Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · The Tipping Point... on...
. . . .

The Tipping Point... on saving our own skins

Robert Downes - July 25th, 2011
The Tipping Point... on saving our own skins
There were a lot of complaints about the heat at the Ride Around Torch
bike tour a week ago, followed by a lot of complaints by the public at
large throughout the next few days.
Most cyclists rode a 63-mile loop around Torch Lake in Antrim County. At
the bayside park in Elk Rapids where the tour wrapped up, many talked
about how tough it was cycling the last few miles of hills in the
90-degree heat, glaring sun and high humidity.
Then we packed up our bikes, climbed into our monster SUVs and
emission-friendly pickup trucks and took off down the highway, no doubt to
crank up the AC at home, doing our bit with the rest of the human race to
pump 90 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every day of
the year.
90 million tons. Every day and climbing.
That’s about the way it goes, isn’t it? Yet I couldn’t help wondering
while driving home in my own gas-guzzler if the day will come when we’ll
look back on 90-degree temperatures as being quite pleasant compared to
what may be in store for us.
What’s ahead? 100-degree summers? 110? Last year, a city in Pakistan
recorded a temperature of 128.3 degrees Fahrenheit, the highest ever
recorded in an Asian city.
That bit is from a recent article, “Climate of Denial,” by former Vice
President Al Gore, who claims that the news media is letting “major
polluters and right-wing ideologues get away with trampling the ‘rules’ of
democratic discourse” on the threat of global warming. By that Gore means
that pseudoscientists are well-funded by conservative think tanks to cast
doubt on the dangers of climate change; not to mention funding “four
anti-climate lobbyists for every member of the U.S. House and Senate,”
buying politicians wholesale, and pumping hundreds of millions of dollars
each year into misleading ads.
This is a familiar theme for anyone who follows environmental issues, and
probably a good fundraising message for Gore’s cause.
But, given the parade of climate disasters in the news these days, at what
point will even the most ardent denier become a believer in the dangers of
global warming?
Perhaps when one too many tornadoes flattens another Joplin, Missouri or
Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Or when one too many hurricanes hits the Gulf Coast
or another city such as New Orleans.
There will be one too many floods washing away towns and farms along the
Missouri River in Montana, North & South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri and
Iowa. “Unprecedented in duration, unprecedented in volume, and
unprecedented in modern recorded history,” as noted by Republican
Congressman (and climate change denier) Steve King of Iowa.
Perhaps the tipping point will come in Arizona and New Mexico, where wild
fires have burned more than 1.5 million acres, prompting the evacuation of
a number of towns.
Maybe the tipping point will come after a few years of dangerous heat
waves of the sort we endured throughout the Midwest and the East Coast
last week, with “heat index values” (ie. how nasty it feels outside)
topping over 125 degrees.
Same story elsewhere around the planet: over the past few years,
Australia has experienced flooding over an area the size of Germany and
France combined with the “Black Saturday” wildfires that killed 173
people. Russia: 56,000 dead from massive fires and drought over the past
couple of years. Extreme droughts in Africa, China and France. Lack of
water likely to imperil the lives of millions in India and Pakistan... Is
it likely their citizens are skeptics of global warming?
There’s really quite a lengthy list of climate-oriented calamities out
there if you care to spend a few moments looking them up online.
Most of us don’t care to.
So, to paraphrase Mark Twain, “Everybody talks about global warming, but
no one does anything about it.”
As Gore notes in his article in Rolling Stone magazine: “Most of the news
media completely ignore how such events are connected to the climate
crisis, or dismiss the connection as controversial; after all, there are
scientists on one side of the debate and deniers on the other.”
In our “objective” news media, deniers of global warming get the same
weight of coverage as scientists no matter to what insane extremes our
climate spirals out of control.
One can only imagine, however, that sooner than later the average person
will reach a tipping point tied to the thermometer, the hurricanes, the
floods, the droughts, the wildfires and the rising tides -- where we
finally take the steps needed to save our own skins.
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