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.
A change of heart As a result of learning that their children were gay, both former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney, and now Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman, have changed their position on gay marriage. They both now support it....
A financial crisis hoax The financial crisis is a hoax perpetrated on Americans by Wall Street billionaires, many who receive huge subsidies but pay zero in taxes. Pete Peterson, the Blackstone mogul of Wall Street, spent over $500 million in lobbying and advertising trying to overturn Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and to give billions in tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy. Why?...The 'job creators' of old I always have wondered whether plantation owners in the south during slavery considered themselves to be "job creators." Let's see. The people to catch slaves, transport them, sell them, use and abuse them. And of course, the people who get very rich because of them...
Table service, good & bad During a recent trip to Englewood, Florida and Watertown, NY, I was thinking about Rick Coates and his recent comments on the local waitstaffs...
Health care's bitter pill Interested in the health care debate? Read the March Time magazine expose, “Bitter Pill.” It's an eye-opener. Liberal or conservative, all of us are subjected to the vagaries of the American health care system...
Sugar buzz in our schools: Too much sugar is bad. Too much of the alternative is worse.
Because my kid’s public school (Glen Lake) doesn’t allow sodas, I naively thought most schools followed that trend. Unfortunately, while attending a district finals basketball game at Traverse City Central I was a bit surprised to find a bank of soda machines in the school cafeteria. Surprise turned to concern when I noticed they contained only diet sodas, water and sports drinks. Pepsi Next, which boasts 60% less sugar, quickly caught my attention. Guess what’s in it...
Wolves & free-thinkers: Your article (“Confessions of a Save the Wolves Petitioner”) hit home about the lack of citizenship in America where apathy, selfishness, frustration and lack of care is rampant in a government that serves the people...
New war on marijuana: We
pride ourselves on how we take care of the sick in this country. We
have the best hospitals in the world, as well as the finest doctors. You
would think that America totally supports people getting better with
whatever resources are available.
But wait just one minute. If you choose to medicate with cannabis, (aka: marijuana), not only are you NOT supported by most of the medical industry (which won’t treat you if you have THC in your system), but you may find yourself in a jail cell for growing and using it...
Scott Weiland rocked: I have been a big fan of Northern Express for many years. I have never felt compelled to write a letter to the Express or any other publication in the past. However, the recent article by Rick Coates where he trashes Scott Weiland’s performance at Ground Zero leaves me so compelled...
Ordinance clears way for demolishing junk building: On February 19, the Benzie County Board of Commissioners approved Ordinance number 2013-001, adopting the International Property Maintenance Code, provided by the International Code Council.
Approved, adopted and provided by who? The people of Benzie County didn’t know anything about this until it became enforceable law on February 27, when it was published in the Record-Patriot...
We cannot stress enough that this graphic is satirical and in no way encourages the practice of grinding...
Rough roads & TC Michigan
residents appear to agree that Michigan roads are in poor shape and in
need of immediate improvement. What no-one can agree on is where we find
the dollars to complete the task. To begin with, we should stop
building new roads until we can maintain the roads we currently have...
Source of the sequester In his 2/25 column, Steve Tuttle offers a reasonably fair-minded look at this sequester’s history. However, he asserts that Congress came up with “a law under which budget cuts and tax increases will take place automatically absent a budget deal.”
Time for gun insurance... Guns are not toys. They are lethal weapons. Just as in order to drive my car it must be registered and insured and I need a valid license, a similar approach to guns should remind people that owning a lethal weapon is a serious responsibility. Instead of banning guns by type and magazine capacity, let’s require liability insurance and registration along with licenses to carry...Incredible waste of water... A mind-boggling 21 million gallons of groundwater was mixed with toxic chemicals and used to frack State Excelsior well 3-25 HD1, located within the Mackinaw State Forest in Kalkaska County...
Now showing at Northern Express Video Seen: Saving Michigan's Gray Wolves.
Republican mischief... I have taken pride in the past of being a fiercely independent voter, casting my ballot for example, for Carter (once), Reagan (twice), both Bushes and Obama (twice).
I am not a fan of the social agenda of the Democratic Party, as I view some of their policies as morally repugnant and counterproductive to a healthy society. That being said, I find myself in a sad position of giving up my status as an independent and becoming a member of the Democratic Party. Here are the reasons why...
Seniors mugged by GOP... Just had my 2012 taxes completed; I suspect most people would agree that it is a relief to have it out of the way. What is not a relief however, is losing the over-65 age exemption, and due to the evaluation of my home, losing my property tax credit. The two biggest breaks seniors previously have enjoyed...
Hypocritical Democrats... I have to agree with Bob Ross’s letter in the Feb. 11-17 issue of your paper about the Catholic churches shielding priests guilty of sex crimes against children. His statement that the church should show the same care for postnatals as they do to pre-natals could apply to the Democratic Party in general as well...
Frog for dinner, anyone?... If you put a frog in a pan of cool water, then put the pan over a fire and heat it to boiling, the frog will set in the pan until it is cooked and never try to escape the hot water. If we continue to burn fossil fuel...
Catholic priorities... Reading in the Feb. 3rd Detroit Free Press of retired Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony’s efforts to “shield priests from prosecution and keep parishioners in the dark about sex crimes against minors” leads me...
Wants to drive 55... Does
anyone remember why a national 55 MPH speed limit was imposed by a law
signed by President Nixon back in early 1974? This speed limit was in
response to 1973’s oil price increases on oil shortages. Limiting
vehicular speed was intended to reduce consumption of oil...
Pay attention, voters... As
if the lame duck actions of the Michigan legislature weren’t enough,
the GOP is now working on a new law to change the way our electoral
votes are counted. State Rep. Peter Lund, R-Shelby Township, is
sponsoring the bill that would tie our votes to the congressional
districts instead of the number of electoral votes assigned to each
state based on population...
Assaults weapons unnecessary... Do people really think they need assault weapons that fire 100 bullets without reloading to protect themselves? Do we really think that the federal government will confiscate our guns? If that is our fear, it seems to be a bit unrealistic when the federal government has drones and other sophisticated weapons which could be used far more effectively than gun power...
True meaning of MLK Day... Something about Paul J. Nepote’s letter lamenting the “hijacking” of Martin Luther King Day by the gay community seems a little disingenuous. It’s hard to tell if he’s attacking the gay community, the use of public funds for the celebration, or the holiday itself, but I did not find it to be in the spirit Dr. King’s life...
Racist rant... It’s
too bad that Paul Nepote considers himself a viable voice for the
African- American community, when it’s clear by his racist rant
(Letters, 1-28-13) that nothing could be further from the truth. It’s
too bad that anyone with a brain will see through his weak claim that
“the majority of the black community do not support homosexuality...”
Sick of it... Is it just me or is everyone sick of hearing about Paul Nepote’s anti-Homosexual diatribes? And now he claims that the LGB&T movement has hijacked MLK day. Really? Ludicrous at best. Yes Mr. Nepote, you are entitled to your opinion, and I to mine...
Watch out for meddlers... While Barack Obama won the state of Michigan in November, Republicans successfully invested millions of dollars in local elections to impact policy decisions. Proposal 2, designed to guarantee collective bargaining rights, was defeated by a well-financed campaign...
Christian values violated... I
found a copy of your publication on the break room table at work today.
I was instantly upset and ashamed that you are proudly telling the
story of the two homosexual men in Traverse City...
Guns & young men... Over the past decade, some reoccurring community concerns and thoughts that have come to mind. To me, it seems like we need to have some community reevaluation, rethinking, and changes. What say you?
Guns & the media... I
agreed with your Random Thoughts column, re: violence in USA and gun
control. Our perceptions are so ingrained about how safe we are here and
how dangerous it is in foreign countries.
Slamming MLK Day... It’s too bad that Traverse City’s homosexual community continues their attempt to ride on the coat tails of black history. The majority of the black community do not support homosexuality or gay marriage, and are sick and tired of the sham that the gays and their allies continue to perpetrate on our citizens.
Snyder’s lack of jobs... Will Governor Snyder run again? Total Michigan employment declined by 11,000 in December; however, the number of unemployed was little changed, edging upward by 1,000. The net impact was a 10,000 worker reduction in the state’s labor force over the month.
A better supreme court... We ask Governor Snyder to give serious consideration to the recommendation of the state’s bipartisan commission on Michigan Supreme Court elections.
Rigging the vote... Gerrymandering is the redrawing of congressional district lines to give one party advantage over the other in elections. Even though Democratic congressional candidates won the popular vote by over a million votes in the 2012 election, it was the Republicans who won the US House and both houses of our Michigan legislature due in large part to gerrymandering.
Right to Work myths... So called “right to work” (RTW) laws are best understood as state government interference with privately negotiated contracts to weaken and defund unions. A real “right to work” is not at stake anywhere in the USA. Since 1947, it has been unlawful for private employers and unions to require workers to join a union to obtain a job.
The debt debate... I was sorry to read that Stephen Tuttle hasn’t figured out the dynamic underlying the deficit battle. The purpose of that fight is to impose austerity and cut federal programs in an effort to balance the budget, a program that is clearly failing in the European Union.
Stop the violence... If “your” woman hits you, call the police. FIRST! You may have one chance to avoid going to jail. Don’t imagine that you can handle it yourself. Don’t imagine that anyone will ever listen to your side of the story if you don’t take it to the law right away.
The value of whole foods... Thank you for the whole food story featuring Dr. Mary Clifton. As a certified instructor for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) Food for Life programs, I can attest to the dramatic health improvements people gain from eating real food. I’ve had students get relief from arthritis pain and step away from their meds, elimination of migraines, diabetes reversal, significant drops in blood pressure and cholesterol, and that is just a start.
Ending gun violence... Guns don’t kill people. People with guns kill people. It’s the relationship that’s lethal. While preserving our right to own guns the following suggestions would decrease the likelihood of future gun violence and mass murders.
Our plant allies... As the song goes: “from a distance the world looks blue and green and the snow capped mountains white.” It reminds me of Michigan’s sales pitch to tourists “Pure Michigan.” From a distance it is a stunning view, but if we take a closer look there are some serious problems now and more to come.
Hair & there... Re: T.J. Tracey’s letter, 1/7: According to the line item in the December 24 My Style, one had to assume that I seek out $96 haircuts. Yikes! My haircuts at Shear Pleasure are actually $22. The $96 “hair” was my recent bi-annual splurge on a frost/shampoo/cut.
Occupy TC pitch... Remember the Brown Shirts ? (With apologies to Pastor Martin Niemoller)
First they came for the poor, and I did not speak out,
Because I was not poor.
Next they came for the immigrants, and I did not speak out,
Because I was not an immigrant.
ALEC’s bad influence... Congratulations fellow Michiganders! Our once proud state is receiving national media attention thanks to our governor and state legislature. We are evolving into a ruling oligarchy. I speak of the evils of the DeVos family, the Koch brothers, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
What to cut?... Time
to talk deficit. Clinton left a budget surplus of over $200 billion.
George Bush left a trillion dollar deficit.
Blind lawmakers... Lou
Ann McKimmy decries the 182 bills passed in Michigan’s fall 2012
session in her lame duck outrage letter. Her issue seems to be there was
no discussion on the bills and there was no time to read and understand
them within the given time period.
Mckimmy would have credence had she wrote a similar letter after ObamaCare passed in the dead of night with no discussion and no time to read it.
Capital idea... Yes to the three C’s (re: Rick Coates’ article on making the region a Culinary, Cultural and Craft Farming capital).
The truth about Israel... WORDS! How easy it is for them to be accepted as inflammatory, baring the view of the writer’s heart. Recent letters used the term “anti-Semitic” to describe critics of Israel, as if that gave their words weight. Being Jewish, I saw “anti-Zionist.”
Missing the mark... I
couldn’t let Stephen Tuttle’s “December 26” column slip by without
comment. Tuttle states: “Christmas Day is the focal point of the giving
season for most of us. And the endpoint.”
Excuse me, but what is this based on?
Those wondrous women... A few hundred years ago, Edmund Spenser wrote about women: “Such wondrous forms ought rather worshipped be than dared be loved by men of mean degree.”
Had Spenser been writing in contemporary America he might have penned, “Such wondrous forms ought rather worshipped be than menaced by Republicans of mean degree."
Eyewitness errors... Two recent articles, “Distracted Driving” by Rick Coates and “Wrong ID in Attempted Abduction” by Patrick Sullivan had a serious and unrecognized common theme: that we cannot trust our presumed cognitive powers.
Arrogant & distracted... I think Rick Coates will find that, just like him, tragedy must be personal before distracted drivers wake up.Union sunset... The Tuttle/Downes columns concerning the right-to-work legislation significantly misrepresent the effect of the legislation, and provide such a slanted picture of the facts of the issue as to severely undermine the credibility of both columnists.
A Chihuahua Christmas... Spirit. Something we carry in our hearts and minds, and sometimes in our hands. Her name was Tina Maria. A little spirit. A young girl who lived and died over 30 years ago. Her spirit carried in my heart and hand on a recent holiday shopping trip.A bustle in the hedgerow?... Really, the Led Zeppelin classic, “Stairway to Heaven” is about shopping addiction (re: Random Thoughts, “The Songs Remain the Same”).