Letters

Letters 11-24-2014

Dangerous Votes You voted for Dr. Dan. Thanks!Rep. Benishek failed to cosponsor H.R. 601. It stops subsidies for big oil companies. He failed to cosponsor H.R. 1084. There is an exemption for hydraulic fracturing written into the Safe Drinking Water Act. H.R. 1084. It would require the contents of fracking fluids to be publicly disclosed to protect the public health.

Solar Is The Answer There have been many excellent letters about the need for our region, state and nation to take action on climate change. Now there is a viable solution to this ever-growing problem: Solar energy is the future.

Real Minimum Wage In 1966, a first class stamp cost 5 cents and minimum wage was $1.25. Today, a first class stamp is 49 cents, so federal minimum wage should be $11.25.

Doesn’t Seem Warmer I enjoy the “environmentalists” twisting themselves into pretzels trying to convince us that it is getting warmer. Sure it is... 

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Random Thoughts

 
Monday, September 27, 2010

A canal runs through it

Random Thoughts Robert Downes A Canal Runs Through It
Travel is expensive, especially in America. Thus, the arrival of the
so-called “staycation,” the oxymoronic equivalent of a cruel joke
perpetuated on people who are unaware of cheaper options.
There is an exciting alternative with a rock bottom budget, however:
bicycle camping.
 
Monday, September 20, 2010

The bittersweet season

Random Thoughts Robert Downes The bittersweet season
Fall is that time of year when we “get our life back” here in Northern Michigan.
I’m always amazed at the hush that falls over the region just after
Labor Day Weekend. Suddenly, the road along the bay looks less like
the Daytona 500 and more like a country lane. As the smog and
automotive roar of the tourist migration dissipates, you can start to
see something of that small town we remember from way back when -- a
place more like Lake Woebegone than the Vegas Strip. Fall reminds us
that life here isn’t all just a cabaret, old chum... we get our sense
of home back.
 
Monday, September 13, 2010

Losing our religion

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Losing our Religion
Maybe it’s just a wild coincidence, but most of the Muslim people I’ve
ever met have been remarkably gentle and considerate.
Not a terrorist among them.
There was Darla, a college friend of Arabic descent from Dearborn who
aspired to a career in journalism. A mysterious beauty with a sense of
dignity and style, I can’t imagine she ever thought of a side career
in bomb-making.
 
Monday, August 30, 2010

The Gunslingers

Random Thoughts Robert Downes The Gunslingers
You have to wonder if Second Amendment activists are going to shoot themselves in the foot in Royal Oak this weekend, because they’ve finally succeeded in pissing off even the Republican establishment, along with the business community and the average American family.
An organization called Michigan Open Carry, Inc. is encouraging gun owners to carry their holstered pistols to a family festival called Arts, Beats and Eats in downtown Royal Oak on Labor Day weekend. The festival hopes to draw 25,000 people or more.
 
Monday, August 23, 2010

The pie in the face

Random Thoughts Robert Downes The Pie in the Face
Give her credit, Ahlam Mohsen, 22, has got some guts, if not a lot of sense.
The anti-war activist and Michigan State University student from
Coldwater smacked U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) in the face with a
Dutch apple pie last week. Now, she faces a felony charge of stalking,
along with misdemeanors for assault and disorderly conduct.
 
Monday, August 16, 2010

The 100 Thing Challenge

Random Thoughts Robert Downes The 100 Thing Challenge
If you’re into the ‘less is more’ lifestyle built on simplifying your life, you’ve probably heard of the “100 Thing Challenge.”
If not, then now’s your chance to have one heck of a garage sale this weekend.
The idea is to get rid of all of your possessions except for the 100 things you can’t live without for an extended period of time -- from 100 days to a year.
Blogger Dave Bruno (www.guynameddave.com) came up with the idea and has charted his progress (perhaps “regress” is a better word) online and in a soon-to-be-published book. He’s been feted in Time magazine as far back as 2008 and apparently has plenty of disciples who are busy ditching the clutter in their lives.
 
Monday, August 9, 2010

College & the middle class

Random Thoughts Robert Downes College & the Middle Class
Several years ago, I hurt a reader’s feelings by reporting on the
amount of income it takes to be considered “middle class” in America
these days.
I can’t remember the amount now -- it was probably some arbitrary
figure cooked up by an economics professor.
But I do remember the crushed look on her face as she said, “If that’s
how much money you need to earn, then I’m no longer in the middle
class.”
 
Friday, August 6, 2010

The age of what to do

Random Thoughts Robert Downes The Age of What to Do?
There was a wonderfully scary article in the business section of the
New York Times last month, in which a financial analyst predicted that
we’re in for the biggest stock market crash in 300 years.
Market forecaster Robert Prechter bases his warning on the theories of
accountant Ralph Nelson Elliott, whose Elliott Wave theory predicted
the fluctuations of the stock market in the 1930s and ‘40s. According
to this theory, we may be in for the biggest crash since the collapse
of the South Sea Bubble in 1720 (look it up in your old college econ
book), a financial disaster that was so devastating that people were
fearful of buying stocks for 100 years. Prechter says the Dow Jones
average is likely to sink below 1,000 points (it’s currently hovering
around 10,000) and stay there for years. This would put us back into
the economy of the Stone Age.
 
Monday, August 2, 2010

Deport a migrant, raise your grocery bill

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Deport a migrant, raise your grocery bill
Will deporting illegal immigrants send your food bill through the
roof? It depends on who you ask.
First, a little background:
It seems hard to believe now, but 10 years ago, then-new President
George W. Bush proposed granting amnesty for 8-10 million illegal
immigrants living in the
United States. Bush, who spoke Spanish and was familiar with the
illegal immigration problem in his role as the former governor of
Texas, had a plan to create an improved guest worker program for
migrants in the U.S., and to allow illegal immigrants to begin the
process of becoming citizens.
 
Monday, July 26, 2010

The case for Rick Snyder

Random Thoughts Robert Downes The case for Rick Snyder
Rick Snyder, the “one tough nerd” GOP candidate for governor, is hoping that
Democrats and independents will join moderate Republicans to help him
win the primary election on August 3.
Snyder has qualities that appeal to both Republicans and
Democrats, while maintaining credibility as an independent outsider.
The venture capitalist from Ann Arbor also has top credentials in
business at a time when Michigan could use some expertise in the jobs
department.
 
Monday, July 19, 2010

Kids & Guns

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Kids & Guns
A sad commentary on our times is the State Senate’s recent passage of
a new gun safety program targeting young children in our public
schools.
No pun intended.
 
Monday, July 12, 2010

Easy fixes ignored

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Easy Fixes Ignored
There’s a bridge over the Boardman River on the bike path in Traverse
City where teenagers enjoy jumping into the water nearly every day in
the summer. They climb eight feet or so up the framework and make the
leap of perhaps 20-25 feet into the river.
 
Monday, July 5, 2010

It‘s the berries...

Random Thoughts Robert Downes It’s the berries...
What do people do when times get tough? They hold big parties and try
to fuggedaboudit for awhile.
It’s a global impulse: in Rio de Janeiro, where millions live in dire
poverty, slum-dwellers who may not even have electricity or running
water spend the entire year working on parade costumes and floats for
their annual Carnival.
 
Monday, June 28, 2010

We‘re all journalists now

Random Thoughts Robert Downes It was old news long before it hit the newspaper or the airwaves.
Last Wednesday, citizens writing on local Internet and social
networking sites helped spread the news that Traverse City Light &
Power (TCL&P) had shelved a plan to build a controversial new biomass
plant.
The news was passed on via environmentalists on Facebook and Twitter
and by TCL&P’s own e-mailed press release. The Traverse City
Record-Eagle also issued an email blast, scooping its print edition
story by some 20 hours.
 
Monday, June 21, 2010

So long to Smoky Joe‘s Cafe

Random Thoughts Robert Downes So long, Smoky Joe’s Cafe
I’ve been hanging out in smoky joints most of my life and have
probably inhaled enough second-hand cigarette smoke to fill a
zeppelin.
 
 
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