Letters to the Editor

Bridge needs work

Dear Editor,
Well, the road millage passed. Those of us who live on the fringes of Independence Township can hope for a small piece of it.
The bridge on Sashabaw between Lake Oakland and Woodhull could use some attention. We would also like a safety path across it that connects to the rest of the path that continues up Sashabaw.
We see on our tax bill that we pay for “safety path maintenance,” but we don’t have access to the safety path.
I live on Major Avenue, and cannot walk my dog very far because of the dangerous traffic and trash on the bridge. Yet we see joggers, bike riders and dog walkers enjoying the path farther up Sashabaw and around Clarkston.
R. Mason
Independence Township

Fight for free speech

Dear Editor,
While most Americans look to economic growth as a key indicator that the nation is doing well, history shows that once-wealthy nations and empires that abandoned democratic principles as the rich got richer eventually—and sometimes quickly—declined and fell.
There are several signs that our own country is in a distressing decline as politicians increasingly lie to us with apparent impunity, and the supposed pillars of morality, the so-called “evangelicals,” stand silent in the face of a steady lies, misconduct, immorality and arrogant indifference from our leaders. Truth has been labeled “fake news” simply because leaders disdain and fear the truth. Traditional American values are at stake, and our children will pay the price.
Americans could always rely on constitutionally protected free speech and freedom of the press to navigate and drain the swamp in search of truth and to expose the fraudulent leaders, often serving as the canary in the coal mine for all of us. But now, Donald Trump, the purported leader of the free world, has embarked on a strategy to curb the press to ensure that Trump alone controls all messaging and will squash any dissent.
The White House’s recent action in withdrawing a CNN White House chief reporter’s White House press access was a brazenly autocratic and retaliatory act, and Trump says more credential revocations are on the way.
Trump first falsely suggested the reporter had assaulted an intern, offering a questionable video as proof, but our own eyes and ears told us that their had been no assault or rude behavior by the reporter simply doing his job, but that Trump had instead acted in anger because he didn’t like the reporter’s question. This time, no White House lie would fit.
Now that a federal court had temporarily stopped Trump’s unconstitutional decree, the White House announces it will establish decorum and manner rules for reporters to follow at White House press conferences.
Yes, Trump, one of the rudest men in America, who has insulted and assaulted women, demeaned persons with disabilities, insulted minorities, snubbed veterans on Veterans Day, threatened others with physical assault and encouraged others to do it on his behalf, stiffed thousands of Americans through his numerous bankruptcies and failures to pay, and pathologically lied to Americans more often than any president in history, yes—this man will now serve as Miss Manners and prescribe the decorum to be displayed by others whose presence he will grace.
Trump will continue to evade questions, ignore inquiries, awkwardly spin, give vague and usually false information, tell others their questions are stupid and otherwise insult the participants, but he will take affront if anyone dares question the accuracy of his blustering, rambling responses or persists for more specificity and fact.
Reporters who fail to support, honor and worship him with softball questions, meek acceptance and a demure sucking up will be ignored or banished. If crossed in any way, by any perceived slight or insult, churlish Trump or staff may even throw a tantrum and walk out on their guests at the nation’s house. Even bone spurs will not deter a walk-in out by the president.
Roman emperors and Soviet premiers insisted on such a system, but Americans must not tolerate it. Democracy does not run as a placid play or ballet. It must be vigorous and transparent to be healthy. Manners are nice, but even our revolutionary Founding Fathers knew that civility was not always effective nor desirable in dealing with a delusional, tyrant king.
Communicate your concerns to your legislators.
Mike Fetzer
Independence Township

3 Responses to "Letters to the Editor"

  1. MICHAEL POWELL   November 24, 2018 at 9:45 am

    If the left was truly being honest they would admit that everything alleged above had been done by previous administrations and that voters from both parties chose to ignore the candidates past because they agreed with their policies. Bill Clinton is a perfect example.

    The notion that only group should be held to account for their past is exactly what got Trump elected. Americans have grown tired of one group always getting their way, while those who disagree with their policies are called “racist”, “intolerant bullies”. But since Trump was elected Americans have seen nothing but intolerance, bullying, anti- free speech, and uncivil behavior by the exact same group that demanded it of them.

    The facts show that the only group fighting “free speech” are the leftist thugs who think that their opinion is the only opinion that should be heard. Those who disagree with them have either been shut down, or attacked for their speech. The facts also show that Trump has been one of the most accessible and transparent presidents we’ve had to date and has not come close to doing what President Obama’s administration did when it made the act of “reporting” a “criminal behavior” as in the case that his administration started in 2009 under the Espionage Act of 1917.

    At the heart of that case is James Rosen, chief Washington correspondent for Fox News, publishing information about North Korea that he received from a Obama State Department employee.
    In obtaining a subpoena to access Rosen’s phone and computer records, the Justice Department labeled him “an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator.” It also described him as a flight risk.

    Branding a reporter that way in court documents had NEVER been done by our government before. Since the case was widely reported, I am surprised an act so unprecedented was overlooked when making the worst-ever analyses of Trump.
    Or how about the Obama administration excluding Fox News from a round of interviews in 2009 with Kenneth Feinberg, then a Treasury Department official?

    At the time, Feinberg was the administration official responsible for deciding the highly controversial issue of compensation for executives of companies being bailed out by the federal government (taxpayers) after the economy nearly crashed. Access to him was a very big deal.

    Emails later obtained by Judicial Watch about the matter included this one from Obama press secretary Josh Earnest to a Treasury Department spokesperson, saying, “We’ve demonstrated our willingness and ability to exclude Fox News from significant interviews…”

    The Treasury Department exclusion was part of a larger war that the Obama administration declared on Fox in October 2009 when Stephanie Cutter, White House communications director, went on CNN to denounce Fox as a “wing of the Republican Party” and say that the White House was going to stop treating them as a “news network.” Administration heavy hitters David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett and Rahm Emanuel reinforced the message on other cable and network talk shows (CNN) in subsequent days.

    It was a public admission that the White House was punishing Fox for its negative coverage — the very thing some of the nation’s leading editors have labeled Trump actions as being “unprecedented” when they know for a fact that this was done by the Obama administration.

    No MSM network stood with Fox on the principle that the Executive Branch does not get to unilaterally decide what constitutes a real news network. Therefore Trump’s actions against the press are not unprecedented.

    For those who agree that Fox isn’t a real news outlet and, therefore, what happened to it is not the same as what’s happening with Trump and CNN, this is what the Obama administration did to James Risen, an investigative reporter at The New York Times…
    The Obama Justice Department spent seven years in court trying to force Risen to reveal his sources in its criminal investigation of a leak. Team Obama took the case all the way to the Supreme Court and lost.
    Seven years with the threat of jail hanging over a reporters head seems a lot worse than being excluded from daily press briefings that were constantly being interrupted by a rude and uncivil journalist. Not a single layer of our government puts up with this type of behavior during a public meeting.

    Risen, a Puilitzer Prize winner, doesn’t need me to make his case. Read his Times article published Dec. 30, 2016, under the headline: “If Donald Trump targets journalists, thank Obama.”

    Or, how about George W. Bush, who suddenly found himself aflame with First Amendment fervor recently in talking about the need for a free press? Bush’s Justice Department helped put Judith Miller, then a New York Times reporter, in jail for three months for refusing to testify about her sources in the criminal leak case on the outing of Valerie Plame as a C.I.A. agent.

    And it’s not just the narrative of Trump as worst enemy of the press. Trump is also charged in some quarters with being the biggest liar ever — or, at least, a kind of liar never before seen in the White House.

    For all the frequency and casualness of Trump lies, he has done nothing to approach Lyndon Johnson and his lies about the war in Vietnam. How many Americans and Vietnamese died because of the lies told by Johnson and his press secretaries?

    Americans demand accuracy and honesty in covering this highly unconventional and controversial president. What Americans are getting instead are accusations being made based purely on the presses disagreement with his policies

    We’re all entitled to our own opinion, but we aren’t entitled to our own facts. So let’s be careful when invoking the historical record in trying to make a “worst ever” case against Trump. Let’s try to get the facts right and then stick to them.

    P.S. Our founding fathers created a representative republic based on the rule of law, not a “democracy” based on mob rule. The word “democracy” doesn’t appear in a single one of our founding documents. However our form of government as being a “republic” with a republican form of government is mentioned numerous times.. Our republics founders abhorred democracies and purposely avoided creating one.

  2. Mike fetzer   November 26, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    Lyndon Johnson? I think someone has missed the point. Donald Trump, “elected by a minority of voters, is president now. Lyndon is dead.

    • Michael Powell   November 29, 2018 at 10:48 am

      And that my friend is the beauty of our republic. The masses don’t have a monopoly on our presidential elections. Trump won a majority of the votes that matter, electoral college votes. Were we to choose the president and vice president under a popular vote, the outcome of presidential races would always be decided by a few highly populated states such as California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania, which contain 134.3 million people, or 41 percent of our population.
      Presidential candidates could safely ignore the interests of much of the rest of the country. We would no longer be a government “of the people”; instead, our government would be put in power by and accountable to the leaders and citizens of a few highly populated states.

      Hillary Clinton lost because she chose to ignore much of the middle of the country that she referred to as “deplorable’s” in favor of densely populated states. Had she not ignored the middle of the country she might have been elected. Her loss is a perfect example of why the electoral college is needed…ignore half the country you lose, but when you’re forced to listen to the best interests of the entire country, deplorable’s and all, you win.

      Thank you for accepting Donald Trump as our President and not “the purported leader of the free world”. Once one delves into the facts they find that previous administrations treated the “free press” much worse. The “omission” of facts to create a narrative is a disservice to you and I.
      As an example…The failure to report that Barack Obama used tear gas at least once a month on those trying to invade our country and the press is silent.
      Trump uses tear gas once to stop an invasion and the press calls him a cruel racist who tried to harm women and children. knowing that Obama did exactly what Trump had done. Not just once, but numerous times.
      Americans who value the truth are understandably angry that the MSM continues to omit what a democrats have done, while attacking republicans for doing the exact same thing. That my friend IS “fake news”.


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