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 12/9/04
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Letters 12/9/04

Various - December 9th, 2004
Inane bickering
Week after week the letter section of the Northern Express is filled with inane bi-partisan bickering. Liberals write in and try to convince the conservatives that they are the ones who are really amoral, George Bush is a liar and that we should be able to live in peace because war is bad, which it is, but human nature is really pretty bad as well.
Of course there are plenty of letters written by angry, self-righteous, red-faced conservatives who blather on with a lot of AM radio-ready buzz words like “junk science” or “liberal media.” Lately, the trend has been for conservatives to gloat about the election, as if rubbing the noses of liberals in a Republican victory suddenly makes the Patriot Act a good idea. It really is quite amusing when some bleeding heart desperately pleads for all of his or her peers to “not give up just ‘cos the election is over” in response to some jingoist with a cross around his neck who just accused them of hating America because they don’t share the views of an opportunistic “war President.”
Knock it off, you’re all pathetic idiots. Except for Marian Kromkowski, in whose defense I pen this inane diatribe.
Let me begin by saying that the Jewish people deserve a homeland and that we as the leaders of the free world are going to have to be part of aiding them in this effort. Like it or not that is the way it is.
We give about $3 billion a year to the Israeli cause, while simultaneously trying to function as peace-seeking intermediaries between the Arabs and the Jews. Whether or not the Israeli commander who shot Imam Sameer Al-Hams was cleared of all charges or was hanged makes no difference. The point is that the Israeli government and its so called “Defense Force” have a long, bloody history of abuses toward the Palestinian people. We as Americans, Jewish or otherwise, cannot stand for this gross mistrust of military power.

Dylan Strzynski • Traverse City
Open our eyes
November 29 began the International Week of Solidarity with the Palestinian people. Israel’s 37-year occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem is made possible by U.S. tax dollars -- more than $2 billion/year in military aid alone.
Examples abound of documented Israeli violations of human rights and international law. A recent account in the Guardian was particularly upsetting to me as a musician: a Palestinian violinist on his way to a music lesson near Nablus was stopped at a checkpoint and forced to play his violin while soldiers mocked him. He was eventually allowed to pass; the scene was videotaped by Jewish women peace activists. Israelis who viewed the tape made the unnerving comparison between this Israeli roadblock and Nazi camps where Jewish musicians were forced to provide background music to atrocities.
Dehumanizing treatment of Palestinians at checkpoints is routine. After this instance was televised, one Israeli peace group pleaded with fellow citizens to “open your eyes” and see the suffering of Palestinians. We Americans should also open our eyes to the suffering our tax dollars are making possible. More information: www.endtheoccupation.org and locally www.mideastjustpeace.org.

Mary Heffron • Cedar

Sweet Jesus
Since before the election, I have read many letters on the subject of Jesus and where he would stand on politics today and I can stay silent no more. Is he a liberal or a conservative? I am sick of labels!
Jesus is LOVE and I Corinthians, chapter 13 teaches us that love never fails. What does this mean? Are we Bible-believing Christians suppose to set ourselves up as judge and jury and condemn all other humans that do not think like we do, or are we suppose to love our fellow human-beings like Jesus loved us? I am not talking about a “patronizing” type of love, but a real, genuine, lay down your life, “agape” love (unconditional). We are all “equal” in the sight of God and...yes... Jesus loves pro-abortion people, gay people, pot-smoking people, believers and non-believers alike and he did not give any of us the authority to hate and fear anyone.

Rev. Steven B. Thompson • Benzie

Anthrax vaccine update
I appreciated the great effort you gave to illuminating the experimental anthrax vaccines issue a few years ago, in the article “Victims of Vaccines.”
Right before this war, a young woman reservist from Wisconsin died within a week of receiving her anthrax vaccination. In her autopsy report, the medical examiner related her death to her shots. It was groundbreaking in that it was the first time a civilian doctor related a death to military service and vaccinations. She died of a type of pneumonia and lupus-like lesions in her respiratory system.
During the war, correspondent David Bloom died of a blood clot. This is directly related to the anthrax vaccinations he received which were tainted with the adjuvant substance squalene.
Unfortunately, these are just a few of the recent stories surrounding the Department of Defense’s illegal, secret, experimental vaccinations on military personnel. A program that has been ongoing since the late 1980s.
Given all that has happened in the current war regarding more deaths and illnesses, some progress has been made educating the military and the mainstream. Recently, six years of grueling work resulted in a groundbreaking, name-all-names, reveal-all-secrets book called “Vaccine-A,” written by Gary Matsumoto.
There is also an interesting side story to all this as well; when this past war began, military pilots at Dover AFB refused to take the shots, and left the reserves, costing the government millions in lost training dollars. Also, other refusers across the four branches of the military refused to take the shots and were threatened with prison; many were demoted, and kicked out on bad conduct discharges, others lost their retirement pay. Others across the board experienced a variety of symptoms closely after receiving their vaccinations.
Two grass roots/non-profits have been formed:check out www.milvacs.org, a website with vaccination information, and www.mvacpacs.org -- the sister political action committee.

Pamela Thornton M.S.W., (CPT., USA ret.) Secretary, MEB/PEB/VA Counselor, Military Vaccination Education Center

Call the fashion police
What is the right color for fighting cancer? The “sez‘ who?” feature in the November 25 issue deserves a ticket from the fashion police and slap in the face from your own “politically correct” staff. The query, “What fad deserves to go?” was probably meant to be amusing. One appalling answer was, “Lance Armstrong bracelets. They’re the wrong color.” I found nothing amusing about this sadly ignorant response. I doubt this person knows anything about the Tour de France or the significance of the yellow jersey. (It means you won.) Yet, it would seem your publication would know. It would seem you would be compelled to make a better choice. Print a different quote that does not nonchalantly deter the fight to conquer cancer.
So, shame on you Northern Express, for selecting and printing this quote! The yellow LIVESTRONG wristbands are a concrete symbol of unity, hope and courage for those affected by cancer. By promoting these yellow wristbands ($1) the Lance Armstrong Foundation has raised over $12 million to help cancer survivors and their families. Lance Armstrong’s history-making sixth Tour de France win and his tireless crusade to fight cancer (as an advocate and survivor) have made a significant impact in the lives of those who made it, and for those left behind.
The yellow LIVESTRONG wristband is the RIGHT color. It sends the right message. It has united young and old, athletes and couch potatoes. It has made the passive, passionate! The LIVESTRONG bracelet is much more than a fad; it is a “tipping point” for cancer awareness and the power of one. The quote was careless, thoughtless and potentially harmful, and shamefully in the name of entertainment. You might redeem yourselves by placing a Lance Armstrong Foundation PSA in your paper. And finally, you owe the “cancer family” an apology.

Jean Pauli Peters • TC

Dear California
Sorry to hear you are splitting from the United States and forming your own country. Especially sorry to hear you are taking all the pro-choice, pro-gay marriage folks with you, since they are our friends, neighbors, and family members. I know you enjoy passing judgment on Republicans and evangelicals as haters of people with those beliefs, but, sorry to burst your anger-bubble, most of us actually see them as “people like us,” and we are saddened you think we should be separated.
I’ve checked with those in the armed services from blue states, and they wish to stay in the armed services and fight to protect the freedom of the country you are leaving, as this has been their own free choice all along. And we don’t “send our kids” to serve their country; they choose to enlist (or not) by their own choice and go where they are led by their commanders, in faith, to serve their country. And I hope that since you are all “anti-war” you can find someone in Hollywood, or maybe Dave Letterman, to defend you when you do get attacked one day, since as Bob Dylan once said, “the only time there is peace is when everybody is re-loading.”
Funny you mention we get to keep the “former slave states,” as it was a great Republican president who saw the need to keep our country unified, not split in two by secession, so that we could become the great, mighty nation that welcomes people of all beliefs that you are leaving this Friday. If you were alive at that time, you would have been protesting about Lincoln “sending kids to die for no purpose,” and not seen the sacrifice and shed blood necessary to stand for and become a great, free country as we are today.
And lastly, I note that your new country’s motto is “tolerance,” as I have seen it through the smog on the bumper stickers on your cars in California; you also tell me it is time for me to unite the country, not divide it. I’ll try to follow your great example, OK?

President Bush

Our friend Israel
Once again, Israel-bashing rears its ugly head (Isn’t there another word for it?). Since the Romans sacked Jerusalem in A.D. 70 Jewish people have been criticized, hated, ostracized, pogromized, marginalized, and murdered in almost every country they’ve lived in. Hitler, in his attempt to eradicate Jews, caused the deaths of six million. If that weren’t enough, for the past five decades, Jews have been expected to sit idly by and LET their enemies kill them.
Why do some WILLINGLY ignore or deny history? In 1948 the U.N. re-established the Jewish nation in the same land that they were driven from in 70 A.D. Since then Israel has had to fight three wars just to survive as a nation. Despite Israel’s going to the negotiating table time and time again Arafat, his allies, and henchmen have done everything in their power to derail or violate the agreements. Saddam’s regime PAID the families of Palestinian suicide bombers who killed Israelis. (Gee, wonder which of our “allies” donated that money?)
For some unfathomable reason, some Americans and Europeans see Arafat as some kind of hero. Nothing new here–Sandinista and Marxist Daniel Ortega not so very long ago was the toast of the Hollywood “elite” and at one time or another some Americans have thought Stalin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, and Che Guevara were heroes too. Some even admire Castro. Apparently these “freedom fighters” can slaughter thousands or millions without criticism, yet when an American or Israeli soldier perhaps wrongly kills one person, America and Israel become the bullies and scourges of the earth.
Israel did not retaliate during the 1991 Gulf War despite Saddam raining Scuds down on her cities. Why is Israel to lie down and surrender to those who deny their right to exist?
Nothing short of Israel being erased from the face of the earth would satisfy her enemies. Many militants and terrorist organizations have plainly SAID SO. That thinking and educated persons would call Israel or the United States bullies and the belligerents in light of the past 2,000 years of history, and especially the last 56 years defies belief.
There is currently more outrage over a Marine shooting a wounded TERRORIST in a COMBAT zone than the cold blooded terrorist execution of Margaret Hassan. Isn’t there something the LEAST bit wrong with this picture?

Lee Oslund • Mackinaw City

California dreaming
In response to “California’s Letter of Secession” in the Nov. 25 issue, Joni said it best:
“Sittin’ in a park in Paris, France,
Reading the news, it sure looks bad,
They won’t give peace a chance.
That was just a dream some of us had,
Oh, California, I’m coming home.”
-- Joni Mitchell

Penny Swan Sprague • TC

Legends of the Fall
I live in Lake Isabella, which is a bit northwest of Mt. Pleasant. We live on the Chippewa River, where it joins the lovely Lake Isabella. The area still possesses many of the trappings of a rural community. We enjoy a variety of wildlife so “Legends of the Fall” (Random Thoughts 12/2) was of particular interest to me.
I am not a hunter; at least not with firearms or bows and arrows. I capture my wildlife on camera. I understand hunters who hunt game which is legal. I cannot understand those who hunt otherwise or in a manner which is cruel to their prey. Nor do I understand the philosophy of “If it moves, shoot it.”
The segment of your story about the golden eagle was very good and I can relate to it. Eagles are very majestic birds and to see them in flight or even perched in a tree is truly a memorable event. We have a bald eagle or two in the area that soar along the river as they fish. On more than one occasion, I have had a shadow pass over me and looked up to see it was cast by an eagle at treetop level. Each time it happens, I marvel that a “bird” can do that.
It is my sincere hope that we as a people don’t totally destroy the habitats of nature’s many beauties in the name of progress or any other rationalization.
Please continue your fine editorial and article writing as you speak for many of us.

John Gerhard •Lake Isabella

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