Poem was a downer
The following words were broadcast to the crowd during the air show at the Cherry Festival:
“It is the soldier, not the poet who has given us freedom of speech,
It is the soldier, not the reporter who has given us freedom of the press,
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer who has given us the freedom to demonstrate,
It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag and whose coffin is draped in the flag,
It is the soldier that has given the protester the right to burn the flag.“
THIS IS A LIE.
The United States Constitution has given us these freedoms; our soldiers have been deployed to make the world safe for ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Amoco, so the CEOs can continue receiving their unconscionably obscene salaries, bonuses, health insurance for life.
So far, we have lost over 4,100 of our young people to this purpose in Iraq, and the projected suicide rate of returning veterans is due to exceed this number. Over 100,000 innocent Iraqis have been killed and thousands more are homeless refugees, due to this administrations adolescent cowboy, macho mentality.
Our military has been ordered to and has succeeded in trashing the Cradle of Civilization, for this administrations lies, supported by the mindless, unquestioning, corporate-dominated, cheer-leader media.
The TC SkarryFest is complicit in the deaths of our soldiers and the innocent Iraqi civilians by their very sanctioning of this show of killer war machines -- a military recruiting tool disguised as family entertainment.
I wonder how it feels to live in a country where cluster bomb explosions follow the scream of these aircraft. Can you imagine the horror?
I strongly disagree with the remarks broadcast at the end of the Blue Angels demonstration.
Soldiers do NOT give citizens of a democracy the freedoms of speech, press and demonstration. These rights are created by the people themselves and then enforced by brave and honest politicians and judges.
In America, our citizen-written Constitution gave us these freedoms, which were then protected by the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Soldiers do protect our freedoms when they obey just orders of an honest president and Congress, as in World War II. I am so grateful for the courageous World War II veterans still in our community. They indeed protected the rights our Constitution gave to us.
In short, soldiers protect but do not create democracy. And soldiers actually threaten our freedoms when they unquestioningly obey illegal orders of dishonest politicians, as in Vietnam and now the Iraq War.
Matthew Posner Suttons Bay
Culture of death
Thanks a lot to the National Cherry Festival for sponsoring the Virtual Baghdad Airshow!!
You went back on your word and promoted war with your fake patriotism speech. Instruments of war, death and destruction are nothing to be celebrated--and is definitely NOT patriotism. Next year, lets celebrate -- or at least hope for and promote -- peace, not this air show that celebrates the culture of death.
Laura Garvock via email
Let‘s hear it for lawyers!
The announcer at the Blue Angels at the Cherry Festival said poets, reporters, campus organizers and protesters have nothing to do with securing our constitutional rights.
As a lawyer, I am not sure if I feel honored or slighted that my profession was not included in that class of ner do wells. Lets hear it for the lawyers in the ACLU, the American Bar Association, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Lawyers Guild and our own Progressive Lawyers group here in Traverse City!
These groups have taken on the mighty to protect the rights of the weak. They deserve some credit for upholding the rights now embodied in the U.S. Constitution, rights some have died protecting and some have died trying to merely achieve right here at home.
The birth of democracy and its vitality depends foremost on vigorous debate in the press, freedom songs/prose, and a citizenry often addressing their grievances in the street. A country that inverts those resources and places the military at the top of the pinnacle is known as totalitarian or fascist. A path, I trust we do not want to travel.
I often agree with Bob Downes opinion pieces and always admire his writing, but this week I have to say no (re: “Are We Missing the Boat on Festivals?“ 7/14,
Random Thoughts). No more concerts-festivals at the Open Space.
We already have jazz fests, blues fests, pow-wows and other wonderful happenings in our area. If we can think regionally, we should celebrate regionally. Not everything needs to be in Traverse City which already has enough congestion and noise. What we all need is not more entertainment but more open spaces. Especially the Open Space which has a bay happening all the time. It is enough.
Karen Anderson TC
... Good idea
I live in Traverse City and vacation in Ft. Myers, Florida during the winter. The Cherry Festival and the Film Festival are great events but I agree 100% with Robert Downes‘ Random Thoughts that we are limiting ourselves with only two major events in the open space.
The Ft. Myers area has jazz festivals, shrimp festivals etc., in areas near water, but nothing like what Traverse City has to offer with the beauty of the bay.
Can you imagine a jazz festival or a classical music festival in the Open Space? It would be a enormous success! The artists would love to perform in this type of environment.
It is time for the Traverse City Commission to open their eyes to these possibilities and change the limiting festival policy for more diversity. It would increase revenue for TC, plus bring entertainment for the residents that‘s currently unavailable.
Chuck Shreve TC