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 1/23/03
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Letters 1/23/03

Various - January 23rd, 2003
Bomb Iraq

This song (was) performed live, by a surprise musical guest at Saturday‘s peace demonstration in Petoskey.

Michele Burian • via email

If You‘re Happy And You Know It Bomb Iraq -- By John Robbins

If you cannot find Osama, bomb Iraq.
If the markets are a drama, bomb Iraq.
If the terrorists are Saudi,
And your alibi is shoddy,
And your tastes remain quite gaudy,
Bomb Iraq.

If you never were elected, bomb Iraq.
If your mood is quite dejected, bomb Iraq.
If you think that SUVs,
Are the best thing since sliced cheese,
And your father you must please,
Bomb Iraq.

If the globe is quickly warming, bomb Iraq.
If the poor will soon be storming, bomb Iraq.
We assert that might makes right,
Burning oil is a delight,
For the empire we will fight,
Bomb Iraq.

If we have no allies with us, bomb Iraq.
If we think that someone‘s dissed us, bomb Iraq.
So to hell with the inspections,
Let‘s look tough for the elections,
Close your mind and take directions,
Bomb Iraq.

If corporate fraud is growin‘, bomb Iraq.
If your ties to it are showin‘, bomb Iraq.
If your politics are sleazy,
And hiding that ain‘t easy,
And your manhood‘s getting queasy,
Bomb Iraq.

Fall in line and follow orders, bomb Iraq.
For our might now knows no borders, bomb Iraq.
Disagree? We‘ll call it treason,
It‘s the make war not love season,
Even if we have no reason,
Bomb Iraq.

America, then & now

What don‘t I understand? Three years ago we were paying down the national debt; today we are increasing the national debt by a billion and a half dollars every month. Three years ago we were not at war and there was no Axis of Evil; today we are at war (even though only Congress can declare war and hasn‘t) and half the world‘s population hates our guts.
Three years ago unemployment was a little over 3%; today it is double that and growing. Three years ago there was no 9/11 (although there was the Oklahoma City bombing perpetuated by white American males, one a veteran); today, we are a country of paranoids willing to give up our citizen rights out of fear.
Okay, maybe I do get it! Wave your flag and let the government do anything they want to in order to get you the gas you need for your SUVs. Believe that Muslims are all bad guys (remember that in the past that Germany, Japanese, Jews, Indians and even the English were bad guys); send our sons and daughters off to get shot at... and sit in front of your TV and count the body bags. Yes, I do get it... it makes you feel good... it makes you PROUD AMERICANS.
I was born an American. I will die an American. I‘m ashamed of my country and am against the use of American forces anywhere in the world unless and until there is an attack on American interests. Such force should only be used against those countries or groups that are responsible for American loss.

Micheal M. Cromley • Afton

Our punishing ways

Re: Dean Robb’s “Say yes to treatment instead of punishment” (Letters 1/9).
Dean, I’m surprised by you. Surely by now you know that our society is into creating criminals. If they were to be treated or rehabilitated, they would no longer be criminals. In fact society does everything possible to produce criminals, and then make them as evil as possible. Here’s a few examples:

Prisoners who have contact with family and friends on the outside “are 1/6th as likely to be back in prison a year later.” So... limit that contact!
a. House them far from home. (Especially Effective with Poor People =EEPP)
b. Make expensive collect calls difficult.
i. May take up to 6 months to get a number on an inmates phone list and visitors list. Will cost about 50 cents a minute (EEPP).
ii. Even then limit the amount that can be charged. Make them pay in advance regardless of credit.
iii. ½ day labor is required to purchase one stamp. (EECP)

Limit job training and educational opportunities to almost non-existent levels. Make college and university training difficult.
a. Approval of correspondence classes - lengthy and difficult, and require multilevel approval.
b. Eliminate all sources of educational funding for these classes.
c. Limit the vocational opportunities to a select few. Lengthy waiting lists and then just as they are about to be accepted, transfer them to another prison to begin the process all over (same for dental care, etc. but that’s another story).
d. Eliminate or offer only token job training at all prisons.

Extend the sentences as much as possible. Make a 1 ½ to 20 year sentence into a 20 year sentence.
a Allows more time for criminal training and more detachment from family and friends that might help him re-enter society.
b. Provides more opportunities to network with other criminals both inside and outside.
c. Promotes a mood of despair and that unfairness is OK.

As a society, we seem to feel a need to beat people down as much as possible. Perhaps, we think that our own evil will be overlooked if we can show greater evil in others. We attempt to increase our stature by knocking people down, and then standing upon them. So perhaps the counseling should go first to the “get tough on crime” judges and the MDOC. It might lessen the need to feed their egos by hurting others. So... now your guy is off to Crime University and soon after he “graduates,” the judge will be able to pat himself on the back and say, “See I told you he was no good.”

Dave Forbush • Frederic
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