Parks cater to hunters only

To the editor:

After a wonderful week in Mexico photographing whales , birds and looking for the elusive wolves, and coyotes, I was asked by my sister why we didnt travel in the States..

The Northern States seem to only cater to hunters! Yellowstone charges $4,000 for a week of eco camping and watching wolves from high powered spotting scopes frolic. Basically, the Northern States don’t like and dont seem to want senior and yuppy tourist (dollars). Why?

Debra Taylor


Questioning Biblical ideals

To the editor:

Well, I had to rub my eyes in astonishment when reading Warren Hepokoski’s Bible thumping nonsense (Mining Gazette, May 9). It is just amazing that in the 21st century we still have people quoting writings by semi-literate, superstitious, bronze/iron age, desert dwelling people, as if this has some semblance to reality.

He quotes a scripture that states that none of us “depraved” sinners can exercise our will to do any good works. If Mr. Hepokoski could get out of his parochial mindset, he might consider the Jains.

The following is a quote from Sam Harris: “If you think that it would be impossible to improve upon the Ten Commandments as a statement of morality, you really owe it to yourself to read some other scriptures. Once again, we need look no further than the Jains: Mahavira, the Jain patriarch, surpassed the morality of the Bible with a single sentence: “Do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture, or kill any creature or living being.” Imagine how different our world might be if the Bible contained this as its central precept. Christians have abused, oppressed, enslaved, insulted, tormented, tortured, and killed people in the name of God for centuries, on the basis of a theologically defensible reading of the Bible.”

Hepokoski then continues with the flabbergasting non-sequitur that all our good works are sin. What a happy circumstance that by “the luck of the draw,” Hepokoski was born into a “Christian” country and was raised in, or converted to, the Christian faith. If he had been born in India, he probably would be a Hindu. If he had been born in the Middle East, he probably would be a Muslim, and perhaps as fervent a proselytizer of that religion.

Again he quotes: “On that day … those who believed … in his blood and righteousness will be saved from the all-consuming fire, in which the heavens and earth shall melt with fervent heat.” A not too subtle threat to non-believers. But in Islam, Allah is the true God, Muhammad is his prophet, and all infidels, including Christians, will suffer in hell.

Decisions, decisions, but wait! There’s no such thing as hell. It’s just a vicious fiction perpetrated on people as a means of social control, and weak-minded individuals, living in fear, accept this nonsense. People should have a skeptical mind to keep from accepting pseudo-science, quackery, and absurd religious dictates.

David M Keranen


Time to raise minimum wage

To the Editor:

There are a hundred good reasons why the minimum wage should be raised to $10/hour, but I will only address one here:

When someone who is wealthy or well-off receives a raise, that money is often hoarded, invested in businesses that give the money to other well-to-do people, or put in stocks which generally do not help the lowest-paid workers or local businesses. When you give a raise to someone who is at the lowest income level, that money is spent in the community, at local businesses. The lower-income people cannot hoard, and can rarely save, so it goes back into the economy.

A rise in the minimum wage everywhere, but especially so in the Keweenaw – would bring a substantial increase in sales to local businesses. It would not kill jobs; it would create them. It would not hurt business; it would improve it. Any rise in prices would be minor and short-lived, because the increase in business would counteract any increase in costs.

This applies only to the current situation, and only to a reasonable increase (to $10/hr). An increase to $15/hour would be too much, and too much is as bad as too little. The evidence from places where the minimum wage is already higher, supports the conclusion that it is good for business. Wages have not kept pace with inflation, and are kept artificially low by some of the most profitable companies, stifling the economy at its lowest level.

Any business that depends on lower-income people for a large part or most of its revenue, should be in support of a rise in the minimum wage to $10/hour; this would apply to most businesses in the Keweenaw. Supporting a minimum wage raise to $10/hour is good for business.

Richard Buchko