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- March 29th, 2010
Advice to Dave Camp: Get an imagination
Dear Representative, Dave Camp, I am writing to you in response to
your “NO” vote last night on health care reform.
Rather than have your staffers send me your boilerplate response,
please take a few extra moments to actually consider what I write.
Close your eyes and imagine that you aren’t on the federal dole, and
that you and your family don’t have health care and a pension for
life. Please also imagine that your campaign contributions do not come
primarily from corporations, that you are immune to insurance company
lobbying efforts and, further, that you can vary from your party’s
position without fearing a political backlash.
Now, imagine that you cannot find a job, you’re self-employed or work
for an employer who cannot afford to offer health care.
Unfortunately, your spouse is in the same situation. Imagine you have
children to whom you want to give everything good.
Your reality, however, is that you are barely able to scrape by on
your combined take-home pay. You are both good, honest people who
worked hard, but could never seem to catch a break.
Now, imagine that one of the following occurs:
You have a heart attack, your wife is diagnosed with breast cancer,
and one of your children falls off his bicycle and suffers a severe
concussion. What would it feel like to walk into a hospital knowing
that you have NO WAY to pay for care?
What if you had just canceled your family’s health insurance because
your premium increased by 40%, and you had to decide between that and
being homeless? What if your wife’s cancer was a re-occurrence from
15 years ago, you’re still paying off that debt, and you can’t get
insurance due to the “pre-existing condition”?
Got it? Now, step back in time and imagine that you, this good but
desperate person who does NOT have government-guaranteed health care
for life, is casting the vote you cast last night.
How do you vote?

Robert Chapman • Suttons Bay

When the Republicans ruled

Poor John Boehner! So bitterly you wept as you bemoaned the Democrats
ramming health care through Congress, and so pitifully you sob that
they’ve violated the will of the American people! But you see, John,
I have an attention span, so I remember the past eight years, when
both Congress and the entire Bush administration were doing both of
those every minute, and you were loving it! Typical Republican

J. Andrew Smith
Bloomfield New Jersey

Democratic Party is out of control

In what I describe as an overwhelming elitist and arrogant manner,
the Democratic party has just hoisted a certain finger in response to
the overwhelming majority of American citizens and the health care
issue. Is it possible that we are witnessing the end of democracy as
we’ve come to know? Is the question so far fetched?
What body attempts passing legislations taking over 16% of the entire
economy without an actual vote?
I’m sorry folks, but from what I’m witnessing we should all be scared
in a very big way. Both Democrats and Republicans. The hierarchy of
the Democratic Party is out of control! Can’t see much difference in
how a Hugo Chavez would be conducting such an effort.
I will bet that making the 25 million illegal aliens “legal” with a
wave of the wand will be the next effort undertaken. What’s after
that? How about our Constitutional Second Amendment rights? Let’s
hope, pray, and work towards the best. Failing that, we should all
be prepared for the worst.

Brian D. Spencer • Traverse City

Protect Michigan’s water from exploitation

Not a single Republican currently “serving” in the State Senate should
ever again be elected to public office. Public officials who felt the
taxes that were proposed last fall, such as a tax on vending machine
sales, would have been more harmful to the state than the cuts to
education, mental health, and public safety that have occurred don’t
have good enough judgment to lead this state. And those who are
unwilling to compromise have no business in politics.
The primary culprit, of course, is Mike Bishop. Michigan voters must
make sure that he cannot inflict anymore harm to our state after
The good news is that we have Dan Scripps working on our behalf.
Representative Scripps is working hard to create jobs and conserve our
natural resources, the two of which go hand-in-hand. Scripps’ proposal
to protect groundwater would have no effect on taxes or fees, but
would safeguard our cherished water resources from overexploitation.

Fred Cepela • Traverse City

Prisons aren’t working

Kudos to [Express guest columnist] Gary Singer for speaking out.
More people who actually know about the “inside” should speak out. He
brings up many points the general public may never be privy to from
the outside. Prisons are countries and jurisdictions unto their own.
Outside rules do not apply whether you are an inmate or just a visitor
at the prison.
Don’t be so naive as to think that just because a person pleads to a
charge that they are guilty of that charge. Also don‘t be so foolish
as to think that a jury of your peers will see the truth.
Truth is extremely hard to prove. There are more innocent people in
prisons because of someone lying than you will ever know. Any one of
us could be the next innocent incarcerated.
Law enforcement, prosecutors, etc. want to scare Michigan’s citizens
into believing that ALL inmates are violent.
Prison should be a place of rehabilitation producing a productive
citizen. That can’t happen if inmates are not given incentives to work
towards rehabilitation allowing them feel good about themselves and
possibly reduce their term. If high recidivism is an issue then that
surely shows that the way prisons are run now is not working.

Gerry Boris • Charlevoix

Fear of Sarah?

(In response to StephenTuttle’s column, “Why not Sarah Palin?”)
She’s got you nervous doesn’t she, Stephen? A “rogue” mother, wife,
family gal from Alaska where she speaks of a way of life known to many
and to top it off, a Christian! How dare she! Did you read and quote
from her books? I won’t deal with your fear of her by taking on your
points of her past, as most of what you counter with Sarah is your
opinion only. I would suggest to offer you a code of journalism, give
references. Has Sarah said she is running? Has Mitt Romney? How far
back have you studied the American political scene? Post-Carter? Why
not Obama?

John C. Colvin • Traverse City

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