Letters 11-30-2015

“Snapshots” of Islam Offensive  In his latest effort (Northern Express Nov. 23 - Nov. 29, 2015,) David Kachadurian provides a jumble of FYI disclosures pertaining to Islam and Muslim societies, and posing as if providing a public service announcement, he advises the readers to ponder their import and to “make of them what you will.”

Not Another War To these people who believe we need to be at war in the Middle East all the time: try thinking about getting the countries that are in the area to take care of these bad guys instead of us. We are almost in constant war and have been as long as most can remember...

The Unvaccinated Are Punished Pulling healthy children from school due to a so called “outbreak” of a mild childhood illness isn’t for the safety of the community, as we’re being led to believe. It’s to prove a point that the health department will follow through on their threats to exclude the unvaccinated from all school related events, whenever they see fit...

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Other Opinions

Monday, October 19, 2009

October 24: Your day to speak out about climate change

Other Opinions Hans Voss October 24: Your Day to
Speak Out on Climate Change

By Hans Voss 10/19/09

How would you like to be part of what looks to be the biggest day of worldwide environmental action in history?
It happens Saturday, October 24 and Traverse City is an important part of this global event called the International Day of Climate Action. Locally, it starts at 1 p.m. at the Open Space and later moves to the Traverse City Opera House. We’ll gather for a huge group photo that will be beamed to Times Square and across the world.
It’s all meant to grab the attention of world leaders as they prepare to go to Copenhagen, Denmark in December to negotiate a new international climate treaty. And the climate day action seems to be working; at last check, there were 2,376 events planned in more than 153 countries for Saturday.
Monday, October 5, 2009

Sound, fury & nonsense in health care reform

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Sound, Fury & Nonsense
in Health Care Reform
By Stephen Tuttle 10/5/09

Are we having fun, yet?
What passes for the national debate on health care reform drones on and on with no end in sight. Nobody seems especially happy with any proposals suggested and everybody has successfully found something they absolutely despise. This, despite recent reports that health care costs under our current system have increased more than 100 percent in just the last 10 years, wildly surpassing inflation. Even worse, at the same time wages have stagnated or decreased. Health care affordability is becoming a fading memory.
Monday, September 28, 2009

An overdraft nightmare

Other Opinions Dominic R. Sondy An overdraft nightmare

By Dominic R. Sondy 9/28/09

I’ve found that it is a good idea to check my bank accounts on-line every day. I have to look because there are some aspects of modern banking that I cannot seem to grasp. An example would be: Why are deposits some kind of shimmering illusion, floating in electronic limbo for days, while debit purchases are firm reality instantly?
Since the logic of this eludes me, it’s more than a good idea that I check daily. Checking means that I’m less likely to accidentally violate some arbitrary bank rule.
I skipped August 24 and didn’t log-on until late in the day on Tuesday August 25, 2009. That was the day I discovered $200 in Non-sufficient funds fees had been applied to our personal checking account. My wife and I had to talk with Mandy.
Monday, September 7, 2009

Stuck in Guantanamo with no way out

Other Opinions H. Candace Gorman Stuck In Guantánamo
with no way out

By H. Candace Gorman 9/7/09

Perhaps you have read about Al-Ghizzawi over the years in Northern Express? I am a lawyer and Al-Ghizzawi is my client. However this is not a normal attorney/client relationship. You see, Al-Ghizzawi is a prisoner at Guantánamo and therefore none of the rules that usually affect the attorney-
client relationship are in play here.
When I meet with Al-Ghizzawi, I must turn over my notes to the military and the Department of Justice to read before they are returned to me. Al-Ghizzawi’s letters to me are read before I receive them and my letters to him are searched for contraband (staples, paperclips... and who knows what else? Words perhaps?)
Monday, July 27, 2009

A seaway to disaster

Other Opinions Jeff Alexander A Seaway to Disaster
50th anniversary is nothing to celebrate

By Jeff Alexander 7/27/09

In the waning days of June, dozens of dead seagulls began washing up on the Lake Michigan shoreline at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Scientists believe the birds were the latest victims of a botulism epidemic sweeping Great Lakes shorelines. The bacterium has killed more than 70,000 water birds over the past decade — including more than 8,000 iconic loons.
The latest bird die-off was minor compared to similar, previous events at Sleeping Bear Dunes and dozens of other Great Lakes beaches.
Monday, July 13, 2009

Green jobs: hope amid the hype

Other Opinions Andy Levin Green Jobs: Hope Amid the Hype
By Andy Levin 7/13/09

These days, it seems like the news is full of talk about green jobs. Here in Michigan, where we have lost thousands of good-paying jobs, the potential to leverage our water, wind, solar and advanced-manufacturing resources to create jobs makes the discussion about green jobs all the more exciting.
But how many green jobs actually exist? How can we create more of them? When can we expect a meaningful number of Michigan citizens to be working in the green economy?
In May, we started to answer these questions with the release of the Michigan Green Jobs Report, the first rigorous empirical study of the green economy in Michigan that includes specific green work in five areas:
1. agriculture and natural resources
2. clean transportation and fuels
3. increased energy efficiency
4. pollution prevention and environmental cleanup
5. renewable energy production
Monday, July 6, 2009

Its now or never for national healthcare

Other Opinions Karen Martin It‘s now or never
for national healthcare plan
By Karen Martin 7/6/09

It’s now or never, for those who support a single-payer health plan in the United States. The Democrats have the majority in both houses of Congress and they have the White House. If our representatives cannot step up, be bold, and give Americans what has been sought for over a century, when will there ever be a national healthcare plan?
Monday, July 6, 2009

The King is dead... get used to it

Other Opinions Ross Boissoneau The King is Dead...
... get used to it
By Ross Boissoneau 7/6/09

And in a news flash, Michael Jackson is still dead. So is Anna Nicole Smith.
Yes, it is news that Jackson died so suddenly and mysteriously. But the complete meltdown of the tabloid press – and the not-tabloid press – is so over-the-top as to be ridiculous.
Monday, April 27, 2009

Do we have a double standard on War Crimes?

Other Opinions Steve Morse Why we must investigate torture
In 1947 the United States convicted a number of Japanese war criminals to life in prison for waterboarding U.S. soldiers.
In one case, a Japanese officer named Chinsaku Yuki made his victim strip off all his clothes, after which he was tied naked to a bench. Then Yuki poured water over a cloth wrapped around the victim’s face until he drowned and passed out. When the man was revived, he’d find Yuki sitting on his belly and the process would start all over again.
One U.S. soldier testified that he was drowned four or five times, losing consciousness, then revived for more punishment.
We gave the Japanese and Nazi war criminals the harshest penalties that a military tribunal could mete out for their hideous acts. But now, our nation finds itself gazing in a mirror, faced with the same question: Should the Bush administration be investigated for condoning and encouraging torture?
The short answer is that they already are being investigated -- by the press.
Monday, April 20, 2009

Co-op members should seize power and stop coal plant

Other Opinions Tom Karas Co-op members should seize power and stop coal plant
Tom Karas

How many times have you seen the bumper stickers “Lets throw Crap in the Bay, It’s the American Way,” “I love Old Technology: It Was Good Enough for Dad,” or “I Support Greenhouse Gas and Fewer Jobs”?
These may seem like idiotic examples of people willingly displaying dumb concepts, and that’s the point. Given the choice, most rational citizens would never align themselves with such nonsense.
That’s why your electric cooperative, whether Cherryland or Great Lakes Energy, works so hard to gloss over the decisions the directors make behind closed doors. In this case, to build a new coal plant in Rogers City. It’s common sense that, given the opportunity to choose, folks would want newer, clean technology that is cheaper than older, more costly contraptions. In Michigan, we would love to see lots of jobs created, not fewer. And in the Internet age, we have welcomed advances in technology when given the chance to choose.
Monday, March 16, 2009

Saving American Jobs

Other Opinions R. Thomas Buffenbarger Saving American Jobs
R. Thomas Buffenbarger 3/23/09

In January alone, 598,000 jobs were lost. More than 200,000 of those jobs were lost in the manufacturing sector. The employment rate now stands at a staggering 7.6 percent. The global credit crunch has, finally and decisively, thrown the gears of growth into reverse.
This global recession is like a runaway tractor-trailer. Downshifting works, once in a while. But if the incline is too steep or the load too heavy, downshifting destroys the gearbox. Momentum does the rest. When the rig comes to rest--and it will, eventually--the wreckage is found everywhere.
The just-passed stimulus bill will repair some of the damage done to America’s economy. But a second stimulus package is needed. And revitalizing America’s manufacturing sector must be its highest priority.
America’s trading partners will not buy a trillion dollars in U.S. Treasury notes to finance our recovery while their own economies sink deeper into recession. They’ve already been burned badly once. Yankee traders sold them the toxic debt--the subprime mortgages, credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations--that triggered this global recession. Selling them more commercial paper stamped “Made in America” is not a viable option. Our only recourse is to make things other nations will buy. So to stimulate our own economic revival, we must renovate our plants, install new machinery and hone the skills of our workforce.
America needs a 21st Century version of Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration. Roosevelt put millions of Americans back to work on an emergency basis in 1935. He did so by creating jobs that would produce “permanent improvements in living conditions or that creates future new wealth for the nation.”
Monday, March 9, 2009

Bandits in our banks

Other Opinions Jackie Freeman You get what you pay for. American Bankers Association affiliates are the biggest contributors to congressional members. You’d have to be extremely naïve to believe that bills are not influenced by where the money is coming from.
Our own Senator Carl Levin introduced a bill “Stop Unfair Practices in Credit Cards Act” to help curb unscrupulous credit card practices. Its purpose was to ban egregious practices by credit card companies that exploit consumers and keep them mired in lifelong debt.
But Congress gave in, and offered them a year-and-a-half to mend their evil ways. During this time they will ramp up their victimization of Americans. During this delay, credit card companies will run their businesses like bandits, raising rates now in anticipation of future limits to their authority. Millions more families will become financially desperate as a consequence
Why do huge financial giants like GE Money bank, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, American Express, Discover and their colleagues need a year-and-a-half grace period before cleaning up their business practices? It has been stated that 18 months is necessary to “upgrade the banks’ computers.”
Monday, March 2, 2009

The Value of Vaccinations

Other Opinions Rebecca Peterson As a mother of four young children, I am alarmed by the current pertussis alert, which is due to low vaccination rates in our area.
Vaccination programs suffer when people romanticize nature. A few “natural but deadly” threats include: lead poisoning, polio and violent weather. Yet we protect against these. In the auto state we drive a lot. Not exactly natural. So I don’t buy the “natural” argument. Making it to age 60 is not natural. It is only thanks to nutrition, clean water, vaccines, and skilled surgeons that Americans live so long. Life expectancy in Kenya? Fifty-three. Botswana? Thirty-three.
Monday, February 23, 2009

The future of real estate in Northern Michigan

Other Opinions Jack Lane I know we’ve all been shaken dramatically by the double whammy of the stock market dive and the real estate market dive. Worse yet, none of this was our fault – we were just playing the Great American Dream the way we were taught. Yet, tens of thousands of dollars have disappeared from our vision of what we thought we were worth.
I have good news for you. This is not the end of times. Most of us will be worth that much, again – and more. There have been nine other pronounced real estate declines in the history of this great country – and, every time, real estate has bounced back in dramatic fashion. This one will have the same result.
If you’re a seller, you hate this market. If you’re a buyer, this is the market you dream of. Keep in mind that most sellers will turn around and become buyers – so, even their dilemma is not as painful as the headlines suggest. Does it suck to be in this position? Absolutely! But whining doesn’t accomplish much. Besides, there is a silver lining to this “crisis,” so let’s have a look at the situation and decide how to proceed:
Monday, January 26, 2009

Some reasons to be thankfull

Other Opinions Michael Estes Daily we bear witness to the chorus of “bad economic news” with forecasts of more to come. The facts we continually overlook are that the majority of Americans maintain higher standards of living, occupy larger homes, purchase more cars, acquire more education and are privileged to healthier lives and other opportunities than any other generation. That doesn’t negate the fact that the current economic downturn has and/or will further challenge many in our community.