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 · Features · Drawing the Line in Petoskey:...
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Drawing the Line in Petoskey: ‘Peace Warriors‘ of all Ages Voice their Opposition

A.C. McMullen - January 30th, 2003
They used to call it “Northern Michigan mentality.“ People moved to the
tip of Michigan‘s mitt from “down below“ to get away from it all, and then sent their convictions and consciences on permanent vacation, refusing to dirty
themselves with politics.
Looking at numbers of people who turned out on Jan. 18 for anti-war
demonstrations in Petoskey, refusal to get involved is now seen as the
dirty side of politics, and is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Nearly 300 people crowded the Central Elementary School gym for a peace rally
and march in Petoskey on the 18th, a date chosen for demonstrations throughout the U.S. Grandfathers pulled their red-cheeked grandchildren in wagons, others walked as a thick snowfall obscured those at the end of the line from those in front.
Undeterred by wintery blasts, chants and songs reminiscent of the ‘60s and
‘70s filled the air: “One, two, three, four, we don‚t want your oily war... five,
six, seven, eight, we want peace instead of hate.“ “We Shall Overcome“ and “We Shall Not be Moved,“ anthems of the Civil War used during the Civil Rights movement, were sung by a generation that never heard them before, taught by a generation that hoped
they wouldn‘t still be singing them after all these years.
Traffic stopped while marchers crossed Mitchell Street, and when the
sign-carrying protesters stood waving along US-31, passing cars and trucks
honked in solidarity.

“I stopped believing in protests in the early ‘80s,“ said Petoskey‘s Bob
Vance, 48. “But I happened to be in Chicago for the October protest, and it really
moved me. In the ‘70s all the protesters were young white people. In Chicago there was incredible diversity of age, economics, nationality, race. There were whole families walking hand in hand. I decided, akay, it‘s time again.“
Vance said he joined Petoskey‘s march for peace because he was feeling
alone in his dissent. Many Northern Michiganians are rushing to organize so they can
fight that feeling. Jim Nogaard has been working for months with Another Way Peace
Coalition to hold a series of issues forums. The Emmet and Charlevoix County Green
Parties, under a shared leadership that includes Steve Brede and Ellis Boal, have been picking up steam with a platform that includes opposition to war as well as environmental protection and social justice.
Saturday‘s march, which coincided with national peace rallies in Washington,
D.C. and throughout the country, was publicized and sponsored by a loosely
woven group of individuals under the banner, Northern Michigan People for Peace. The
group‘s leaders will seek formal incorporation next week.
TC-based Mideast Just Peace organized two bus-loads of people from Northern
Michigan to attend the Washington march, joining people from more than 250
U.S. cities who chartered “peace train“ buses for the event. Michele Burian, one of
the Petoskey women who made the trip, said she came home with “shin splints and sore
calves, but more hope and more determination“ to work for change.
She said the massive Washington march was “minimalized in the press, but
guess who owns the press? Don‘t believe the 30,000 estimate,“ she said. “The Mall
couldn‘t contain us, we spilled all over the streets.“ During the march, she phoned
a report from Washington to the Petoskey crowd, linking the two groups and receiving
cheers as she described the united spirit of those marching together in an attempt to stop a threatened war on Iraq.

Kate Winnell, 56, evoked the spirits of those who died for non-violent
solutions to issues in the past. “They are marching with us, too,“ she said. “All who march are connecting. Maybe we don‘t change public policy, but we do change things. We bear witness.“
The crowd represented a diversity of smart, gifted, and dedicated people who are involved on an ongoing basis with a wide assortment of issues, ideas, and disciplines that relate to peace. They come out of the woodwork to join war protests when things get bad.
Among marchers who have been persistent advocates of peace is Dale Scott, 52,
Harbor Springs, who said he participated in his first anti-war rally at Alpena Community College in 1969. JoAnne Beemon, 57, Charlevoix, said she has been marching
for peace since her junior year in high school -- 1963.
Bruce Sanderson, 86, and his wife, Char, 82, said “we will do this until
we die.“ Bruce is a member of Veterans for Peace, the nationwide group that led the
parade in Washington. Both have been members of the Little Traverse League for Peace and Freedom for decades.
Ellen Addington, who will be 80 in March, once ran for Congress on a peace
platform she had advocated since 1970. The Ellsworth woman was defeated,
but, she says, “Even though you may not always be successful, you need to be
faithful. It takes a long time for people to hear what you have to say.“
Demonstrators raised their hands to indicate their point of origin: Boyne
City, East Jordan, Walloon Lake, Cheboygan, Pellston, Lansing, Ellsworth, Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Grand Rapids.

Even the mayor of Charlevoix, Gabe Campbell, rose to speak to the crowd.
“We are losing allies as fast as we are losing our civil liberties,“ he
said, objecting to policies of the Bush administration. Two high school students from Charlevoix were among rally participants, one illustrating Campbell‘s point with a sign that said, “Drop Bush, Not Bombs.“
The two young women, Kelly Ward and Lorna Kilborn, were among numerous high school students who couldn‘t join the Washington march. Corey Higley, a Petoskey High School senior, said her father decided it was too dangerous for her to go.
“It‘s important to let other people know how you feel,“ Higley said as she
waited for Petoskey‘s march to begin. She spent her time writing out cards with
the addresses and phone numbers of Michigan‘s representatives in Washington. “You have to do what you can where you are.“

Petoskey‘s awakening “peace warriors“ have begun several ongoing activities:
-Circulating petitions and resolutions: “Whereas, the ultimate security
of the United States is dependent on creating the conditions of life for all
nations, working together cooperatively, that will eliminate poverty, injustice, inequality, environmental degredation, and other factors that breed war and terrorism...“*
-Reading and writing speeches:
“Our Congress gave the President the ability to respond to the tragedy of
September 11. But we the people must reserve the right to measure the
response, to proportion the response, to challenge the response, and to correct the
response... we did not authorize the administration to wage war anytime, anywhere, anyhow it pleases...“
-Campaigning to write letters to representatives -- and to the White House.
-Printing, distributing, and displaying yard signs.
-Pledging to dress in black and stand in silent protest with the international “Women in Black“ movement at the entrance to Petoskey every Wednesday evening.
-Organizing another peace march on February 15, to coincide with marches
being organized in Europe on that day.
-Publicizing an e-mail list: nmpeople4peace@hotmail.com
Apparently, it‘s not just for hippies any more.

Bev Holden, 72, of Walloon Lake, summed up her reasons for marching: “I‘m
just a citizen who has lived long enough to realize that more dying will not
change anything. It‘s time for us to use our heads.“
Three Boyne City nine-year-olds carried signs that said “War is terrorism.“
Mitchell and David Heick and Ruben Shell accompanied Jinny Heick, 47, on
the march.
“Maybe we can stop bombs from dropping on some child‚s head,“ Heick said.
“That‘s a good enough reason to be here.“
Bekki Doyle, 21 of Petoskey, said she learned from her parents that two
wrongs don‘t make a right.
“I don‘t understand this concept:“ she said. “How come when they kill us it‘s
murder, but when we kill them there‘s always some kind of justification?“
she asks.
Placards carried by marchers indicated a belief that war is a tool to
secure oil for the U.S. “Got oil?“ said a sign depicting Vice President Dick Cheney with a dripping black “milk mustache.“
Bill Henne of Charlevoix was among environmentalists who joined the march.
Many environmentalists express the notion that because oil is the cause of
so much strife in the world today, alternative sources of energy -- rather than a new supply of oil -- should be a national goal. Others suggested a marketplace approach: purchase fuel-efficient cars instead of “FUV‚s.“
The old -- and new -- peace activists were asking for more than the absence of war. They were asking for the presence of peace: reason, justice, equality, respect. One peace worker said, “They teach this stuff in kindergarten these days. What
is wrong with our leaders that they don‘t get it?“

* For information about, or to volunteer with campaigns to petition Emmet and
Charlevoix County units of government to pass resolutions opposing an American
invasion of Iraq., contact Stephen Brede (Emmet County Green Party) at
(231) 348-5474 or (231) 348-5499, or Boal (Up North Green Party) at (231) 547-2626.
“We‘re asking Northern Michigan residents to exercise their democratic
right to press their local elected officials to pass resolutions expressing the will
of our communities with regard to a war with Iraq,“ Brede said. “It‘s imperative
that local officials weigh in on national matters which will have have enormous
impacts on our communities.“
The Northen Michigan effort is part of a national campaign spearheaded by
Cities for Peace (). So far, more than 40 cities have
passed resolutions calling for opposition to war.

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