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 12/2/04
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Letters 12/2/04

Various - December 2nd, 2004
Let Jesus be Jesus
Dear Shawn Robinson, et al, Republicans and Democrats alike:
Could you please leave Jesus out of this argument? (Re: whether Jesus was a liberal or conservative.) In all my readings of His word I never have found a place where He told us to join this or that political cause. In fact, He told us to leave our worldly attachments behind us and follow Him.
Jesus Christ called for a separation of church and state long before the framers of our Constitution thought of it. Remember, “Render unto Caesar”...? Mr. Robinson, I agree, nothing happens in His world by mistake. But, we have been given free will; we choose the leaders who reflect that will. We have chosen good leaders and bad, holy and unholy. Then we have the opportunity to learn from what we have created.
Nowhere in Jesus Christ’s words have I discovered that He condones us defending ourselves by force of arms -- war.
Democrats and Republicans alike have pursued war as a solution to a myriad of problems. This is human nature in action, but never Christ nature in action. In fact, He called on us to depend on Him for our salvation, to turn the other cheek, to give away our cloak when asked for a coat, to Forgive and Forgive and Forgive as we would have Him forgive us. Tall order. Most of us never can achieve that Christ-like pinnacle of thought and behavior.
Even Paul admitted that he daily did the things he should not do because he was human. What I wish we all would stop doing is using Christ and the Bible to justify our human behavior. We ought to stop making God in our own image.
To another matter: President Bush did win the highest number of votes cast in history. And, let us be quite honest in this, the highest number of voters in history came out against him, and for Senator John Kerry. Do we want to get along? We will have to stop shouting numbers at each other. We will have to stop calling names.
One of your Republican writers says that he wants us to have a strong two-party system, but adds that if Democrats could just behave themselves more like Republicans then all would be well. What would be the point of having two parties? Our government was designed to run under a system of checks and balances.
Ever try to sit in a canoe when all the weight was on one side? Good luck to us. That’s where we are right now.

Anna Kingsbury • Benzonia

Actions louder than words
With the rights of anything comes responsibility. To impose your right on someone else makes you responsible for the actions and outcomes of such right.
Now that the “Right to Lifers” have voted to run our country due to a moral issue, I have a couple of very important questions to ask.. How many of you have adopted an unwanted child from a teenage mother? What would be the percentage in your church that has? How many of the right have legally pledged to feed, clothe, and educate an unwanted child? Does your church have a policy to do that? If not, why not?
I personally hold you responsible for the choices you make. You will have no room to speak if you don’t take action of the outcome of your decisions, forever more.
Please help our very divided country by loving a little more, giving truly, and repenting (which in Jesus’s day meant “change your thinking”). Life, what a beautiful choice.

C. Moore • Honor

Tax on ICE
This letter is about the tax that East Bay Township is trying to impose on Centre ICE. They should be ashamed of themselves and be removed from office for trying to hurt the township.
Centre ICE provides a great service to the local community in terms of hockey, figure skating, a fitness center, pro-shop, and a new junior hockey team, and provides huge money to the local businesses of Traverse City with all the out-of-town players who use our hotels, restaurants, malls and many other things. If they impose this tax, it will raise the price of hockey so high that it will push players out or to nearby towns.
Dale R. Fisher • via email

The bad guys
Contrary to Marian Kromkowski’s letter on November 18, stating the Israeli commander who shot Iman Sameer Al-Hams was cleared of any wrongdoing, he was indicted on Monday, November 22.
Ms. Kromkowski always tries to paint Israel as the “bad guy” and frequently stretches the truth to advance her anti-Israel posturing. There are bad guys in every country, including ours, but our judicial system and Israel’s are two of the best in the world. Compare that with the Palestinians‘ non-existent indictment of their murderers and suicide bombers.

Lee Bussa • via email

Fake moral values
The dictionary definition of the word moral is: “relating to the principles of right and wrong.”
Is it moral to embark on a character assassination of Sen. John Kerry, knowing full well those words to be untrue?
Is it moral to send our soldiers into Iraq knowing you haven’t exhausted diplomacy, or have a plan to ensure peace?
Is it moral to knowingly award Vice President Cheney’s former company, Halliburton, illegitimate no-bid contracts in Iraq worth billions of dollars?
And finally, is it moral to oppose abortion, yet support the killing of up to 100,000 Iraqi civilians, and support the death penalty here at home?
To me, a definition of “moral” was listening to Sen. Kerry giving his concession speech.
We had the chance to move this country in another direction, but instead we chose four more years of a ‘fake’ President who is only a divider over someone who has the honesty, integrity and thoughtfulness to bring this country together.
The majority of the world’s population, whilst having no respect for this Administration, respected its people. Today that respect has been replaced by absolute astonishment that we have re-elected George W. Bush as our President.
The ‘moralists’ out there should take an inward look at themselves and be ashamed.

Alan Wrenn • Glen Arbor

Vows to fight on
Like many of you in Michigan, I am still reeling from the election results. I am proud to live in a “blue” state and county! I am also proud that so many millions of voters, old and new, showed up at the polls to vote for change and voice their concerns about our current administration.
Even though the election is over, it is not time to sit back and simply watch how the next four years play out. It is not the time to sit idly by while the word “values” is co-opted by a few extremists who believe that restricting a woman’s right to control her own body and passing fear-driven marriage amendments are signs of some type of good family values. It is not the time to simply listen while the word “mandate” is carelessly tossed around. A President who wins the vote of 30 percent of the electorate does not have a mandate. It is time to stand up for what we, the majority, believe in.
If the last four years are any indication, we will surely witness rollbacks in environmental regulations, women’s rights, health care coverage, workers rights and much more during this second term of President Bush. Please, do not let the energy you felt before the election simply slip away... please join me in going out there and FIGHTING FORWARD!
Now is the time to get more involved with the political party of your choice, continue to volunteer for a local non-profit that you support, and write letters to your legislators, members of Congress and the President to let them know we are watching and we will not go away. Get involved in a political race in 2006, or run for office yourself! If nothing else, keep yourself informed. Get active!

Jamie Winters • Alanson

Addressing AIDS
December 1 is World AIDS Day and with the reelection of President Bush, it is fitting to examine the role the United States can and should play in addressing this epidemic.
The face of AIDS in this century is a woman’s face. Whether in the United States or in South Africa, women make up half of the 37.8 million people living with AIDS, and they are growing faster than any other group. They are mothers and wives, college students and blue collar workers.
In 2003, President Bush announced his emergency plan to confront this deadly disease. However, it’s a plan that relies upon abstinence as the only acceptable prevention method. Since most women who get AIDS get it through sex with their primary partner, how will teaching abstinence help them?
If the President is serious about stopping the spread of AIDS, his program should work with reproductive health providers — often the onlycontact a woman will have with the medical system, and her only source for sexual health information. To date the administration has sent millions of dollars to religious organizations that won’t teach that condoms can prevent the transmission of HIV.
I hope over the next four years our legislative representatives will work for a realistic AIDS prevention policy that meets the needs of women.

Rev. Nancy Doughty • TC

Tear it down
Please help stop the people that stopped the tearing down of the Traverse City Light & Power plant which is just one giant brick wall blocking the view of the West Grand Traverse Bay with absolutely no purpose whatsoever.
I mean, what are these people trying to save? A giant, empty building that is no longer in use. The people trying to save this building have problems with change, or maybe they just enjoy the sight of giant brick walls with a giant hole in the east side of the building.
I mean, come on, what is wrong with these people? They probably even enjoy driving down US-31 and going past the Great Wolf Lodge to see a Giant Brick WALL. I wish these people would just get over the fact that the building is coming down and should because it no longer serves the city a purpose. I hope they will understand that once something has out lived its days it will pass away into the ground just like the F Building did several years ago. Please just let it go and fill it in with a nice park everyone can enjoy. STOP SAVE TC BUILDINGS!!!

Charles Nestell • Northport

Uncounted votes
The votes cast by many voters in Ohio and other states are not being counted, according to thousands of complaints about obstructed votes, legitimate voters who were disqualified, malfunctioning computer voting machines, and other irregularities in the 2004 election.
The efforts of Presidential candidates Green Party David Cobb (who was never even mentioned in these pages) and Michael Badnarik (Libertarian) to effect a recount in Ohio probably won’t alter the outcome of the 2004 election, but the recount deserves support because it is the best way to test and begin repairing the integrity of our election to ensure that every vote is counted.
For the Democratic Party’s leadership, which refuses to press for a recount, the lesson in Florida in 2000 seems to be that controversy must be avoided at all costs. For those of us in the Green Party the lesson is that we need to fight for the right to vote, for accurate vote counts, and for the future of our democracy.

James Moreno • re-elected City
Commissioner, Mt. Pleasant

Dear California:
So you want to start your own nation? (re: “California‘s Letter of Secession,“ 11/25) What are you planning to do with the “Governator”? He is a REPUBLICAN... practically a dirty word in California. But, he is an actor and played some really deep, intense roles such as in “Kindergarten Cop,” so gosh almighty, he must be qualified to be the Governor of California.
California is a disgrace to the nation. You are the center for all that is cheap, fake and shallow. And if you are so pro-gay marriage, why is it still illegal... except when a judge over steps his boundaries? With all those liberals out there, shouldn’t gay marriage be legal? After all you are electing liberal representatives that make the laws? Oh, wait, your state still has the death penalty... that is strange... hmmmm, maybe you can’t make up your mind.
Anyway, good luck with your new nation and don’t call us when you have a big earthquake and break off from the rest of the continent and fall into your beloved Pacific Ocean. We’ll be busy living in reality -- not the televised kind -- the actual kind.

Melisa Schrage • via email

Contrary to stereotypes
I wonder if it really helped to have a chorus of Hollywood stars chime out a litany of profanity against Mr. Bush. Was it smart for a billionaire banker of questionable repute to create an organization to run ads equating Mr. Bush with Hitler? Was it cleverness that motivated CBS News to impugn Mr. Bush with documents they knew to be forgeries? Was it a bright idea for a radical film maker to make a film with the sole purpose of influencing an election?
Contrary to the common stereotype, not all conservatives are book-burning, Bible waving, gay-bashing, pollution-lovers. I think that the majority of us are simply very practical people with hope for the future.
In some cases, we were former liberals who haven’t changed a bit while the liberal causes have. We are only now considered conservatives because we no longer pass the new liberal litmus test.
Perhaps we have to learn that intolerance of corruption, tyranny, and barbarism is not bigotry, cultural imperialism, or moral superiority. This is a world where too many people live under the rule of loathsome crooks, killers, and worse. Throughout history no tyrant has ever been persuaded by peace or civility. They don’t achieve power through popularity and will never relinquish power until they are dead, or find themselves in a hole in the ground.
This is a great country and we will keep that way if we keep ourselves well educated and knowledgeable about the past, present, and possible futures.

Charles Russell • Williamsburg

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