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 · Letters · Letters 10/21/04
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Letters 10/21/04

Various - October 21st, 2004
A bloody quagmire
Would you sacrifice your son, grandson or husband for the cause in Iraq? Having presented this question several times during appropriate encounters, the reaction became predictable. First, silent hesitation followed by avoidance. A patriotic American who believes in the cause, would answer yes. One man‘s blood is as good as another‘s.
The choice to invade Iraq by George W. Bush was a hostile act that created a war. There was no war prior. The “Joint Resolution“ as titled, “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution 2002.“ It is not titled “Resolution to Go to War.“ Senator Kerry did not vote to go to war. Like others, he wished to be prepared in case of an emergency of imminent threat.
In 1965, I received an offer from my Commander in Chief that I could not refuse. I was trained with various weapons and became a UH-IC gunship crew chief, a big responsibility for a 20-year-old. My primary weapon was a M-60 machine gun armed daily with solid tracer ammunition. I have several “Air Medals“ to distinguish my service. It was horrible then and is today. The Vietnam War was a lie. A colossal mistake that became a bloody quagmire.
Insulated TCV armchair supporters of the Bush administration would change their tune in the face of a draft. Bring it on.

David C. Brigham • Northport

Vote yes on kids museum
Last spring, readers of the Northern Express voted the Great Lakes Children’s Museum the “Best Place to Take Kids.” On November 2, we are asking voters in the City of Traverse City to support the Museum by giving the City permission to lease land on the Boardman River for the construction of a permanent home.
The Great Lakes Children’s Museum will be on the ballot as City Proposal #1, which asks the question: “Should the city be authorized to dispose of an approximately 0.55 acres parcel in the 100 block of West State Street commonly known as Parking Lot E for the purpose of leasing such property to the Great Lakes Children’s Museum for a term of 30 years?”
A “Yes” vote on this question will not cost a city resident anything. There will be no millage, no bond issue, and no new taxes. A “Yes” vote gives the city permission to lease the land to the Great Lakes Children’s Museum for the construction a new larger hands-on children’s museum.
Why do residents need to vote on this? The property has been determined by the city to be parkland. The City Charter lets voters decide whether to allow parkland to be used by organizations other than the city.
The Great Lakes Children’s Museum has a proven record of providing high-quality family experiences and inquiry-based learning to our community. That tradition will continue in a new and
larger facility.
The Northern Express readers have voted the Great Lakes Children’s Museum the “Best Place to Take Kids.” For that—we thank you. The Museum is asking Express readers to cast their votes in support of the museum again. Support children and families in your community with a “Yes” vote on City Proposal #1.

John Noonan, Executive Director
Great Lakes Children’s Museum

Get involved
After reading the recent article about Michael Moore’s appearance in Elk Rapids, I realized that the only information not included was the name of the sponsoring organization. Alldems, whose name means “All for Democracy” and whose motto is “Democracy is not a spectator sport” is a grassroots political organization based in Antrim County. We have members of all political parties as well as independents.
Regardless of your personal opinion of Mr. Moore, he does stimulate dialogue and that’s a good thing. Politics is too important to be left to the politicians. Democracy depends on our participation and we encourage everyone, regardless of political persuasion, to get involved and make a difference.
We invite everyone to visit our website, www.alldems.org.

Kent Wood • Mancelona

Debate lessons
The presidential debates have ended and the conclusions we can draw from the candidates are clear.
Senator Kerry is decisive, strong, has a commanding grasp of the issues, is thoughtful, and respectful of the President.
President Bush relies on slogans, campaign stump lines, rattles easily, provides foggy responses to direct questions, and is disrespectful of his opponent, not even using his name or title.
We need more than slogans, fear, smear, and unclear answers in this dangerous time. We need Senator Kerry as our President.

Paul Kelly • TC

No leadership
Kerry has no plan. I am sick of the debates. I am glad they are over. Negative rhetoric didn’t convince me of anything. I saw no plan, no way to pay for ideas and bad mouthing each other. I want steady leadership, not wishy-washy politics based on public opinion.

Kamaji Smithson • TC

Kerry more mature
President Bush ‘lost his cool’ in Friday’s debate. At one point, in violation of the rules, he jumped out of his seat and demanded to be heard. At other times he acted like a boxer at the end of a round – displaying a swaggering “take that“ attitude. While many may find these traits admirable, America cannot risk a president who loses control when challenged.
George W. Bush displayed a lack of maturity that is vital to America in these times.

Sandy Landback • Bear Lake

Time for a change
When taking a good look at what the current administration has done (or not done) in the last four years, I find it hard to believe that most polls show the election as being close.
Is John Kerry the perfect candidate? After having voted in eight presidential elections, I would say that I’ve yet to see one. Still, comparing the current President and John Kerry, their policies and where they stand on the issues, I believe that John Kerry would be a much better leader for this country.
The alternative is a president, who after 9/11, frightened and manipulated the American people into war. A war against a country that even Bush now admits had no connection to what happened on that dreadful day. A war that has cost the lives of over 1,000 U.S. soldiers and more than 15,000 Iraqi civilians.
A war that is on track to cost the U.S. over $200 billion. Dollars that could have provided prescription drugs for seniors and guaranteed health care for every child here in the U.S. This is a war where even John McCain, a fellow Republican, said we could be fighting for 10 or 20 years. Who knows what the final bill will be.
What about the economy? This President took a record budget surplus and created the biggest deficit this country has ever seen. More jobs have been lost during this administration than at any time since the great depression. This administration has provided tax relief for corporations and the top 10 percent of wage earners, while watching the national poverty level reach an all time high.
Bush’s promise in 2000 to unite the country was just one of many he made to reach office and has since broken. He is not only incompetent, but I believe also dangerous. Dangerous to the future of this great country. When asked how he thought history would judge him, George W. replied, “It doesn‘t matter, we’ll all be dead by then.” But our children and their children will still be here. They’re the ones that will be left to deal with the long term effects of this Administration’s failed policies.

Dennis Palmer • Cedar

Health insurance issue
The fact that the monumentally insenstive President Bush has ignored the reality of 40 million uninsured Americans, an outrage and embarrassment, is no surprise. His contempt for “lower class” people is well documented and he has demonstrated little interest in domestic social problems. His re-election would be disastrous for our county with its history of serving ALL citizens.
The cost of the Bush tax cuts for the rich and his unconscionable war have led to cutbacks or elimination of many educational, mental health, veterans, and other needed assistance programs in the U.S.
Kerry and Bush come from similar backgrounds of wealth and privilege, but their sensitivities, philosophies and problem-solving strategies are profoundly different. Kerry promises to be President of ALL citizens and has pledged to alleviate suffering endured by the disadvantaged.
Elizabeth Edwards, John Edward’s wife, spoke here enthusiastically and emotionally about Kerry/Edwards‘ plan to restore help and hope to the poor and middle class, establishing a compassionate and caring presence in the White House that our country and the world can again respect.
A thought for all who respect Jesus’ teachings: Which presidency would Jesus support: one offering support and hope to the disenfranchised alienated sufferers or one ignoring their plight?

John and Betty Lewis • TC

No more dynasty
As a former Massachusetts resident, I can attest to the fact that John Kerry works hard to make positive things happen. I sincerely believe that Kerry will continue fighting for the safety and well being of the people in this country as President. He demonstrated his intellectual superiority and the depth of his convictions in the debate Thursday night.
There is no doubt in my mind that our President has made us dangerously less safe with his arrogance and sabre rattling in the Middle East. Bush has also burned the bridge we once had to our UN alliances. John Kerry offers hope that we can find the terrorists, deal with them accordingly wherever they are, and bring peace and order to Iraq with the aid of other nations. We need them to help us meet the challenges facing us in Iraq, and Kerry clearly intends to seek their support. Four more years of the Bush Dynasty is clearly unacceptable.

Marcia Hales • Williamsburg

Those days are gone
Don‘t believe it when you hear that this is Republican territory here in beautiful northwest Michigan. Those days are gone! Haven‘t you noticed the thousands of Kerry-Edwards signs all over the cities and the county?
Many a former Republican is now voting Democratic, and after hearing the Cheney-Edwards debate, many undecideds are now voting for Kerry-Edwards.
The war, the jobless, bank foreclosures on homes, terrorism -- all major reasons why we need a change in leadership in D.C. Give this country back to the working people. Bring our men and boys home from Iraq.

Jean A. Wilson • TC

Pray for strike solution
Area clergy: if you can‘t find time to attend a striking nurse-NMH bargaining session that you were invited to, please take a minute to pray for fairness in the workplace.
If there hasn‘t been a settlement in the NMH nurses strike in two years, what makes you think there would be an agreement if the nurses returned to work under the same circumstances?
1. They have no voice in the number of patients nurses are allowed to care for safely.
2. They have no voice in patient care.
Are nurses crying in the wilderness? Clergy, please pray and encourage both parties to come to the bargaining table in good faith.

Judith A. Caird, RN • Petoskey

Dear Letter Writers:
Again, apologies, due to the large volume of letters regarding the presidential election, we are unable to publish all that have been received. We will continue to publish as many as possible in the next issue, hopefully including yours. Thank you for your patience and consideration.

-- the editors

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