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A horrible waste
This has been a bruising campaign. Now both the winners and losers can lick their wounds, look at their depleted campaign funds, and wonder what comes next. Incredible amounts of money were spent on both sides, and the really sad part is that, like a gambling loss, it has just disappeared.
Nothing got built, no potholed road was repaved, no crumbling bridge was repaired, no hungry child was fed, no jobs were created. Another sad thing is that all that money probably didn’t have any effect on the outcome of the campaign. Mr. Obama is still president; Congress is still in the hands of the same parties as before. Our elected representatives will immediately begin seeking donations to be ready for the NEXT election cycle. What a horrible waste and shameful squandering of precious resources.
How did you feel about all the negative advertising? Your candidate (mine, too) was lied about, accused of all sorts of terrible behavior and every statement twisted and misrepresented.
There is a strong and growing nonpartisan movement under way to reverse this ugly and destructive process, and we all need to be a part of it. We need to free our politicians from the desperate struggle to raise campaign money.
We need to put limits back on the amounts that can be donated, and to make clear who that donation is coming from. We need to turn away from the idea that money is somehow a form of “free speech,” and put limits on it again.
Face it; if money is speech, those with the most money get the most speech, and those of us with the least money don’t have a voice. Why else was Wall Street able to get the government to bail them out of trouble at the taxpayer’s expense? Because of all the “voice” they had in influencing those lawmakers with huge, undisclosed campaign contributions.
One approach to correcting this could be through an amendment to the Constitution which would overturn the Supreme Court ruling that “money is a form of free speech” and clarify that only human beings are entitled to the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. For more information about this effort, visit movetoamend.org or look up “Move To Amend” in your search engine.
Mike Moran • Rapid River Twp
A dam shame
Dams are used worldwide for carbonfree power, flood control, transportation, recreation, and public safety. A few years ago we had a very spirited debate with lots of diverse input on the Boardman River dams.
In October, as a result of dam removal and seasonal flooding, wildlife and property was destroyed and public safety was threatened.
I think it's time for environmental leaders who won the debate to speak out on this issue as we return to a “natural river.” Will there be continued destruction with seasonal rains? Is the current removal plan still correct? Will global warming play a role?
Adrian DenHaan • Beulah
Big money & elections
Big Bird and the Affordable Care Act are safe. And for all the millions spent by Sheldon Adelson, the Brothers Koch, Karl Rove, et al, to unseat Barack Obama, all they’ve ended up with is a pile of cancelled checks. And they’re not even legally tax deductible. As Jackie Gleason would have said: “How sweet it is!” On the serious side, now we citizens of this great country have to keep the pressure on the President (to use his bully pulpit) and on our reps in Congress to talk to each other and to compromise. Hopefully, they all got the message that we’re tired of political gridlock in Washington and the paralysis it produces.
Chuch Thiel • Elk Rapids
Violence & the homeless
Homelessness Awareness Week, November 10-18, was a time to increase
awareness about this ongoing crisis affecting more than 636,000 people
in the U.S. every day. One way we can reduce our nation’s homelessness
is to help end domestic violence.
Significant percentages of homeless women report domestic violence was the immediate cause of their homelessness. Many survivors are in highly controlled relationships and lack resources to leave the home they share with an abuser.
Without access to money, transportation or a support system, they must choose between staying in an abusive relationship and living on the streets.
Homeless shelters are not a safe option for many domestic abuse survivors who are escaping a dangerous relationship. Daily, in the U.S., 37,000 domestic abuse survivors and their children reside in a shelter or transitional housing program.
Locally, the Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM) provides support, counseling and safe shelter to survivors at the Safe Home. Last year, 664 survivors and their children utilized WRCNM domestic abuse services; 135 of whom sought safety at the agency’s Safe Home and 68 made use of transitional supportive housing.
If homelessness is considered an ignored epidemic, domestic violence is an invisible one. It occurs in intimate relationships behind closed doors, leading us to think of it as a private matter. Domestic violence is not a private matter, it is a crime. It is a serious national problem that affects us all – in every community, work place and school.
You can help end domestic abuse!
Support, listen to and believe survivors, and speak out against domestic abuse. Volunteer at the WRCNM’s Safe Home. Help others become informed by inviting the WRCNM to speak to your organization, group, school or workplace. Be a role model by practicing respectful, healthy, non-violent relationships.
Chris Krajewski • Domestic Abuse Program Director • WRCNM