Letters to the Editor

Heartened by art

I spent some most pleasurable evenings last weekend attending art shows in downtown Detroit. The arts community is hale, hearty and vital, as far as I am concerned! Thanks so very much for publishing the Arts Issue — we need the print media now more than ever to discuss and report on what is going on here. —Gilda Snowden, Detroit

A pattern emerges

After enjoying you, Jack Lessenberry, for so many years, I am beginning to see a pattern in your thinking. Perhaps it goes something like this:

In our state we are accustomed to relying on Big Brother to take care of us. Big Brother means the Big Three auto companies. Since robots make our cars now, we can't depend on these former employers. Big Brother doesn't want us anymore. We'll never find another Big Brother. We have to think for ourselves.

A mine in the Upper Peninsula may create 100 jobs — but may destroy a trout stream. But how many jobs along Interstate 69 and U.S. 127 can the trout stream create? How many motels, tackle shops, fast food restaurants, bars, lodges, gas stations and marinas connect Indiana with your trout stream, Jack? Not to mention the market for cabins up North and the real estate agents to sell them, and the small-town police officers to write tickets for the Indiana trout fishermen. How long will the 100 miner jobs last?

Duh, I for one am starting to get it, Jack. —Kurt Thornbladh, Farmington

Wants progressive taxes

I read with interest Jack Lessenberry's "Bishop's Block" (Metro Times, Sept. 12). However, I tend to disagree with him when he suggests that the state income tax should be increased to its original level of 4.4 percent. People support tax increases as much as they support drilling a hole in the head! Before we even talk of increasing tax rates, the state tax structure should be completely overhauled to make it more progressive than regressive, so that people making lots of money not only pay more taxes because they make more money, but also because they're taxed at a higher rate. The flat tax rate of Michigan is regressive, not progressive. Progressive income taxes aren't a Republican or Democratic issue; they're a nonpartisan issue, rooted in fairness, equity and pragmatism. The government has to get its money where it is to be found — the pockets of the affluent! It cannot draw blood from a turnip! —Pradeep Srivastava, Detroit

Bill on Ted: Bogus

Reading Bill Holdship's review of Ted Nugent's new album ("What an asshole!" Metro Times, Sept. 12) is like reading a PETA assault on hunters and hunting. Your mangled garbage illustrated your liberal views — and Metro Times should throw your mindless ass out! —Jerome P. Lasinski, Columbus

Bill on Ted: Excellent

Just writing to say thank you! I thoroughly enjoyed your article slamming big mouth Ted Nugent. Yes, I loved the Amboy Dukes and, up to "Cat Scratch Fever," he was fine. After that — forget it. For many years he ran his mouth and is such a hypocrite. Nobody ever really stood up to him like you did. He's such a gunslinger.

Anyway, thanks again Bill for shutting this a-hole mouth that a lot of others would like to, but can't. You rock! —Alan Kukurka, Livonia

Weighing in on verdict

Re: "Kwame's failure" (Metro Times, Sept. 19), you have very eloquently stated the effect that the verdict — and Kwame's commitment to continue the fight — will have upon the metro Detroit area. Because of yet one more instance where the "city" hollers that suburban racism is the culprit of its many woes, white folks and real suburban blacks (not the Southfield crowd) will continue to jump on every possible opportunity to justify their contempt for the city. The self-serving politicians, including City Council, just don't get it — and hence, the city will never rise above its current status, regardless of what the cheerleaders have to say. —J. Caputo, Grosse Pointe

Dear John

Re: "Impeachment pie" (Metro Times, July 25), July 23 was a very sad day indeed for Americans, and especially Detroiters.

On this memorable day in history, a man I once held in high regard fell from his lofty height after revealing his true nature and intent.

The once venerable John Conyers laid down with the rest of the slime on Capitol Hill.

John Conyers, the man who once worked with Rosa Parks in Alabama, then hired her onto his staff after he won election to Congress, had Cindy Sheehan, Iraq Veterans Against the War activist Lennox Yearwood, and Intelligence Veterans for Sanity founder Ray McGovern arrested for conducting a sit-in in his office in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

To quote David Lindorff: "The arrest of impeachment activists and their forcible eviction from his office was a betrayal of people who were doing the very kind of thing that had allowed Conyers to make his way into Congress in the first place: sitting in to insist on action on their demands for justice. ... It is becoming increasingly clear that the Democratic Party — Congressional Black Caucus and Progressive Caucus included — has become nothing but a dried-out husk, living on old glories and devoid of any principle other than returning its elected officials to their offices and their perks, year after year."

Take a look around you, folks; we are being had on all fronts. We elected the Democrats to help get us out of the debacle that is the Iraq war, and they have done nothing to further the cause of the people, instead they have done the exact opposite: They have voted to continue funding the war. They have voted to extend the PATRIOT Act, undermined the Bill of Rights, allowed the Bush administration to spy on American citizens without a search warrant.

Our government is no longer a government of the people, for the people, and by the people. We have been bought and sold. —Jamie Walker, Garden City

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