Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Clouded Judgement

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Clouded Judgment
Archie Kiel, who was busted for growing too many plants under the Michigan
Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) last August, has become a cause celebre for
marijuana activists across the state. Yet I wonder if any of the
passionate-about-pot crowd ever stops to think about how much damage they
are doing to their own cause by supporting the violation of the law from
the get-go.
 
Monday, May 17, 2010

A second chance on biomass

Random Thoughts Robert Downes A second chance on biomass
What do rocket scientists do when a bad idea blows up on the launching
pad? They go back to the drawing board.
Last week’s announcement by the FAA that it would not approve plans
for a $30 million biomass power plant next to Cherry Capital Airport
in Traverse City confirmed the suspicions of critics that any number
of things could go wrong with a plan to burn the region’s forests for
electrical power.
 
Monday, May 10, 2010

Hello? Some news you may not want to hear

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Remember those old commercials: “This is your brain on drugs,” where they
showed a blob sizzling in a frying pan? Well it turns out that drugs
aren’t the problem: it’s your cell phone.
 
Monday, May 3, 2010

The Roundabout Revolution

Random Thoughts Robert Downes The Roundabout Revolution
You don’t usually think of ‘going in circles’ as being progress, but
that’s definitely the case when it comes to a plan to introduce
roundabouts to the highways of Northern Michigan.
 
Monday, April 26, 2010

Things learned while looking other stuff up

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Things learned while looking up other stuff...
• It’s a Downer -- Literally: As a follow-up to Anne Stanton’s article,
“Up North Robbery,” in this issue about the high cost of flying to and
from Northern Michigan, consider what a round-trip flight to Chicago would
cost you this weekend from Cherry Capital Airport: According to
expedia.com, the lowest flight is $615 -- and that’s with two stops in
Detroit and Indianapolis! Or, fly direct there and back for $687.
Ouch. Consider that you can currently fly 6,700 miles to New Zealand from
Los Angeles for $758 (and that‘s round-trip). That’s only $71 more than
what it takes to fly 300 miles to the Windy City from Northern Michigan.
But as airport director Steve Cassens notes, the airlines have us over a
barrel, and the fewer people who fly out of the region only means less
service and higher rates...
 
Monday, April 19, 2010

Ready to rock

Music Robert Downes If you feel the earth shake the weekend of April 30-May 1, relax -- that’s
no earthquake -- it’s the finals weekend for the Rock Your Way to the Top
battle of the bands that has been raging in Northern Michigan every other
weekend since January.
 
Monday, April 19, 2010

Bart, we feel your pain/No free lunch

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Bart, we feel your pain
There’s a pundit on TV in the early evening hours who specializes in
painting anyone in public office as a knucklehead.
Permanently saddled with a world-weary expression, he answers emails
from cynical viewers with rolling eyes, a “tch-tch,” and an exasperated
“I told ya so” before delivering the inevitable punchline about the
jerks in Washington pulling the strings of the hard-workin’ American
middle class.
 
Monday, April 12, 2010

Only parents can end bullying

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Only parents can end bullying
It has taken years to sink in, but with the suicide of 15-year-old
Phoebe Prince in Massachusetts this January, we parents have finally
got the message that bullying in our schools is a deadly serious
issue.
Most of us know Phoebe’s story by now: she was a pretty girl who moved to the
United States from Ireland last fall and then suffered months of abuse
from her classmates after briefly dating a popular football player at
South Hadley High School.
 
Monday, April 5, 2010

Anti-government militias... then & now

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Perhaps Charles Poole’s biggest “crime” was that he was an employee of
the federal government.
Poole was a 32-year-old employee of the Works Progress Administration,
an agency set up by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide jobs
for millions of unemployed Americans during the Great Depression.
One night in May, 1936, Poole was lured to a location in Dearborn by
members of a violent nightshirt group called the Black
Legion. He had been told that he was needed to round out a sandlot
baseball team as a pretext for his torture and murder.
 
Monday, March 22, 2010

The Great Unknowns

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Our annual “Best of Northern Michigan” survey produced some
interesting results in the politics department this year. Out of
approximately 75 questions, the one with the fewest responses was: Who
should
Michigan pick for governor in 2010?
 
Monday, March 15, 2010

Cars 100% ‘Made in America‘ hard to find

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Cars 100% ‘Made in America‘ hard to find
My wife and I got quite a shock while window shopping at a local
auto dealership the other day. Ideally, we’d like to buy a car that is
at least assembled in the United States, and one that gets good
mileage at a price in the low 20’s.
 
Monday, March 8, 2010

When the law goes nuts

Random Thoughts Robert Downes In the spring of 2005, undercover officers from the Flint Area
Narcotics Group raided a dance club called the Club What’s Next and
rounded up 117 young men and women under the pretense that they were
“frequenting a drug house.”
 
Monday, March 1, 2010

What‘s for dinner? Kathy Rymal

Dining Robert Downes ‘What’s for Dinner?’ Kathy Rymal has the answer -- in your own home
Do you long for the comfort and quality of home cooking, but don’t
have time to spend in the kitchen due to your crazy, hectic lifestyle?
Then relax, personal chef Kathy Rymal offers an in-home service that
brings healthful, imaginative meals direct from your own stove to your
table.
 
Monday, March 1, 2010

Getting a grip on globalization

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Getting a grip on globalization
I saw two men hitch-hiking in opposite directions on the road between
Kalkaska and Mancelona the other day. It seemed odd because you rarely
see a single hitch-hiker, let alone two within a few miles. And I’ve
noticed increasing numbers of people commuting via bicycle this
winter, grinding through heavy slush and snow, sometimes along busy
major roads. I get the feeling that these riders aren’t devotees of
the bicycling lifestyle, but rather, evidence of America’s declining
standard of living under globalization.
 
Monday, February 22, 2010

Off with their heads

Random Thoughts Robert Downes Off with their heads...?
In 1649, King Charles I placed his head on a chopping block in London and
had it removed “in one clean stroke” of a broadaxe.
Charles had made the mistake of becoming too big of a pain in the neck for
his subjects (pun intended). In addition to demanding more revenues from
Parliament under the notion that he was divinely ordained, he also
inflicted immense suffering on his people by embarking on two civil wars;
not to mention a great deal of religious meddling at a time when that
resulted in rivers of blood.
 
 
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