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While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They practice sensational reporting with hosts sitting on a couch gossiping to their “friends” about their fear or hatred of foreigners and immigrants.
The once respected NRA’s credibility is now questionable, with its unethical obsession about a “good guy with a gun” in our schools, exemplifying a waste of elementary school and religious teachings about the sanctity of humanity and basic family values.
The original Tea Party was about “taxation without representation.” Today’s Tea Party is about no taxes for them, higher taxes and a “Big Brother” scenario for us, a hypocrisy that humiliates our forefathers’
George Edmonds, Traverse City
Things That Matter
All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that.
It’s a simple matter for many of us in our small town, we believe as Dr. Martin Luther King did: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
The United States is a graduate course in Democracy. It embodies the best attributes of Western Civilization and rejects the worst. It combines our long experience as subjects of a foreign power with our distain for the despots and autocrats and an innate distrust of those who would be king -- It is a demanding and unending course of work.
America can’t guarantee a smooth road to happiness, no creed or other human social order can. But unlike other social and political structures, America does its best to make certain that at least there is a road and that we all have the freedom and opportunity to travel it.
Mr. Reagan once noted: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We did not pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free …”
Frank Liebert, Harbor Springs
An Anecdote Driven Mind
So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them. In his anecdotal way of thinking, he reckons that what he perceives as an overutilization of manpower on a single, teensy weensy project on Center Road on Old Mission Peninsula is indicative of what ails the whole of the Michigan Department of Transportation.
Viewing a metal sculpture of a government road worker at rest suggests to him that such workers are essentially lazy and that we’d be better contracting with the private sector, where not only do people work harder, but you can also get them on the cheap. Those who might argue that we should be wary of the whole private sector as rife with greed, rather than productivity, because a major auto company confessed covering up life-threatening product defects or that a major bank was fined $12 billion for fraud should face similar indictment. That sort of conclusion would come from an anecdote-driven mind. He concludes his column by stating flatly that if money spent lobbying legislators to raise taxes and for advertising to support campaigns for higher taxes were used to reform the way roadwork is done, “we could have the best roads in the country.”
How much money are we talking about here? An inquiring mind might wonder, but not a Kachadurian mind.
Thomas BeVier, Traverse City
No On Prop 1
Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications. Use tax revenue goes to the state school fund. Do advocates of Proposal 1 explain to us how the school fund will replace the redirected use tax revenue? Do schools have “spare change” to give up? Ballot Proposal 1 deserves a “no.”
Daniel Robbins, Mackinaw City
Fix VA Tragedy
The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women.
Returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, American’s men and women in uniform deserve better. We must uphold our promises to men and women who have served in the armed forces to protect our freedoms.
One critical promise that should be a part of returning to civilian life is the opportunity to find a good job. Military skills and training make veterans highly qualified to take on important jobs when they return home.
In November, we have the opportunity to elect a retired General who knows firsthand how to address employment issues and support returning veterans. Jerry Cannon developed programs here in Northern Michigan at Camp Grayling that help train soldiers to become police officers throughout our state. But there is much more that could be done. Expanding the existing program and offering tax credits to companies that hire returning vets are two immediate strategies that show promise.
Margaret Monsour, Traverse City
Women Take Note
I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed. Congress is not willing to work out a solution. We desperately need comprehensive immigration legislation, not attack helicopters and armed militia hunting women and children.
If we cannot welcome 60,000 desperate children, what will we do with millions of children when birth control is forbidden? Studies show 99 percent of women use birth control during their lifetimes. One in four women have been or will be the victim of rape or sexual assault. Women need to be able to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies. Women in the US now have forced upon us the religious beliefs of our employers and legislators. The First Amendment is supposed to protect us from forced religious beliefs of others.
Women, we are 53 percent of the US population. Imagine what we could accomplish if every woman voted. Register, vote, and take a friend.
Beverly Christensen, Cedar