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 12/30/04
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Letters 12/30/04

Various - December 30th, 2004
Man of the Year
As President Bush presides over 60 new Iraqi war dead and 22 Americans, Time Magazine makes him man of the year.
Who is Bush, really? He’s the man who, by setting his sights on Iran, leaves no doubt he desires total war against the Muslim world. Muslims will respond in kind, allowing Bush to hem in civil rights, allowing him to stand aside and smirk while this proud nation marches towards a police state with their hands over their hearts. Bush is more than man of the year. He’ll be remembered as the sneak who brought down history’s most noble democracy by a series of bald-faced lies.

Mark Yokum • via email

Chief concern
Never let it be said that Democrats don’t have a sense of humor. The U.S. election analysis in two sentences:
The Democrats’ mistake was thinking that a disastrous war and national bankruptcy would be of concern to the electorate.
The Republicans saw, correctly, that the chief concern of the electorate was to keep gay couples from having abortions.

Peggy Kohler • via email

A damn lie
Some lawmakers and elected officials would have us believe that Social Security is a broken system that needs to be fixed – or “privatized.” That’s a distortion of reality. Or, to be blunt, it’s beyond misleading... it’s a damn lie!
Privatizing Social Security will put at risk the program’s very security while requiring massive costs, long term debt and cuts in benefits. A stock market crash usually wipes out the wealthy. If Social Security is privatized in the stock market, even a minor crash would wipe out the middle and poor classes. The elderly would have to return to a labor market that no longer existed.
The truth is the so-called crisis surrounding Social Security’s solvency is largely invented. Radical changes – that would require borrowing trillions of dollars we don’t have – aren’t necessary. Even if we don’t change a thing, Social Security can pay benefits through 2052. Minor adjustments can ensure that today’s Social Security is preserved for many generations to come. Especially if politicians and Wall Street keep their greedy fingers out of it.
Social Security is one of America’s great success stories, providing rock-solid, inflation-proof, guaranteed benefits that last a lifetime.Social Security hasn’t missed a paycheck for 70 years. Its benefits span generations, covering Americans of all ages. Today, Social Security is more financially sound than it has been throughout most of its history and is in no danger of going broke.
No other government program stabilizes our economy as well as Social Security. It is the gyroscope that keeps our economic ship of state on an even keel. Don’t let America’s financial elite rock our boat. In this context, “privatize” is another way to say, “steal.”

William F. Brabenec • Attica

A poem
a facade, a mirage, this war
wash our hands in the blood of soldiers,
men as mechanical and wildeyed as
cloned sheep.
starving for sleep
unable to breathe
full speed ahead,
to be forfeited.
gave my life for a country,
the unknown soldier.
a token of appreciation,
a homeless vet with cobblestone legs.
he remembers the children
strapped to the schrapnel
and dreams of metal cages
where they tortured the terrorists.
curled in a fetal position
he fears the government.
he hides from the God
they have created
out of fear and foreboding.
he joined
to save up for a new truck,
now he just wants his legs back.
not everyone will remember george bush as a beautiful crusader,
he seems to foreshadow death wherever
he goes.
Chantelle • via email

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