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Letters 11/17/08

- November 17th, 2008
The truth about Bambi
Re the question: “So what’s next for Bambi and Buck?” in Robert Downes’s column on deer:
Just a point of clarification - Bambi IS a buck. Unfortunately, the original novel, a classic of surpassing strength and lyrical beauty, became ‘Disney-fied” beyond recognition shortly after it was published in 1928.
I was a parent lucky enough to discover the delights of sharing the original adventure with my boys (expect requests for several readings). Its description of the coming of winter is unforgettable.

Bill Smith • Empire

Buy Made in the U.S.A.
Whatever happened to buying “Made in the U.S.A.“? And I don’t just mean “made” in U.SA. I mean “made and the money staying” here.
“Made in U.SA. only implies that an American citizen earned a paycheck, somewhere along the lines of manufacturing it. How many of you drive a Subaru? I have never seen so many Subarus in one city before! Even if it was built in Indiana, the money goes to a Japanese company, making Fuji Heavy Industries richer and driving our country’s own true all-American companies closer to going out of business.
I refuse to drive a foreign vehicle! Always have and always will.
However, I am still at fault too. And so are you. Everyone wants to save a buck nowadays. Maybe this is where we all went wrong?
A few months ago I took at look at the tags in my clothes. What used to be my favorite clothing store, because of good prices, is no longer a store I will ever shop in again. My jeans were made in Hong Kong. My shirts were made in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Pakistan and Malaysia.
From then on, I‘ve always looked for the “Made in U.SA.” labels. Toys, dishes, and home decor... It seems like China is the superpower of the world’s trade market. We’ve made them that way.
Besides the U.SA., why not support our own state? Or city? Before rushing off to your nearest national franchise for groceries or auto parts, why not consider supporting your neighbors? Olsens and Tom’s Food Markets were locally born. Meijer is a Michigan-born company. But Kmart, WalMart, and Sam’s Club probably were not. Our habits as consumers are the main cause of companies having to find ways to cut back on expenses. Sometimes this means cutting jobs, or closing doors.
Next time you need an auto part, why not buy it from a local family-owned store instead of a national franchise store? Why not pay a few extra dollars for the quality part made in the USA, instead of saving a few bucks and buying the cheap part made in China?
Don’t you get tired of hearing your friend complain about the government, & blaming them for the reason why GM laid off his uncle & then his uncle lost his home to foreclosure? Yet your friend and three of their family members all drive Subarus. Excuse me? Who’s at fault?

Cheri Anderson • TC

Shocking statement
As now “former” customers of Hampels, we shared the collective shock by their recent reaction to the election results. It is our belief the racial slur, which is getting a great deal of deserved attention, will galvanize our community and likely serve to raise awareness around ignorance and it’s associated bigotry and racism that linger in our community.
However, what continues to dishearten us the most is the poor response by Hampels’ spokesperson, Jack Fellows. He clearly defended the action to invert the flag and the message it communicated. We support his First (and Second) Amendment rights to use the flag as a form of free expression; however it was the message he and the staff communicated that concerns us.
While a nation celebrates our democratic process after an election that brought out a record number of citizens from a broad racial and political spectrum, the staff at Hampels displayed disrespect for that very process. And to add insult to our intelligence, blaming an employee when the flag flew inverted for at least a day, rings as hollow as Dick Cheney’s blaming Harry Whittington for being in the wrong place when he shot him in the face.

Timothy & Kathleen Young
• Honor

Gun owner for Obama
As a gun owner and hunter who supported Barack Obama for president and volunteered for his campaign, I am thoroughly disgusted with comments made by Hampel employee Rod Nyland to the Record-Eagle. Not only does hate speech have no place in America, but all the responsible gun owners I know realize that we’ll continue to enjoy the same hunting and gun rights that we’ve had over the last eight years under the next administration, regardless of what the NRA would have you believe.
Informed hunters know that we face a much more real threat than the erosion of our Second Amendment rights, and that’s the loss of habitat that has continued under the Bush administration through its disregard for the environment. In fact, even as the Bush administration is preparing to leave office, it is busy enacting federal regulations that will weaken protection of the environment.
So when you hear comments such as those by Rod Nyland, please realize that he does not speak for me or the gun owners and hunters I know. Just a member of a fading fringe group that thinks it can still advance its message through fear and hate.

Dennis Palmer • Cedar

Disrespect for flag
In Thursday’s Record-Eagle there was first the disrespect for our flag, sickeningly followed by Rod Nyland’s quotation. Old pictures nightmarishly appear: cornfields with white-robed, hooded men burning crosses; stark trees with bodies of black men hanging while parents with children cheer and picnic beneath.
All the destructive hatred – based on ignorance and fear and the need to create scapegoats for one’s deficiencies – is still poisoning America. The right wing of the Republican party should take a bow for the past successes with their decades-old, surreptitiously devised ‘Southern Strategy’ of insidiously riling racial hatred in the ranks of their most bigoted and insular supporters.
From ‘intellectuals’ like Bill Kristol employing slyly coded racist slurs to the venomous talk show hosts spewing virulent bigotry, they have deliberately, cynically encouraged and exploited racism to divide us. Thankfully, this time they failed.
However, racists still crawl out of their holes and spew disgustingly bigoted statements, reminding us that such hatred continues to smolder. How many kitchen tables, offices, etc. echo with racist ideas that are left unchallenged? Are we brave enough to speak up? “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

Jack & Marnie Lee • Interlochen

Proud of Obama
It has been a slow realization for me that...yes we still CAN!
If Obama had lost, much more would’ve been lost in this election than this presidency. Our parents had seen each prominent messenger of hope assassinated. Our youngest voters watched two elections where the process had failed. People my age had yet to witness a leader of such inspiration. If we had lost this time, I am not sure that we would have been able to revive the sense that we can change the leadership of our country to reflect the changing times... that the people still have more power than money and lobbyists.
We can feel proud of our new president. Barack Obama is one of the most brilliant minds on our planet. He is an exceptional human being. We should feel honored that a person of his intellect and tenacity is willing to work for our country and represent us as a nation. He is extremely smart, a devoted husband and father. He is an articulate and inspirational speaker, funny and reserved. His judgment is steady and informed. He is a role model in so many ways. His is a true American success story. He listens to the people of our country and promises to be an attentive president to all Americans, not just those who voted for him.
President elect Obama is the face of the nation we have become. The landscape of our country: its natural environment, racial populations, global image, educational and scientific decline, the threats of terrorism, medical bankruptcy and a deregulated banking mess all call for non-reactionary, careful leadership. He is the new leader needed for this changed country.

Laurie L. Mackowiak • via email

Last week’s article on the Native Spirit Dancers had an incorrect date for their show at Northwestern Michigan College. The show is Tuesday, Nov. 18, and not the 17th as stated in the article.

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