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.
Evil liberal media
y’all, I am here visiting beautiful Northern Michigan from Oklahoma. I
picked up a copy of your paper and enjoyed it very much. I got a chuckle
out of and felt a need to respond to Bob Lovik’s letter (“Setting
things straight,” 8/6). Perhaps I can help “set him straight.”
Thanks to the uninformed, fear-mongering liberal media, this new and threatening process called fracking is the latest and greatest threat to our environment. News flash, fracking has been around for DECADES. Feel free to consult U-M or MSU professors of geology or petroleum engineering to confirm.
Procuring energy in any of its many forms can pose some environmental threats. For example, the thousands of birds, many of which are endangered species, killed by the giant windmills that generate electricity.
There is little evidence to support that fracking is some kind of environmental threat waiting to happen. I don’t glow in the dark, my son is perfectly normal, my water doesn’t spontaneously combust...
Fireworks out of control
In response to “Get off my Lawn” by George Nemetz (Letters 7/23). First, I assure you that I am well under the age of 80, if that even matters. Also, the Express is not solely read by your age group of 30 and under.
Michigan has lifted a ban on some of the higher grades of fireworks and you can now obtain a permit to use the more powerful grade.
I also had problems with my dogs climbing the walls when a neighbor was setting off professional grade fireworks for several nights in my neighborhood. These are not just bottle rockets and firecrackers, they are the ones that are shot high in the air and are so loud they shake your house. The police were called by many in my neighborhood about this.
With the fire danger being so high, I was very concerned about my home and my neighbors’ homes catching on fire...
Penn State's punishment
“...the fundamental chapter of this horrific story should focus on the innocent children and the powerful people who let them down.”
-- Ed Ray, chairman of the NCAA’s executive committee
A months-long coma would have been the only way to have escaped hearing of the tragic events at Penn State. At first, the sickening realization that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually abused at least eight underage boys on or near university property. Then the deep disappointment in learning an investigation by former FBI director Louis Freeh found school officials, including the school president and vice president, head football coach Joe Paterno, and athletic director had known about the allegations of child abuse as early as 1998, but failed to disclose them.
Now the NCAA has handed down penalties that some say are close to a “death penalty” for the school’s football program, including a $60 million fine, four year bowl-ban, loss of some scholarships and withdrawal of wins dating back to 1998. The statue honoring Joe Paterno has been removed by the university. Sadly ironic, the statue’s inscription reads, “Educator, Coach, Humanitarian.”
These appalling events and revelations have shed light on behaviors most people would rather not examine. Yet it also creates awareness of deep-seated cultural attitudes and hopefully a willingness to learn more about ourselves, our society and what we value...
'Get off my lawn'
After reading the Letters to the Editors in the July 16th issue I am very curious - how old are the readers of The Express?!
This publication has had an edge to it since its inception and has never been afraid to ask some very hard questions or to tip-toe the line between aggressive and conservative. I’ve read it for years (I’m 30) and so have my friends and perhaps I was assuming something untrue in that the readers tended to be under the age of 80.
The letters people have written take on this point of view of an old man sitting on his porch yelling at kids to get off of his lawn. It doesn’t fit!
For instance - the letter about fireworks is unreasonable. Really? Your neighbors were using expensive professional-grade fireworks? The kind the Cherry Fest can’t even afford to use...
The new Michigan fireworks law does untold damage to the environment, wildlife, pets and our personal right to quiet and safety in our own homes.
On July 7th and numerous times, between late June through September, I have been jolted out of bed by neighbors setting off extremely loud fireworks – the kind used in public displays.
I have had to rearrange my life to accommodate my neighbors “fun.” This includes getting my dog up to the house and into a closet at night before the fireworks start, which is always a guess. Then waking him up after midnight to pee because he was too scared to pee on the way to the house.
I have had to remain up till after midnight on evenings when I was not feeling well or just needed to sleep because I work long hours. I have heard others say that their children are scared awake in the middle of the night from neighbors fireworks.
Veterans with PTSD call the 4th of July “a day from hell.” Deer are reported to have miscarriages from fear after explosions and I can’t imagine the pain of birds or bats with sensitive hearing, not to mention the toxic heavy metal smoke from the fireworks that they are forced to breathe which can cause digestive disorders, cancer and asthma attacks...
Great article on the mortgage loan modification scam involving the now imprisoned Tashia L. Winstanley of Holly, MI (6/25).
I too had an “encounter” with her beginning in December of 2010 when I agreed to pay her $1,700 to represent me in a loan modification process with Bank of America. Unlike some of her other clients who have lost a ton of money, some their homes, my imposing demeanor must have set off an alarm with her and all I lost was the $1,700. I demanded to have ALL of our correspondence in writing, via email or USPS; no telephone calls, thanks.
Anyway, you must be aware of a letter recently sent from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office: Notice of Victim’s Rights. The State is now charging her with: 1 count of Criminal Enterprises - Conducting 1 count of False Pretenses - $20,000 or more 3 counts of False Pretenses - $1,000 or more but less than $20,000 Obviously Winstanley’s hopes of early release in July are disappearing quickly...
Panning the panhandlers
I have noticed a disturbing trend in downtown Traverse City. I have observed more and more public intoxication by street people, as well as blatant panhandling for spare change, and was even asked, no, told, to give one certain individual $2 one day, “for beer.”
Just yesterday afternoon, I was approached by three people within 10 minutes in the 200 block of E. Front St. for spare change, 50 cents, and one dollar. Another person has even begun to step out in front of passing motorists, and stop them to do his panhandling.
Where is law enforcement? Has anybody driven by Lay Park in the late mornings, and most of the afternoon lately? There’s a group of at least 10 persons consuming alcohol, and some appear to be passed out lying on the ground. Does this look good to folks who visit the region...
Helmets & organs
I am one of those guys that thought it would be great to ride without a helmet, so in 2007 I rode from St Augustine FL to Daytona Beach with nothing but a dew rag on my bald paté.
On the way home we came upon a three-motorcycle collision at an intersection. We stopped to help, but found two of the bikers were DOA from head injuries, and the third biker had a serious head injury. I have never ridden without a helmet since...
Patrick Sullivan proves here that there’s always ONE side to every story (re: “Upland Forest or Forested Wetlands?” 5/28/12). Actually, if you read through the sensationalism you see that there isn’t even a story here at all.
While the subtitle reads: “Environmentalist alleges Antrim County official looked the other way as wetlands were destroyed,” buried near the end we find this quote from the DEQ: “It is true that soil erosion officers don’t have any authority over wetlands, he said. It is up to the DEQ to issue Part 303 permits that allow the destruction of wetlands.”
So Heidi Shaffer (Antrim County soil erosion officer) did her job and is being persecuted because an environmentalist feels threatened and a couple from downstate has to share their “little piece of Northern Michigan” lakefront with a neighboring land owner? Shameful...
Did anyone see Traverse City’s own Levi Britton sing the National Anthem at the Cubs’ game two weeks ago? He stepped up like he owned the place, and did us proud!
Jon Fiebing • TC
Stop the bullyingWhere were you Tuesday night (May 15)? I attended the very sensitive Bullycide Project at Lars Hockstad Auditorium. As I looked around at the many empty seats, I could almost hear the voices saying, “I have something painful that I need to tell you. Please listen...
On Sunday at the NMC BBQ in T.C., a small group of activists were there to collect signatures for our petition to qualify for the November ballot to end Cannabis Prohibition here in Michigan.
It was a bust because we were forced by campus security (backed up by Traverse City police) to leave ASAP or be arrested. We setup across the street from campus, but only got about 50 sigs of an anticipated 1,000. Both campus head of security and a T.C. cop told me that they were being forced to remove us by certain college board members.
We were even told that if we stayed on grounds after putting away my back-pack sign (that drew folks to us) & clipboards, without purchasing a meal, we would be arrested for loitering...
No politics needed
President Obama took a huge political risk when he authorized the successful removal of Osama bin Laden from this earth. Most Republicans have been strangely quiet about this until recently, when they now complain that the administration is attempting to politicize the killing of bin Laden.
Journey with me now to a fantasy land where Republicans would successfully resist the temptation to fully politicize the bin Laden mission had it failed.
Bob Ross • Pellston
Festivals tread lightly
I have read the news concerning the cancellation of two festivals that occur in late summer, the Schooner Festival and I believe the Epicurian classic....
Tuttle right on Time
That article was 100 percent spot-on!
My uniquely effective high school English composition instructor directed his students, with each assignment of a paper that required citations of source material, “If you decide to include Time Magazine in your bibliography, please save me the trouble and go ahead and put a red ‘F’ at the top of your paper.”
His disdain for their editorial standards was total, and appropriately so.I have my personal nominee for “Time Magazine Nonsensical Cover Hyperbole”...
Citizens vs. PACs
I believe American citizens, not superpacs and billionaires, have the constitutional right to elect our President, Congress, and Judges. The Citizens United vs. FEC ruling by the Supreme Court gives corporations including multinationals, foreign entities, and unions the constitutional right to spend unlimited funds to oppose or support a candidate without disclosing who is giving, how much, and to whom.
Because Citizens United says money is the same as speech, superpacs allow individuals to do the same. Those who donate the most money win the votes of the politicians. This is destroying our democracy!
Average citizens across Northern Michigan trying to voice their concerns to their legislators can be overwhelmed by the corrupting influence of outside billionaires and corporations who donate unlimited amounts of money.
As a citizen of this country that I love, as a mother and grandmother, I believe we have a right and a responsibility to elect the best legislators who will safeguard and advocate for our family, community and country...
Give Gitmo back
In last week’s issue Mr. Tuttle called for ending our fruitless blockade of Cuba. This is laudable and sensible.
The blockade has been an abject failure. Fidel Castro has outlasted now nine presidents. More importantly, had our blockade been ended decades ago, communism in Cuba would have been long gone and Cuba would now be a major trading partner and American vacation destination.
It was disappointing, however, that an editorial calling for an end to the blockade didn’t have a word about “Gitmo.” You know, the prison nickname for our Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba...