to receive tickets. This is deplorable.
Catering to the people who can afford the large fee to become a friend of the festival will ostracize many citizens who live in and around Traverse City. This system prevents a substantial population of working-class citizens from even having the hope that they can afford the money or the time in line to attend the festival.
In order to retain support and enthusiasm, tickets must be available to the people and continue to be affordable.
The Traverse City Film Festival was supposed to be a festival for the people; we do not think anyone would want to promote our film festival as one emulating the Sundance Film Festival.
The Traverse City Film Festival is unique because it is not exclusive and it is not about celebrities. Let’s always strive for an egalitarian society where even “just great films” are for everyone, despite their ‘friend’ status. A real friend supports the greater good of the festival and the community, and not by increasing their personal access to films by restricting it to others.

Kathryn & Frank Lepera

Quit knocking Madonna
As a fan of Madonna, I am tired of the ridicule, criticism, and negative attitudes towards her appearing at the film festival.
Michael Moore asked her to attend because he felt her documentary was a worthwhile experience for everyone in Traverse City, whether you were a Madonna fan or not.
The whole reason she was here was to make us more aware of how fortunate we are as a country, and how we can be a part of the big picture in changing the world. In my stance, if anyone can help save us, Madonna can. She does not limit herself to one perspective, but has many. She rarely judges others as we do, or puts people on pedestals.
I think if you have something important to say, say it, but if it is only to bash another celebrity for living their life, or doing their job in ways you find inappropriate, keep it to yourself.

Angela Crandall • via email


The brain drain
I agree with Rick Coates’ articulate article about the youth of this state and the future need to have them stay (“Plugging the Brain Drain“ 8/11).
I must say that I was one of those fleeing the state; albeit decades ago. My reason: Growing up in suburban Detroit, everything was focused on the auto industry. I wanted to pursue an education and career in the arts -- either fine art or commercial. Michigan is not as encouraging to young people either today or yesterday. Yes, there are those that stayed to flourish and succeed. But there are others who just don’t.
A couple of suggestions from someone who eventually came back to Michigan after a 20+ year absence:

- Improve the public school system;
- Offer more scholarships/grants;
- Expand industry sectors (thus creating a wider range of job opportunities);
- Spotlight innovation and “think tanks”;
- Open up small business lending and “angel” investing;
- Focus on quality of work/life balance.

As we pack up my eldest for her first year of college in Chicago, I don’t in the slightest begrudge her the opportunity to attend college in such a vibrant and diverse environment. A city in which she spent the first 10 years of her life; how befitting that she regards it as somewhat of a homecoming.
I’m generalizing here, but Michigan’s leadership in the political and industrial arenas have shunned the “creative class.” I find this contrary to our history. Been to Greenfield Village or Henry Ford Museum lately? Take a look at all the innovation that this great state was built upon.
Yes, Rick, you are right... we need our youth. Teachers, doctors, lawyers, business owners, researchers, designers, civic leadership and so much more so our state can start anew.

Joann Sondy • via email

 
Monday, August 18, 2008

Letters 8/18/08

Letters Pass it on?
Hopefully, next year the Film Festival can find a much better representative of the film industry to make an appearance in Traverse City instead of somebody like Madonna, who sexually exploited her way to stardom.
If Rick Coates ever does get to interview Madonna, how about asking her if she passed her “Boy Toy” belt buckle down to her young daughter so she can wear it like her momma did.

Angelina M. Randazzo • TC

Evasive action
Anne Stanton’s article, “Ride ’Em Cowboy!” was a timely and relevant look at the very important issue of bicycling safety, and, for the most part, I agreed with her in just about every respect. However, there were a few omissions that I would like to point out, as well as an issue I disagreed with.
Riding on the right side of the road is considered a primary rule of bicycling, but it’s not always safe or practicable. I ride on M-22 in Leelanau County enroute to work, and I always ride on the left, facing traffic.
Notice in the two biking fatalities mentioned, the riders were killed by drivers who struck them from behind. They never saw the vehicle that hit and killed them. Personally, if I’m going to be run off the road, I prefer to see it coming -- at least this way I have a chance to take evasive action.
Granted, M-22 has a paved, six-foot-wide shoulder to ride on, and it may not always be practicable to ride on the left, but I’ll do it every chance I have.
Also not mentioned was bicycling at night. I get out of work at 2 a.m., and half of my route takes me down M-22. I wear a helmet with a detachable headlamp, as well as two strong LED flashlights that I velcro to the helmet when necessary, along with a small LED light facing backwards. I also have a flashing red tail light on the bike. I get teased a lot about the amount of lights I wear at night, but I’m strongly aware that, at two in the morning, I’m riding a highway that leads directly from the bars in Traverse City to an all-night casino that also has bars. I want these inebriated drivers to see me!
Also, drivers: when you happen upon a bicyclist riding towards you at night, dim your lights! We can’t see the road ahead of us when we’re blinded by your high beams—no one likes to barrel down the road on a bike when he can’t see anything.
Finally, always wear a helmet, no matter how goofy you think they make you look. I’ve only had one crash on my bike, but I was stunned at how fast my “face-plant” occurred. I literally had no time to react before I found myself flat on the pavement with my bike on top of me (I hit a curb that I hadn’t seen). Don’t be an organ donor because you thought helmets were “dumb,” or “unmanly,” or “funny looking.”
Like on a motorcycle, there are no second chances in a bicycle accident. Do everything you can, and wear everything you must, to avoid the accident in the first place.

Howard J. Blodgett • Leelanau


Know the road rules
Thanks for the good article on biking and a touch of safety practices. With the growing numbers of cyclists on the road due to economics more than anything else, it is important that people be reminded of the rules.
A lot of people have taken to riding after many years if not decades of not riding, most haven’t ridden since they were kids, and man how times have changed. The number of cars have gone up considerably and the recognition of cyclists on the road has gone down. Long gone are the days of weaving back and forth across the line like we did as kids. Auto drivers don’t know for sure what to do with a cyclist anymore.
I read Bicycle and Mountain Bike magazine and every month someone comments about the cyclists they have encountered who are not obeying the rules of the road. These are the people that cause drivers to respond like the ones you commented on in the article. There are rules for cyclists and if someone is intending to ride their bike in towns or on rural roads, then they better learn the rules and obey them. This goes for riding our miles of bike trails too.
You would do the public a huge favor by posting articles or comments about riding in Northern Michigan. The Express is respected and read by many, it would be a great medium to get good info out to the growing number of pedal power people, new and old.

Joe Deater • Lake Ann

 
Monday, August 11, 2008

Letters 8/11/08

Letters Legalize & tax pot
Speaking as a former federal law enforcement officer, a retired elementary school counselor, a taxpayer and most importantly, a parent, I would like to respond to a recent Express article, “The end of reefer madness?“
We can argue from now until Doomsday whether marijuana is a deadly gateway drug; a simple plant like any other, neither inherently good or evil; or a great boon to mankind given to us a loving creator. The true debate needs to be, is prohibition the best way to deal with the dangers, real or imagined, of marijuana?
Marijuana is here to stay, deeply ingrained in our society. Thinking we will ever achieve the utopian vision of a “marijuana-free society” is just so much wishful thinking. Seventy years after marijuana prohibition was first enacted and 35 years after President Nixon declared a “War on Drugs,” marijuana is cheaper, more potent, more prevalent and more available than ever before.
Prohibition takes all control over who manufactures and distributes marijuana and who it is sold to away from legitimate government oversight, and hands it over to criminal gangs. Marijuana prohibition means no control whatsoever. Marijuana dealers don’t ask underage children to show ID, just the cash.
Regardless of one’s opinion on the relative dangers of marijuana abuse, one thing we all ought to agree on is that prohibition is the worst scheme possible to control it. When our grandparents wisely abandoned alcohol prohibition, it wasn’t because they decided booze wasn’t so dangerous after all. Rather, they had the integrity to face the truth: prohibition was making the problem worse.
Marijuana prohibition is horribly expensive, costing the taxpayers of Michigan close to $200 million in police, court and jail costs alone. At the same time it deprives the State Treasury of hundreds of millions in potential tax revenues, makes criminals out of tens of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens, and opens the door to the steady erosion of our privacy and civil liberties. The only success of marijuana prohibition has been to guarantee life-time employment to those doing the prohibiting, and to make a few very bad people very rich.
Marijuana prohibition has been a dismal failure. A failure made even more glaring when compared to the sensible way we deal with alcohol and tobacco -- the two most deadly drugs in our society today. The solution is obvious. The only question is, do we have the courage to do it? Or are we doomed to another 35 years of failure?
Legalize, regulate and tax marijuana, so that we can finally control marijuana.

Greg Francisco • Paw Paw

End reefer madness
Thank you for your “voice of common sense” in your Random Thoughts article titled, “The end of reefer madness?”
While I may not agree with your statement about potent strains causing psychotic reactions (this study was disproved), I do agree with everything else that you wrote. You nailed it with your very first sentence! My body belongs to me! No one has a right to tell me what I can put into my body as long as I am hurting no one by doing it! The sooner that those who are supposed to represent us, and those that are supposed to ‘protect and serve‘ us get this, then maybe we can move on to more important things.
It might interest you to know that U.S. companies bought 92% of last year‘s Canadian hemp crop. That could have been money in our farmers‘ pockets, and yet, they all seem to be drunk on corn ethanol as the answer to our gas problems. What a shame, but then, it is hard to undo 71 years of reefer madness that seems to be alive and well yet today.
I hope and pray that before I leave this earth, we will finally “get it!” Until then, I will keep fighting, I will keep using cannabis, and I will continue to refuse to be treated like a criminal!
Change is a comin‘!

Rev. Steven B. Thompson, executive director, Michigan NORML

The difference
As a Democrat and a Christian I believe in mutual respect and compassion for all people and the environment. My Republican friends believe in Right to Life that ends at birth, whereas Democrats believe right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is intended for all life’s journey.
Instead of spending $12 billion per month on Bush’s Iraq War, killing people and creating more enemies, Democrats prefer to spend that same amount to provide a preschool through college education for every student insuring good jobs, health care, and a safe world in which to raise our children.
Instead of lobbyists and corporate money buying our president, legislators, and policies, we believe the people should decide and that every vote should count. Republicans use fear, attacks, and smears. Democrats talk about improving lives.

B.J. Christensen • Cedar
 
Monday, August 4, 2008

Letters 8/4/08

Letters Sierra snafu
The Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club regrets the decision of the members of the executive committee of the Traverse Group to resign from the Club because they did not agree with an action of the National Sierra Club that allowed the Clorox Corporation to use the Sierra Club logo on their Green Works products.
While the Michigan Chapter has also expressed its concerns about this partnership, we believe that, as in any democracy, we can have disagreements while remaining united by our passion to “explore, protect and enjoy the planet,” the motto of the Sierra Club. Local volunteers, with their deep abiding concern for the earth, are the core of our organization. Even though the Michigan Chapter would not have chosen to engage in a marketing partnership of this nature, we have chosen to continue to work within the organization because we think that other issues that the Sierra Club is involved with are more important.
Here in Michigan we are striving hard to prevent the building of eight new coal-fired electric generating plants. Starting with blowing tops off mountains and despoiling communities in Appalachia to mine the coal to spewing out global-warming CO2 and pollutants like mercury into our air and water to produce electricity, these plants will irreparably harm our beautiful Great Lakes state and its residents. Also, producing energy from coal is very expensive when the cost of pollution is considered. One of the proposed plants is in Manistee and another is in Rogers City.
We have just won a major court victory to protect the pristine Mason Tract along the Au Sable River from gas drilling. We are fighting to protect our forests and waters from pollution by big mining interests and chemical corporations.
We waged a battle to force the corporations that own concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to abide by laws designed to prevent air and water pollution, and recently the Department of Environmental Quality for the first time ever turned down the permit application for a new CAFO. These factory farms keep animals in inhumane conditions and cause human misery in the communities where they are located and cause beach closings many miles away.
The Traverse Group has been involved in beach clean-ups, wetland preservation and dams on the Boardman River as well as other important issues. The group worked to stop the Hartmann-Hammond Bridge.
We are working with members of the Traverse Group to continue the work of the Sierra Club in the Traverse City area, the state and the nation. We will not let a disagreement on one issue interfere with the important job of protecting the planet so all can continue to explore and enjoy its natural beauty.

Jean Gramlich, chair
Michigan Sierra Club

Madonna who?
Question: What would Madonna say?
Answer: Who really cares?!
There’s a large portion of the population in Northern Michigan that doesn’t give a hoot what Madonna says, whether she shows up for the Film Festival, what vineyard her family owns, who her family trusts, what beach she went to or whether she ever sings another song again.
She had a couple good songs back in the 1980s... but hey, it’s over. My kids don’t even know who she is.
What a total waste of space that article was -- with so many other cool things happening around town, and so many cool people in our area to write about --- Come on Rick Coates, apply those writing skills instead of wasting them.

Vita K. Morse • TC


Sea potty at the beach
As an area resident, boat owner and pedestrian beach user, I would like to submit a literal observation of West Bay.
I know there have been pro-mooring boaters at the Traverse City Commission meetings, defending their stewardship of the water. However, on July 23, as my wife and I sat on the beach of West Grand Toilet Bay at the foot of Hall Street, at about 8 p.m. we observed a middle-aged, bikini-clad woman occupant of an older looking white boat (about 20-22 feet in length with a bow cabin large enough to have a sea potty) jump into the bay by the stern of the boat. Sitting by the edge of the boat and submersed to her shoulders, she appeared to be engaged in some activity.
At the same time, the second occupant of the boat, a middle-aged male, walked up the bow and proceeded to stand there urinating into the bay.
Apparently, the craft lacked toilet facilities. So how many times a day and for how many days can we expect this pair to urinate and defecate adjacent to the beach?
The boat is about 200-300 feet east of the swimming area and about 50 or so feet from the shroeline. Unfortunately, there wasn‘t a name on the back of the boat to better identify it.

Bill Hagan • TC

 
Monday, July 28, 2008

Letters 7/28/08

Letters Holy Childhood victims
Thank you for publishing the recent articles about the sexual abuse at Holy Childhood School. I’m a Catholic and a former employee of a Catholic church in our area. I did not know this abuse happened and the two articles disturbed me.
My heart goes out to the victims. I understand why some people would not want the building torn down. I might feel the same if I had not listened to a feature story reported on CBS news concerning a house where several teenagers were killed by an ex-boyfriend at a pizza party. The teenagers were loved and respected by all members of the the small town. Several residents, family and friends raised enough money to buy the house from the owner and tear it down. They were not trying to erase the memory of the kids. They were trying to erase the memory of the unspeakable evil that happened.
I can’t imagine the people from the Diocese of Gaylord would tear down this building just to sweep these memories “under the rug,” but there can be a fine line between sweeping and moving forward. Sometimes to move forward we must be willing to look back.
There is a wonderful Hawaiian word: “ho’o’pono’pono.“ It is kind of an encounter session where people stay in the same room sometimes for days until the evil surfaces and is rooted out. I pray for dialogue between the victims and members of the Catholic community.
I attended a presentation by an Indian in Sedona, Arizona. I say Indian because he does not like to be called Native American. He said the word Indian comes from a word that means “in God.” He said Native American comes from a German map-maker named Amerigo. He would rather be associated with the former. He said the song “one little, two little, three little Indians” was a song about how Indian boys were killed. After his presentation he said white people want to come to him after the presentation and apologize. He said it’s not necessary because the people listening to him didn’t do the wrong. What else can we do if we can’t apologize?
I read “Black Elk Speaks” many years ago. Black Elk said the most stupid thing he ever saw was when the white man built a little white house that God was in from 9 to 10 on Sunday morning. If only the people of my race were more willing to learn from the Indian people.
I hope I can start sleeping at night after getting this off my chest.

Irene Parker • Petoskey

(Part three of the series featuring memories of former students will run next week. - ed.)

Honoring George Bush
The Associated Press recently reported that San Francisco is naming their sewage treatment plant after President Bush. The idea is to commemorate the mess Bush made.
Hey East Bay Township, let’s start a nationwide trend here! Your septage treatment plant already spilled 150,000 gallons of partially treated waste when it collapsed, AND it’s way over budget. Hmmm... spewing poo... shoddy... millions over budget? Sounds like Bush to me! Let’s get this name change on the ballot! Who’s with me?

Scott Jones • Kalkaska

Soldiers & freedom
WOW is the only word that came to mind reading some responses to the poem about the soldier at the Blue Angels airshow (Letters 7/21).
One writer actually must be entertaining the thought that our current soldiers are not honorable, or similar, in that he only discussed soldiers who served in WWII. Obviously the writers must not think highly of those that have served, and DIED, in Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon, and our current conflicts.
For those that forgot, the Constitution did NOT give us our freedoms. The minutemen of the Revolutionary War won our freedom. It was the musket and the brave fighters that gave us the freedom to create the Constitution. It is the soldier who protects those freedoms.
God bless the soldiers who have served and died protecting those freedoms. I will take a soldier over a poet, a lawyer, or a protestor any day. They are our best, they are our bravest, and they deserve EVERY recognition they get.
I never served, but respect all that have. We have far too many in our community who seemingly forget what our military gives us. “Culture of death” indeed. It is obvious the ‘60s mindset is still alive and kicking. The same culture that felt it necessary to spit at our soldiers after Vietnam and called them baby killers, acting like Genghis Khan. Well, there are those that respect and honor what the brave men and women of our military provide us, and all too often, we aren’t heard from. Go Army, Go Marines, Go Navy, Go Air Force, Go Coast Guard, and GO BLUE ANGELS!!!!

Chris Brown • Interlochen


Murder trial balloon
“Still time to impeach,” was a commendable article that appeared in the July 7th issue of the Express. It mentioned the valiant efforts of Congressmen Kucinich to initiate impeachment hearings in an effort to reestablish constitutional rule to this country.
While all efforts to hold this criminal administration are to be applauded, Vincent Bugliosi, the attorney who prosecuted Charles Manson, has just published a book intended as a guide for holding George W. Bush accountable by prosecuting him for murder -- “The Prosecution Of George W. Bush For Murder.”
Bugliosi, in his book, outlines how Bush, by initiating the Iraq War -- based on lies -- is culpable for the deaths of Iraqis and Americans killed from this disaster. Bugliosi, in numerous recent TV and radio interviews, stresses that there is no statute of limitation for the crime of murder, but more importantly, that Bush can be charged with murder by any state attorney general or prosecutor. The attorney general or a local prosecutor from any state can bring such charges against Bush provided that that state has suffered a causality in the Iraq War.
Estimates of Iraq casualties from our invasion and continued occupation vary now between 100,000 and one million. Thousands more are certain die before this debacle is finally over. Many will die as part of the four million desperately poor Iraqis refugees that have either fled abroad or have been internally displaced.
As of July 10, our own reported casualties are 4,116. George W. Bush bears responsibility for every one of these Iraqi and American deaths. He elected to begin this bloodshed based on fabricated falsehoods, which has created the anarchy of present-day Iraq.
At the Nuremberg trials, the primary crime of which the Nazis were accused and convicted was of course the crime against peace. A crime of planning and executing a war of aggression. And this is the central juridicial fact of the Nuremberg trials. George W. Bush, and much of his administration, have committed not merely impeachable offences, but war crimes.
Throughout Bush’s public career he has demonstrated an affection for a decidedly Old Testament view of justice. George W. Bush during his six years as governor of Texas presided over 152 executions, more than any other governor in the recent history of the United States. More than that, as the result of FOIA documents made available because of the embarrassing tenure of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General, we know that Bush only occasionally even read the clemency requests made by death row prisoners in Texas.
There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee, probably the whole country: “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” Buy a copy of “The Prosecution of George W. Bush For Murder” and mail it to our Michigan attorney general, Mike Cox. Ask for the prosecution of George W. Bush for murder.

Matt Malpass • East Jordan
 
Monday, July 21, 2008

Letters 7/21/08

Letters Poem was a downer
The following words were broadcast to the crowd during the air show at the Cherry Festival:
“It is the soldier, not the poet who has given us freedom of speech,
It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us freedom of the press,
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer who has given us the freedom to demonstrate,
It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag and whose coffin is draped in the flag,
It is the soldier that has given the protester the right to burn the flag.“
THIS IS A LIE.
The United States Constitution has given us these freedoms; our soldiers have been deployed to make the world safe for ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Amoco, so the CEOs can continue receiving their unconscionably obscene salaries, bonuses, health insurance for life.
So far, we have lost over 4,100 of our young people to this purpose in Iraq, and the projected suicide rate of returning veterans is due to exceed this number. Over 100,000 innocent Iraqis have been killed and thousands more are homeless refugees, due to this administration’s adolescent cowboy, macho mentality.
Our military has been ordered to and has succeeded in trashing the Cradle of Civilization, for this administration’s lies, supported by the mindless, unquestioning, corporate-dominated, cheer-leader media.
The TC SkarryFest is complicit in the deaths of our soldiers and the innocent Iraqi civilians by their very sanctioning of this show of killer war machines -- a military recruiting tool disguised as ‘family entertainment’.
I wonder how it feels to live in a country where cluster bomb explosions follow the scream of these aircraft. Can you imagine the horror?

Sally MacFarlane-Neal
Northport

Wrong message
I strongly disagree with the remarks broadcast at the end of the Blue Angels demonstration.
Soldiers do NOT give citizens of a democracy the freedoms of speech, press and demonstration. These rights are created by the people themselves and then enforced by brave and honest politicians and judges.
In America, our citizen-written Constitution gave us these freedoms, which were then protected by the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Soldiers do protect our freedoms when they obey just orders of an honest president and Congress, as in World War II. I am so grateful for the courageous World War II veterans still in our community. They indeed protected the rights our Constitution gave to us.
In short, soldiers protect but do not create democracy. And soldiers actually threaten our freedoms when they unquestioningly obey illegal orders of dishonest politicians, as in Vietnam and now the Iraq War.

Matthew Posner • Suttons Bay

Culture of death
Thanks a lot to the National Cherry Festival for sponsoring the “Virtual Baghdad Airshow!!”
You went back on your word and promoted war with your fake patriotism speech. Instruments of war, death and destruction are nothing to be celebrated--and is definitely NOT patriotism. Next year, let’s celebrate -- or at least hope for and promote -- peace, not this air show that celebrates the culture of death.

Laura Garvock • via email

Let‘s hear it for lawyers!
The announcer at the Blue Angels at the Cherry Festival said poets, reporters, campus organizers and protesters have nothing to do with securing our constitutional rights.
As a lawyer, I am not sure if I feel honored or slighted that my profession was not included in that class of “ne’r do wells”. Let’s hear it for the lawyers in the ACLU, the American Bar Association, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Lawyers Guild and our own Progressive Lawyers group here in Traverse City!
These groups have taken on the mighty to protect the rights of the weak. They deserve some credit for upholding the rights now embodied in the U.S. Constitution, rights some have died protecting and some have died trying to merely achieve right here at home.
The birth of democracy and its vitality depends foremost on vigorous debate in the press, freedom songs/prose, and a citizenry often addressing their grievances in the street. A country that inverts those resources and places the military at the top of the pinnacle is known as totalitarian or fascist. A path, I trust we do not want to travel.

Marian Kromkowski
Suttons Bay


Bad idea...
I often agree with Bob Downes’ opinion pieces and always admire his writing, but this week I have to say no (re: “Are We Missing the Boat on Festivals?“ 7/14,
Random Thoughts). No more concerts-festivals at the Open Space.
We already have jazz fests, blues fests, pow-wows and other wonderful happenings in our area. If we can think regionally, we should celebrate regionally. Not everything needs to be in Traverse City which already has enough congestion and noise. What we all need is not more entertainment but more open spaces. Especially the Open Space which has a bay happening all the time. It is enough.

Karen Anderson • TC

... Good idea
I live in Traverse City and vacation in Ft. Myers, Florida during the winter. The Cherry Festival and the Film Festival are great events but I agree 100% with Robert Downes‘ Random Thoughts that we are limiting ourselves with only two major events in the open space.
The Ft. Myers area has jazz festivals, shrimp festivals etc., in areas near water, but nothing like what Traverse City has to offer with the beauty of the bay.
Can you imagine a jazz festival or a classical music festival in the Open Space? It would be a enormous success! The artists would love to perform in this type of environment.
It is time for the Traverse City Commission to open their eyes to these possibilities and change the limiting festival policy for more diversity. It would increase revenue for TC, plus bring entertainment for the residents that‘s currently unavailable.

Chuck Shreve • TC



 
Monday, July 14, 2008

Letters 7/14/08

Letters No oil guarantee
Do the people who are jumping on the bandwagon and promoting drilling for oil off the coasts of Florida, California, ANWR in Alaska, and other unpopular areas, realize there is no guarantee that oil drilled here will end up heating our homes and fueling our cars in the United States?
It may just end up on the world oil market and we will end up seeing no relief in prices! It is quite feasible that Saudi Arabia will then respond by cutting their production creating a shortage followed by still higher prices. You know the story! Just ask your congressman if what I am saying is true.
What we need is to get away from fossil fuels and our dependence on foreign countries for our energy. We should be looking at all kinds of clean, renewable, safe alternatives.
But we need to be smart about our choices this time around. That means before we start thinking that nuclear power is the logical choice; we need to ask ourselves if we have solved the problem of safety. We have not solved the issue of what to do with the spent fuel rods and dangerous radioactive waste that we would be leaving for our children’s children to deal with.
We don’t want to leap out of the frying pan and into the fire with no thought of the future!

Barbara Bernier • Manistee

Good memories
Thank you for the article that appeared last week on my new deli cafe at the old railroad station in Traverse City.
I just wanted to follow up with this note. The article indicated that I spent “16 long years” at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, and while 16 years is a long time, they weren’t long in any other sense.
My job at the Record-Eagle actually dovetailed with my years as a parent of school-age children. Early on, working at the Record-Eagle afforded me the flexibility to work part-time and as a result, have more time with my kids while they were growing up. As they got older, I went full-time and was given the opportunity to become the paper’s features editor while continuing as a weekly lifestyle columnist.
It truly was a great job, focusing on what interests me most and continues to -- people and their stories. Oh, and food. That, too. But I have many great memories of the staff, of readers, of columns, and stories, all packed into 16 years that, looking back, went by in a flash.

Kathy Gibbons
• EuroStop, TC

Our toxic air show
Did everyone notice the clouds and clouds of jet exhaust and perhaps unburned jet fuel wafting down over our homes, farms, and bay every time a fighter jet passed overhead at Traverse City‘s air show? The sky turning white with pollution as they practiced? (According to) an article for service men and women about military jet fuel exhaust, “There is no safe level of exposure.”
Isn’t is foolish to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on entertainment that in the end is celebrating killing machines anyway? Entertainment that spreads toxins in our bays, then wonder why they are so messed up?
Hopefully our local media can inform our citizens on what is raining down from the sky in the name of bringing tourists in that might be ruining our children’s health and living on in our drinking water for years to come.

Jeff Gibbs • TC



 
Monday, July 7, 2008

Letters 7/7/08

Letters Mining disaster
Over a dozen mines for copper, nickel, gold, zinc, and possibly uranium are currently on the drawing boards for the Upper Peninsula, home to some of the most pristine rivers and aquifers in the world.
Acid sulfide mining has the potential to pollute both Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. This type of mining is not like that of the old days. It has the potential to pollute for hundreds of years.
This type of mining has already caused irreparable harm near the Flambeau River in northern Wisconsin. The mine there closed in 1997; however, 10 years later, there are still toxic levels of iron, copper, and manganese in the region. Very harmful to fish, manganese is also known to cause Parkinson-like tremors in humans. In fact, the state of Wisconsin will no longer allow such type of mining unless or until a company can show that a mine has operated and been closed for 10 years without causing such mess.
This type of mining is being explored less than 25 miles from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Minnesota. Sulfide mining also has the potential to permanently eradicate the last known spawning grounds of the rare coaster brook trout along the south shore of Lake Superior.
The demand for raw materials to feed China’s industrial machine could turn Michigan into a “colony.” All so we here in the U.S. can consume more “stuff” and China and other developing nations can have items like cars, refrigerators, and cell phones. The chickens (vultures?) have finally come home to roost.
It is a really dumb idea to pollute pristine rivers that feed our Great Lakes -- our only source of fresh water. As the issues of “not enough clean water” rise to the forefront here in the U.S., we will be left with a nightmare if these types of mines are allowed to take foot anywhere near the Great Lakes.
Join mine protesters as we walk from the Yellow Dog Plains (western Marquette County) to the Mackinac Bridge during the last two weeks in August – just in time to walk The Bridge on Labor Day. You can walk for a few hours, a weekend, or do the entire trip.
Contact us at www.yellowdogwatershed.org, www.savethewildup.org, www.northwoodswild.org for more details.

Margaret Comfort
• Bourbonnais, IL

The coming crisis
Fuel pricing has a more deliberate and insidious aspect than what has been reported. It is not simply true that oil has become more valuable; the dollar has been devalued to a point where it takes more of them to buy a gallon of gas.
Think of it this way. An ounce of gold would buy a decent men‘s suit in Dante’s day. The same amount of gold will buy one of equal value today. The suit only seems more expensive because there are more dollars involved.
The main culprit is the Federal Reserve Bank, which has been politicized by an oil-baron president. This president is also obsessed with his “legacy.” The cost of energy has risen to record levels, and yet, our Republican administration thinks inflation is low. The Federal Reserve takes this cue and lowers the interest rates. This devalues the dollar, which causes the price of gas to spike.
The European Central Bank (ECB) recently raised interest rates due to its perception that inflation is being “imported” from America. The mere suggestion that the ECB is contemplating another interest rate hike is enough to send the price of oil skyrocketing.
This is due to a global lack of confidence in this Republican administration, and its perceived influence on the Fed. How can two major financial institutions look at the same thing and come to such different conclusions?
Like other branches of our government, the Fed has been politicized by a rogue faction of politicians known as the neo-conservatives. It was the neocons who were the architects in the war for petroleum wealth. The bulk of the powerful Washington neocons involved in the Iraq war strategy are oil barons.
A low interest rate has helped to keep the lid on their huge war deficit. The totally irresponsible parties somehow appear a little bit more responsible in a delusional sort of way.
The passing of the presidential gas this November will make it appear that the new administration is to blame as the old one scoots out the door just in time. George Bush will bask in the illusion of his legacy while sticking his “lingering” consequences to someone else. Old pot-hole Engler, and his misguided choir of fiscal irresponsible Republicans did the same thing to our current governor.
The real Bush legacy is best described as a poisoned well.

Timothy Wiley • via email
 
Monday, June 30, 2008

Letters 6/30/08

Letters Christians & torture
What happened to us? How have we turned into a nation that invades and totally destroys a country, causing the death of up to a million innocent civilians? Is it not immoral to kill? Is it not immoral to seek the treasures of another country for our own gain (i.e, oil)? Isn’t there a commandment about coveting thy neighbors’ things?
As if all of this were not enough, the U.S. government now condones torture. The evil ones have given the word torture new names, such as “abuse“ and “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Water boarding made the news for weeks, as it was debated as a form of torture or not. Did you know we tried the Japanese in WWII for using water boarding? Water tortures have been considered torture for centuries, but under the Bush regime, it’s acceptable.
The election of George W. Bush and the religious right is a strong connection. I still ponder how any Christian is okay with the death and suffering of innocent people in Iraq. I ponder how any Christian can support a regime that legitimized and legalized torture.
Did you know that five cases of detainee deaths as a result of abuse (i.e. torture) by U.S. personnel have occurred? In addition, 23 other cases of detainee deaths are still under investigation. (The Schlesinger Report, cited in “Torture and Truth“ by Mark Danner). These detainees were not charged, tried, nor convicted for any crime to my knowledge.
From everything I’ve read on torture, IT’S UNRELIABLE. Innocent people will say anything they think is required to end torture. Even those who are guilty may still give false information, thus leading investigators on wild goose chases.
How can anyone be okay with torturing a human being? These detainee victims were someone’s brother, son, or father. These victims may have been guilty of nothing more than lacking the ability to speak English as they were picked up off the streets. Even if guilty of something, does that justify torture? I say to you, who would Jesus torture? Would Jesus prefer the water boarding technique or perhaps a stress position for hours? Or perhaps exposure to extreme temperatures for long time periods?
In recognition of National Torture Awareness Month in June, please contact your representatives in Congress and tell them that we Americans do not support torture.
Torture is absolutely immoral, it is an aberrant behavior, it is opposite of everything the America I knew once represented.

Karen Martin • Cheboygan

 
 
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