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, December 15, 2008

The Joy of helping others

Other Opinions Beth Havens Ah Christmas.
Always the one day each year that each child anticipates and looks forward to with wonder and hope.
Well, not every child. At this time of year I can’t help but think of the many children in our area who may receive very little -- if anything -- when they wake on Christmas morning. Dinner for these children and their parents will not be the feast most Americans are use to celebrating with family. How do I know? I use to be that child.
Monday, November 24, 2008

Breaking the cycle of racism

Other Opinions Nancy Vogl Recently, I made an unlikely friend in Traverse City: Rod Nyland, former employee of Hampel’s Guns.
For anyone who knows me, and the message I’m dedicated to sharing, Rod is just about the last person in this town I might be friendly with. Rod is credited with hanging the American flag inverted in front of Hampel’s the day after Barack Obama was elected, and for making a
racial slur against our next president.
I can’t remember how old I was when I instinctively knew it was wrong to make racial jokes or derogatory remarks about people with skin color darker than mine, but I couldn’t have been more than six or seven. My father, my father’s father and both brothers were adept at slinging Ku Klux Klan wisecracks and angry taunts laced with the “N” word, while my mother, relegated to the “barefoot in the kitchen” rule, remained silent.
I, however, despised my family’s behavior and made a vow to myself: “Someday, when I’m all grown up, I’m breaking the cycle of racism with my own children.” Obviously, I wouldn’t have chosen those exact words as a little girl, but I did keep my promise.
Monday, November 17, 2008

Obama & the right to bear arms

Other Opinions Steve Morse On the day following the historic election of Barack Obama, it was clear, as reported by the Record-Eagle, that “not everyone is excited about the nation’s first black president” and, in fact, “some are downright hostile.”
The reference was to Rod Nyland, the managing employee of Hampel’s Key and Gun Shop in Traverse City. Nyland authorized the flying of an American flag upside down. As he explained, the purpose of doing this was to utilize “an international signal” to convey that “we feel our country is in distress because the n___ got in.” An hour later, Nyland apologized: “I regret my choice of words. That was a poor choice and I apologize. It’s probably not appropriate.”
At this point, Jack Fellows, a salesman for Hampel’s, said he, not Nyland, was a spokesman for the gun shop. Fellows stood by the decision to display the upside-down flag as “a distress signal warning for the country” as “basically a display of alarm.” “The winning presidential candidate,” said Fellows, “was not our choice and has the worst anti-gun record in Congress, let alone the Senate. He’s not fit to be president of the country.”
While the NRA has opposed Obama, it is not true that he has the “worst anti-gun record in Congress.” For one thing, Obama supported the landmark decision upholding Second Amendment rights handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in June, 2008.
Monday, October 20, 2008

Withdrawals of a political junkie

Other Opinions Rick Coates Based on my writings, most readers of the Express probably figure my life is all about food, booze and rock and roll. Actually, I have been a political junkie for most of my life. But, I now find myself on the growing list of Americans who have become disgruntled with the political process in our country. This current presidential election and the so-called four “debates” over the past month have done little to change my opinion that the process of electing qualified candidates to office is improving.
I blame my colleagues in the media for this as much as I put the blame on the politicians and the American public.
First of all, there is probably an assumption from readers that I and all of the staff at the Express are Democrats. While I am unable to speak for the rest of my colleagues, I am an independent. I have voted over the years for both Democrats and Republicans and, in some elections I have voted in the Democratic primary and, other times, the Republican primary.
I have managed or played a major role in 13 political campaigns from the local to the national level (judges, prosecutors, state legislators and a U.S. congressional campaign). Of those campaigns, eight of them were for Republican candidates.
When I enter the voting both on November 4 in Acme Township I will be voting for Republicans, Democrats and possibly some third party candidates. I remain undecided in my choice for several offices, including the office of president.
Monday, October 20, 2008

Kids and the truth about Sex Ed

Other Opinions Jessica Schrader As I get older, I see more clearly the need for a transformation.
I am an 18-year-old graduate of Bellaire High School and am currently enrolled at Northwestern Michigan College. I am majoring in either secondary or public health education. I am an identical twin and absolutely love it. I also have an older sister, an awesome little brother, two phenomenal parents, a cat, a dog, and a duck named Cow! I’m pretty much your average small-town girl.
But, enough about me -- on to the reason I’m writing.
My brother is in seventh grade. I always tell him that this was my favorite year of middle school. Of course, I never tell him why. He doesn’t need to have his first kiss yet!
Another memorable moment was when I was introduced to Planned Parenthood’s Peer Education program.
Monday, October 13, 2008

Make the Grand Vision your own

Other Opinions Hans Voss & Doug Luciani “With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.”
Abraham Lincoln said these simple, yet profound words 150 years ago, but they are just as true today – especially right here, right now in northwest lower Michigan.
Citizens from across the area are participating in an historic public process to determine our shared future. It’s called The Grand Vision and it’s the largest, most far-reaching future planning process the region has ever seen.
After four years of planning and preparation, now is the time for you and your neighbors to get involved. It’s easy. All you need to do is grab a Grand Vision “scorecard” and register your views by October 28. The result of this massive public input process will be wide consensus on a blueprint for land use and transportation for the next 50 years.
Monday, October 13, 2008

The candidates & public welfare

Other Opinions John Freeman Everybody is struggling with the high cost of health care. As health insurance premiums rise relentlessly, many individuals and businesses can no longer afford it or provide it.
There are 1.1 million people without health insurance in Michigan and countless others are “under-insured.” Their coverage doesn’t cover that much. It’s difficult for American business to provide health care when so many global competitors do not, because their home countries provides it.
Health Care for America (HCAN) is a new organization that is bringing people together to discuss what can be done to solve the problem. The goal of the campaign is to discuss what kind of reform makes sense and how we can build political support for moving national legislation in 2009. We are holding a community meeting on October 24 at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 6726 Center Road, Traverse City, to discuss health care and what can be done to reform it in 2009.
Monday, October 6, 2008

In Defense of Sarah Palin

Other Opinions John C. Ahrens When you start up your car in the morning, you can always tell which of the random little knocks and tings are normal, and which are wheels-coming-off serious.
The clatter and screech coming out of the Obama Inevitability Juggernaut has, for months, been your typical, boring, cliche-ridden background noise of a campaign coasting to victory: “McCain is an old coot, he’s actually George Bush in drag,” etc, etc. But since August 29, when this supposed racked-up, dying, has-been cancer patient chose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate, the Obama campaign has taken on the tenor of the wheels-coming-off variety.
I offer Exhibit A: In
Robert Downes’ never-so-aptly-titled “Random Thoughts” column in the Northern Express of September 8, we are treated to every sneering bit of condescending, pedantic contempt the left can muster about traditional America:
“If you’ve ever been to Wasilla, Alaska, rest assured, you wouldn’t want anyone from that dirt patch of a town of junk cars and snowmobile wrecks to rise above the post of dog
catcher. For starters, Wasilla has an unemployment rate of 11.2 percent, compared to the national average of 5.8 percent – It’s George Bush’s America.”
Oh, dear.
Monday, September 22, 2008

The candidates and the issues

Other Opinions Sara Gay Dammann So much is being written about this election and so much of what is being said is irrelevant. It’s time to close the silly season and turn the focus to issues, not gender, not race, not age. The question is whom do we think can best lead this country out of the morass of war and economic woes?
The issues are many. Here are a few:
TAXES: Obama’s tax plan would lower taxes for 95% of all taxpayers, virtually eliminate income tax for 10 million working Americans and for seniors with incomes lower than $50,000, and Obama proposes to let the Bush administration’s tax cuts for the wealthy expire and be returned to middle and low-income taxpayers in the form of tax credits to pay for health insurance.
McCain proposes further cuts in the corporate tax rate (10%) and to extend Bush’s tax cuts for those at the top of the economy.
Obama’s tax record in the Senate includes the Stop Fraud Bill and the 2007 Patriot Employer Tax Act, which provided tax credits to companies increasing workforce in the United States.
Monday, September 1, 2008

Men: Feel the spirit

Other Opinions Steven Holl On the weekend of September 12-14 a group of men will gather to explore and celebrate the sacred journey of
Like their ancestors the world over have done for thousands of years, they will create a ritual space for inner vision and healing. Exactly what will emerge is hard to predict, but for certain it will contain the sweet and powerful nectar of a man’s heart, soul and strength.
Monday, August 25, 2008

May we all rest in peace ( and quiet)

Other Opinions Dale S. Scott The morning sun peaks into our bedroom window. Most noticeably during the “in between” seasons.
Early to mid-spring as the sun shines higher in the northern hemisphere, before the leaves pop out.
And in the fall after the cold wet wind has blown those same leaves from the maple trees that encroach upon our third floor love-nest from the north and east.
Once or twice each April that same east window is rattled by sleet laced winds when they seem to be trying to turn our house around or turn our gaze to the south and the approach of summer.
Monday, July 14, 2008

Peak oil... Be Prepared

Other Opinions Mark Nixon “If we don’t drill more, in this country, I am quite concerned about civil disturbances in our urban areas because of the price of fuel” says John Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil.
His solution, of course, is to ask our legislators to relax drilling restrictions in areas like ANWR (the Arctic refuge in Alaska) and off our coasts. Events which will send the signal that everything is back to normal and we can safely resume our excessive (patriotic?) consumption habits. And when we finally do run out of oil, in the distant future, robust American market forces will fix this temporary problem with Adam Smith’s invisible hand of the marketplace.
Price, profit incentive, and technology are all we need to correct any imbalance between supply and demand, say the oil companies. In contrast, author Richard Heinberg (“The Party’s Over,“ “Peak Everything:) takes a different and longer view: “Cheap oil is the party we’ve been enjoying for the past 150 years, and that party is coming to an end, in our lifetime. We’re going to see the end of the age of oil, and the result of that will be the end of the American way of life.”
Monday, June 30, 2008

Leave no child indoors, Lisa Franseen

Other Opinions PhD The evidence is in. It is more dangerous to be inside than outside. It is more dangerous to our physical and mental well-being to sit in front of the television or computer than it is to be outside watching ants.
The research is mounting and shows that indoor lifestyles correlate with obesity, depression and anxiety, stress, attention deficit, higher use of medications, and a lack of creativity, whereas spending ample time outside in natural surroundings actually protects us against such symptoms. We’re just not meant to live so cut off from what is natural.
You’d think that those of us living in Northern Michigan would “have it made,” as natural beauty and wild areas abound. But, for too many of us, our outside time still happens only between the house and our cars.
Monday, June 23, 2008

The other side of alimony...

Other Opinions Beth Harju I find the article of Calvin Murphy’s divorce contrary to what I have been through (“Vet must share disability with ex-wife” -- June 9).
My father was a veteran of WW II. He obviously had post-traumatic stress syndrome. During the war he was hospitalized for frozen hands and feet, “shell shock,” and a broken shoulder. Then, when a bomb went off, he was injured by shrapnel that pierced his body and they could not remove the piece that lay close to his spinal cord.
After healing, he was sent back to the Battle of the Bulge and other situations.
Monday, June 9, 2008

Time to regulate oil companies

Other Opinions Jim Ramelis Are we there yet? As the never ending rising price of gas and food surges onward, are we starting to get it? As the oil companies suck us dry of our blood like big fat wood ticks that won’t let go until they are gorged with our blood, are we starting to feel the pain? Are we finally starting to understand that something is terribly wrong with the way we are doing things? Is the failed notion that if we let the corporations do whatever they like, somehow everybody benefits from the “trickle down” effect, starting to sink in as a lie?