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Letters 4/27/09

- April 27th, 2009
Organized crime in
the financial industry
Organized crime is nothing new but where it comes from is. This crime gang affects us all.
I am referring to the financial industry, lobbyists, and our own Congress in the fleecing of the citizens of this country. Not only have they gathered together to make rules and laws for their own benefit, they are also discriminating against the working class and poor of this country.
Their weapon is our credit scores and hidden fees. Once you fall into their trap they do their best to keep you there, stopping you from purchasing items that you need or would like, such as new or used cars. Or, if they grant you a loan, they punish you with an interest rate that keeps you down, which is discriminating as the value of your purchase is the same for someone with better credit.
Congress approved an interest ceiling last year of 30 percent, which is a crime in itself. If nothing is done by Congress to correct these travesties our only choice, other than an armed uprising, is to vote in third party candidates to break up the frat clubs in the next election.

James C. Williams • Kalkaska

Green gimmick
I read with interest the feature in Gear Box on eco-packaging. I love the idea of the carry strap on the shoe boxes.
The use of cloth bags at grocery stores? Great! At least that’s how I felt before I read the little sewn-in label on my “green“ bags: “Made In China.“
Now my bags are not so green anymore. The cost to the environment to manufacture and ship is not worth it. Why can’t they be made locally? Now that would be “green.”

Debra Tootla • TC

We need single payer
Universal single payer health care is the best way to get out of this devastating economic crisis. It would relieve the burden faced by big business, small business owners, self-employed, unemployed and under-employed individuals, families, children, and seniors.
We should cut costs and errors with electronic health records, cover pre-existing conditions, lower the cost of drugs, and bring down health care costs by encouraging wellness and prevention programs.
I believe Canada has the best model. Opponents talk about waiting lines, rationing, and the government making health decisions. U.S. insurance companies already ration health care based on how much you pay in premiums. They refuse treatment. They make you use their doctors. If you can‘t afford to pay, you die, plain and simple.
That is not health care, that is insurance company care. Universal health care opponents say the cost is too high. I don’t see anyone returning their Social Security checks or turning in their Medicare cards. Those programs work for the millions of Americans. I would rather pay higher taxes for the neighbor to be treated for that brain tumor, than spend the same amount to bomb innocent women and children in some far-away country creating generations of American enemies.
My biggest fear is private insurance companies will be subsidized for their already inadequate and overpriced policies, which would be an even bigger disaster. We need a government plan to provide affordable, high-quality health care for everyone!

Beverly Christensen
• Cedar

Doggone shame
Many dog lovers were disappointed that the Obamas decided to go with a breeder dog as opposed to a rescue or shelter animal.
I too was very disappointed by their decision; however, am even more disappointed with some of those that represent Cherryland Humane Society. Why is it the executive directors that own dogs are not rescues? Or even more disturbing, one of the board members breeds dogs; and what’s even funny about that, the breed she raises is the Portuguese water dog.
Isn’t this defeating the purpose of the Humane Society? Here they are trying to find homes for so many homeless animals, not to mention all the rest of the rescues in the area, yet one of their own is part of the very problem of the astronomical amount of animals in need of homes or worse yet, euthanized?
So before anyone wants to fault the President and his family on the choice of their dog, shouldn’t we be looking in our own backyard?

Michele Lonoconus • Thompsonville
The latest from Benzie...
Although neutrality has never been my forte, I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf and give it a try.
Last week I sat down with Benzie County Sheriff Rory Heckman and videotaped our discussion about his department’s proposed jail operations millage, which is on the May 5 ballot. My interview will be aired on Charter Cable’s channel 2 at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29, and Friday, May 1. It will run again on Sunday, May 3 at 3 p.m.. The piece will be available online at www.upnorthmedia.org/publicstreaming.asp.
My conversation with Sheriff Heckman also delves into various other newsworthy topics, such as:
• Convicted pedophile William Tooley’s recent release on bail.
• Former Sheriff Bob Blank’s pending lawsuit against Benzie County.
• Tavern owners’ complaints regarding their perception that deputies have been profiling their establishments.
• Benzie County’s Safe Kids Day on Saturday, May 2, from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
• The perpetual strife between the Benzie County administrator’s office and Deputy Tom Whale.
• Michigan’s Medical Marijuana law.
• The War on Drugs’ consequences on our judicial system.
My presentation of MasTech/Windspire’s Grand Opening event in Manistee is also online at: http://www.upnorthmedia.org/publicprogram.asp?mid=402. That April 20, 2009 event featured a tour of MasTech’s facility and the opportunity to interview Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm.

Eric L. VanDussen • Beulah

 
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