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