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 11/4/04
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Letters 11/4/04

Various - November 4th, 2004
Hunting & assault rifles
Jim McKimmy, Democratic candidate for the 105th District State House seat, is a hunter who fully believes in the rights bestowed by the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. His opponent has been trying to discredit Jim by widely advertising a “D” grade he was given by the NRA. What his opponent doesn’t tell you is that Jim McKimmy got that “D” grade from NRA lobbyists simply because he believes that the federal ban on assault weapons should have been continued.
Jim agrees with the International Association of Chiefs of Police in saying that the ban on assault weapons must be continued to protect our law enforcement officers.
Jim asks, “Why would anyone who calls themselves a sportsman need an assault weapon?”

Robert D. Spencer • Kewadin

Pro-life hypocrisy
As a committed Christian, I do not understand people who say they are voting for Bush because he is “pro-life.” What about going into Iraq on false pretenses and killing thousands of innocent civilians, in addition to our own tragic losses?
What about capital punishment, or the fact that assault weapons are back on the market? What about the lack of health care and a huge deficit, which will be a burden on future generations? What about Bush’s tax cuts, which do not benefit needy families, but the richest 1% of the population?
Are Bush’s post-partum policies irrelevant? His “pro-life” stance seems to end at birth.

Barbara Fitton Hauss • TC

All‘s well under Bush
I have been very disturbed over the last few months regarding the letters you post on your opinion page. Most of the letters are from people who hate our President and are showing him no respect whatsoever.
George W. Bush has been a very good president for America. He showed strength and resolve after the horrible events of Sept. 11th. I just can’t seem to understand why half of this nation has turned their backs on him. United We Stand!!! Yeah right! Your readers, myself included, don’t have a clue regarding political issues and events and decisions that happen behind the scenes. You just see things and become an instant political armchair advisor. It’s really quite ridiculous!
In fact I have laughed at most of the Bush-bashing letters you have printed because it’s painfully obvious these people have been living under a rock for the last four years. The Taliban is all but wiped out, Osama is on the run, Iraq is a free nation, fragile but free, Sadaam is in prison and will be on trial soon for war crimes, a million jobs have been created, a Homeland Security division of our government has been established and is at this very moment keeping Americans safe, schools are performing better, seniors have better access to prescriptions, more Americans are becoming homeowners than ever before, sanctions have been lifted against Libya and they want to rejoin the international community.
President Bush just signed in to law a tax program that will benefit all American business owners, let’s not forget the child tax credit he gave all of us. But hey, President Bush hasn’t accomplished anything during his four years in office. Give me a break. I strongly suggest your readers go to www.whitehouse.gov and click on the past news archives. Click on news from Sept. the 11th, 2001 and relive the tragedy and maybe you’ll understand why this President absolutely needs to be re-elected.

Eric Schmaltz • Alanson

Secretive presidency
I am struck by the great differences in the kind of campaign events President Bush and Senator Kerry are holding. To get into a Bush event a person needs to sign a loyalty oath and pledge to volunteer for the campaign. A few brave souls who have dared to wear clothing supporting Kerry have been forcibly removed by the Secret Service.
Sadly, Bush has run his presidency the same way. He surrounds himself with a select group of ardent supporters who only give him the kind of feedback he wants to hear. While this may be comfortable for the President, it has led to numerous actions that have been unwise and have polarized this country. Moreover, he has run one of the most secretive presidencies in recent memory.
By contrast, anyone can attend a Kerry event. While there are generally a great many ardent Kerry supporters, the crowds typically include undecided voters and even some Bush supporters. It is apparent that Kerry is confident enough in his case that he is willing to engage with those who do not necessarily share his views. Should he prevail, we can expect this type of dialogue and openness to carry over to a Kerry White House. A more open and transparent decision-making process leads to policies that are both more effective and less designed simply to score political points against the opposition.

Jonathan Kunz • Cedar

Missing explosives
After being warned about the danger of major stockpiles of explosives in Iraq, this administration failed to guard those stockpiles. This is one of the great blunders of the Bush policy in Iraq. The administration has several key questions to answer:
Why did the administration ignore warnings from the IAEA to secure the nearly 380 tons of explosives in Iraq?
Did President Bush’s failure to listen to General Shinseki about the troop levels that would be needed to secure Iraq contribute to the military’s inability to secure the site?
How many terrorist bombings in Iraq, Egypt or elsewhere have been carried out using HMX, RDX or PETN explosives since 2002?
Who knew what, when? When was the civilian leadership at the Pentagon told about the missing explosives? When did Secretary Rumsfeld learn that the explosives had gone missing? When was the president’s National Security Council informed? When was national security advisor Condoleezza Rice briefed on this? When was the president told?
Has the site been inspected recently?
What action did Paul Bremer take after being warned in May 2004 that the explosives had gone missing?
What other sites in Iraq with dangerous material were not adequately protected and subsequently looted?
Is there an estimate for the total amount of munitions, weapons and explosives that have gone missing in Iraq?

Billiruth Wickey • Cheboygan
Sick of the election
Each week I pick up an issue of the Northern Express and prepare myself for a giggle or two. It is not the ‘News of the Weird’ that tickles my funny bone, it is the Letters feature that makes me laugh.
One man, even the President, cannot be held responsible for all the job losses, the sad state of health care, and the “war” in Iraq. He does not make these decisions alone. There are hundreds of Congress members that are the decision makers in this country. Bush did not send troops to Iraq without congressional approval. Bush is not responsible for millions of Americans lacking health care and he is not responsible for the economy.
For those who are unaware... THE ECONOMY IS CYCLICAL, STUPID! There are good times and bad times... we can’t all be rich, all the time and maybe people should take a harder look at themselves before pushing the blame off onto others.
I am just so sick of this election. Who cares who the president is (it‘s not like we the voters actually elect the president, that is left up to the Electoral College and the courts). I mean, laws are made when he isn’t at work, the world goes on when he is on vacation. We should put this much thought into the representatives we send to D.C.; then maybe our country would get run the way we want it to be run. Read a political science text book if you want the truth; don’t believe a politician’s promises.

Melisa Schrage • Petoskey

Star Wars madness
The federal government needs a reality check! Our President still thinks that the nuclear threat will come from ICBMs (Intercontinental Balistic Missiles) when everyone else knows it will come from a backpack with a dirty bomb. So -- solution is that he spends $60 billion and still counting deploying Reagan‘s “Star Wars“ defense system which has failed eight out of 10 times.
He then brags about rejecting the International Criminal Court, the Kyoto Accords and a treaty banning land mines. We can do better without this arrogant cowboy in the White House.

Paul Richards • Charlevoix

Bullets for bullies
Please. Can we find the name of the 13-year-old Palestinian girl who was shot 15 times by an Israeli officer? Her name should be a rallying call for Americans to halt the funding of arms for Israel. It certainly will be a rallying call for the Intifada and Hamas. Her name may become the Ann Frank of the century. I think that the people of the United States give Israel $4 billion dollars a year. Americans bought every one of the 15 bullets fired into this child.
This is certainly a declaration of war by the United States on the Palestinians and the Arab world as is the American support of Israeli settlements on the West Bank, bulldozing Palestinian homes and olive orchards and construction of the wall.
The Israeli officer who pumped the 15 bullets into the child, most of which were fired after the girl was already dead, could have only done this out of hatred toward Arabian Semites. That comes from an extreme sense of superiority the Israelites feel over other races: that other races are less than human. Let’s stop funding bullets for this racism.
Americans are paying, directly or indirectly, for the wall the Israelis are building to separate the Palestinians from Israel; separating the Palestinians from their orchards and their water.
I was so proud that after the war and the Holocaust, the Jews could have their own homeland and that America was supporting them. Let us continue to support them and pay the entire cost of building the wall if they think that is necessary, but build it on their own side of the line. In the name of God, let us stop supporting and funding this 21st Century hatred and form of lebensraum.

Max W. Holden • TC

Vote for health care
Health care is one of Michigan‘s most pressing issues. The Medicaid program is in crisis. Funding for Michigan hospitals and doctors has been cut while the need for Medicaid services skyrocketed more than 19%. Basic health care services for Medicaid patients -- mostly children, single mothers and the elderly -- are being threatened. Our population is among the least healthy of all states. And there is a growing shortage of nurses when demand for nursing care is soaring.
When you vote on Nov. 2, please do not waste your support on candidates who fail to address these very serious health care issues.

Diane Butler, RN • TC

Four more years?
Our President says he needs four more years to finish his work and make the world a safer place. Can we ready afford four more years of “miscalculations?”
Since President Bush took office the economy has been in a recession at best and a depression for the thousands who have lost their jobs.Investors still are not back to where they were when President Clinton left office. Once again, “trickle down economics” has failed the middle and lower class, but has been a boon for the super rich. Over a million more families are considered below the poverty level and this statistic is increasing at an alarming rate, 17.6% of children in our country are included in this calculation. Over 40 million have no health insurance with more losing their health benefits everyday.
Environmental and tax changes have benefited the group that really runs this administration, the large corporations. One has to wonder what our grandchildren will be left with as far as the lakes, rivers, air, wildlife, quality of life, and a huge national debt in the future. The administration has not put forth any conservation incentives to lessen our dependence on oil. Why is this? Is it self interest of those in power?
Going to war in Iraq has been nothing short of a disaster. It will take decades to pay for this “miscalculation.” The families of our brave soldiers, especially the 10,000+ killed and wounded, can never be repaid.
When Bush first learned that an attack was imminent on the U.S. a month before 9/11, he left Washington for a month-long vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. After the 9/11 tragedy we had the support of almost every country in the world, That support has been squandered.
The Clinton administration left the country with a budget surplus and in 3 1/2 years President Bush has turned that surplus into a deficit that will take generations to get us back to the 2000 levels, if ever. It’s time to fire Bush and give the Democrats a chance to restore some sanity to the White House.History someday will determine if George W. Bush was one of our worst Presidents. I have my own opinion now.

Bill Hoff • Suttons Bay

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