Click to Print
. . . .


- December 14th, 2009
Riveting Read...
Anne Stanton’s articles on U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak should be reprinted
in the Washington Post and New York Times. Her Stupak interview about
the world of the C Street “Family” (12/7) is riveting.
As a Grand Traverse Democrat, I supported Mr. Stupak for years, but no
more. The Stupak Amendment to the health care bill is a pointed,
political attack on women’s health insurance rights and reproductive
rights. His association with the “Family” (a secret religious group in
Washington DC) – is very surprising news.

Grant W. Parsons • TC

Tiger‘s Dubai connection
While Elin Nordegren, Tiger Wood’s wife, is becoming a household
name, probably few Americans have heard of Tatweer. Tatweer is a
subsidiary of Dubai Holdings. On the same day that Tiger’s world was
rocked by a developing salacious sex scandal, his financial portfolio
must have taken a heavy hit as well. On that very day, the free-market
dreamland of Dubai - a corporatist state literally built on sand -
suffered a serious economic meltdown.
The crown jewel of Dubai is the real estate management company
Tatweer, and Tiger is one of their major players. Along with
Dreamworks, Six Flags, and Universal Studios, Tiger has his own
division: The Tiger Woods Dubai. Here’s Tiger hawking his resort:
“I am confident The Tiger Woods Dubai is set to become one of the
world’s most sought after destinations. I think this community will be
a genuine oasis for those lucky enough to live or stay within its
spectacular grounds,” Check their website, and you couldn’t argue:
Some Americans remember Dubai Holdings. This was the “company” (Sheikh
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, holds 99.67% of the
company) that became embroiled in the controversy of February 2006,
when, with the strong support from the Bush administration, it
attempted unsuccessfully, to purchase control of most of America’s
commercial ports.
Some Americans will also remember that in 2007 when things got ‘too
hot’ for Dick Cheney’s former company, Halliburton, it ran off to
laissez-faire Dubai. Halliburton -- essentially a subsidiary of the
Bush administration -- faced charges of performing shoddy contract
work in Iraq, treating contract labors as virtual slaves, and, of
course, tax evasion.
Into this seedy wonderland Tiger jumped in the middle of the last decade. Now,
because of sexual “transgressions,” Tiger finds himself under the
media microscope. Unfortunately, American journalism rarely gets
beyond sex scandals. Real stories, if they get reported at all,
disappear down the “memory hole.”
Rather than interviewing another gorgeous cocktail waitress, the media
peeping Toms circling Tiger might serve the American public better by
flying over to Tiger Woods Dubai, and try to learn a few things: Say,
for example, is it possible that slave labor was used to held build
Tiger’s resort? Or is it possible that Tiger is hiding taxable assets
from our government in Dubai? And heck, since they already made the
trip, they could try to ask similar questions about other American
investors in Dubai.
Why are we sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan? For the same
reason we are occupying the Middle East generally. To shore up the
economic interests of an international ruling elite rich enough to
move to Tiger Woods Dubai.

Matt Malpass • East Jordan

Shop America
If you don’t like what’s happening to our economy; if you fear we are
going to end up as another “third world” country; then pay attention
when you do your Christmas
Pay attention when you do ALL of your shopping. Read the packaging on
the items you buy. Check to see where items are “manufactured.”
Remember that a product may be “distributed by” a U.S. company, but
“manufactured” in China or some other country that is benefiting
because they have the manufacturing jobs which companies here have
Yes, products “Made in the USA” may cost a bit more, but maybe we need
to think about the cost of not supporting our own manufacturing jobs.
The idea that we can be a “nation of consumers while producing
nothing” is proving to be disastrous. Yet, none of our elected
officials seem ready to come forward to admit that the free trade
agreements we’ve entered into are destroying our middle class and
threatening the future of our country. A bankrupt country is not a
strong country!
Write, email or phone your representatives with your concerns.
Finally, let store owners know you are looking for products
manufactured or grown in the USA.

Barbara Bernier • Manistee

DNR‘s hard line
Walt Lund’s comment about the DNR is very much to the point (Letters,
“Huntin’ Camp Blues,” 11/30). Michigan people have lost the DNR days
of Governor Milliken. Now we have a DNR with an ex-Flint hard rock
police chief as head cop.
The DNR director is and has always treated her deer herd like a
possession similar to a cheating husband: “Put them in a cage where I
know everything that’s going on.” This kind of government control has
chased hunters from the sport by the thousands. Some women CEOs like
our director have no capability of making smart informed friendly
decisions. It’s ‘balls to the wall’ with almost everything.
So years from now when someone asks, “Do people still deer hunt in
Michigan?” People like Walt will remember days from long ago when
conservation officers didn’t act the Gestapo and they actually were
friendly and didn’t come to you looking to write a ticket to get their
‘daily quota.‘

Patrick Ruddy • via email

To lose a job...
Boo hoo. Here’s a hanky. Sorry you just lost your job.
That’s pretty much all anyone ever says these days, given the times
we’re in. Even in Traverse City, which has marginally better
employment prospects than anywhere else in Michigan. Tough luck, they
say. Join the club.
Tough luck that you have rent to pay in a week. Tough luck that you
spent months trying to land this job. Tough luck that you’re a single
mother. Tough luck that your kid is sick with some mysterious appendix
ailment and the children’s hospital in Grand Rapids won’t accept the
new Medicaid plan in Grand Traverse County. Tough luck, because you’re
an at-will employee and you have no rights whatsoever.
At-will means you can be terminated at any time for any reason... Even
if you do everything right and by the book. Sick with H1N1?
Documentation from the emergency room won’t necessarily cut it
anymore. Nor will following the doctors orders and wearing a surgical
mask when you go into work to alert your bosses that you’ll miss a
day due to illness.
Ah, sorry. Getting sick during flu season is not an approved activity
in the employee handbook. You’re supposed to spend the shift sneezing
and coughing all over everyone. Should have been born with a stronger
immune system. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Happy
Yeah, this is a sob story and a fairly common one. But it still
illustrates the essential indecency and unfairness of the at-will
status, and the reality that some people refuse to understand: You can
do everything right these days and still get fired. So much for the
holiday spirit.
Amber Bogart • TC
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5