When I hear the local porn-shop owner take up the lament of the local church pastor of declining attendance, I know something is amiss in our society ("The last peep show," Metro Times, Feb. 14). Where is that day-to-day contact and moment-to-moment bonding that makes for human existence? Stifled by fear and dulled by the all-seeing electronic eye, we retreat ever so much into a false sense of comfort within our cubicles, cars and homes. 1984 has not came upon us, we have willingly come to 1984 with our minds our prison, and our souls screaming in silence. Matthew A. Sawtell, La Grange Park, Ill.
The price of civilization?
Re: Your News Hit item on the state's budget deficit ("Situation screwed," Metro Times, Feb. 7): You have no idea. As the owner of a small manufacturing company located in this former great state, I can tell you, we can't even see bottom yet.
The reason we are in so much trouble is because we drive the people and businesses that pay taxes out of state, yet continue to increase our population with the non-working. Then we pay our government employees for life and they have some of the best pay in the country. Because our government has us convinced that they deserve this special treatment, and they deserve to take more of our hard-earned money to pay for it, things will never change. Those on welfare will find better ways to screw the system. Those that work for the government will find better ways to work less and get paid more. Those that pay for it will continue to go bankrupt or get fed up and leave the state.
As a lifelong Michigan resident I can tell you that, that is where my company is headed. To steal your quote, "We're fucked." And that doesn't even start to describe it. Teresa Edmonson, Livonia
Your News Hits column is usually an important contribution to news and analysis, and this one ("Damn lies," Metro Times, Feb. 7) almost reaches that level of public service, save for the low level of discourse to which you premeditatedly fall in the last sentence. What is it about you "alternative" journalists?
To borrow from bacteriology, by today's standards, I am a facultative "lefty" after a long spiritual journey. Accordingly, I am not a "Bible thumper." But to scramble your brain: I voted for Prop. 2 (2004), and what gladdened the heart of my Really Good Christian neighbor across the road, I even displayed a homemade sign supporting it. So then, I am a vicious, paranoid Republican with no regard for someone's "rights." Not quite, because responding to the scare, "What about the children?" I reply society should always see to the young.
I will not comment on the "domestic partner" benefits decision by Ingham County Circuit Court, nor the Court of Appeals, because I have not read them. L'affaire of homosexual "marriage" and "partner" rights gives me a yawn when it does not drive me to apoplexy. Liberals sure know how to lose elections! Obligate rube, I ask: When since the dawn of civilization in the West has being good, even lifelong, friends entitled one to matrimony or heightened beneficiary status without testamentary disposition? Golly, sounds like a conservative, so Dad would be proud. G.M. Ross, Lowell
Students are heroes
Kudos to the students involved in Campus Climate Challenge ("Getting hotter," Metro Times, Feb. 14). These students are the real movers and shakers, the real heroes. They realize that if humans are to have a chance at survival, then someone has to change things. Kim and the other students see that politicians and so-called leaders are just giving the real issues lip service.
These brave students have stepped up to the plate to create change. It is their Earth and their future and they are taking it back. Judy Bonds, co-director, Coal River Mountain Watch, Whitesville, W.Va.
Feel the road
I just read your Metro Times article about the recent Sno*Drift Rally ("Road warriors," Metro Times, Feb. 7). It was a great article. You captured some of the feel of the sport, in that it still feels like a bunch of guys going up North to play on the back roads, but it also has now matured and grown to be an event where we have some sponsors and have "real money" getting involved.
I think you will find that the sport is sort of infectious. It produces some fun, competition and some challenges. It becomes more than a car race against the other guy; it becomes a challenge to run the road correctly regardless of the conditions or the weather.
In any case, it is a neat sport, although a minor or, rather, a low-key sport. Rallying is very big in Europe and the rest of the world, and with the help of Rally America and ESPN's X Games, it will grow here in the United States. Don Rathgeber, Chairman, Sno*Drift Rally, Livonia
Shooting an outrage
Re: "Shooting pains" (Metro Times, Feb. 7), thank you for your story about this tragedy at the hands of the police. John J. Gillooly's response to the shooting is absolutely outrageous: By their logic, it wouldn't matter that they killed him with one shot and mutilated the body afterward, because, according to them, after one shot, the limp body is fair game for shooting practice! The callous response is just unbelievable. My prayers go out to the family. Griselda Ponce, Esq., Austin, Texas
Back on the bus
Brian Smith: Had to drop you a line of thanks for the excellent Smoke Break (Jan. 18 in the online Music Blahg). I have mixed feelings, as I'm a nonsmoker, but I fully endorse your recommendation of our band. The other members have found asylum in various homes for the bewildered across the globe, but I have taken up the Honeybus gauntlet of late. Check out myspace/colinharemusic. My new EP is to be released in February. Colin Hare, Burgess Hill, Sussex, United Kingdom
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