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Letters 07-08-2013

- July 8th, 2013  

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Only one letter per reader in a two month period will be accepted. may be edited for length or to correct factual errors. Letters must be signed to be considered for print and a phone number is required for verification.

Medicaid disgrace

The decision of the Michigan Senate Republicans to abandon ship and go on vacation rather than vote on expanding Medicaid is both disgraceful and stupid.

Not only are they preventing healthcare coverage to almost a half million people who currently lack it, they are refusing billions of federal dollars to subsidize this expansion. These tax dollars will be sent to other states to use for their healthcare instead, depriving our hospital systems of this critical aid.

So while lacking a humanitarian outlook for Michigan citizens, they are also lacking their fiduciary responsibility. All in the name of obstructing Obamacare, or ameliorating Tea Party threats to oppose them in an upcoming primary.

Even Governor Snyder is trying to chase them down to return and do their jobs.

Contributing to this folly was Rep. Ray Franz, who voted against the expansion, and Sen. Booher, whose office reported he would likely vote against it as well.

Let’s hope that Michigan citizens remember this display of political expediency over the good of the people come the next election.

Mary Easthope • Lake Leelanau

Political hypocrites

I don’t understand some politicians who are pale, male, and stale claiming to be prolife Christians, yet at every chance, they pass legislation to cut health care, cut food stamps, cut nutrition programs, sabotage our public schools, cut access to college by doubling the interest on student loans.

They fail to pass Medicaid expansion so poor and disabled people can see a doctor. Heaven forbid if workers whose wages have been stagnant for 30 years should want collective bargaining to improve working conditions and increase the minimum wage. They cut regulations that keep our air, water, and food safe.

One in three women have been sexually assaulted. One in three live in poverty, mostly women and children. More than one million women in the U.S. are raped every year, trapped with the child of a monster and living in poverty. Immigrants are demonized with a new “Berlin Wall” to keep the Hispanics out. Politicians vote for guns and wars. Why? How are these prolife or Christian?

I believe the reason is simple. Follow the money! Corporations spent $2.6 billion and unions spent $117 million on the 2012 election. Plus 501c4 groups don’t have to reveal donors.

Let’s get the money out of politics, reclaim our constitutional rights, and deny corporations our rights. We need nationwide, grassroots nonpartisan action. See Sign the petition. Inform yourself and “Do Something!”

Beverly BJ Christensen • Cedar

Bring racetrack to TC

There’s a lot of “I” in the opponents' statements (regarding a potential motocross racetrack in Indian River).

“I only have three months to enjoy summer,” “I want peace and quiet.” It sounds a lot like they are also saying, “I don’t care that people here need to make a living.”

What they really need to do is go down to Millington Michigan and ask the people around Baja MX track how bad it really is instead of guessing what worst case scenario “will” happen.

This is a comment to developer Mark Hall...

If all fails in Indian River, I’ve been dreaming of a MX track just outside of Traverse City for years. Feel free to investigate our area!

Trevor Schlicht • via email

Bible bunglers

Regarding the Bible and the admonition about homosexuality, I find it disquieting when Christians usurp the Hebrew Bible, call it the “Old” (and therefore superseded) Testament and then cherry pick the laws of Israel.

If you read the Hebrew scriptures carefully you’ll see that the penalty for breaking the commandments is more severe than the notorious Shariah law. “Honor your father and mother” if broken means death, as is the punishment for all broken commandments, like going after other gods, lying, and envy (coveting, e.g. the evil eye).

But Judaism, unlike some Islamist radicals, has evolved. We don’t kill our children who disobey us.

Christianity emphasizes love and forgiveness. Yet here we have cherry picking of the old, now tempered practices, and the condemnation of gay folks. That’s not how we Jews believe today. If you want a strict observance to the letter of the old law, watch out what you wish for.

Harley Sachs • via email

Don’t be a hater

In the last two weeks, Facebook has taught me that there is a Christian church where the folks who attend, and the pastor who preaches, are nude. A nudist church.

“Not mine,” you say. The Westboro Baptist Church members carry signs at funerals saying: “God hates fags.” They also picket Jewish institutions, children, and even have a “Thank God for Dead Soldiers Campaign.”

“Wait,” you say - “I am a Baptist, they don’t represent me!” Or maybe you are a Christian and a Michigander and you read this: “Christian protesters traveled across the country to Dearborn, where they taunted attendees and held a severed pig’s head for three days at the annual Arab International Festival.”

“Not representing me” – a Christian and a Michigander sez you.

And yet, often – I also receive either an e-mail forward, or Facebook text that routinely says “ALL Muslims or ALL Islam...” and what follows these “all” pronouncements is invective, hate, fear, and lies.

Some say “all” is justified because moderate Muslims do not challenge the radicals (they do; however, that’s another letter).

But, let’s turn that around—when is the last time you have repudiated the KKK, Westboro, or those who traveled to Michigan to protest, in the most ugly ways, a long-held festival for the residents.

So next time you see an “all” Muslim or Islam message on your desktop, stop it. Don’t forward it. Exercise responsibility, check the truthfulness of messages, and if it is hate-producing or peace-destroying don’t forward it.

Learn about those groups who spread hate and fear in your name and challenge them. Words – forgive, grace, love, peace, justice. Practice them.

Mickey Grooters • via email

Crosswalk talk

Can we please get an explanation of what constitutes a pedestrian crosswalk here in Traverse City?

Can someone please explain to everyone the rights of pedestrians who use a crosswalk and the rights of drivers? Can we please get some signs put up at ALL crosswalks?

I work at the corner of Front & Maple and I see near-death accidents almost daily. Since this is one of the busiest intersections during lunch time (Mahoney’s and Mary’s sit across from each other) can we please stop the madness and get some clarity on how crossing Front Street should be done properly? Everyone seems to have their own ideas.

George Nemetz • TC


The National Cherry Festival is the host of the Meijer Festival of Races, and not the Traverse City Track Club as stated in last week’s Random Thoughts column. The Track Club’s primary fundraising race is the Bayshore Marathon and related events.

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