Letters

Letters 01-19-2014

Cancerous Costs My heart goes out to all those dealing with cancer. Sadly, I think the truth is we will never see a cure for cancer as long as treatment for cancer is so lucrative. True story: A friend had monthly cancer treatments…$8,000 per treatment for roughly 2 1/2 years.

My Favorite Opinions Betsy Coffia tackles vital but challenging local issues and does her research; her clear thinking and writing about Michigan’s stuggles with gas and oil agendas, both hidden and manipulative tactics, takes brave digging below the surface!

You Own Your Health January 29th, 2007 was the day I made the decision to lose weight and get healthy. The rules on how to do this were always in front of me but I didn’t want to listen to them. Gradually, at the rate of two pounds per month, I lost 45 pounds and have kept it off. My energy soared and a “new me” emerged from the ashes.

Dirty Money Redux Grant Parsons’ opinion piece highlights the serious issues with the recent Inman campaign. While Ms. Coffia took the high road with her campaign of “She Can’t Be Bought” — not accepting money from PAC’s, Lobbyists or Special Interest Groups, Mr. Inman decided to take the low road using substantial outside funding in the final weeks of the campaign. When I received the first negative post card against Ms. Coffia I called Mr. Inman’s campaign HQ to ask where the money was coming from - and the person answering said, “I don’t know.”

Defending Our Law Enforcement I address this note to the “cartoonist” responsible for fostering lies about law enforcement. To your readers, please look at the facts before making ignorant presumptions.

Now Who’s Ridiculing Drilling? Remember when conservatives advocated for “Drill, baby, drill?” And how the left ridiculed the idea? Hmm, the silence is deafening...


Home · Articles · By Blake Ringsmuth

Blake Ringsmuth

 
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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Spying: An attack on our freedom

Other Opinions Blake Ringsmuth Regardless of our political affiliation, we should all be deeply concerned about the President spying on United States citizens without a warrant. Simply put, it is illegal for the President to spy on us without obtaining a warrant from a judge. 
Do not be misled. There is no compromise in our nation’s security by obeying the Constitution, as a warrant can be obtained in secret and even after the fact. The notion that any President has forsaken the very foundation of our country’s system of government whereby one branch (judicial) “checks” another branch (executive) from overreaching is an alarming fact. It is a modern day tyranny that must rouse our uniquely American sense of democracy and rekindle the historical embers from which our Declaration of Independence and Constitution arose. It is patriotic to stand against a government that violates its citizens’ rights. Indeed, it is our heritage and obligation, a tenet of our country’s greatness. 
To ignore “Big Brother’s” spying is to repeat our mistakes (e.g. internment of the Japanese) and allow the insidious degradation of our fundamental liberty. For if we are complacent, and anesthetize ourselves with the un-American mantra “I don’t care, I have nothing to hide,” we have just sold our democratic heritage, and those who gave their lives for it, out. We will have turned our back until these rights are a historical footnote, a quaint luxury of the past when there was no omnipresent “terrorist threat.”  

How we protect our civil liberties during a time of crisis is how our nation is, and should be, judged. If they mean anything, we must not cut and run from them when their real value is put to the test. 
Thomas Jefferson said, “Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty.” Now is not the time for timidity. These rights have earned more than lip service.
It is our freedom, constitutionally protected, that we point to when justifying our attempts to spread democracy, not our economy or standard of living. Is this freedom not the very concept we are trying to bring to those in Iraq at the expense of countless lives?
Freedom is indeed not free.  The cost of it might be less “efficiency,” and the guilty may occasionally go free, but we know we have the right to think and say what we believe, regardless of governmental eavesdropping, unlike North Korea. The right to be free from government spying is about as “American” as it gets. If we do not raise our collective voices in opposition, we have acquiesced, and should not be surprised to watch our liberties continually erode. 
As we learn more about the President’s spying in the upcoming hearings, we must be prepared to ask tough questions of him and ourselves. Is fear sufficient justification for taking our liberty? It takes courage to stand in the face of fear. Our nation can proudly make that stand for the whole world to see, and give discomfort to our enemies. 

Blake Ringsmuth is a Traverse City attorney.
 
 
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