Sport, not war
While watching the NCAA playoffs on TV a very violent ad appeared many times. It had music and action. It showed weapons and rockets being fired. Jets swooped. Tanks and soldiers moved across an open area.
The message was clear to me – violence is cool. Violence is exhilarating. Violence is like a sport. Violence is how the USA solves conflicts. This ad is paid for by the tax payers and watched by all age groups. The Few, The Proud . . . they do it best. Wave the flag!I was in the Army, infantry, Vietnam...
Hold all acccountable
Benjamin Franklin was quoted as saying something like “Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.”
In 2001 after 9/11, Bush said more than once, paraphrased here because his actual statements are now obscured, “We will not change anything due to these attacks – doing so would be giving in to terrorists.”
Yet the so-called ‘Patriot’ Act and related laws say and do otherwise – see aclu.org/reform-patriot-act for details.
I recall a work manager saying who cares about electronic privacy – if you have nothing to hide then why worry about it!
Imagine the Nazis being able to use the snooping that we allow today – and remember our Declaration of Independence...
One teacher in Troy recently went before the board of education to explain the 20 percent increase in scores across all of her students for the first half of the year. Her innovative ideas involve three areas: classroom structure, embedded writing in her curriculum and student nutrition.
As part of a three-year longitudinal study it turns out that she has been able to simulate same gender effect in a mixed student class room by original vertical and horizontal placement of students in the classroom...
Tuttle right on
Stephen Tuttle’s column in the February 6 issue nailed it. The systematic disassembling of our Bill of Rights, through the endless prying into our personal business and matters, will be the undoing of our society.
Sadly, many, if not most of us blindly go along with it because it is always presented in an “in the interest of national security” frame of reference.In the last month, I have had a personal package that was sent via Fed/Ex ripped open all the way down to and including the wedding card that we had sent to a former exchange student...
This is in reference to the political and religious bantering we are hearing. As I listen and think, I am kind of offended. The labels of right wing evangelicals and left wing liberals and Democrats who are apparently not Christian etc. You see the categories?
I object to being cornered. How can the Catholics be offended by birth control when it seems acceptable to drink and smoke and have other vices which in turn cause death? How can the right wing conservatives get the market on Jesus and God? Do they too prescribe to drugs and alcohol and lust and greed and hatred to those unlike them?
I understand the moral code we are aspiring toward. But until all are ascending into the perfection realm we are all here learning about love. Isn’t love the universal solvent? Yes, love the person, brotherly love, but not the sin.I am a Democrat who IS a Christian...
Robo Fracking Letters
It seems like the “anti fracking” propaganda gets distributed on a regular basis similar to the Robo politico calls we will most certainly have to endure this coming fall. The message is more or less the same but the names are changed so the letters are not interrupted.
And like Robo calls after you heard the first one well you get the picture. There is no “opinion” just negative propaganda begged from what one can glean from the internet and like-minded blogs or in the name of saving the environment.At what point can we have a meaningful discussion when it comes to energy...
Vet Parade – Hell No
As a nation we have been “smitten with the madness – blindness – and astonishment of heart” – passionately in love with war.
Rather than hold a ticker tape parade, let’s have President Bush apologize to Americans for starting a war based on lies – apologize to Iraqis for the death of 117,000 innocent civilians killed, for the destruction of its infrastructure, and for leaving a nation at civil war – apologize to veterans and families – apologize to America for squandering its resources.
Let’s have President Obama apologize for the needless escalation of the war in Afghanistan – apologize to Afghan citizens for the reckless death of 66,000 innocent civilians – for fueling corruption – return his Nobel Peace Prize as unearned – and end the war today...
Fracking dangerous alternative
Gov't not a business
Candidate Romney claims that his qualification for President is that he is a successful businessman. What he does not seem to understand is that government is not a business. A business produces products or services for a profit for its shareholders. A government provides services paid for with taxes collected from the citizens and businesses.
If the government were a business it could privatize the Defense Department. Following the Romney business tactic, the Pentagon Corporation could sell our surplus aircraft carriers to China, as Russia did. We do not need seven nuclear aircraft carrier task forces when no other country has more than one. We could level the playing field, sell off some of our ships and pass on the profits to the shareholders. That’s what businesses do.
If that meant laying off a lot of sailors, taking away their pensions and medical benefits and dumping them onto the distressed labor market, so be it. What matters to business is dividends for the shareholders.
Business thinks in terms of short term gains and quick profits. Governments think long term. It takes years to plan a bridge, for instance, and no private corporation is going to take that long range view...
Move to Amend
If you weren’t at the Milliken Auditorium on January 11, you won’t believe it. If you were there, you probably still can’t believe it! More than 500 people - to include folks from the UP to the north and Manistee and beyond to the south - crammed into Milliken to hear a riveting presentation by David Cobb, founder and spokesman for the national Move to Amend movement (www. movetoamend.org).
One thing making this evening so incredible was that 500 Northern Michiganders came out, not so much for a speaker most had never heard of, but because we know that corporations are not people. We know that legislators too often are accountable to the huge moneyed interests that get and keep them elected, not to us. We know that WE the people are what make democracy work. And we also know that our democracy isn’t working for 99% of the people in this country – and we aren't going to take it anymore...
Saved by Obamacare
Over 60,000 Michigan young adults 26 and under are now back on their parents’ family coverage thanks to the Affordable Healthcare Act. This fall, Governor Snyder sought to exempt Michigan insurance companies from the Obamacare requirement that they spend at least 80 percent of the premiums collected on healthcare. Michigan was one of only 13 states seeking such an exemption.
The Obama administration fortunately denied Snyder’s request and an estimated 340,000 Michiganders will now be getting $89 million rebated from their insurance providers. Snyder argued that some private insurers (United Health, Assurant, Humana and American Enterprise) couldn’t survive on just 20 percent of your premiums for administrative costs (overhead and profit). Michigan actually asked that these insurers be approved to rake off 35 percent of your healthcare dollar...
H2S poses problems
A little after midnight on Christmas Eve morning, a valve failure at the Beaver Creek gas injection well in Crawford County owned by BreitBurn Energy Partners sent a plume of toxic hydrogen sulfide gas across Northern Michigan. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is deadly and often compared with cyanide. It is detected by a rotten egg smell. Higher levels of H2S destroy olfactory senses and can cause coma and death.
Luckily, when sensors at the Beaver Creek injection well site detected a blown needle valve, the H2S being injected into the well was shut down automatically. But sensors did not shut the injection well boreout, and H2S gas spewed back up from the injection well though a 1⁄4 inch hole...
Services beyond abortion
Thanks to Claire Scerbak for her perspective on utilizing tax payer money for education and family services. I have utilized services at Planned Parenthood and all the services I have benefitted from included education and family services.
My spouse and I received our HIV education in order to get our marriage license there. I got my reproductive health care, including birth control and care and follow up when I was diagnosed with precancerous lesions...
Mike Johnson’s description of his life in Australia, a country where working people can still afford to live comfortably and still earn a living wage, is another reason to aggressively pursue dramatic campaign reform measures here.
In Australia, voting is compulsory. In this country, voting is not the easy or the automatic process it should be because registration requirements serve as impediments.
There is strong evidence that entire segments of the population, such as the elderly and people of color, are being actively disenfranchised in many states (i.e., 32 states) prior to the 2012 election...
I just got another one of these political mailers from some Washington, D.C.-based group I have never heard of trying (and failing) to convince me that Congressman Dan Benishek is somehow saving my Medicare.
Hogwash. Last year, then-candidate Dan Benishek said on many occasions that he wants to end Medicare and Social Security. And the first thing he did when he went to congress was to just that. Rep. Benishek voted to end Medicare and force seniors to pay $6,400 of their own money to buy private healthcare while at the same time giving even more tax breaks to the super wealthy.
So it’s clear that this mailer is flat-out misleading people into believe the opposite...