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...
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...
Where our money goes
There was once a frequent public service announcement on the radio, asking parents, “Do you know where your children are?” With cell phones, that is far less of a concern now. It’s time to change the announcement to “Do you know where your money, personal and taxes, has gone?” Walking away from a cashier, we don’t think twice about our spending and the consequences.
Your taxes buy death as do many of your purchases. Your taxes buy inhumanity to others, degradation, starvation, and worse...
T. Boone Pickens and Big Oil and Coal are working overtime and spending millions of dollars on advertising to convince us that natural gas is the best thing to happen to Michigan since fudge. But if unconventional slick-water fracturing (fracking) is so great, why does it need all the exemptions from law? Fracking is exempt from...
Northern Express’s fracking article portraying Don’t Frack Michigan’s JoAnne Beemon, both protesting and part of the press conference supporting the bills, exposes the duplicity of this group.
One may have the impression that Ms. Beemon of Don’t Frack Michigan (DFM) was there to protest the bills. That would be mistaken. Ms. Beemon was there to show support for the bills with DFM’s sign as a part of the press conference. After Rep. Mark Meadows’ team asked her to take it down as to not confuse the message, she did so...