"They died in service to our country". That sentence will be heard may times as the nation observes Memorial Day.
I'm a father, a businessperson and a Viet Nam veteran. Over the past several years I've examined my military experience. Two time Medal of Honor recipient, Marine Major General Smedley Butler helped me. He finished his career, looked back and wrote a booklet titled "War is a Racket". He said he was a thug for big business. My studies confirm what the General said. Behind all of the flag waving, and the shouts of freedom, democracy and service, is a massive empire devoted to profit by any means. Weapons are our number one export product. The military is a tool. We are taught to puff our chests, and honor the military - alive and dead - but we are never taught to question the business of war.
They died in "service" to our country. I hope we think about those words.
Grass Lake, MI
Sending more troops into Iraq is like pouring more water on a gasoline fire. It will never work, and it only makes things worse. You cannot put out a gasoline fire with water, because the water rolls off the gasoline, spreading the fire. And if you pour more water on a gasoline fire, you only make things worse.
Likewise with sending more troops into Iraq: The troops we already have in there are a big part of the problem, and adding more of them will only make things worse.
Here is a clue from the common experience of mankind: If you doing something the wrong way, doing more of it the same way will never fix the problem. Example: You are trying to loosen a bolt by turning it clockwise instead of counter-clockwise. So instead of loosening the bolt, you are making it tighter. If you apply more force in the same wrong direction, you will never loosen the bolt, and you will probably break off its head. The solution is to recognize the problem and change the direction of your efforts. In Iraq, we are doing things the wrong way. Our invasion was the original cause of the problem, because there was no way a Christian-majority army from an infidel country supporting Israel could have ever been welcomed as liberators by the Muslim Arabs of Iraq. The whole idea was ignorant and delusional from the beginning. But we invaded anyway, and now their country is falling apart because of us, and we are stuck in a great big mess of our own creation. So can any reasonable person truly believe that we will make things better by sending in more troops now? No! We should be doing the very opposite: withdrawing our troops immediately, then trying to clean up the mess in some other way. Blessings to you.
May God help us all.
Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director - LoveAllPeople.org http://www.loveallpeople.org/searchallpages.html CONTACT William McGinnis (Rev. Bill McGinnis) 1908 Mt Vernon Ave #2543 Alexandria, VA 22301 7037686710 firstname.lastname@example.org
Seeking Peace is Patriotic
As a new resident of Holland, I've followed with interest your series on the peace pole. That a pole stating the fervent wish of most humanity, "May peace prevail on Earth," should spark prolonged discussion puzzled me. I understood the logical argument against two peace poles but still couldn't grasp the underlying reason for such long debate.
After reading Carolyn Marquis' statement opposing the pole, it became clear that in her view peace advocacy is somehow unpatriotic. Such beliefs would certainly lengthen debate over the placement of a peace symbol. What she and those who share her opinion fail to comprehend is that people who oppose war, especially an ill-conceived war like the Iraq war, do "love, support and defend our country."
It is precisely because we love our country that we wish to uphold our own democratic ideals by not invading and occupying another country and imposing those ideals on a culture we little understand. The Iraq war has tarnished our world reputation and shaken the faith, for some of us, that our leaders will honor democratic principles. Because we love our country we deplore initiating death and destruction in another country based on our leaders' precipitous decision. Because we love and support our military we don't want them killed, maimed or emotionally scarred doing the world's most harrowing job for a questionable goal.
We best support our country by holding our leaders accountable, by protesting unjustified wars and by dissenting when we believe leaders' decisions endanger us. Similarly, we support our country's founding tenets when we demand that free speech, free press and privacy rights be maintained and hope that our voices still count in a government allegedly "of, by and for the people."
We best defend our country when we are educated not only about our own democracy but other world cultures. Cooperating in efforts that help nations understand and respect each other and urging leaders to pursue diplomatic options ultimately protect us. Perhaps recognizing our shared humanity is our best defense.
Peace promoters revere the bravery and sacrifice of our war veterans and their families. We separate loathing the war from loving the warrior. Perhaps critics could separate advocating peace from lacking patriotism.
This is a pathetic situation.
To be a radical today -- by the standards of "conventional wisdom" and the mainstream media -- is to be someone who stands up for the rule of law, the Constitution, and holding an administration accountable for launching a failed war that they lied us into. This war resulted in Tens of Thousands of Americans and Iraqis dead and injured, and nearly a trillion dollars of taxpayer money and debt. Every American now owes $30,000 in national debt.
Is it radical to stand up for our Constitution and honesty?
But it is mainstream to implement such policies, break the law, and not be held accountable. It is mainstream to continue to lie the same lies for five years and have the White House press corps, with the exception of Helen Thomas, nod their heads.
Is there something I'm missing? Has the national press corps had a lobotomy when I was out mowing the lawn one day?
Someone please let me know, because I can't figure it out.
Unless, of course, some people high up in the corporate media are getting a quid pro quo for their corporations -- and in the case of some reporters we have seen cash payments.
Of course, no such thing could happen in a nation with a free press. That would just be too radical a thought?
"Under the influence of politicians, masses of people tend to ascribe the responsibility for wars to those who wield power at any given time. In World War I it was the munitions industrialists; in World War II it was the psychopathic generals who were said to be guilty. This is passing the buck.
The responsibility for wars falls solely upon the shoulders of these same masses of people, for they have all the necessary means to avert war in their own hands. In part by their apathy, in part by their passivity, and in part actively, these same masses of people make possible the catastrophes under which they themselves suffer more than anyone else. To stress this guilt on the part of the masses of people, to hold them solely responsible, means to take them seriously. On the other hand, to commiserate masses of people as victims, means to treat them as small, helpless children. The former is the attitude held by genuine freedom fighters; the latter that attitude held by power-thirsty politicians."
Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism
Does True Islam Require Freedom Of Religion?
The case of Christian convert Abdul Rahman in Afghanistan has sharply focused international attention on what may be the most important question in the world today: Does true Islam require freedom of religion, or not?
The government of Afghanistan had been preparing to bring Rahman to trial on the criminal charge of renouncing his former religion of Islam to become a convert to Christianity. According to some authorities, this act of apostasy violates Islamic law and is punishable by death. Other authorities believe that true Islamic law requires freedom of religion and that Rahman and everybody else should be free to follow whatever religion (or none at all) they choose, without fear or penalty.
The importance of this question could not possibly be greater, because if true Islam requires freedom of religion, then there is no theological basis for militant action against people of other religions, merely because of their religion. Islamic Democracy becomes a possibility, and long-term peaceful co-existence for Muslims and non-Muslims seems likely. The supposed justification for terrorism largely disappears, and a new era of hopefulness in the world can soon begin.
Read the rest of this question by clicking here
Blessings to you. And may God bless us all.
Rev. Bill McGinnis, Director - LoveAllPeople.org
We are living in a society whereas everyone is out for themselves.The so-called journalists is bona-fided liers who never tell the story straight,and the suburbian people who once lived in the inner-city is now trying to re-takeover the city.People should stop blaming Bush for the mess we're in ,individuals should be blaming themselves because they allowed Bush to get in office.
Here in the Metro Detroit area we're having a WaterWar. Why? Because of the Six City Council Members who is so self-centered until they can't see straight (Excluding..Queen Sisters JoAnn Watson, Brenda Jones, and Barbara Rose Collins).
The director of the dwsd is really enjoying seen the battle between the Inner-City and the Suburbs with his $250.000 home in West Bloomfield Hills. Yet the city of Detroit tax payers are paying his salary, and the money he is making off of the people in Detroit is going to oakland county. In closing as a official member and researcher with the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization I hope that the inner-city as well as the suburbs will join together to agree on the proposed affordibility plan. Water is a free gift from GOD remember that.
WilliamX (Community Activist)
Although I am not a Muslim and do have visceral antagonism to and against all sectarian people (of all different religious flavors whatsoever), there is no doubt that Muslims (i.e. ordinary people whose crime was to be born to Muslim parents) in the United States are being treated similar to the early stages of how Nazi Germany treated gypsies, communists, anti-Nazis, Jews and others.
The problem is that some people think that Muslims and Arabs are "worse than dogs." This is probably what private Lyndie England had in mind when she wrapped a dog leash around the neck of an Iraqi prisoner in Abu Ghraib in Iraq.
Unless we value humans equally irrespective of religion, nationality, race, creed, etc., we are all a bunch of, for lack of better terms, racist bigoted hypocrites.
Ask yourself this question: If you lived at the time when crucifixions and lynchings where how mobs impunitively dealt with whom they designated as public enemy number one, will you be doing your best to persuade the mob not to crucify or lynch the anti-establishment Jew or an African slave or will you be the one who will drive the first nail into the flesh or wrap the rope around the neck?
Judging from our present day attitude, I guess we all know what each one of us would have been doing at such dark times.
When I am reading or listening to commentary about Bush and the Republicans that is produced by some of the gay community, I can't help but disagree with the usual slanderous liberal ideology.
In some comments it is stated that the right lied to go to war in Iraq and played dirty during the 2004 presidential race. The many accusations of Bush's motives make me wonder who is playing dirty and lying, especially since many of these indictments have been proven false.
Some ask where are all the liberal leaders, the obvious and accurate truth is that liberal leaders have tried, and failed to get into office. If the majority of the government is Republican, then maybe it is telling us that the Left needs to readjust its beliefs and stop whining like society's self-anointed super victims. Gay liberal leaders have raised millions of dollars from us to blindly align ourselves with a Democratic Party that has turned its back on our legislation and policy proposals in California, Indiana, Maryland and Louisiana during the past 30 days.
What has Howard Dean done to stop liberal Blue States like California and Maryland besides his lavish campaign to become the nation's class clown? What has Howard Dean done to stop Democrats from going into Red Bush States and saying they are against gay marriage? All we hear is name-calling directed at the Republicans and barely a word of protest when our Democratic friends take our money to get re-elected across the country but abandon us when we need their votes.
If government officials are corrupt, or dishonest, then the loser must have been worse, or the Democrats would have been in the majority. How much gay corruption in managing funds and organizations for the AIDS epidemic or ineffective national campaigns must we tolerate before we realize that we might be more corrupt than the GOP? At least some of our strongest GOP critics sit on committees that allocate money for AIDS and they faithfully vote for more money each year without trying to get one word of praise from the gay community.
There has to be a reason why more than half of America is Republican. I believe that the apparent explanation is that, like the Whig, or Federalist Parties, the Democratic Party is out of date.
Let's face it people, not every gay person is left-wing or liberal.
Matthew Veritas Tsien
V.P. Development. Florida Gold Coast Log Cabin Republicans
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Matthew Veritas Tsienr is a former Air Force Captain and Director of President Ronald Reagan's lobbying organization. He also served as a senior staff member for two United Nations Ambassadors in Washington, D.C.
As salaamu alaikoum,
I am Michigan resident seeking advice. I will try my best to explain this in as few words as possible as I do not want to type a long drawn out story. There is a brother in Pakistan that I feel I am obligated to help as a fellow Muslim. This brother just popped up on my messenger one day. He said he found my name in a page of web search results after typing in 'Allah'. So as a result of this he feels I am a Godsend in some way because he has no friends. He is a sickly brother, struggling to take care of his mother and siblings. I know there are some people out there who just try to scam you. I know these types very well, but this brother is not out to get anyone. He is working for free right now, barely paying the bills, always in pain, depressed- and I dont know what to do to assist him. He has a pretty impressive resume, but I'm not sure if in these days and times it is enough. I thought perhaps you could review it and think about his overall situation and tell me what I can do for this brother. I fear he will overdose on pills or something because he is always speaking of wanting to die. Many times I try to joke with him to lift his spirits but its only temporary. I make du'a for him as often as I can remember to do so. He is waiting for a job response from Du'bai, but as I said before his job (working for the Military College) has not paid him this month, and he has family to care for with his father being deceased. My parents are also deceased and I am looking out for my siblings so I know the feeling. This brother is 31 and has never been married. His life is not a healthy one for someone his age. Plus he has stopped eating, and he is smoking cigarettes like crazy. I'm not wealthy or even middle class, and I have offered this brother monetary assistance but he always declines. He needs an opportunity that will create a sense of confidence in himself. I know there are many other people in this world that need help, and we can't reach them all. Please if there is anything at all you can do or any advice you can give, reply to this email. Allah Hafiz
Read Resume, click here
"Surah 28:56 It is true you will not be able to guide everyone whom you love; but Allah guides those whom He will. And He knows best those who receive guidance."
Here is what we need to do for our county to cut down on return offenders please pass this along to the judges and police courts etc.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio (in Arizona) who created the "tent city jail": He has jail meals down to 40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them.
He stopped smoking and porno magazines in the jails. Took away their weights. Cut off all but G" movies.
He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county and city projects.
Then he started chain gangs for women so he wouldn't get sued for discrimination.
This letter is continued on another page, click here...
Basic Needs Of Michigan Poor Continue To Be Under Attack.
While Michigan's food pantries remain under stocked and school age poverty levels remain high, over 220,000, an additional aspect to this reality for hundreds of thousands living in Michigan was the subject of an article in the Muskegon Chronicle. "Agencies struggle to meet medical needs of the poor." While those living in poverty with medical needs have risen throughout 2004 a federal funding freeze for those living in extreme poverty went into effect July 1 of 2004.
At the time of the freeze state aid was budgeted for 63,000 people. The numbers now exceed 89,000 leaving the state's various charities scrambling to meet the medical needs of the poor. Many, no doubt, are left in crisis situations when considering cancer and AIDs patients.
Diana Stubbs, director of one of Muskegon's aid agencies, said that they remain "In dire need of donations if they are to continue." Diabetes and heart disease, both of which require medication, are common among the poor being helped in Michigan. But the delays in the paperwork that the charities are forced to do under a capitalist health care system can be life threatening. Cheryl Schneider, of Muskegon Care, says "Many are homeless, living friend to friend. $30 for a prescription may not seem like much, but when you have no income it may as well be $300."
The poorest of the poor, some seriously ill, also often homeless, living through the winter months in Michigan, are in urgent need of a common sense, humane solution to their problems.
Muskegon Heights, MI
The wellness of "our" nation has been, and is being - "given " away. Too much "politally correct" & "special needs" nonsence, aid to other nations (billions&billions yearly), peoples, minorities, etc. I have a plan; STOP giving away "America's wealth". While we go without insurance, and face no social security ; which is due to those that are, and were "tax payers"; not life time wellfare recipients, immigrants new to the states that conveniently arrive here ready to retire on social security, have children born here and are then immediatly given "special" immigration and minority status and privilages (college,medical,etc); while we that were born here give it to them out of our hard labor.
Others abroad can feel comforted by the yearly freebies from the good ole USA as well. Seems there are too many lobbyists, and over payed politicians as well. As I remember; politics (way back when) was something that people saw in the interest of their fellow man (neighbors), and set about as a mouthpiece for them. Imagine: people such as Kwame M. Kilpatrick (Detroit mayor) having a million dollars worth of bodyguards. NONSENCE!! We have too many people-with too much power, and over payed for it. With judges, a president, senators, and such making descisions 'for us"; why do we bother to vote? They get into office with the premise of "serving" us; nothing doing! Understand this: I believe poiticians should be payed; but not $200,000.00 or more a year. I work hard and sweat for my money while they read, lobby, and leisure about--- BULL! It's not worth that much. Then think of how many people get this (or less) un-patriotic amout to "serve" and represent their fellow man. GRRRR The "real" America needs pulled out of the shadow of "special needs" and "special interest's", and let this again be a land thriving: a "DEMOCRACY"; not a "DICTATORSHIP" of judges elected among themselves!! And as for the presidential nominee's; We never get a good choice. The ones that (in my view) seem "down to earth", "real people"; get tossed aside by the media (newspaper and television).
PS: my "families" "ancestors" have been in the States for 200+ years (some inTC for 150); I feel a sense of patriotism to their labors, beliefs, what they worked so hard for, and affirmations; not to those "forced" upon me by the suppositional "elite" politicians, special interest groups, and civil rights groups that have set about to "make" America a vessel of outreach to uplift the entire world (at the working classes expense), while they seemingly demand aid to a country of "their" own choosing or heritage. And if a elected person not give it or appear to help meet their demands ... be labeled a RACIST!! Heaven forbid recognition of those worthy of helping (those that help themselves), and cutting those such as many African countries that have been aided since the 50's and 60's; and stop fighting other countries battles for them (primarily religious bourne) at ours (taxes) and our childrens expense (their lives). Let them fight among themselves. Give them nukes to hurry and be done with it. We as a country have no interest in these countries (only oil co.'s and minority religious groups do). = JEWS vs MUSLIMS
And; this labeling of Americans; ie: "African American". HOGWASH! Then i'm a "European American", and speaking as a world-wide population; I / we are the minority and should demand special care as well. But that will be overlooked. "I speak of "constitution";not (necessarily) "revolution".
(not living in TC)
Please join me in my effort to build on the morality tide initiated by George W. Bush and his evangelical constituency. I think some of the people I have blind carbon copied this message to will find my proposal especially exciting! Mark 10: 11 reads "He (Jesus) told them, 'When a man divorces his wife to marry someone else, he commits adultery against her. And if a wife divorces her husband and remarries, she, too, commits adultery." (The Living Bible). I feel very strongly that the government should not be in the business of legitimizing immoral marriages.
I believe that marriage is between a man who has never been divorced and a woman who has never been divorced. Please do me the favor of e-mailing all of your evangelical friends and all those who oppose civil rights for gay people to help in a drive to stamp out all of these morally illicit marriages and to dissolve all present such relationships. Now that we have control of the White House and Congress I am sure that we can be succesful! Yes I know it will be a hardship for those sinners to give up all the many financial, social, and political privelages of a government issued marriage license, but after all this is God's will (or at least our understanding of God's will) and it is good and right to force others to be subject to our religious beleifs.I am sure that your evangelical friends will not respond hypocritically to my proposal or reveal that they pick and choose which verses to affirm and which to ignore-- they are after all God-fearing people.
I think it is high time that God-fearing people stand truly accountable to God's word.
The Fight Goes On.... We have no choice!
If we can change the mind of one in a hundred voters over the next four years, we can win in 2008. They did not win in a blowout! It feels bad. It is bad. However, we only need to learn a few lessons to win next time.
Fayetteville, TN 37334
We are a thoroughly TV-bred nation, force fed daily a daily regimen of empty rhetoric and flashy 1984 doublespeak. Again and again, that Jack Nicholson quote from The Shining plays through my head: "It's ok, he saw it on the television!" These aren't real people dying. They're terrorists. They're harboring terrorists. They live in a land infested by terrorists. Whoever's left after the holocaust will be forever grateful to us, truly. People in foreign countries are like bacteria. We know they're there, all around us, multiplying and spreading from place to place... and that's sort of icky. We don't like thinking about things like that. READ THE WHOLE LETTER
There is a proposed amendment that will be on this November’s ballot which will change our state constitution forever, the proposal reads: “To secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose.” – Now for the creative advertising. This proposed amendment is being passed off to Michigan’s citizens as the “Gay Amendment”, hoping that with such terminology, many of our citizens would go immediately for such an amendment believing it is to ban gay marriages. You may have already seen advertising showing that this is their only goal, but that statement is FAR from the truth. In fact, this amendment has much more to do with straight couples than gay couples, being the sheer difference in population numbers. READ LETTER
Anyone out there interested in helping Ann Arbor get instant runoff voting back? We had it back in 1975, but the Republicans took it away. Libby Hunter, Craig Harvey, and a few others (including me) are trying to get an IRV campaign going, and we need help! If you'd like to help with our petition drive, education, publicity, or whatever, please let me know.
If you're not familiar with IRV, check out http://a2irv.org. IRV has been endorsed by Dennis Kucinich, Howard Dean, and John McCain, and of course the Green Party. It's a necessary step in bringing democracy to America. Please help if you can!
The next time someone quotes anti-gay statistics to you, check the source. In his July 16 letter, "Discrimination OK against gay lifestyle," Dan Ziegler cites a "professional journal, Psychological Reports" as his source for condemning gay parents. So, wanting to learn more about his point of view, I checked it out.
I was disgusted to learn that Psychological Reports is not a respected scientific record, but a "pay to publish" journal that requires you to pay them to print your work. Worse yet, the evidence Ziegler cites was authored by Paul Cameron, whose anti-gay "research" is so biased that he was kicked out of The American Psychological Association in 1983. And in 1985, The American Sociological Association announced, "Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality and lesbianism," and he's leading a campaign against gays "on the basis of his distorted interpretation of this research."
Learn more for yourself: A simple Google search of "Paul Cameron" or "Psychological Reports, homosexuality" will lead you to a wealth of information. The University of California at Davis alone has many pages debunking Cameron, including the statistics Ziegler cites.
I would like to believe that Dan Ziegler and others who believe this garbage, might take the time to learn that legitimate researchers have completely discredited Cameron and his writings in Psychological Reports, but instead, I fear that he'll just find some more junk science to support his bigotry and fire off some more poorly informed rhetoric to be printed.
I am a Vietnam infantry veteran and a member of Veterans For Peace. I spent last weekend expressing my views on peace in Oak Ridge, TN. Oak Ridge is home to the world's largest weapons of mass destruction plant.. This plant is currently upgrading our 10,000 nuclear bombs, and building more. This plant, via the Department of Energy, is requesting $12 billion of our tax dollars to continue this work. The House of Representatives bill (HR 4614) has a misleading title - "Making Appropriations for Energy and Water Development for the Fiscal Year ending September 30, 2005, and for other purposes".
I saw eleven people arrested at Oak Ridge for peacefully expressing their views. Most of these people were women. Some of these women were over 70. One was a teenager in Germany during the Holocaust.
If we as a nation truly want peace in the world, and peace for our children, then we must lead by example. We must reduce, or better yet, eliminate our weapons of mass destruction.
Will the VFW Posts Stand Up or Cave In to the Pussies of Politics
Gay / Child Molesters / Muslim Leaders / NAACP are Blackmailing Political Aides even if they are not Gay. They have ousted one Jew Boy, and targeting others. The NAACP lead by Muslims is targeting the Catholic Church, while Gays are Going after Christian Aides to Congress and the Senate.
Does the VFW have the Guts to Stand up to these weirdo’s or have you all ready caved in. If you have not caved in then lets see how well you can air your opinions to those on this email list. Which includes the Democrates, GOP, California Green Party, Texas Constitutional Party and other parties – groups.
Stand up and deliver or Cave in and be the Bitchs of the Gay / Muslim / NAACP
When President Bush addressed the Southern Baptist Convention on June 15, he brought the 8,000 delegates in Indianapolis to their feet when he said, "Government, by strengthening and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all." While I agree that strong marriages are good for all Americans, I fail to understand how Bush's desire to ban gay marriage and write discrimination into our nation's Constitution will strengthen marriages or our country. Furthermore, Bush offers nothing to support and protect the relationships of gay couples, many with children, health-care expenses, and mortgages.
John Kerry feels committed gay couples should be recognized with full rights and benefits and responsibilities in civil unions. Kerry cares that right now, gay couples, even men and women together for 20 or 30 years, remain strangers to each other in the eyes of the federal government when one of them gets sick, has an accident, goes into the hospital, or dies.
Bush, on the other hand, cares nothing about protecting and supporting gay couples and their families.
I believe that Our Senior Citizens deserve better nursing home rating than they are getting, over 150 nursing homes remain on the watch list at www.memberofthefamily.net just take a good look at this. Is this Michigan, We are Michigan so lets act like civil human beings and give our Senior Citizens what they deserve they have been around a long time and have witnessed many things we have not, this is Michigan's History. Have a little consideration for them, be a compassionate State instead of kicking them under the bus. Alot of these Senior Citizens made Michigan what it is.
Today, as Massachusetts becomes the first state in the nation to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples, and our nation also marks the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education, there is a connection between these two events -- besides sharing the day -- that is unmistakable.
In 1954, when the Supreme Court delivered its momentous decision in the Brown case, striking down the "separate but equal" doctrine that fostered decades of segregation between whites and African-Americans as a violation of the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, echoes of that ruling came back this year when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that marriage rights must be extended to same-sex couples.Last November, when the Massachusetts court ruled 4-3 in Goodridge et al vs. Department of Public Health that denying same-sex couples the right to marry violated the equal protection clause of Massachusetts' constitution, legislators were so taken aback they asked the court if Vermont-style civil unions would suffice. In February, the court ruled civil unions are not the same as marriage.Civil unions "maintain an unconstitutional, inferior and discriminatory status for same-sex couples," wrote Chief Justice Margaret Marshall. And obviously recalling the effects of segregation and the Brown ruling, she noted that "the history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever, equal."But is it an ugly chapter of history our nation is condemned to repeat?As gay couples in Massachusetts line up outside city halls waiting to be wed, Gov. Mitt Romney and many of the states' legislators are making every effort -- reminiscent of Southern states' efforts to circumvent the Brown ruling and keep their schools segregated -- to circumvent the Goodridge ruling and keep gays from marrying. This includes Romney banning out-of-state gay couples from marrying by enforcing a 1913 state law once used to prevent interracial couples from states with miscegenation laws from marrying in Massachusetts. But places like Provincetown and Worchester plan to defy the governor's edict and issue out-of-state couples marriage licenses.Of course, social and religious conservatives -- with a reaction similar to that on ending school segregation -- are trying to create an uproar on extending marriage rights to same-sex couples, this time around going so far as to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would prevent gay couples from marrying. And they've updated their rallying cry from "Segregation forever!" to "No rights for sodomites!"In the 1950s, equal rights for African-Americans was a goal caught between our nation's secular ideal and certain religious and social beliefs -- that God intended the races to be separate (or "mongrelization" of the human race would occur), and that African-Americans were mentally inferior -- which fostered blatant discrimination including segregated schools.Today, unfortunately, equal rights for the gay community including the right to marry, is also a goal caught between the secular and the sacred, between the Jeffersonian ideal "that all men are created equal" and an overwhelmingly Christian citizenry fervently claiming "in God we trust."But the beliefs behind denying same-sex couples marriage rights ring as hollow as the beliefs that once supported segregated schools: That marriage is "sacred," when half of all marriages end in divorce. And with such a high divorce rate and almost 1 million children in foster care nationally, it's gay couples marrying that will destabilize the marriage concept. That marriage's purpose is for "procreation," when we live on a planet with over 6 billion people, and 11 children starve to death every minute. That marriage will lose its "special standing" if gays can marry, which likens marriage to a segregated-for-heterosexual-couples-only country club, leaving gay couples outside the gates looking in. That it's OK to discriminate against "behavior," while conveniently ignoring "love."Nevertheless, just as African-American children in the 1950s courageously stepped across once-segregated schoolhouse thresholds, today in Massachusetts, same-sex couples will courageously step across courthouse thresholds to get their marriage licenses in a continuing civil rights goal of equality and to secure the American dream of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Nursing Homes should have to tell people that they are graded by performance and their grade should be used like a school grade using A+, A, A-,B+,B,B-, ect..... to F as a failed grade then the state should have weekly reports until they have completed the probation period of 6 months, using an outside agency to do observations. Rather than doing ANNUAL reports by OMBUDSMAN during the day when nothing is happening but busy with residents. Most of reports by Ombudsman are during the day well what about what happens at night while these people are alone with no Administrator on duty. I've worked in these homes and I know what goes on, it's terrible and the staff cover each. You see during the day families visit and Doctors come in, PT, OT, Social Workers, busy daytime hours. Does Ombudsman go visit whenever they want or do they have schedules to follow during the DAY, what do you think?
Make it Happen use the grading system and probation it will work then the Nursing Homes will get a better name for themselves because right now in Michigan there are approx. 150 Nursing Homes on the National Watch List that's just for Michigan. Is your loved one in one of those homes ?? WE need a better system than this. Much better..
Clean it up..Don't just talk about it make it happen
Signature withheld by request
The Macomb County Probate Court has been making the mistake of appointing outside Guardians for families who are willing to take the responsibility of the guardianship. The Judges think that because of family issues and or problems that an outsider is a better choose. What to do you think? Well, I think they are very wrong especially when talking about senior citizens. Take a look at what has happen already in Washtenaw County and Macomb County; those same guardians the Judges appointed are now under investigation from the same Judges . This tells me that they don't keep up their records to see what is going on in their own court. Some of those investigations are from 2 or 3 years ago. Who is watching those GUARDIANS? Also they keep families away from loved ones and that is shame ... They have taken the rights of the elderly into their own hands and see what happens. The Judges need to use the NEW MEDIATION plans and keep those Court Appointed Guardians OUT of the picture. If you have family issues or disagreements regarding a loved one try to work it out yourself with the help of the MEDIATION by calling The Center For Social Gerontology /
TOLL FREE 1-866-665-1126 or
visit the web site at www. tcsg.org or
e-mail / Sbutterwick@tcsg.org
e-mail / email@example.com
The courts need to start using this process for families who have difficulty getting along or just can not decide who will be in charge. Small fees for this service and the service fees can be waived. I only wish I knew about it sooner it would have been a wonderful thing for our family.
Signature withheld by request
The Palestinian American Congress strongly condemns the assassination of Sheikh Ahmad Yaseen, the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas and his aides by the Israeli air force.The air strikes that resulted in the killing of Sheikh Ahmed Yaseen as he was being pushed in his wheelchair.The United States must take a firm position in condemning this crime which not only resulted in the murder of a senior Palestinian leader, but also in the assassination of any remaining hope for peace in the Middle East. This assassination is yet another proof that the United States should no longer support Sharon’s barbaric policy. Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon has shown through his tactics that he does not qualify to be a partner in peace. This assassination only serves as an invitation to escalating the cycle of violence in the region. History will hold Sharon and his supporters responsible for any blood shed that will follow.
Incredible! The Democratic Party really is a bunch a gutless, spineless cowards when it comes to taking a stand on any issue. How hard is it for just one Democrat of national prominence (a presidential candidate, preferably) to say: "I support every American's right to be treated equally and fairly under the law. I support every American's right to the pursuit of happiness that is one of the great traditions of this country. Therefore, I support gay marriage. But whether you agree with me on this specific issue or not, every American should be troubled that the current president of the United States is willing to tamper with the most sacred document of our Union, the Constitution, in an effort to discriminate against a minority of Americans. At the very least, let each state decide in its own way how to protect the right of its citizens to be happy in life and love, and let us not meddle with the Constitution for political ends." Fortunately for us, all the fear of the Christian right that leads Democrats to cower in submission, is proving to be a bit premature, as even Republicans in the House and Senate have already voiced their skepticism over using a constitutional amendment to decide this issue, and have pretty much stated that there is no way a two-thirds majority of each chamber will vote for this. But we as liberals and Democrats should ask ourselves, are we really afraid of a fringe group of conservatives that makes statements such as "When you create counterfeit marriages and put them into the law, you're undermining society's most important safeguard against tyranny"? I think that an overwhelming majority of moderate Americans are likely to view statements such as that as more radical than statements affirming support of gay marriage.
OPEC decided to cut oil production. Our infrastructure badly needs repair. Our educational system needs attention. Air and water pollution cause real health problems. Our economy is suffering. People are homeless, hungry, out of work. Our unelected president has misled, deceived and, maybe, lied to us.
With all the real need in the world today, why would some folks spend time attacking love? This love may be in the form of same-sex marriage, but it is love nonetheless. If we cannot celebrate a healthy commitment between two individuals, what can we celebrate? If we oppose a true sense of caring, what are we for?
There are genuine issues and real needs in this country and in the world today. Putting our energy and our resources into attacking those who are different from us doesn't seem productive. Making an issue out of Sid and Tom or Sally and Mary getting married seems shortsighted and distracts us from legitimate issues that need to be addressed.
The national debate over a ban against gay marriage has become mired in emotions, rather than focused on legal definitions. Marriage, from the standpoint of governance, is a contractual agreement that binds two people together, providing certain tax and inheritance benefits as well as financial responsibilities. This is a basic civil right accorded to citizens by the state.
The problem arises when outdated religious, moral, social and cultural beliefs and definitions of marriage are being purposefully confused and drawn into what is a personal contractual arrangement between individual citizens and the state.
The emotional arguments against gay marriage only create an environment of hostility and intolerance, not to mention violating the fundamental and basic civil and human rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.
One possible solution to the debate might be for all people, regardless of life-style or sexual orientation, to enter into a contractual agreement with the state called a "civil union license" instead of a "marriage license." Then let individual religious congregations and the moral conscience of ministers determine whether or not they will support conducting religious marriage ceremonies.
Kerry M. Berger
The gay marriage issue has infuriated those who feel it will poison morality and threaten traditional marriage. They should keep in mind the fundamental principle under which this nation was created: freedom -- such as the freedom to pursue your own personal identity and happiness, regardless of popular opinion or religious conviction.
If a gay person is a peaceful, law-abiding citizen who wants nothing more than to live and love with his or her significant other, how can that be interpreted as an abomination of the human soul?
Those who scream the virtues of traditional marriage can't escape the reality of an alarming 50-percent divorce rate. By denouncing gay marriage, their own hypocrisy emerges. Perhaps by expanding the definition, thus broadening the dimensions of marriage, its ethics can be properly applied to the modern world.
As Ann Landers
might have asked: does writer Tracey Lee have strudel in her noodle
regarding the "defense" of marriage? No one, anywhere,
is proposing to eliminate heterosexual marriage. This is an example
of neocon Bush-speak, where we call something the opposite of what
it does (a la "Clear Skies" initiative.) Using Lee's logic,
150 years ago, slavery would have been promoted as "defense
of plantations." Ninety years ago, she would have fought women's
voting rights as "defense of voting". Fifty years ago,
school segregation would be called "defense of education." If gays are allowed to marry, does this threaten anyone's marriage?
No. Will it be harder for heterosexual couples to marry? No. Will
heterosexuals stop getting married? No. How does this rate tops
on the agenda? Are all crimes solved? Schools fully equipped and
funded? The economy fully charged? Everyone has health care now?I thought not.
submissions for Wives of War: From the Hearts of Those Left Behind,
to be published in 2005. Wives of War:
From the Hearts of Those Left Behind is an anthology of narrative
non-fiction essays covering five American wars beginning with World
War II to our most recent Gulf War II. The stories must be original
and from the military
wife left behind during a wartime season covering one of the following
themes: Wives of Courage, Wives of Love, Wives of Fear, Wives of
Wives of Loss. Each story must take place while the husband is away
serving in combat.Novice and
experienced authors are encouraged, as well as previously published
work. Length: 1,000 to 4,000 words. Small honorarium. Deadline:
January 15, 2004. Include your name, phone number, e-mail address
and a brief bio in manuscript.For inquiries
or submit to:
C/O Epiphany Management
P.O. Box 152049
San Diego, CA 92115
Dear Mr. Bush,
going on two weeks now since your surprise visit to one of the two
countries you now run and, I have to say, I'm still warmed by the
gesture. Man, take me along next time! I understand only 13 members
of the media went with you -- and it turns out only ONE of them
was an actual reporter for a newspaper. But you did take along FIVE
photographers (hey, I get it, screw the words, it's all about the
pictures!), a couple wire service guys, and a crew from the Fox
News Channel (fair and balanced!). READ
Prayer Team is currently urging us to: "Pray for the President
as he seeks wisdom on how to legally codify the definition of marriage.
Pray that it will be according to Biblical principles. With any
forces insisting on variant definitions of marriage, pray that God's
Word and His standards will be honored by our government." Any good religious
person believes prayer should be balanced by action. So here, in
support of the Prayer Team's admirable goals, is a proposed Constitutional
Amendment codifying marriage entirely on biblical principles: A. Marriage
in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and
one or more women.(Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5.) B. Marriage
shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to
his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21) C. A marriage
shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife
is not a virgin, she shall be executed (Deut 22:13-21) D. Marriage
of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden.(Gen 24:3; Num
25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30) E. Since marriage
is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any
State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit
divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9) F. If a married
man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If
he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not
give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise
punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen. 38:6-10; Deut
25:5-10) * G. In lieu
of marriage, if there are no acceptable men in your town, it is
required that you get your dad drunk and have sex with him (even
if he had previously offered you up as a sex toy to men young and
old), tag-teaming with any sisters you may have. Of course, this
rule applies only if you are female. (Gen 19:31-36)*Aside from
the above, American's may choose to follow Moses' example and allow
some variation from "divine law" as observed by Jesus
at Matt 19:8: "Moses because of the hardness of your hearts
suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was
You are receiving
this because I, or someone you know, believe(s) that you are a rare
and cherished citizen who understands the threat facing our country
today. Many Americans take the actions of George Walker Bush in
good faith, bolstered by a media machine that, for the most part,
seems unwilling to question his motives on so many issues. READ
The House Appropriations
Committee doesn't know where $79B went!While driving
10/15 I listened to a C-Span broadcast of the House Appropriation
Committee hearings on the $87B Bush & crew have requested for
their buddies "rebuilding" Iraq. One Committee member
asked what happend to the $79B that's already been spent. The Chairman
(Bill Young of Florida) said he wished he had an answer. He said
he repeatedly asked the Administration, but they don't respond.Someone pointed
out that the interest (ah yes, the bankers love war) on this loan
will be $4B/yr. And that that's enough to fund medical research
for every major disease. (There was virtually no response to this
any backbone pills?
I live in Lake
County,, and ALOT fo people with shallow wells, have been running
dry. I have a distinct feeling alot as to do with the ICE MOUNTAIN
plant. What can be done? As a group, can we do something, as a community
?? Any info is appreciated.
Plague — An affliction which carries a self-righteous,
condescending and arrogant minority into the fevered delusion that
they are called upon to dupe an ill-informed and naive citizenry
into believing that endless war, economic inequities, environmental
pollution, domestic surveillance, irrational paranoia, religious
zealotry, sexual insecurity, media suppression and abdication of
civil rights are necessary components of a democracy. Its symptoms
include equating debate with sedition and opposition with treason.
Persons suffering from this affliction can often be heard uttering
phrases like “It’s all Clinton’s fault”,
"liberal whackos", "love it or leave it", “Bring
‘em on” and "more tax cuts".Ineffective
treatments have included wrapping oneself in a large flag and singing
"God Bless America".
New York , NY
or may not have their own god and beliefs, but using a god to defend
an argument is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard, and lately
I've been hearing it quite a lot. Would you
wear a burqa because someone told you their God said you were required
to? Would you make a pilgrimage to Mecca? Would you wear a Jewish
skull cap or Mormon garment? I don't think so unless you believed
in the same God. Now the Christians
are using their God to defend their beliefs about marriage. I don't
understand, because since people can be married in a civil service
outside a church, what does anyone's god have to do with the decision
about who is allowed to marry, anyway? It's a civil court decision.
Take your god out of your argument against gay marriage, or anything
else for that matter, and you probably won't have much of an argument,
just an opinion or bias. I wish for
once that people could discuss a topic logically and intelligently
without using a god to defend their position. Earth would be a better
and less complicated place.
Those who suggest
amending the U.S. Constitution to forbid same-sex marriage on the
grounds that "marriage is a sacrament" need to reconsider.
Their belief that marriage is a sacrament is one of the strongest
arguments AGAINST a constitutional amendment.
The Constitution of a secular republic is NOT the place to institutionalize
the qualifications for participation in the sacraments. To address
such matters in the Constitution is an exceedingly dangerous idea.
Not only would it institutionalize antigay bigotry, it would establish
government control of religion.
I can accept that marriage is a sacrament. Baptism is also a sacrament.
So is "communion." The Roman Catholic Church teaches that
there are seven sacraments.
Shall we amend the constitution to say that gay people can't get
Baptized, or can't take communion? Of course not. Regulating sacraments
is not the purpose of the constitution. The proposed amendment is
one of the most radical and dangerous instances of pandering to
conservatives that has been suggested in a long time.
The church decides whether a person can partake of the sacraments
of that church. Marriage is no different.
If gay people are permitted to get married by the civil law, this
does NOT compel any church to host the wedding ceremony, nor does
it require the church to recognize the "sacramental" nature
of the marriage.
Attorney at Law
Hello,I, like many
Americans, believe that we were maneuvered into an unnecessary war
through active deception on the part of George Bush and his administration.
Although I applaud and support all groups who are fighting to keep
this issue at the forefront of American consciousness, I do think
there is one weapon that has gone largely unused in that battle.
That is the power of the catch phrase. By that I mean associating
a situation with a phrase that summons immediate negative feelings
in the mind of the listener. Consider the following two examples:Viet-raq: If
the various anti-war groups were to succeed in tagging the war in
Iraq with this label and somehow getting the phrase into the common
language, they will have struck a hard blow against the war by associating
it with a powerful historical negative.Iraqgate: If
those opposed to George Bush's tactics in leading this nation into
war were able to associate his behavior with this phrase, they will
have gone a long way in establishing his guilt in the eyes of the
average person. Very few people could tell you what "travelgate"
was all about but most of them could tell you it involved Hillary
Clinton and was somehow bad.
can change, homosexuality is not genetic. If homosexuality isn't
genetic, then gays aren't entitled to the same equal-rights protections
as other minority groups." Let's put
that argument to the test. "If Jews
can change, Judaism is not genetic. If Judaism isn't genetic, then
Jews aren't entitled to the same equal-rights protections as other
minority groups." Strikes the ear as a bit dangerous, doesn't
it? - a slippery slope we've slid down before. Let's assume
for argument's sake that homosexuality is a choice. So are one's
political party and religion. The mere fact that something is a
choice does not make it a legitimate basis for discrimination. The
real question is whether I can legally discriminate against you
if I don't like your choice. It really
doesn't matter whether homosexuality is genetic, determined by infant
nurture (as Freud believed), or a matter of reasoned adult choice.
Those who object to homosexuality base their views on religion -
that is to say, their interpretation of certain Biblical verses
- and on religion alone. Millions of people in this country, including
(obviously) most homosexuals, don't share their religion or their
Biblical interpretations. Thus, laws which discriminate (or allow
discrimination) against homosexuals are laws which align the state
with a particular religious viewpoint and which force a particular
Biblical interpretation not only on Christians and Jews who might
disagree, but also upon millions of citizens who do not even recognize
the Bible as a religious authority. That such laws therefore constitute
an "establishment of religion" could not be more clear. And that is
what the First Amendment absolutely forbids.
Paul Morgan Fredrix
For me, being
American is something like having white privilege, that is, an unearned
privilege, that brings me all sorts of benefits just by virtue of
where I happened to be born. I have the benefits of liberty, choice,
safety, comfort, education, travel, energy resources, information,
satisfying employment, a great variety of food all seasons of the
year, street lights that work, phones, clean water, garbage disposal,
a great public health system, ditto emergency medicine, no restrictions
on who I can marry or how many children I can have; I can own property,
rely on a functioning court system, protest my government, and be
supported by an array of social services when I need them, all because
I happened to be born here and carry a US passport. (we all can
think of egregious exceptions to each of these privileges, but you
get my drift).As with white
privilege, I also have the privilege of not concerning myself with
what happens to people who don't have these privileges, that is,
people in other countries who suffer as a result of my standard
of living, or my government's business interests or its wars of
this privelege is unearned (I might just as easily have been born
in Afghanistan or Tierra del Fuego) it's not really something to
be proud about. It's not the result of something I accomplished
or helped my group accomplish, really, even though I try to be a
"good citizen." Those enormous benefits are a result of
a lot of history, some of it very grisly and greedy, some of it
inspired and creative and humanitarian.But the fact
that I personally happen to benefit from it all is sheer accident.
Now I could feel guilty and ashamed of my privilege, which I never
asked for (but for which I am grateful, -- ANY fool would be grateful
for these priveleges, after all!) But feeling that way (or getting
stuck there) misses the point, I think. As with white privilege,
if you happen to have it, you know you can't really divest yourself
from it, but you CAN use that privelege to work for a more egalitarian
world, refusing to shut your eyes to people who are getting tromped
on because of the skewed system. Which is what we're all doing.So I would
say that I'm not proud to be American any more than I'm proud to
be white. However, I AM proud to be a peacemaker, and as a white
American peacemaker my voice is louder than others. That's why I
need to use it.
I'm an 80 year
old "length of service military retiree". I have been
betrayed for 39 years by the U.S. Government on the monthly retired
pay loss, and for 31 years on the loss of my "earned"
health care. Our government has been and is the epitome of lies,
lies, lies, lies. I am not an authority on the Geneva Convention
or Protocol but it's parameters are out of date. When it came into
being there were no 11 ton (21,000 lb) bombs. There were no night
sighting devices, etc. The list could go on an on. We use these
night devices but if the Iraqi have one pair of them them they were
terrorists attacking an American trooper unfairly. My wife of
over 55 years who served with General George S. Patton's Third Army
Field Hospital in France, Germany and Austria has had to endure
these injustices also.
in the USA stand behind and with Michael Moore's anti-war statement
at the Oscar awards ceremony on March 23, 2003. If it is not already
clear, let me say that my heart and the collective hearts of the
patriots who have publicly assailed this rush to war, grieve for
the anguish of soldiers of the allied forces as well as the Iraqi
people. There remains no justification for a war with Iraq. It was
the Bush administration that created the sham necessity and urgency,
playing on the fears from September 11, 2001. The rule of Saddam
Hussein is a despicable example of how a terrible regime can become
more firmly entrenched when companies such as those in the U.S.
and Europe freely sell materials of war and mass destruction. People
who produce and articulate the mainstream news through television,
radio and print have largely let the facts be overshadowed by the
Bush administration's zeal for war, along with the Pentagon public
relations campaign. These messengers for the Bush administration,
who cooperate to keep their jobs, bear untold and unmeasurable responsibility
for the reality that many Americans have been fraudulently convinced
that this is a war for freedom, rather than a war for natural resources
and strategic access to the Persian Gulf. The suffering of families
in the U.S. along with Iraq as a result of this devastating invasion
only adds to the suffering perpetrated by the regime of Saddam Hussein.
The net result of punishment of the very victims of the Hussein
regime is absolutely inevitable under circumstances of a war whose
spokespeople boast that more weaponry was used in the first three
days than that of the entire first gulf war.
The verbal attacks which appear to be brazen acts of scapegoating,
on celebrities who speak out against the Bush administration are
further cause for concern because these attacks serve to threaten
those who dare to support the troops by questioning the rationale
for the attack on Iraq.
patriotic? Are death threats an expression of patriotism? Does war
put a president suddenly beyond reproach? Is the supply of freeedom
so limited that we must surrender ours to Iraq? Absolutely
Not! "To announce
that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are
to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic
and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
Theodore Roosevelt, 1918 Nothing is
more American, and more democratic, than our right to disagree,
and disagree publicly, with our government. War does not change
that. War doesn’t revoke the bill of rights. There are conservatives
who believe that dissenters should be charged with sedition once
the war starts. When did fascism become patriotism? (And where does
the constitution give Congress the right to limit freedom of speech?)I am a veteran,
and a patriot. Here's what I have to say to those who say that we
need to unite behind Bush. Neither you, nor Bush, nor the republican
party, own the flag. You don't have the right to define patriotism.
Nothing is more cynical, more disingenuous, more un-American, than
saying that support for our troops and George Bush are one and the
same. There is no
legal or moral justification for this war. Bush has cynically manipulated
and lied to the American people to build support for this war, and
he continues to do so. He contines to invoke the memory of 9/11
to justify the war, despite the fact that Iraq doesn't support al-Qaida.
He continues to refer to weapons of mass destruction, even though
the "proof" that he has provided to weapons inspectors
has been laughable. A building identified as a "chemical weapons
facility" was found to have no plumbing. A "al-Qaida training
camp" in northern Iraq (why wasn't it bombed?), when visited
by journalists, was found to be some dusty shacks with no sign of
human activity. A "mobile chemical weapons facility" was
found to be a mobile food inspection facility. In fact, UN weapons
inspectors characterized the US intelligence to consist of "garbage
after garbage". Bush continues to refer to nuclear weapons,
even though Iraq has no nuclear program (and has never explained
why he claimed that the International Atomic Energy Agency had concluded
that Iraq was "6 months from producing an atomic weapon",
when they have never said anything that could be interpreted as
that Canada (How dumb do you have to be to insult the Canadians?
We now know.), France, Germany, Mexico, China, Russia, and 120 other
countries don't support the US because they know that 1) Bush is
a liar (see above), and 2) There is no credible evidence that Iraq
is a threat. Even Spain, a stauch supporter of the war, denies the
existance of an al-Qaida link. Tony Blair said, " ...we do
not know of a link between Iraq and the September 11 attack."
There is exactly one country in the world where a majority of the
population supported Bush's position. It's not the US. (It was Israel).
Could we be more isolated?Bush spent
a couple days with Blair and Aznar in the Azores just prior to issuing
the deadline. The White House characterized this as "going
the last mile for diplomacy". Now... he went to a remote island,
met with the two people who agree with him, and that's "going
the last mile for diplomacy"? Given what seems to be his idea
of diplomacy, he must have been trying to alienate them, too. Bush
has NEVER engaged in diplomacy! His efforts have been dedicated
toward getting authorization for war. Any suggestion that further
diplomatic action might be possible were dismissed out of hand.
and nonviolence, if you don't know about peace and nonviolence,
feel free to email me I have textbooks and recommended reading to
learn peaceful living. Peace and nonviolence must be at the center
of all of our actions. Buying gasoline is not a peaceful action,
it is a product of hate, war, and violence. We must educate ourselves
our families and our local communities, together collectively we
can change the world. It won't happen overnight but together we
can hope and bring about a brighter future. Boycott all products
of hate and violence. Don't think that there is nothing you can
do. Every individual has his/her part in resistance to violence
and hatred. Where there is no love, put love there and draw love
from it, you must know that even the people who are closest to you
will try to put hatred and negative energy into your hearts but
remain strong love those who try to make you hate, if something
is negative do not dwell on the negativity or mourn the negativity
but rather tell yourself and others around you that you are going
to change that negative energy into love and peace. Love everyone
during these times of hatred and violence, it willd o no good to
anyone to declare your hatred for BUSH and his administration, of
course disagree with him, dislike his ways but love him and create
a loving and positive atmosphere wherever you go by remaining calm
and peaceful. If you believe that walking rather than driving will
stop fueling the war than do it, don not let negative energy and
people keep you from your hearts desires and your willingness to
create a better world. Practice kindness and beauty in every action,
word, thought the comes from your body. This is what will turn the
tide, collective energy and civil disobedience against the wrongs
of the world will create peace. PEACE LOVE AND UNITY THROUGHOUT
like to bring up Hitler as a reason we must kill. Hitler was not
the sharpest knife in the drawer. What he did have was attitude.
He could walk up to the podium and proclaim that he had a solution
to Germany's problems.He selected
an easily identifiable enemy. He said if you will kill that enemy,
that is a good thing. He then said that if you kill other enemies,
that will be even better. And the majority of the German people
cheered and followed their leader and began the killing. And the
ultimate goal was to take over the world and make it a better place.Sound familiar?I give my whole
hearted support to those who oppose war. I am one of them. Dwight
D. Eisenhower, in 1954 said, "Every gun that is made, every
warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense,
a theft - from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold
and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone.
It is spending the sweat of laborers, the genius of scientists,
and the hopes of its children." I agree. Killing to solve a
conflict is ignorance. At this point
in time in my life I have come to realize that there is always a
peaceful way to solve every conflict. It may take time. It may take
negotiations. It will take skill. It will take intelligence. But
there is ALWAYS a way.People MUST
SPEAK OUT and persistently demand that their leaders develop the
skill to peacefully deal with conflict. To do otherwise is to be
If in a democratic
nation millions of citizens march to protest the actions of their
government and not even a hesitation is warranted by that government,
is it not their same commission as citizens to challenge the validity
of the very democracy to which they cling? Millions of people across
the globe took to the streets in support of a peace that seems to
balance on a razor’s edge, but the imminence and tide of war
seem too strong to stop - even hesitate. The administrations of
the UK and the US have become so attached to securing a ‘lasting’
peace that they are willing to sacrifice the fragile one that already
no matter how timid, must be harbored by democracies around the
world. If there is any alternative to war, it must be allowed full
maturation and its every facet fully expended. The loss of life
must deter us at every possible junction away from war. These things
must occur, because in a democracy peace is the greatest virtue.
Peaceable, lawful advancement is the foundation by which all democracies
are allowed to survive. War, though, is a great stumble, and its
outcomes widely variable.The US claims
to be the symbol of democracy throughout the world, a symbol other
countries use to navigate toward democracy. What then do other countries
do when their compass steers them from course? When their guide
becomes reckless and ignores their voices? The United Nations stands
alone as the greatest example of a world struggling toward egalitarianism,
yet the United States, a pillar of this international dialogue,
withdraws from the discussion when it cannot impose its will. It
steps away from the table when democracy is at its finest.The US is undeterred
in its war preparations and appears uninterested in global democracy.
Is, then, the acclaimed symbol of democracy in default, and will
this default be but the first domino in a world of teetering freedom?
excited by George Bush's latest reason for bombing Iraq: he's running
out of patience. And so am I! I'm Losing My Patience With My Neighbors.For some time
now I've been really pissed off with Mr Johnson, who lives a couple
of doors down the street.
READ THE REST OF THE STORY
Terry Jones is a founding member of Monty Python
Rabbi Lerner very polite letters and he has not once taken the time
to respond to even one even so briefly. Sorry to say.
A KKK cannot
demand being a main speaker at an NAACP rally the same way a Zionist
cannot demand being a main speaker at an anti-war rally.Rabbi Lerner
is free to make his own little Zionist demonstration without demanding
unearned legitimacy from ANSWER by insisting on being a speaker
at an ANSWER, and not a TIKKUN rally.
An idea for
a news article: I was in the first graduating class from Southfield
High School in 1954. We had about 160 in our graduating class and
it was all white. Southfield has changed a great deal since then,
especially in population and racial make-up. The current Southfield
High School is largely African American.
Why don't we hear news reports about Southfield? Maybe because the
residents are middle class; they mow their lawns, pay their taxes
and send their children to college (check the percentage of Southfield
HS grads who enter college). The NEWS is dominated by negatives,
it is about people who have difficulty making it in society, commit
crimes and/or call attention to themselves in some (usually negative)
way. Why not an article on the current Southfield, or Southfield
High School? (I can't write it, but it needs to be written.)
descent was burned through and through
until on a cloudless morning they became a man-made comet
streaking across the Texas sky. Texas, which
last week executed three in such quick succession
that the national comedian joked their last meal was a buffet.
Texas, where Crawford Ranch sits astride a tyrant's pride,
hosting unctuous Saudi princes and rickety Chinese presidents.
Texas, where a small man straddles the world
and spurs it on to wider war,
his bombast and buffoonery beyond laughter,
no longer funny to anyone. What does the
comet auger apocalypse or opening?
Did God pick our best and brightest as sacrifices
to demonstrate this nation's spectacular demise?
Or is it just more media fodder,
a diversion from a diversion? That space-plane
fireball careening across a perfect sky
"the most complicated machine man has ever built"
reduced to chunks of metal raining down on America,
silently driven into the Texas soil.
Not bombs here, just debris.
Powell's departure to the "Dark Side" signals the serious
and swift nature Bush intends to make war. Now is the best time
to seriously ratchet up all possible criticism of the White House,
Bush and the senseless nature of this proposed war. Timing is everything.
The war can still be averted but it is utterly critical to ratchet
up the criticism to peak decibel levels. Now is the time to scream
"No War!!" if this war is going to be averted. Start criticizing
with sheer and punishing intensity. Today, tommorrow and Wednesday
are key windows of opportunity given the State of the Union address." Sincerely,
Eric E. Johansson
Ex-US Army Paratrooper and Infantryman
President, SF Bay Area Veterans for Peace, Chapter 69
San Francisco, CA
are asking the wrong questions during election years. Our Senators
and Congress men &women do not pay into Social Security and,
of course, they do not collect from it. You see, Social
Security benefits were not suitable for persons of their rare elevation
in society. They felt they should have a special plan for themselves.
So, many years ago they voted in their own benefit plan. In more recent
years, no congressperson has felt the need to change it. After all,
it is a great plan. For all practical
purposes their plan works like this: When they retire, they continue
to draw the same pay until they die, except it may increase from
time to time for cost of living adjustments. For example, former
Senator Byrd and Congressman White and their wives may expect to
draw $7,800,000.00 (that's Seven Million, Eight-Hundred Thousand
Dollars), with their wives drawing $275,000.00 during the last years
of their lives. This is calculated on an average life span for each. Their cost
for this excellent plan is $00.00. Nada. Zilch. This little perk
they voted for themselves is free to them. You and I pick up the
tab for this plan. The funds for this fine retirement plan come
directly from the General Funds-our tax dollars at work! From our
own Social Security Plan, which you and I pay (or have paid) into-every
payday until we retire (which amount is matched by our employer)
--we can expect to get an average $1,000 per month after retirement.
Or, in other words, we would have to collect our average of $1,000.
monthly benefits for 68 years and one (1) month to equal Senator
Bill Bradley's benefits! Social Security
could be very good if only one small change were made. That change
would be to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the
Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social Security plan
with the rest of us ... then sit back and watch how fast they would
Traverse City Commissioner
Thank you for
your organizational efforts and great website. Although I've
never protested against anything before, I am definitely against
government's push for war in the Middle East.Although I
don't have funds to give, I have been e-mailing information,
sending e-mails to congresspeople, meditating, and sending out prayers
been a religious person but find that we can indeed manifest
positive change through focused, loving intentions. Below I have
pasted 12 Peace Prayers
along with a short meditation and the science of prayer. Please
feel free to use and share any of this information to anyone
open to these possibilities. Know there are millions of people around
world, meditating, praying, and gathering for peace. Thank you for
Santa Clara, CA
George W. Bush
has decided to oppose the University of Michigan affirmative action
policy. He intends to influence the case before the U.S. Supreme
Court. Should we be surprised?Bush claimed
racism was bad for America, when Trent Lott cheered on segregation.
Then he re-nominated Charles Pickering to a lifetime federal court.
Pickering has a racist record. Nearly all the recent Bush nominations,
which have already once been rejected by the Senate, have racist,
sexist, and/or homophobic records. Not to mention racial profiling
against immigrants, supporting public funding of charities that
discriminate, dismantling free public education, and opposing a
woman's right to choose. The list goes on.Now Bush has
decided to oppose affirmative action calling it "divisive."
What transparent spin. It is racism that is divisive, not affirmative
action, which works to remedy hundreds of years of racism.Bush has waged
a war on minorities, fairness and the environment, even before he
entered the White House.What are we
as Americans supposed to do with a President working to dismantle
our constitutional protections and destroy the very natural resources
we rely on for health and sustenance.We must stand
up as an anti-racist movement to support minority access to an excellent
education. The only way to eradicate poverty and racism is to provide
people with the tools to advance in our society.Sincerely,
Director of Policy
In 45 days
I will celebrate my twenty-fifth anniversary as a United Airlines
pilot. I have had two employers in my thirty-one year flying career
-- United and the United States Air Force, where I spent twenty
years in Active and Reserve service. I know I speak for the 125,000
active, furloughed and retired United employees and the one half
million stunned family members they represent, when I express my
shock and anger with the recent decision to deny UAL a loan guarantee.
I am Sheikh
Azim Ahmed Tousif (Pakistani citizen) from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
and I am deeply grieved by the tragic events that took place on
Sept. 11 2001. Thousands of people were killed, thousands of children
were orphaned, countless people lost their jobs, their businesses,
their means of survival.
Therefore I seek that the people responsible for the 11 Sept. bloodbath
be brought to justice, and the punishment meted out to them be as
horrific as the sin they have committed. READ
Faith-Based Initiative is a very slippery slope. Having seen the
problems with Islamic theocracies today, and Christian theocracies
of days past -- such as the New England colonies under the Puritans?
Have you not heard of the law of unintended consequences?Taxpayer money
will be used to promote the various religions of those who take
the grants. Take the case of the Florida-based National Center for
Faith-Based Initiative, which, given $700,000 in tax dollars, reflects
the following statement on their Internet home page: "Our goal
is as simple as it is strategic: To create wealth! And empower our
people to steward that wealth for the purposes of the kingdom, the
strengthening of their communities and for the economic well-being
of their children's children! However, for us, the prototype is
not the world but rather the word..."Do you really
think that this group won't use federal tax dollars to promote religion?Lastly, much
of the federal funding will not directly benefit at-risk children
or the homeless. Much of it will simply fund groups to learn how
to apply for further public funding. This is not the most effective
use of tax dollars to aid the needy.
There was a
referendum in the Michigan town of Homer yesterday. More than eighty
people voted to allow one family to secede from the town, because
their tax bill forced them to pay for city water, but the water
pipe didn't reach their home. More than fifty Scrooges voted to
continue draining the family's water-budget. This "secession"
business is a great idea. Think about it.
I've often said; "If you want a cop in The City of Detroit,
you may as well send a letter." Suppose everyone who called
911 and didn't get a response within, say, fifteen minutes, just
secedes from the city? No more 911 tax on your phone line, and no
more Detroit income tax.
Better yet, the people of Homer had a referendum. Michigan voted
for Gore. Suppose we Michiganians have a referendum? We could vote
to have George Bush secede. The U.S. Senate Republican Caucus can
vote on whether Trent Lott should secede from the position of majority
leader (he supported 100 year old ideas from a 100 year old Senator
from the first state the seceded from the Union). Many of us, according
to the evening news, are going to secede from telemarketing lists.
The concept has potential.
showed his zest for dark humor when he put out the word on Thanksgiving
Friday that federal workers won't get part of their scheduled raise
next year because of "our national situation." The White
House couldn't say how many workers that affects or how much money
the decision will save.There was no
humor in the next announcement -- that 2,000 political appointees
in government jobs paying $115,000 to $140,000 are eligible for
$15,000 bonuses. What "national situation?" That gesture
shows unwrapped contempt for low-level public servants.President Clinton
excluded political appointees from the bonus program for upper-level
officials. His reason was that employees used to be expected to
match their bonuses with a contribution to the party. Civil service,
which Republicans championed in the 19th century as an alternative
to patronage, was designed to end that. Mr. Bush showed what he
thinks of that reform when he held up homeland defense to strip
civil service protection from 140,000 federal workers.Only a selective
tightwad for now, Mr. Bush hopes to be be Chain-saw George in the
long run. He has said he plans over time to shed 850,000 federal
workers by contracting with private companies for the work. Those
would be like the Defense Department contracts that make taxpayers
to pay 10 times or 100 times the True Value price for hammers, screws
and toilet seats. The changes he has in mind should create a "national
situation" that could be called a "spoils system,"
in which how much you give and to whom counts for more than what
you know. Funny, it all sounds like the corrupt machine politics
of not that long ago.
I am currently
carrying out research for an article covering the sickness of the
bottled water industry and the commercialisation of water in general.
The industry is one of the fastest growing and least regulated in
the world; I am shocked almost beyond belief at the lack of media
coverage and public concern over the privatisation of water resources
and the ecological impact of the stupendous increase in groundwater
pumping. I feel that your campaign, and others like it are vital
to ensure the checking of the relentless march of Perrier/Danone/PepsiCo
and would be extremely grateful if you would send me any information
you feel would benefit from publication in the world's most widely
read environmental magazine.More specifically,
I'm looking for facts and figures along the lines of: • amount
of 'royalties' payed by a water bottling company to the relevant
authorities vs. the annual profit/ sales markup of that company.
• figures pertaining to ecological degradation due to extract
on of groundwater resources.
• interesting, revealing quotes from industry executives;
politicians; marketing campaigns and the like.
• bogus claims made about the supposed benefits (health, environmental
or otherwise) of bottled water.
• anything else you feel would be of interest. Many thanks
for your time, I look forward to hearing from you in due course!
• if you'd like to find out more about The Ecologist, feel
free to visit our website at: www.theecologist.orgJon Napier
Unit 18 Chelsea Wharf
15 Lots Road
London SW10 OQJ
Tel: +44(0) 20 7351 3578
Fax: +44(0) 20 7351 3617
I have been
wondering what the term "compassionate conservative" meant
ever since George W. Bush began calling himself one. I now have
a better understanding of what a "compassionate conservative"
is. A compassionate
conservative is a person who never fought in Vietnam because his
father got him a place in the Texas Air National Guard, from which
he then went AWOL for over a year; who then campaigns against a
volunteer Vietnam war hero and veteran, Max Cleland, who lost both
legs and his right arm serving his country. A compassionate
conservative is a person who campaigns against a widow, Jean Carnahan,
whose husband and oldest son were tragically killed in a plane crash.
conservative is a person who campaigns against a respected statesman
and former Vice President, Walter Mondale, who was picked to run
for the seat held by a visionary U.S. Senator, Paul Wellstone, who
was suspiciously killed in a plane crash just a few days before
an election. George W. Bush singled out and vigorously attacked
these sympathetic figures, and, as a result, these were the only
incumbent Democratic seats that were lost in the Senate election.That's compassion?
Sounds pretty mean to me.
Only 39 million
people voted out of 200 million who are eligible or the 150 million
registered. If the voters split 51/49 then this means about 20 million
people voted for the Republicans, which is only one out of 10 voting-aged
adults. If something
woke non-voters up, they'd be in charge. I've heard every tired
excuse. For those who work three jobs, who have young children,
or even no home at all, it's hard to vote. But if you doubled your
turnout, we'd have a national living wage and universal health care.
Students should care about financial aid, support for colleges and
universities, decreased tuition. You don't vote so no one listens.
Of course, your parents vote.The richer
and older you are the more likely you are to vote, to feel enfranchised,
and to be heard. I'm angry at the leaderless sheep we have become
as we lap up the pabulum of video games, Fox TV and brutal movies.
Time to wake up, "connect the dots," and vote.
mid-term election, I have one question. How corrupt, vile and violent
does an administration have to be before the obviously benighted
voters repudiate it? I guess the pathetic Democrats just can't cope
with the misguided or egregious machinations of the Republican party.There's a new
world order about to dawn folks, and you ain't gonna like it, or
worse yet, maybe some of you will. Back to the glorious 1950s, with
updated neoMcCarthyism: anti-minority and women's reproductive rights;
anti-labor and environmentalism; "compassion" based solely
on our Puritanical background; and of course, religious intolerance.I'm basically
a "conservative," but I'll be damned if I'll call myself
I would be
ever so grateful if an American politician would explain why the
Taliban's persecution of women is considered barbaric, yet persecution
of gay military personnel by your government is deemed quite acceptable.
to be the only place on earth to have freedomevery where else
is to be enslaved by the the U.S. and its needs to make America
a free place. NO other country can have weapons to defend it selfonly
the US. Only the US can break a treatyno other country can.
Every country is under the Rules of the US or your country is subject
to war (for freedom for the US) to rule your country. No freedom
for your people, only freedoms for the US to do what ever it wants
in your countryotherwise your government is subject to war.
This is not fair!! Israel can have weapons of mass destruction because
it favors the US oil robbery. But Iraq can not have weapons because
then US can not get a steal on the oil prices if the US does not
have total freedom over Iraq's government??? If your slaves revolt
then you will be put back in your placebut if you work for
the US you slaves have less problems from the USBasically you're
free only if your country gives to the US what it wants, when it
wants, how it wants, or the US will take it and kill before you
have a problem with it. And if you have a problem with it, the US
will eventually kill you as a terrorist (run a way slave) and get
it anyway. THE U.S.A. basically is the only place free to do what
ever it wants in the world because it makes sure to make the rest
of the world a slave to the USI say (slaves
revolt) do what you want in your countries to make yourselves free
from US controls if that means new weapons then so be it the US
has them and it uses them to control the world) If you want to be
free do the opposite of what the US wants.
To those of
you who believe that homosexuality is a choice, I offer this simple
challenge in two parts, each part consisting of two very simple
- Find the
most repulsive and unattractive person you can. If you are heterosexual,
perhaps someone of your same sex, just make it someone that you
find so repulsive that the mere thought of being intimate with
them makes you sick to your stomach. Now, make a conscious "choice"
to be attracted to them.Now do just
the opposite and find the most attractive person you can, someone
who launches your libido into overdrive. Now choose to be un-attracted
to them. In fact, if you can, "choose" to find them
as repulsive to the unattractive person you found.Then try
this: Find a person whom you loathe. Someone you absolutely cannot
stand. Then "choose" to love that person "choose"
to feel for them how you feel for your closest loved ones.
- Here's probably
the most difficult of these four exercises. Find someone whom
you love more than life itself, someone you would lay down your
own life for. Then "choose" to hate them.
Can you do
it? Don't be alarmed if you can't - neither can anyone else, regardless
of their natural inclinations. But you can make a conscious "choice"
to judge not. And you can "choose" not to cast the first
Rev. Mark Edward
I have read
your site and am quite frankly sickened by the blatant bias against
Israel. you go as far as to stretch this bias to general anti semitism.
what ahppened to honest reporting, showing two sides of the story?
i suppose you blame the events of 9/11 on your own government, oh
no wait, that seems to be Israel again: New documentary evidence
points to an Israeli connection to 9/11. this is blatant anti semitism.
you are beliveving a theory denounced by every newspaper in the
UK. it is another fabrication, a fake like 'the protocols of the
elders of zion'. you are merely falling for arab propaganda. how
dare you display the flag of the USA on your website. you are totally
unworthy of this. you disgust me. from: BulletinWBW@aol.com
website is a public forum wherein many viewpoints are shared and
On Monday August
26, 2002, Channel 7 News reported on the case of Eddie Joe Lloyd.
After almost 18 years in prison, there was empirical proof (DNA)
that Lloyd did not commit the crime. This was yet another case in
which an innocent person allegedly confessed to the crime.
Under prodding from newscaster Frank Turner, Lloyd explained how
police officers actively engaged in his false conviction, and agreed
that some compensation of eighteen years of false imprisonment might
On Monday August 26, 2002, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Michigan recognized that Michigan's law of "governmental
immunity" precludes suits for damages incident to false arrests.
Days earlier, the Michigan Supreme Court had ruled, in a silent
revolution in Michigan law, that governmental units are immune from
civil rights suits.
The modern version of the ancient and obsolete dogma that "the
emperor can do no wrong" is called "governmental immunity."
That made sense when the emperor was the source of the funding,
resources, authority, location and everything else related to the
court. Today, tax payers are entitled to demand courts that are
fair. The executive branch is not god, can buy an insurance policy,
and cannot possibly be "immune" from providing recourse
to individuals it abuses. No ethical system and no moral person
could defend such a statist position...the Republican members of
the Michigan Supreme Court can!
By strengthening that hoary old dogma, we sacrifice the rights of
individuals. We prevent the victims of overt police misconduct (like
that recorded on video tape in many high profile cases) from asserting
any right to recovery against the perpetrators. We declare open
season on individual liberty, and we concede the supremacy of 'state
interests' over the pre-eminent role of the citizen, and the value
of the individual.
It is certainly time to pray for America.
Lt. Gov. Dick
Posthumous (a/k/a "Dead Man Walking") criticized Attorney
General Jennifer Granholm for having been born in Canada and gone
to Harvard. You see, educated and culturally aware females are a
threat to the Lt. Gov.'s sexist stereotypes. Now, the role of Secretary
of State, you could say "women like that sort of work."
In fact, a Republican official recently DID say that! But a female
who might "like" being Governor is a threat to Dan Quayle's.....oh,
excuse me,...I mean, Dick Posthumus' stereotyped gender roles. Maybe
we should elect Dick to do the sort of work men like to do. We could
send him hunting and fishing.
England, whence our forefathers came, the church gained enormous
power through corruption and influence. It did this by mixing politics
and religion, invoking the name of God to terrify anyone who dared
go against the church.The church
hierarchy amassed great fortunes, and it influenced kings and queens,
often to the detriment of the country and its people.This is why
the framers of our beloved Constitution drove a legal barrier between
church and state, to be sure that the new American republic didn't
continue to subject itself to such malformation of religious principle.The barrier
was meant to ensure our freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.
What is the
media trying to provoke by wrongly claiming that the Pledge of Allegiance
has been declared unconstitutional? What has been declared unconstitutional
is saying the Pledge with the words "under God" in the
public schools.When I was
going through the public school system, we said the Pledge of Allegiance
every morning, and said, "One nation, indivisible, with liberty
and justice for all." I am not the worse off for not reciting
"under God" nor my childhood friends. I was even in the
honor guard throughout elementary, junior high and high school.I am a patriot
now. I volunteer in my community, I fly my flag proudly, I am a
public servant protecting your borders by profession. How about we
focus on the word "indivisible"? When I was a younger,
we considered this country a melting pot, and we were a nation indivisible.
Now, we are publicly focusing on diversity and special emphasis
programs for certain groups, and are eroding the meaning of the
word indivisible.While I recognize
and respect different cultural backgrounds, I am proud to be an
American, and proud of separation of church and state. Look what
happens when church and state are believed to be one: terrorism
and teaching hate to children in the name of God. Will we be fighting
holy wars in the future, or are we fighting for freedom, life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness? Worship your god in any way you want,
but not in the public schools. Kudos to Michael Newdow for his courage,
and to the judges for their well-reasoned opinion.
*WOW* the left
has gotten stupid. Palestinians are victims of their own bankrupt
choices. Fascist Islamists wherever they live & plot are likewise
victims of themselves. The left used to support people who tried
to help themselves; now it supports murderers and liars. How sick
and stupid you've become.
Coons? ... he was the "Good OLE Boy" trying to sell out
Wisconsin. The people of Wis. KICKED HIM OUT OF OFFICE!!. As for
the BIG TAX $$$$ check out Meg of Perrier getting busted for lying
AGAIN . the clip is from Tampa Tribune. March 2002. "At the
Krusen Field task force meetings, spokeswoman Meg Andronaco has
stressed the economic benefits the bottler brings to the city. She
told an overflow crowd Dec. 5 that the company pays $1.6 million
in taxes locally. That figure turned out to be incorrect, she now
admits. County records
show the city got $32,398 in property taxes in 2001 from Zephyrhills
Spring Water Co. The county collected $127,506. " Now listen
up Michigan, impeach those Good OLE Boys before he sells the very
essence of life right out from under your land.
The word Christian
has been hijacked by religious radicals who espouse hatred, judgment
and bigotry. Extremist ''Christians,'' like extremist ''Muslims,''
betray the religious ideals that they pretend to embrace.
to the letter by Ben Green (immediately below): He is concerned
with the media "idolizing" celebrities who have announced
their homosexuality, but then condemning priests who are homosexual. I'm sure Ellen
Degeneres, whose career was almost ruined by her "coming out,"
did not feel idolized. Rosie O'Donnell received all the positive
attention because she "came out" to gather support for
a cause she feels very strongly about. That took a lot of courage
on her part. Green confuses
homosexuality with pedophilia. The two are not the same and are
not interchangeable, even though it seems the Catholic Church would
like to try to do just that by letting homosexual priests take the
fall as the cause of the current scandal.
When a Hollywood
star or an entertainment celebrity announces that he is a homosexual,
he immediately is the idol of the media.
When a priest
is a homosexual, he is a criminal and his partner is a victim, and
it's open season to sue the church.
We have to
take an honest look at homosexuality, without bias or political
correctness, decide if it is good or bad, and then apply the same
rules to everyone.
organizing deliberate blackouts in CA. Isn't that like blowing up
an electrical facility? Isn't that terrorism? I wonder why Aschroft
refuses to initiate a criminal investigation on this matter? I can't
imagine that it has anything to do with the primary culprit now
being Secretary of the Army.
of Florida... Great Springwaters Of America... Perrier Group of
America... Zephyrhills... Ozarka... Ice Mountain... Poland Springs...
Calastoga... on and on... Why so many different names for the spring
stealing water miners? Could it be we are exposing them and people
are finally paying attention? Just in case , keep spreading the
word of their deceitful tactics and lies .
I had a call
from a reporter in northern Florida. It is a fact.... after the
State of Florida bought Madison Blue Springs from Anna Bruic to
keep it open to the public and Perrier out, (I recall Ms. Bruic
accepted a great deal less $$ from the state as Perrier offered
millions more) Perrier has quietly purchased land around the spring
and already have drilled their notorious borehole wells , no permits
to be found as is the case here in Crystal Springs , and are going
to take the water from Madison Blue springs regardless.
to be such good neighbors , they will be sugar & spice , bring
hundreds of jobs , give parks & cookouts , scholarships , firetrucks
, new downtown beautification renovations, duck hunts , pheasant
hunts , anything you desire ... as long as you permit your Gov.
officials to give them your water ... but if the answer is no they
just sneak in like a thief in the night and take it in some sneaky
Terri Wolfe Pres.
Save Our Springs Inc.
I find the
debate about creationism vs. evolution interesting, but not near
titillating as the evolving human behavior patterns as regards to
ownership. These days I have been wondering what global history
tells us about which group actually decided that sensuality and
sexuality were commodities to be owned, inconsiderate of an individual's
perimeters? Really, I'm serious, how can a group rationally claim
ownership of human sexuality? Many do.
of ownership mentalities prompt the need for humans to create identities
for the acts of physical pleasure we share. Labels like homosexual,
heterosexual, bi-sexual, transsexual, along with many stereotypical
and hateful words that serve nothing but the inflammation of violence.
Female and male reproductive and relationship ignorance promotes
aberrant responses to pregnancy, and a host of related dilemma.
make statements about "the natural use of a woman."
discuss, lecture, lobby, govern and mandate public policy adjacent
to moral issues involving humans exchanging sensual touch and sexual
world, minute by minute, there are many acts of violent sexual deviance
perpetrated on innocent victims. In conclusion, after reading the
headlines and watching the news, I cannot consider adults who share
consensual sexual intimacies as deviant.
We have read
with some concern the misinformation about the capacity of lesbians
to parent successfully. The debate in this area, and indeed the
potential legislative outcome, is clearly being driven by fear and
We have recently
completed a worldwide review of research on lesbian families and
the wellbeing of children. Over the past two decades, intensive
investigations have revealed that lesbian parents and their children
are as socially, intellectually and emotionally well-adjusted as
their heterosexual peers. There is conclusive evidence that the
psychosocial adjustment of children is influenced far more by family
processes (such as conflict between parents) than by family structure
such as the number of parents or their sexual orientation. Concerns
that children will be more likely to grow up to be gay and lesbian
have also been clearly demonstrated to be unfounded. In fact the
research shows only one significant difference in the children of
lesbian parents: an increased acceptance of diversity and empathy
for minority and oppressed groups.
Perlesz, La Trobe University
Professor Marian Pitts, La Trobe University
Dr Jo Lindsay, Monash University
Dr Ruth McNair University of Melbourne
I don't understand
why so many letter writers seem to misunderstand the point about
the Boy Scouts of America. Could it be they confuse "public"
with "government"? The BSA is
a faith-based private association and, as such, may quite properly
exclude anyone it chooses. I doubt anyone would deny it this right
and the U.S. Supreme Court has so affirmed. I am sure
virtually everyone would agree the BSA is a very moral, useful and
outstanding group that provides much-desired services to society.
As such, it deserves public support - but not government support.
School district, city, county, state and federal governments are
not to support or favor private organizations. We clearly
would not allow a missionary to solicit membership at a public school
during regular hours and, likewise, should not allow the BSA to
do the same. Just as churches might be allowed to rent space in
schools for meetings after hours so should BSA. As long as all private
associations are offered equal access and pay on the same basis,
no one should object. I believe
the BSA to be a fine organization, deserving strong public support
but not government support. I am sure this is the point writers
perceived as anti-BSA have intended. It is shameful the insults
some of them have received.
in the Catholic hierarchy propose screening out all candidates for
Catholic seminaries who are homosexual. This is wrong. It only intensifies
the homophobia that already permeates society. Being gay is not
the problem. Homosexuals or heterosexuals can both mature into healthy,
integrated, well-adjusted, sexually responsible persons.
is not a disease. It may be a consciously chosen pathway, as in
a male or female religious vocation or as in enforced celibacy due
to illness or physical limitations. Others, male or female, may
choose celibacy for their own personal reasons as part of a healthy
way of life.
or sexual abuse and manipulative/exploitive sexual behavior toward
teens or adolescents, is an entirely different matter. Pedophilia
is a sickness and a crime. Heterosexuals and homosexuals, male or
female, are all capable of such behavior.
in the Catholic Church has at least two major dimensions. First,
the cases of pedophile and abusive priests. Second, the hiding of
facts by bishops and cardinals that has compounded and perpetuated
some manifestly criminal behavior by way of a massive cover-up.
This is the dimension that has so angered many thousands of faithful
Catholics. There are some very confused areas in the current perceptions
of this complex problem. Being gay is not intrinsically at the root
of the problem.
I write this
as a heterosexual, married, Protestant minister, greatly agonized
over the pain of my Catholic brothers and sisters.
be treated as hypotheses, tested by evidence, logical coherence,
and their experimental consequences. All forms of knowledge should
be open to revision in the light of inquiry. As a result, there
is a progressive growth of knowledge.
I am a student
in Milwaukee, but TC will always be my home town. I wanted to say
thanks to you all for the continued work you do in our home town.
The AFA Action
Alert today (4/9/02) on the 'Day of Silence' includes recommendations
to listen to the AFA's latest "bisexual" poster boy, masquerading
as 'ex-gay.' Go to the story
site and you'll see a prominent fund-raising request next to the
story. Tapping into homophobic hatred is very lucrative and the
main reason homosexuals are such a prime target of the AFA and other
radical right social political organizations.At the site,
you can also learn more about poster boy Stephen Bennett.
era, Dr. Martin Luther King, in his famous Letter from Birmingham
Jail, admonished the white moderates who are more
devoted to order than to justice on their lack
of active participation in the cause of human rights. To that list
I would add Black, Asian, Hispanic, Christian, Muslim and Jewish
moderates, who may recognize and acknowledge the tragedy
befalling Palestinian citizens, but have not taken action. Dr. King
said, Shallow understanding from people of good will is more
frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.
Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu states, "If you are neutral in situations
of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." Perhaps
Gandhi said it best, Recall the face of the poorest and most
helpless person you have seen and ask yourself if the next step
you contemplate is going to be of any use to that person.
ranking for "Stupid White Men" on the New York Times bestseller
list has, I honestly believe, very little to do with me and a WHOLE
LOT to do with you and the powerful rebuttal you have given to the
media mantra of "GEORGE W. BUSH HAS THE HIGHEST APPROVAL RATINGS
IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND!" That more Americans
are reading this book, this week, than any other book in the country
has sent a stunning dagger to the heart of the right-wing agenda
-- and they are going bonkers trying to figure it out! Well, there
is nothing to figure out. Those approval ratings are the biggest
bunch of B.S. since daddy Bush's 90% approval rating one year before
he was sent packing. Take heart in this folks. I want you to share
this day, this incredible victory with me. Let's hope it's the beginning
of the end for those boys who are occupying our Oval Office.Gee, did I
just break their new Patriot Act by saying that? Let's hope so!
I suspect that
the Catholic Church is greatly concerned that the public is quickly
coming to think that all Catholic priests are pedophiles. As a gay
man, I find that this misleading perception seems very similar to
the old fabrication that all gays are pedophiles. Of course, both
statements are incorrect!
Why must such
statements be used to label the innocent as well as the guilty?
Isn't our justice system made for judging an individual's behavior
and not for labeling a group?
I wonder if
the self-righteous religious fundamentalists will try to use this
Catholic priest scandal to enhance their opposition to ordaining
gays, adoption by gay couples, same-sex marriages, etc. I'm afraid
they probably will. How sad!
F. D. Christensen
Jr. has applied for permission to put up a 20-foot gay pride symbol
outside his home.Perhaps some
Gay activist in Traverse City could do the same, possibly
on Fifth or Tenth Streets.I find it hard
to believe even Mayor Dodd would hitch her wagon to the type of
insane request Michael Golojuch Jr. made in his home town.Why should
anyone value Golojuchs opinion on the rights of the Boy Scouts
of America?I dont
believe the Gay community of Traverse City would welcome
this type of over the top activism.When Gays
act out using outrageous in your face tactics, those with anti Gay
feelings find themselves strengthened in their beliefs that Gays
are not to be accepted as a positive presence in the community.Paul Nepote
Michael Golojuch is a Hawaii representative for Scouting
For All - an inclusive Boy Scout advocacy group (see below).
Paul Nepote is a Traverse City resident and the webmaster for a
local AFA affiliated anti-gay group.
Margaret Dodd is Traverse City's Mayor and is not affiliated with
either individual or group mentioned above.
The Boy Scouts of America are a private organization. As such
it is their prerogative to define their membership ranks as they
please. The Boy Scouts have elected to exclude from membership in
their organization, non-heterosexual and non-Christian members,
or children of same. As some public facilities and funding organizations
have nondiscrimination policies that are violated by the Boy Scouts,
they have been denied funding, and/or the use of these facilities,
creating strong feelings around the reasonableness of discrimination.
The Boy Scouts
of America won the right to discriminate against anyone it wants
and now it seems it is having a problem paying the price that comes
No matter how
the BSA packages it, in Learning for Life or its traditional scouting
program, the organization discriminates and so has no place as part
of the mandated curriculum in our public schools, according to the
Board of Education's own anti-discrimination policy.
If you disagree,
you need to ask yourself who is going to be next. Which group will
the BSA decide is undesirable as participants in its program? Today,
it is atheists and homosexuals, tomorrow it could be you.
Until the BSA
rescinds its policy of discrimination, it needs to be kept out of
public school classrooms.
Hawaii representative, Scouting
Last time I
checked, heterosexuals maintained sexual lifestyles no different
from those practiced by homosexuals. Human beings are sexual creatures,
regardless of which gender we choose to have sexual relations with.
The ignorant, fundamental attitude being promoted by the Boy Scouts,
and their self-proclaimed advocates the American Family Association,
only serves to perpetuate the idiotic notion that homosexuals are
child molesting perverts who suffer from a distorted sense of sexuality.
This fallacy has no grounding in psychology, and is most certainly
not a tenet that is held by the American Psychological Association
or the American Psychiatric Association.
are not sex fiends, but rather individuals who are more in touch
with their sexuality than many heterosexuals. Being homosexual is
not a defining characteristic, it is just a part of oneself.
The Boy Scouts
have no logical grounds for their discrimination, and should therefore
abandon their outdated ideals and teach boys about love and respect
for all the diversity of humanity.
Tom Kern indicated
Cherry Festival has to increase profits of corporate sponsors locally
in order to keep their support. He also feels the air show of military
might will cash in on the pain and suffering of 9-11 to benefit
I would hope
the Cherry Festival could return a truly family oriented celebration.
That it would support cherry growers, tourism and local businesses.
The Cherry Festival could lead the nation in finding ways for festival-goers
to become participants instead of mere consumers and passive audiences.
Some activities that come to mind are: golf tournament involving
several golf courses and spread out over the duration of the festival;
a sailboat regatta; bicycle tours of Old Mission and/or Leelanau
cherry orchards and wineries; sand sculpting on the beach; windsurfing
and in-line skating events; cherry recipe contest (create new products);
music/talent (or not so talented) contests.
I am sure there
are many ways to make this a community festival instead of another
promotion of the same old corporate stuff.
Why not organize
the men who are out of work and have children in school to repair
schools, as needed. It could also include men who do not have kids
in school to help. It is just an idea that I think could be accomplished
Let's go, American
Men for the Home Front. Our kids are the future of America; let's
support them in any way.
I was interested
in the leadership change on the Grand Traverse County Board of Public
Works. Bob Russell, a Peninsula Township resident with a background
in science, education and environmental activism, was replaced as
chairman. Some members said officials with local government ties
should play a more prominent role.
That's all well and good. However, let us not forget that everyday
citizens outside the traditional government loop also are important
11-year tenure on the public works board, Bob worked tirelessly
to include citizens in government decisions. He created humorous
ads and a video to try to interest the public in what is an important
but to most people boring topic: what to do with the waste that
we flush down the toilet. Under his leadership, the board held nine
public workshops on what to do with that voluminous waste as the
region grows. It was a real county effort to involve citizens that
some say hadn't been seen since the planning commission's 20-20
visioning sessions in the early 1990s. Earlier, on the county's
solid waste council, he helped expand recycling services during
a time of heated debate. It also was Bob's work, with Northern Michigan
Environmental Action Council, that spurred what now are county-coordinated
household hazardous waste collections in at least three regional
wants to work on the wide-ranging issues required of elected officials.
We all benefit, however, when residents are willing to devote themselves
to the public good in their areas of expertise or passion. They
are often dedicated, imaginative and effective leaders. I hope that
Bob and others like him will continue to be involved, and that their
leadership abilities will be widely tapped and recognized.
I have experienced
firsthand the prejudice and venom spewed forth by fundamentalist
Christians citing God's laws and scripture to justify both hypocritical
and unethical judgment against homosexuals.
Much of the
internal turmoil that confronts gay men and women as they struggle
with accepting their sexuality is rooted in these same blasphemous
teachings of organized religion that accompany us through our formative
years of development and make us feel unworthy, unwanted and unaccepted.
In reality, it is human fear and ignorance (homophobia) that form
the basis of religious dogma and not the unconditional love that
is truly professed in the teachings of Jesus Christ.
getting wild - the steamroller that was the organized stone-age-thinking-radical-reactionary-repository
of meanies called the Republican party, assisted by the terrorists
attacks, sort of paralyzed this country. All that orchestrated flag
waving wrapped around the "everything in the bible is true"
forced a lot of us to keep our heads down. Kind of like hunkering
down while the hurricane blows.
Man, have they
blown it. Enron, tax cuts for the wealthy under the guise of a war
on terrorism while operating domestic terrorism governmental networks
against women and children - and all our civil rights.
And now we're
out of our bunkers and are beginning to examine the debris and get
if Senator Jeffords hadn't gone independent and changed the U.S.
Senate to democratic control, the bushette junta plan to "privatize"
social security would have probably meant an infusion of BILLIONS
UPON BILLIONS of dollars into the Enrom coffers - and the inevitable
bankruptcy held off for another year or two - and then bOOOM! the
end of Enron and the end of social security. Nice huh?
Uncle Kenny! What a recipe: Not only your mother's retirement but
your children's retirement into the hands of the wealthies cheats
front-page article on the cleanup of Boardman Lake begins (with
a quote from the book, "The Traverse Region," published
in 1884) "All accounts agree in the statement that before so-called
improvements of civilization had marred the adornments of nature,
this was a most beautiful spot. The waters of Boardman Lake were
as clear as crystal." By removing the single word "lake"
from that statement, we could be describing the entire Boardman
A walk along
the trails on Keystone Pond provides a welcome opportunity to view
the river and all of its natural features. The Keystone Rapids offer
a bit of solitude just minutes from downtown. The area is, like
Grand Traverse Bay, a natural gem.
Why, then, would any far-thinking person choose to place a water
treatment facility anywhere near such a place? Aside from the obvious
potential for water quality problems, the plant would alter the
aesthetic nature of the entire area for years to come.
The recent decision to remove the existing power plant from the
bayfront has been welcomed by the community. It opens up the waterfront
and provides an aesthetically pleasing view of the bay unhampered
by the sight of smoke stacks and cement walls. It was probably a
mistake to put it there in the first place, but many years ago it
must have seemed logical.
Let's not make
the same mistake along the Boardman River. Let's be far-sighted
enough to recognize that this is not the place for a water treatment
facility. Let it not be said "that before so-called improvements
of civilization had marred the adornments of nature, this was a
most beautiful spot."
I find it ludicrous
that Attorney General Ashcroft has ordered the draping of semi-nude
statues in the Halls of Justice. I'm surprised he didn't cover them
in burkas. What's next - book burning?
As a Christian,
I agree that homosexuality (just like heterosexual sex before marriage)
is wrong, because it denies the fullness of the blessing God created
love and sex to be. However, as outspoken as the AFA leaders are
about homosexuality, they rarely speak out with such energy and
vehemence about sins that Christ addressed a great deal: greed,
neglect of the poor, hypocrisy, etc.
While I believe
that homosexuality is wrong, it is no more wrong than any other
sins, particularly my own. Sin is sin; the truth I find so fundamental
about Christianity is that we all are fallen people in need of redemption.
And although it's not wrong to challenge people on the sin in their
lives, it must be done with love, respect and humility, in the example
of Christ Himself.
A juried exhibition of Michigan fine arts Feb 10- March 14 at The
Art Center, Mount Clemens, MI. Deadline to enter work (not slides)
is Friday Feb. 1 and Sat. Feb. 2. For more info contact The Art
Center, 125 Macomb Place, Mount Clemens MI 48043, (586) 469-8666
An elderly artist wanting to draw again is looking for an artist
to help direct and instruct her at the Bortz Health Care Home once
a week for 1 hour per session. The artist is confined to a wheelchair,
but is alert and anxious to start drawing again with a little encouragement
and company. If you are interested in helping her, call Amy Rothaug,
Manager at Bortz Health Care, (231) 941-1200 to make arrangements.
path that the religious right is taking is to try to paint the homosexual
community as anti-American. Robert Knight director of the CFI is
accusing homoseuxal groups of 'using' September 11th as a cover
for trying to usurp American society. This is a tactic that will
lead to violence against gays. There isn't much difference to how
Germany targetted Jews before the Holocaust to what is being done
here.The best way
to combat these slugs is to be very upfront about the vileness of
their tactics when we enter into debate on gay issues. The tactics
of people like Robert Knight work best under cover of darkness.
When these tactics are revealed they have a hard time defending
themselves. What happened to Falwell and Roberston is indicative
of what will happen to Knight and his ilk when it gets pointed out
that September 11th is being used as an anti-gay fundraising tool.
They have no shame. And about as much real connection to the God
they profess to worship as the Taliban had to Allah.
My Name is
Michael Smith a native of Grand Rapids who is now a television producer
in New York City. I'm developing a program on hate crimes and intolerance.I ran across
your web site (it made me proud to be from Michigan) ...
I would like
to commend Pam Reno ("Reduce/reuse/recycle," Dec. 16),
on her efforts toward waste reduction here in Grand Traverse County.
She demonstrates that we all have the ability to not only reduce
our trash, but to considerably reduce our costs through simple acts
of recycling and composting. Unfortunately, we in Grand Traverse
County recycle less than 10 percent of the trash.
She is correct,
that the county is working on a plan to reduce trash and increase
recycling, but there is more. While we have had some success under
our current system, implementation of the County Solid Waste Plan
aims to provide curbside recycling to all county residents while
reducing costs. Working together is the key. We plan to implement
a simple "single-stream" recycling system where all recyclable
materials would be collected in a single bin. Another feature of
the plan is provide for year-round pick-up of the bulky items, usually
collected on designated "clean-up" days. The ultimate
goal of this plan is to make it easier for residents to participate
in recycling, keep trash out of the woods, and reduce the cost of
While a new
educational efforts will take place to educate all residents about
these exciting new changes, the County Resource Recovery Office
is involved in these very education efforts every day. We staff
a Recycling Hotline 922-2052 to answer any questions related to
recycling, composting, household hazardous waste and waste reduction
Yours for better
Randall S. Smith
Surely it seems
that there is an increasing number of spoilers watching for the
opportunity to exploit governmental funds available for their egotistical
projects that are unneeded and destructive to our wonderful gifts
Yes, for millions
of years miracles have been created throughout this beautiful world.
Rolling hills and vales with astounding variations of trees and
flowers. Ponds, streams, rivers, lakes, bays and oceans. Birds,
animals, water creatures, humans and love. The Great Heaven adorned
with a glowing sun, moon, sparkling stars and fleecy clouds. Enormous
different kinds of food for all creatures and plant life that is
nourished by the rain and snow.
the past few years, Traverse City and Grand Traverse County have
virtually been on the road to ruin by over-zealous proliferation
of our environment.
Now we are
losing our bays and bathing beaches by contamination by overloading
of marinas and continued enlarging the capacity of our sewage plant
chemicals into Boardman River that deposits its output into West
Grand Traverse Bay. A few years ago we had to divert our city water
intake to East Bay. There is no denying that results of more gasoline
and diesel powered motor boats berthing in and shipping out from
marinas are going to increase more contamination of our beautiful
beaches - the very park that we were so proud to have after clearing
the beach when the lumbering days were over.
we mortals be!
Who are the
unnamed people who initiated the unwanted enlargement of the marina?
Certainly not the majority of Traverse City citizens.
are many more important opportunities for us citizens to fulfill.
We could very easily consider the need to help our educational system
with student transportation. Are marinas and parking barns more
Bondy appears to be the spokesperson for the "other side"
whenever anyone in the area dares criticize the 35-years'-long Israeli
occupation of Palestinian territories (now the longest-running military
occupation in recent history) it's worth examining some of her recently
published statements more critically.
like the Michigan Peace Team "may give the Palestinians a feeling
of legitimacy" (Dec. 11). Palestinians already are legitimate.
In fact, President Bush, the Pope and the United Nations all agree
that the Palestinian people have a legitimate right to their own
have different ways of describing reality and out and out lies are
usable as a weapon" (Dec. 11). There are 200 million Arabs
in the world. Do all Arabs lie? Substitute another word for "Arabs"
(e.g., "women" or "Norwegians") and see how
this statement sounds.
of the recent Palestinian 'victims' are known terrorists or 'ticking
bombs' " (Dec. 25). Visit the Internet site of B'Tselem, an
Israeli human rights group, and read for yourself how more than
580 Palestinians (161 of them minors) have been killed.
the notion that riding buses (as Michigan Peace
Team members recently did in the Occupied Territories) can do some
good" (Dec. 25).
MPT activists can explain to Ms. Bondy the persuasive power of this
and other time-honored forms of nonviolent intervention.
are not going to commit suicide to get (peace)," (Dec. 29).
head of Israeli interior security (Shin Beth) recently declared:
"I favor unconditional withdrawal from the (Occupied) Territories,"
(Le Monde, Dec. 22). Evidently he doesn't agree with Ms. Bondy that
this means suicide for Israel.
threat facing the Israelis is even greater than that facing the
United States," (Dec. 29). A particularly insensitive statement
when we're all grieving the deaths of 4,000-plus innocent Americans.
of the Roman Catholic Church says that homosexuals do not choose
to be the way they are, must be treated with respect and compassion,
and that all unjust discrimination against them is to be avoided.
Bullying is part of that unjust discrimination. Simple civility
requires that, if you don't like the way someone is, or what he
or she does, look the other way and leave him or her alone.I might add
that, as long as star athletes are allowed, with impunity, to do
everything from vandalizing property to raping girls, I am not optimistic
that school systems will do anything meaningful to protect any type
of kid from bullying.
to keep in mind that even though animals have fur, not all of them
are suitable for the outdoors this time of year. But here we are,
once again, in the midst of winter and some people need to be reminded
not to leave their pets out in the cold. Some breeds, such as Newfoundland
or Saint Bernards, are winter-loving dogs. They are a breed that
can withstand long periods or cold and snow, when they have proper
shelter available to them. But there are many other breeds that
So take time
to stop and think, if it was you or your child, would you be cold
sitting in the car with no heat on and basically no coat (when you
consider a short-haired breed) for even five or ten minutes, let
alone the length of time it takes to even just "run into the
store for milk?" Or worse, take the dog with you to a store
and tie it outside to a tree or post. Most of the time the object
they are tied to is surrounded by snow so if they want to sit down
or lie down, it would be in a snow bank or at best on extremely
If it's not
someplace you would be comfortable sitting or you would not be willing
to leave your child due to weather conditions, don't do it to an
animal. They can't ask someone to help; they can only stand there
shivering and waiting for the person they love and trust to care
for them properly. If your pet is an "outside" pet, always
make sure they have fresh water and adequate housing to get out
of the elements. That's the least they deserve.
a letter to your state representatives (in the front of your phone
directory) stating that you oppose Department of Natural Resources
director K. L. Cool's and the governor's decision to offer to trade
250 acres of the center of South Fox Island (owned by you, the taxpayers)
for a more worthless 250 acres on the north end of South Fox Island
(owned by millionaire Dave Johnson).
This must be
stopped to preserve the beauty and endangered species that area
there. As the people of this state, we should stand together and
voice our opinions. If we don't, a millionaire and his few friends
will own what we used to own.
Gary Kent Keyes
I want to applaud
Michael Dettmer for his outspoken and candid point of view regarding
measures being taken by Congress and the president relative to the
investigation and prosecution of terrorist suspects. His points
are well taken.
We lost much
as a country on Sept. 11; but one thing we did not lose - and must
not lose - is our Constitution. Our constitutional rights are not
matters of convenience - rights that can be given and honored when
circumstances make it easy. Our rights are ours to be protected
and guarded at all costs, and in all circumstances.
Attorney General Ashcroft and many members of Congress risk much
in compromising our rights under the Constitution. In the eyes of
many other nations of the world, our status as a guardian of human
rights is diminished when we so quickly invoke military tribunals;
compromise our beliefs regarding attorney-client privilege; and
seriously degrade judicial due process. I want the terrorists and
terrorist-supporting nations brought to justice. I want the world
rid of the terrorist threat. But I think we as a country can accomplish
those two goals without eroding our fundamental rights, and compromising
the principles of the Constitution.
I truly appreciate
Mr. Dettmer's willingness to speak out on this difficult and emotional
Henry H. Doss
have spoken, and unbelievably the government listened. We don't
want offshore drilling of our great lakes.
But what does
that do for the power hungry to whom our legislature kowtows to?
It forces them to look for alternatives to satisfy their greed for
power and money.
answer: Biomass! A short lesson in energy production: Petrochemical
production is based upon the usage of oil and coal which, as it
is burned, give off hydrocarbons and sulfur dioxide which pollutes
our air and depletes our ozone. Processing and burning of live plants
all but eliminates this problem. Corn can be used but hemp is the
preferred plant, a multi-use plant which is extremely fast growing,
requires no fertilizer, and grows in bad soil.
But oh no!
Hemp is marijuana, the enemy of the state! Our forefathers knew
of this plant, hempseed oil-lit lamps, tubed bearings, made soap,
hemp was food, clothing, paper and fuel.
could be saved, economies jump-started, industries reborn if we
would stop believing the reefer-madness lies of thepast 70 years.
It's time Americans
stand against pollution, big business, and the politicians they
keep in office. Do it for yourselves, your children and grandchildren.
Join the fight to free America from the dependence on oil, make
family farms a profitable reality, and save our planet from the
sins of the greedy powerbrokers and reverse the damage they and
70 years of reefer-madness have brought upon us.
Read "The Emperor Wears No Clothes," by Jack Herer, and
you will be upset, astonished and shocked by what we've had to stomach
for the past 70 years. Order this book from your favorite bookstore,
and join the ranks of the informed.
Now if we could
get them to stop selling our water to Perrier. ...
David P. Guillen
Dear L. Mostert,Michigan has
been a target of the AFA for the past couple of years. While the
AFA would like you to believe that their organization represents
most people and that God is on their side; they are in fact a social
political reconstructionist group composed of a handful of religious
extremists who are attempting to effect legislation at every level
in order to legally compel their compulsorily fundamentalist agenda
Christian AFA is every bit as dangerous to any nation, as is the
fundamentalist Islamic Taliban. The AFA seldom lets the truth interfere
with the delivery of their seriously skewed propaganda campaign.
They believe because they have the truth you either share their
truths or you don't. If you do not embrace the AFA party line, you
are a heretic and therefore a legitimate target. What it all comes
down to, you are either a absolute-truth-owning-jihadi or
a freedom-loving relativist.
is to hold the AFA accountable for their deceptions and lies. They
cannot stand up to the light of truth, justice and love. They cannot
even stand up to the truth printed in the scripture they use to
clobber people they don't like.
three AFA led anti-gay initiatives on our ballots in 2001. The AFA
was defeated in all three cities (Traverse City, Huntington Woods,
Kalamazoo). Through the lens of truth and dignity the AFA is rapidly
losing credibility and influence.
I thought that
America would find it interesting to know that that AFA is in Australia
too. Recently we have heard a lot from the Australian Family Association
It would appear
that behind this organisation, with its innocent-sounding name,
is quite a powerful lobby group with a hidden agenda. Rather than
dealing with issues relevant to most families, it seems more interested
in prostitution law reform, gay and lesbian law reform, abortion
law reform and other contentious issues.
The AFA's published
definition of what constitutes a family is somewhat disturbing,
considering it excludes the very big percentage of Australians who
do not live in a unit comprising a married mother and father having
one or more children. Can they really claim to represent the families
Is it merely
a front for certain church groups to push their fundamentalist views
in the guise of a secular family support group? It certainly seems
to mirror the views of the Catholic Church and other fundamentalist
The AFA's recent
publicity campaign and huge effort against the gay and lesbian law
reforms certainly make one ask who these people are. Its shockingly
graphic and factually incorrect campaign through our letterboxes
and newspapers is disturbing. It seems more concerned about what
happens with issues of minor significance to most families than
important issues affecting a majority of families.
Who are these
South Perth, Australia
describes his Michigan Peace Team trip to Bethlehem as "to
get in harm's way" (Record-Eagle, Nov. 11, page one). In the
same edition, "harm's way" is headlined on page eight:
"2 children die as Israelis rocket militant's car." Participants
in the Mideast cycle of violence waltz round and round in an escalating
dance of death by rhetoric, weaponry and bloodshed. The news offers
us the daily body count. We know ahead of time the count will be
90 percent innocent civilians, mainly women and children.
of violence grows larger as onlookers choose sides. "Getting
in harm's way" is simply one tactic of breaking that cycle
of violence for all sides. Dr. King said freeing the blacks and
poor whites would also free their oppressors from the need for violence.
Whether on an international level or in a case of domestic violence,
intervention by neutral, nonviolent third parties can interrupt
what's going on.
it may appear to a critic of the Michigan Peace Team interveners
that they are "taking sides" because they may often be
standing in the way of military violence against the Palestinian
residents of the occupied territories. However some of the same
peacemakers have ridden specific Jerusalem bus routes previously
blown up by terrorists and have gotten in the way of Arabs attacking
Israeli settlers in the West Bank. All parties in a violent conflict
may benefit from nonviolent interventions.
nonviolent interventions by civilians is new. There's much to be
learned, more to be tried, and larger groups needed to be effective.
The United States Institute for Peace continues to study the efficacy
of this work
people like Randy Bond try to contribute to that effort.
The war against
the terrorists that attacked this country can, and must, be prosecuted
to its fullest. However, We the People must insist that it is prosecuted
within the scope of our Constitution. The Constitution was written
and approved by the people of the states, delegating certain, limited
powers to a federal government. The first 10 amendments, known as
the Bill of Rights, without which the Constitution would not have
been ratified, were added to reaffirm the limited scope of the federal
government. The powers of the federal government are limited to
only those specifically delegated to it by the Constitution (10th
Amendment). Those powers can not be expanded constitutionally by
the government, no matter how worthy the cause.
I think very
highly of President Bush, but am troubled by some of the actions
being taken in violation of the Constitution that both he and Congress
swore before Almighty God to uphold. There is much talk of military
tribunals, limited suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, and
limited disregard of 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments. It's possible
some of these actions can be taken when a state of war exists, but
only Congress has the constitutional authority to declare that a
state of war exists. It's been 60 years since we had a Congress
with the guts to do their constitutional duty and make such a declaration.
We the People must insist that Congress do its duty, insist the
administration restrict itself to its constitutional authority,
and oppose any unconstitutional expansion of federal powers. An
erosion in one part of the foundation weakens the whole.
In the words
of Ben Franklin, "They that can give up essential liberty to
obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
One word keeps
coming to mind to express my feeling about the way this administration
is combating terrorism. It is expressed by alarm, meaning "a
sudden fear or painful suspense excited by the apprehension of danger."
The danger is to freedom and civil rights guaranteed in our Constitution
and Bill of Rights through enactment of the so-called Patriot Act.
under the cloak of protecting us from terrorism, the powers of the
judicial branch of government are being set aside and given to law
enforcement. Legal authority to determine grounds for suspiciousness,
and the guidance of judges to help police do their work, is abrogated.
Alarming because "innocent until proven guilty" can now
become "we consider you guilty, unless and until you prove
your innocence." Alarming because the alleged guilty can now
be treated like the proven guilty. Alarming because this is happening
to innocent people.
a recent newspaper account tells of "Middle Easterner"
working in a "sensitive" occupation whose front door was
broken down in the night by federal agents. His home was ransacked,
some "evidence" taken, and the man was "detained"
against his will. "Detained" meant he was jailed with
convicted felons and had a tooth broken and a shoulder fractured
by an inmate because he "looked like an Arab." Safe in
one's home? Illegal searches and seizures? Due process?
who treasure freedom this type of illegal action is alarming. And,
unwittingly, it gives terrorists a victory. How? By eliminating
the power of the courts, and causing law enforcement to become an
agency for terrorizing ourselves. In the hunt to track down terrorists
our government can use tactics like rifles whose sights are set
and focused by judges, rather than tactics without judges like shotguns
with no sights whose scattered shot can destroy without discrimination.
Karl E. Marsh
you received your survey from Bart Stupak - answer it and send along
other comments! If the people would just write their representatives
and let them know how they feel about what they're doing or not
doing. As it is, they have free reign as we sit around and just
complain. Do people know that the government owes a million plus
to Social Security and will probably never pay the IOUs. If your
Social Security check stopped coming, would you write? Then it's
too late! Do it now instead of just complaining. The addresses are
always in this paper.
to a song on the radio today in its entirety, when I normally would've
changed the station, since I'm not much for heavy metal music by
a group called Metallica.
to a country song the other day, in it's entirety, when I normally
would've changed the station since I'm not much for country music.
intently to my pastor's sermon in its entirety when sometimes my
mind tends to wander on a Sunday morning.
I have noticed a commonality with three very different factions
of life in America. The Metallica song had lines from President
Bush's speech to the joint session of Congress dubbed over such
lyrics as "Stand Tall" and "Settle The Score."
The country song asked the question, "Where were you when the
world stopped spinning, that September Day?" My pastor asked
us to pray for both the victims and perpetrators of the war while
we seek justice, as common sense and the laws of humanity dictates
to me that the real strength of America is the vast diversity that
exists within her borders ... when her diversity is ... united.
Who are the
pathetic souls who put the "for sale" sign on the parcel
of space between the Goodwill Inn and South City Limits on U.S.
31 S? After all these years, why do they have to bulldoze those
pine trees and tall shrub plants for one more half-empty building
we don't need? I'd like to trade one stupid strip mall for one quality
strip joint. Then I wouldn't have to drive to Saginaw to have a
11, it is considered unpatriotic to criticize President Bush, but
we are in an economic recession, and it is essential to democracy
that all Americans who love our country speak out on Bush's economic
Some 290 TC
public school system children are homeless (Record-Eagle).
The food pantries
locally and nationally are running out or have run out of food.
rate, both Michigan and nationally, is rising.
thirty-six thousand plus Medicare beneficiaries (nationally) were
dropped by their health plans, effective 2002. Thousands will
lose their prescription drug coverage (AARP).
million plus Americans are without health insurance.
package will not alleviate the situation, and puts our nation at
the highest budget deficit since President Reagan. Bush's earlier
tax cut benefited 1 percent of the nation's wealthiest, and did
not stimulate the economy. His administration endorsed the House
"stimulus bill," which would repeal the corporate alternative
minimum tax retroactive to 1986 (New York Times). Selected companies,
mainly energy and mining, would immediately receive around $25 billion
from the government. In October, Bush's administration announced
that the Interior Department could not veto mining projects on public
land. Mining companies would pay no royalties.
U.S. economic advisers are oil industry corporate leaders. Vice
president Cheney was president of Haliburton, an oil industry suppler.
Secretary of state James Baker III and commerce secretary Robert
Mosbacher were consultants to Enron, a Houston-based energy marketing
firm that trades in oil, gas and water.
Enron is in
bankruptcy, and may be sued for lying to its stockholders. White
House economic advisor Lawrence Lindsey and Robert Zoellick, U.S.
trade representative, served on Enron's advisory board. These people
are forming U.S. economic policy.
policy is injurious and costly to the health, education, welfare
and environment of all Americans.
me sometimes how people of different perspectives need to clash
with each other to secure their own faith. I am speaking of the
current cycle of filibustering over the use of religion and or artifacts
within the proximity of an atheist. With both sides spewing their
soy ink propaganda from this daily publication I keep asking myself
where is their faith?
of their own atheist, moral and religious standards or upbringing
have lost the keystone to their own cause, faith.
If I were an
atheist why would I gather concern over the words of religions and
or icons used within my day-to-day endeavors? If I truly hold my
faith that there is no God or religion to produce an existence beyond
the boundaries of our own bodies, then why do I hold such a passionate
concern for it to intrude in my lifestyle? Would I not find these
people or actions just a waste of their own time with no effect
to me seeing how there is no God to begin with in my beliefs?
And if I were
a religious person why would I care what an atheist has to do with
my life? Am I not at peace of mind to be content knowing my soul
will be saved in the hereafter? What so deeply draws my Bible-belching
wrath to thwart the nonbelievers? And why? In the belief that there
is a God or not neither one of them can stand alone with what they
preach and believe without harping on the other for reassurance.
What has happened to their faith in what they believe?
are special times and far some of us they are especially painful
times. Glasses raised in merriment and cheer can shatter hopes and
dreams. Drinking and driving don't mix.
Drunk Driving and the Michigan State Police, the Grand Traverse
and Leelanau County and all area law enforcement personnel would
like to remind us of our responsibility in keeping our highways
and streets free of deadly impaired drivers during this holiday
season and every day throughout the year.
a Red Ribbon, when you see the display in the local businesses,
and tie it on your vehicle, where it will be very visible when you
get into the driver's seat. If you have had even one drink, you
are impaired, even though you don't think you are. Pass the keys
to a totally sober person or leave the car/vehicle and call for
a ride from another source. Red Ribbons are a reminder to drinkers/drugging
persons to not drive. It is also a symbol of life, as red is for
blood and ribbons are symbols of celebration. Celebrate life by
Two out of
five Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their
lifetime. Two out of five! The odds are frightening. What is even
more frightening is what a vehicle crash/impact does to a human
body. That is why drunk/drugged driving is everyone's problem.
alcohol-related crashes can be prevented. Public awareness is one
way to do this and a thing as simple as tying a red ribbon on your
vehicle could save a life - maybe yours or some one you love.
We want the
holidays to always be a time of great happiness for you and yours.
of Michigan are about to lose some of the most pristine, beautiful
land in all of the state. And they will lose it at the same hands
that are supposed to be there to protect it and watch out for our
best interests: the Department of Natural Resources and the Department
of Environmental Quality and the Fish and Wildlife Service haven't
done much better. Like that saying goes, "If you're not outraged,
you haven't been paying attention." Well, I've been paying
attention and I am outraged! Federal agencies have no business giving
away or trading our land!
him quite a while to do it, but it appears David Johnson may finally
get his way. He was relentless, I'll give him that much. I don't
know who I'm more angry at, the agencies that are supposed to work
for us, who are supposed to keep the best interest of the state
at heart, or Mr. Johnson for his inability to be grateful for what
he has and be content with owning two thirds of South Fox Island.
I guess it's true, you always want more.
But if the
swap does, in fact, go through, I will be sad but not surprised.
The Island will be developed. But I have sure learned one thing.
I'd rather be poor and own five acres of land and a shack in the
woods than sell my soul for the sake of wealth and power.
Oh, yeah, and
never trust the DNR.
Being in America
allows everyone in this awesome country to believe in any religion,
non-religion, paganism, occult or whatever it is one wishes to believe
in. This right is available to all, so long as one isn't physically
or mentally harmed in the process. No one is being pressured to
view local establishments' signs or believe in their beliefs!
express their belief in God by way of signs in front of their establishment,
it is to help them deal with the crisis at hand. I do not believe
it is to reform anyone or make one feel as if they must conform.
Please do not ask them to limit what they do or one is no better
than the Taliban!
One does not
have to support that particular establishment or read their signs.
One does, however, have to allow everyone to believe in what they
wish and express their views.
Sheryl L. Grimm
I work at the
Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City. I am a security screener.
I wanted you to know that we at the Cherry Capital Airport are serious
about our job and do our very best at all times to make sure that
nothing gets past us.
I read and
hear about the airport screeners around the U.S. and get very upset
that these people are taking their jobs so lightly. Where is their
sense of pride? I don't know what their problem is, but I can tell
you that we do daily ongoing training so we are ready to stop these
people from getting any weapons past us. We take pride and we care
enough to give our very best at all times. Every passenger who goes
through our screening area is considered a friend that we have just
met and need to look out for.
Why can't these
other airport screeners have the same feelings for their fellow
men, women and children that we do? Every day is a new challenge
to be met and we are very proud that we are the ones to meet it.