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 6/10/04
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Letters 6/10/04

Various - June 10th, 2004
Drug War prisoner

I find it disturbing that it requires photographic evidence of atrocities against prisoners of war in Iraq for my people to critically examine the American war machine.  I have been a prisoner of war in Traverse City where the Drug War is fought with the ferocity of racketeers hell bent on twisting the police and courts into a means of securing a monopoly on the vice market. 
My nightmare in Traverse City began with an egregious series of constitutional rights violations perpetrated by the Traverse Narcotics Team.  The violations continued to stack up for as long as I refused to invoke the only right I was allowed: the right to be railroaded into a guilty plea.  Without a trial, without a sentence, and with my bail paid, I spent three months in some form of solitary confinement followed by two months of further incarceration.  I endured a thorough dehumanization process in Grand Traverse County Jail, spending nearly three weeks of the solitary confinement with no property whatsoever.  During six days of that time, my eyeglasses were confiscated on the pretense that I had attempted to stab a cop in the leg using them as a weapon.  I was denied meals for refusing to speak.  I was denied access to soap and toothpaste on the pretense that I might be able to create a weapon out of them.  Some mornings, I shoveled my oatmeal into my mouth with my fingers since I was considered to be too outrageously dangerous to be allowed the use of a plastic spoon. 
In maximun confinement (a form of solitary confinement with blockmates), I was psychologically tortured for days by a person who perpetually badgered me in order to deprive me of sleep and the comfort of peaceful solitude. 
  Over the course of the entire ordeal, more than a dozen of my constitutional rights were violated.  Eventually, my will to resist broke, and I pled guilty to misdemeanors in order to secure my release, after which I was sentenced to time served and the cost of most of the bail I had posted many months earlier.  I emerged as a broken man who had violated his own sacred word.  There is no guilt in possession of plant matter, but I said that I was guilty anyway. 
  Nearly two years have passed since my release.  The healing process has been long.  I emerged into a Michigan I no longer know.  At least my delusion has been lifted.  I am now fully aware that constitutional protections are a scam.  I know that I have no rights and will have no rights for as long as my fellow citizens tolerate drug courts ruled by racketeers.  Judge Gilbert’s moral failing surprises me not.  Of the four judges I faced during my ordeal, he was the least crooked.
The guards at Grand Traverse County Jail need to watch out.  They appear to have some competition in Iraq.

Alan Wescoat • Gaylord

Al Gore: on target
As I read Al Gore’s May 26th speech, which can be viewed at www.moveonpac.org/goreremarks,  I realized that one overlooked tragedy of the election of 2000 is that we as a nation were robbed of the chance to hear President Gore regularly address the country with the articulate moral clarity we so yearn for, the likes of which George Bush is not only incapable of, but could never comprehend.  Surely the act of evolving as a person to become more responsible, educated, open-minded and worldly should be rewarded.  That should be the natural consequence of personal realization.  Funny how just the opposite happened between Bush and Gore.  As you read this brilliant speech which captures the thoughts and frustrations so many of us feel but aren’t able to convey as eloquently, try to imagine George Bush writing, speaking, or even thinking similarly.

Jerry O’Hearn • TC

Keep it in Leland

We are writing to support keeping the Leelanau County Courthouse in Leland. We live within the village of Leland and have been citizen volunteers in virtually every phase of its community life. Knowing the countless hours and money spent by the township and county planning commission, we cannot understand why good planning principles, and the majority opinion of its members on March 23rd, are being ignored. To change the master plan of a neigboring township, as well as add another government building to a rural location seems the ultimate folly.
A visible, well functioning courthouse, surrounded as it is by county administrative offices is a tangible reminder of our duty as citizens. It maintains the character of a village as more than a resort or a collection of “affluent residences,” as many seem to view Leland. Our family has vivid memories of watching for enemy aircraft from the tower of the old courthouse during WWII, as well as learning about justice as children sitting in the courtroom. Preserving traditions and opportunities such as these keep a town alive!
We know that change and growth are inevitable. The greatest challenge to democratic citizens in the face of these is how to keep things SIMPLE. The simple solution is to expand the county courthouse in Leland without jeopardizing its local businesses and especially its quality of life.
We urge you to vote no on August 3 to moving the courthouse out of Leland.

Maryellen & Gene Hadjisky • Leland

Unsigned letters...

The Express has received an unsigned letter responding to a recent column on the Abu Ghraib prison atrocities. Another recent letter criticizes the performance and pay rates of Garfield Township officials, but is also unsigned with no return address.
We’d like to remind readers that the Express welcomes all viewpoints, but requires a signed letter for publication. Please resubmit your letter, with phone number for verification, so we can get your views in print. -- ed.

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