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 · Letter 12/16/04
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Letter 12/16/04

Various - December 16th, 2004
Supplements & savings
As one of the many Americans who uses dietary supplements to benefit my health, I am dismayed when I see good news about these products minimized or ignored in the news media.
That‘s why I‘m calling your attention to a new study that links dietary supplements to improved health and health care savings.
The study, which was conducted by the Lewin Group, shows that daily use of calcium would prevent 734,000 hip fractures and save $13.9 billion in health care costs over the next five years. Daily use of folic acid by women would prevent 600 cases of neural tube birth defects yearly, saving $1.3 billion in lifetime medical costs over five years. That’s a total savings of over $15 billion if these simple healthy tips can be implemented.
You can read more about these supplements, and the other three that were studied -- omega-3 fatty acids, Glucosamine and saw palmetto -- at www.supplementinfo.org.
For a number of reasons, there‘s a health care crisis in this country today that needs a solution. I urge you not to ignore information like this study that shows how dietary supplements can play a big role in solving that crisis.

Wade L. Kelso • Harbor Springs

Counting Ukraine & Ohio
Problematic elections have been all over the news lately. What I find strange is that the most problematic election, our own, has been ignored.
I want to know what is going on with the recount efforts in various states: Why are there grounds for recounts? Who is initiating them? Why isn’t the leadership of the Democratic Party getting more involved?
We seem to be at a critical moment in American history. You have the opportunity to document that moment, to inform the rest of us about what is happening, and to educate us about what it means. I urge you to take up that challenge and turn the critical eye so recently aimed at the Ukraine toward the national elections held in THIS country.

Steven Martin • Higgins Lake

Movement to censor TV
There’s been a lot of talk in the press lately about how one activist organization, the Parents Television Council, is trying to dictate television standards for the rest of the country by encouraging its members to file complaints with the FCC. It seems that the press believes that the hundreds of thousands of complaints filed by outraged citizens over the rampant raunch on television somehow don’t count simply because the complainant belongs to an organized group.
If the networks put an FCC complaint form on their websites or if they flashed the FCC’s phone number across the screen between shows, there would be a flood of complaints. Parentstv.org is currently the only website that provides this useful tool.
But the number of complaints filed, and where they’re coming from shouldn’t matter. Whether we’re talking about one complaint or one million, it all boils down to one issue: Are networks breaking the law by showing indecent content and will the FCC do its job to enforce the indecency laws?

Timothy G. Coe • Grayling

Give poles a chance
In November, the children at Traverse Heights Elementary School dedicated their outdoor Peace Pole in memory of a special staff person, Maryellen Brown.
Reni Dengel, a TH teacher, talked to the children gathered in the gym about the history of Nov. 11 and about citizen actions for peace throughout the world. He also cited examples of peace poles placed throughout the world as well. Then each class presented a song, artwork and skits about peace on earth.
Many schools in the Traverse City region have peer mediators who help prevent and mediate conflicts during school hours. These efforts are also celebrated at the yearly rally.
Kudos to these beautiful kids who are inheriting this world. Let us encourage their work for peace in all the area schools.
How about a peace pole for all the schools, and while we’re at it, all their homes as well, and then the churches?

Carol Still • TC

You might be a patriot...
Are there any real American patriots left in America? Let’s find out...
If you are aware of the undeniable fact that the well-being and integrity of America, her people, and her Constitution are now and always will be far more important than Bush or whomever else might be sitting in the Oval Office at any given time, you just might be a real American patriot.
If you believe that being an American is now and always will be far more important than being a Republican or a Democrat or a conservative or a liberal, then you just might be a real American patriot.
If you recognize the clear and present difference that exists between partisanship and patriotism, then you might just be a real American patriot.
If you believe that part of being an elected official in America is to be able to handle criticism from the people who voted for you, then you might be a real American patriot.
If you believe that it is your duty, responsibility, and obligation as a citizen to ask tough questions of ANY elected official, then you might just be a real American patriot.
If you believe that America should lead by being a shining example of representative democracy rather than by obscene displays of brute force, you just might be a real American patriot.
Are YOU a real American patriot?
I am not a liberal. I am not a conservative. I am not a Republican. I am not a Democrat.

-- Karl Kitchen • via email

Nursing home outrage
Thousands of patients in America’s nursing homes are killed by malnutrition and dehydration every year, victims of a silent and largely preventable epidemic.
Nationwide, malnutrition and dehydration killed at least 13,890 nursing home patients - including more than 800 in Michigan -- between 1999 and 2002, federal health records show.
Many die because caregivers are too busy or inexperienced to give them the help they need. In thousands of nursing homes, this inattention has caused patients who cannot feed themselves to go without enough food and water or allowed obvious, life-threatening problems to be overlooked.
Yet authorities seldom investigate the deaths of people too sick or mentally infirm to speak up for themselves.
This is an outrage. The response is also an outrage. The perpetrators of unconscionable failure of care were not arrested, charged, indicted, tried in court, and sentenced to prison.Why not? This is, after all, America, where millions of voters flocked to the polls to elect a president because they claim to support moral values.
There is a question that begs for an answer. Who cares about residents who suffer and die painful deaths, too often before their time, in far too many nursing homes in this country?

Jane Marshall • Clarksville, TN
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