Buy your own windmill
Some people are against power companies using coal, nuclear energy or natural gas to generate power for our lights, tools, appliances, etc. They want to promote wind and solar. How many billions of our dollars will be wasted on companies like Solyndra and numerous others like them? Are you prepared to pay 30 percent more for electricity? How can our senior citizens afford an increase?
What we are putting into the atmosphere is a drop in the bucket compared to China and India. They are building coal-fired power plants every day; no one will be able to stop them or even slow them down.
Look, if you are serious about controlling carbon, sell your car, don't use the Bay Area Transportation Authority, instead walk or ride your bike. It might take a couple of days to visit the folks downstate. Have the power company disconnect your electric power. Buy your own windmill and solar panels. Don't expect to burn wood or camel dung for cooking or heat. Carbon, you know. Sell your boat, and other toys; get a push lawnmower or a couple of goats.
Is this really necessary?
With utter amazement, I read the article on the Grand Traverse Road Commission's new rules in reference to per-diem pay. Is this really necessary? The most amazing portion of this article and the earlier ones regarding this matter is that for their minimum salaries, they receive health and life insurance, as well as a pension.
Who in the private sector receives those benefits for annual salaries ranging from $5,500-$6,500? There's more wrong than simply per-diem payments at the Road Commission.
Problems with liberalism
The June 30 letter "Fireworks Not Patriotic" reveals, I think, two major problems with modern liberalism. First is the notion that they will not be satisfied until everyone is equally miserable. Many of them are just naturally sour people who think its only fair to spread their malady to the general public. Nobody enjoys an American tradition, because you might create smoke, and we all know environmentalists never create smoke (wink wink).
Next is hypocrisy. The letter writer, and many like her, is completely unglued over the idea that these incendiaries are producing toxins, and that it may harm unborn deer, but what do she and other militant environmentalists have to say about mercury-laden CFLs and the ruthless slaughter of unborn humans?
Everyone please enjoy this summer season, and every season and holiday that your family celebrates, and don't let a small handful of depression-fueled malcontents dampen your spirits.
A 'do something' list
Here is my "Top 10" for the "Do Something" Congress and the Michigan Legislature.
(10) Support giving women equal pay for equal work.
(9) Support collective bargaining on all issues for public employees.
(8) Support taxes that pay for our infrastructure, including roads and safe bridges, providing jobs in the private sector.
(7) Our servicemen and women, including their families, deserve support and services rather than a "pat on the back."
(6) Pass regulations governing our banking and investment corporations from risky speculation, i.e. return to the Glass-Steagall Act.
(5) Support women's ability to decide their own health-related issues.
(4) Support "equal sacrifice," i.e. tax breaks were given to corporations, but the revenue lost will be made up by increasing personal income taxes (Michigan).
(3) Get the money out of politics (Citizens United).
(2) Stop giving "perks" to corporations that have sent our jobs overseas, and give "perks" to companies that create jobs in the U.S.
(1) Support bringing our troops home, especially when there seems to be no end in sight in countries that have a history of conflict. Consider the lives we will save not trying to police the world.
Ronald D. Dykstra
Enjoy precious freedoms
This July 4th is yet one more year we can thank God we are still able to enjoy the freedom to worship as we wish in America. The freedom "of" religion, not freedom "from" religion, as some would have it. According to a recent report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, 16 countries were identified where religious rights are being violated; using torture, detentions and disappearances. Be aware of this.
Also, this is another year to be so thankful for the many, many brave Americans who willingly serve our blessed country in our military services; too often suffering grievous injury or death for these freedoms.
Enjoy a safe Independence Day and never forget how blessed we are to benefit from these precious freedoms.
Thank God and thank a vet.
Tyranny of the minority
Our current perception of broken politics goes well beyond issues like debt limit and spending. This atmosphere did not emerge overnight. The roots began in 1978 with the election of Newt Gingrich to the House. How, Gingrich wondered, could the minority party overcome the seemingly complicated situation in which people hated the Congress but loved their own Congressional representative?
As the 1994 midterm election approached, Gingrich was able to convince Republicans to unite in opposition, daring the majority to find votes within their own ranks. This resulted in policy delays, along with a deepening sense among voters of a broken political system. This is exactly what Gingrich and his allies hoped.
Now the Republicans want to use obstruction to prevent the Senate from doing its job by requiring super majorities to pass any legislation which would further lower the favorability rating of Congress among the American people.
The single-minded focus on gaining power over solving problems is putting our country at risk because it limits our ability to govern effectively. To use filibusters to undermine laws on the books from being implemented weakens our democracy by a process most aptly described as the tyranny of the minority.