2018-04-15 / Opinion

READER FEEDBACK

Will we start to pay attention before it’s too late?

The WWII generation understands the fragility of democracy. Sadly, that wisdom is fast fading from the American landscape. Having seen the effects of fascism and tyranny first hand, many of them are fearful of what’s going on in our country today. Perhaps it would behoove us to pay attention before it is too late.

Madeline Albright has a new book out titled “Fascism – A Warning.” Following the annexation and occupation of Czechoslovakia by Germany under Adolf Hitler, Ms. Albright’s parents were terrorized and many members of her family lost their lives. Now she is speaking out about the unsettling parallels she sees between our current political situation and what happened in Europe leading up to WWII.

We have a President who has no regard for the rule of law, one who undermines our legal system and our democratic institutions and maligns the press. We have a Congress that refuses to take up the mantle and responsibilities of a third and equal branch of government as written into the constitution by our founding fathers. We have a President who “tweets” about serious issues, escalating dangerous situations and putting American lives at risk for his own political gain.

Will we start to pay attention before it’s too late? Or, will what Mussolini said come to fruition in Trump’s America. “If you pluck a chicken one feather at a time, people won’t notice.”

Yvonne Osborne

Goodland Township

‘An impulsive, shallow thinker’

Remember Donald Trump talking trash about Barack Obama about tipping off U.S. military plans to other countries?

Now Trump has done the very same thing he used to criticize Obama about when on Wednesday he warned that U.S. missiles “will be coming” to Syria.

In 2013, as the Obama administration was weighing a response to the Syrian government after it violated Obama’s “red line” for its use of chemical weapons, Trump argued that the U.S. should “stay the hell out of Syria” and criticized the administration for broadcasting its strategy.

I’m not sure if it’s going to be a trade war with China or a military war in Syria, but Trump is going to draw us into a war I’m certain especially now that he’s named war-hawk John Bolton as his next national security advisor.

Trump is an impulsive, shallow thinker and he’s also an arrogant bully — a horrible combination of traits for a President to have. We don’t need to be dragged into any more wars where U.S. flesh and blood is lost to prove a point for stuffy bureaucrats in Washington who have no skin in the game.

Trump’s trash talk is going to get someone hurt. I hope it’s not our farmers or the sons and daughters of people reading this who are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Cathy Reusser

Lapeer

Big violators seldom get penalized

Maybe you hadn’t heard, but President Trump’s personal lawyer Mr. Cohen’s records were seized by the FBI. Speculation is that Mr. Cohen paid a porn queen $130,000 to shut her up about having a sexual affair with Trump prior to his becoming a candidate for president. Now that the $130,000 is gone she has hired a lawyer, and it is alleged that the payment was a “campaign finance violation.” So how does that work?

Campaign finance violations happen when a political entity or an individual does something illegal, usually involving money to help or hinder a candidate for office. It happens more often than you think. I personally have filed and won campaign finance complaints against the Lapeer County Democratic Party on several occasions, costing them thousands of dollars in fines. You can check the campaign finance page on the Michigan Secretary of State website, or just ask the Democrats.

Now don’t ask me the difference between an individual spending a few thousand dollars to influence an election and a media giant like ABC, CBS. NBC, CNN and many major newspapers trying to influence political opinion either by “editorializing” or “Fake News” reporting. They spend millions doing this every day, and you and I can go to jail by spending a few thousand to do the same thing. Remember, only the people who own the press, are guaranteed freedom of the press. You and I don’t count.

But the big violators seldom get penalized. Lawyer Jeffery Fieger paid many of his employees the maximum personal presidential donation with instructions to forward the money to fellow lawyer and Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards. Big big big illegal! But when they went to trial the judge, a former lawyer himself, said, “the real question is did Jeffery know what he did was illegal.” His lawyers got him off.

Randy St. Laurent

Oregon Township

Call off the dogs

The much-anticipated showdown between Silicon Valley and Washington was center stage this week, as Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook CEO) was called to testify before House and Senate panels about the mishandling of Facebook data.

Zuckerberg and Facebook have done plenty wrong. They’ve treated their customers and users like commodities like sugar and coffee to trade on the open market. But I’m not a big fan of government regulation.

Facebook says they’re taking steps to address concerns over privacy, safety and the sanctity of democracy. Because the social media giant is imposing new standards of transparency and accountability to address the privacy breach, Congress should hold off on imposing regulations.

Facebook should be given a chance to put its new policies into practice.

If they don’t and there more breaches than they should be hammered to take the stupid smirk off Zuckerberg’s face, but until then Congress needs to call off the dogs and let the market handle the matter.

I think it’s a good thing that some people are leaving Facebook. Clearly Zuckerberg has taken them for granted, and there are plenty of other options to advertise and communicate.

Audrey Stutterheim

Lapeer Township

‘Farmers will be just fine’

I get it the paper feels it needs to support farmers, because they may be your readers but I think they’ve been given too much attention and besides it’s way too premature to know what China is going to do.

On Tuesday China said it will relax tariffs on automobiles, and I’m sure the tariffs on food-related exports will never happen if China knows what’s best for their country.

President Trump is not going to let countries like China continue to hurt the American worker and economy. Trump is far from perfect, and he certainly wasn’t my first choice among the Republican field but he’s not going to take crap from these countries any more.

The farmers will be just fine. Heck, they probably have as many lobbyists in Washington as does the pharmaceutical industry so people shouldn’t lose any sleep over them. They have a lot of money they stuff in the coffers of politicians in Lansing and Washington to buy influence, so there’s little reason to worry about them.

Paul Meddaugh

Mayfield Township

‘Thanks’ for Jelly-Beans and Smiles

Thank you again to everyone who supported “Jelly-Beans & Smiles 2018.” We donated 1,560 completed Easter baskets to the children of Lapeer County. This project means the world to me and I cannot say thank you enough.

Julie Ann Caris

Lapeer Gold & Diamond

What about the drug deaths?

The shootings that have taken place over the years are horrible. The mental health in this country is sad, we have abandoned our own people.

I am a Second Amendment believer, so I defend my right to bear arms. What I don’t understand is there’s 750 people a day dying from drugs. Just how many are our children? I don’t know, but because it’s not with a gun no one marches on Washington about the drug cartels who are killing our children — 750 people a day.

Bern Raymond

Lapeer

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