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 1/20/05
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Letters 1/20/05

Various - January 20th, 2005
One-sided view
Defenders of militant Zionism like Joel Weberman (letter, 12/23/04) draw from a quiver full of arrows to smite anyone who dares support the rights of Palestinians to a free and independent nation of their own. One arrow in the quiver charges that critics of Israeli state policies are anti-Semitic (forgetting that Palestinians themselves are also Semites). Another argues that those who support Palestinian self-determination fail to acknowledge the suffering of Jews during the Holocaust (ignoring the fact that Palestinians shouldn’t be made to suffer for what Europeans did to Europeans.). A third arrow -- directed at Jews who criticize Israeli/U.S. policies and actions against Palestinians (see jewishvoiceforpeace.com, among many Jewish peace and solidarity organizations) -- castigates Jews for being “self hating.” A fourth arrow -- the one that Weberman slings at letter-writer Mary Heffron -- is the “you need a history lesson, dearie” response.
Unleashing these arrows stifles honest and open-minded efforts to understand and support the rights of Palestinians and Israelis in the Middle East. Forget about reading, studying, discussing; the answers are clear and unassailable. Weberman evidently received his history lessons on tablets of stone. Thus, he’s absolutely certain that what most of the rest of the world sees as an Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian people is no such thing. There’s no hope of convincing him otherwise... and it’s not worth trying.
Northern Express readers who wish to learn more about how “history” has been employed to drive political agendas such as Weberman’s are encouraged to read “Lies My Teacher Told Me,“ by James Loewen (New Press, 1995), and “History Lessons: How Textbooks from around the World Portray U.S. History“ by Dana Lindaman and Kyle War (New Press, 2004). Check the website of MidEast: Just Peace for other resources and local educational events: www.mideastjustpeace.org.

Tom Fenton • Cedar

Charade of a Parade
What could be more divorced from reality than events unfolding in Washington, D.C. on January 20 as George Bush takes the oath of office? Although we do not have $40 million or four days to spend on a “party” like the crew in D.C., a “Theater of the Absurd” and the “Charade of a Parade” will take place in Traverse City. Participants will meet at the parking structure on Park Street between Front and State at 11:30 a.m. and proceed to the Post Office for a swearing in ceremony at 12 noon. You are welcome to bring your own signs and musical instruments. All are welcome.
Billionaires for Bush, Mother Earth, Chief Justice, the Opposition Chorus and, of course, the Emperor himself will be in attendance at the local inaugural event. Although the Emperor usually wears no clothes, in consideration of the youngsters who may be in attendance, he will be dressed so as to avoid further scandals. The Down Home Security Department will be on hand to assure all citizens of protection. For more information and a flyer see www.traversepeacealerts.org

Marian Kromkowski •Suttons Bay

Imagine this
Imagine a nation where state funded “abstinence only” programs give medically inaccurate, biased information, putting teenagers at risk for unintended pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections.
Imagine a nation where a woman can be turned away at her local pharmacy when trying to refill her prescription for birth control pills simply because the pharmacist does not believe in contraception.
Imagine a country where a woman faces harassment, humiliation, and sometimes even violence for choosing to end a pregnancy that is unintended, the result of rape or incest, or that she is unable to cope with for any number of other real life reasons.
You needn’t imagine any further. Thirty-two years after the landmark legal decision, Roe v. Wade, women are still struggling to have full access to reproductive health care and accurate reproductive information here in the United States. Legislators and anti-choice zealots have steadily chipped away at reproductive rights, and access to reproductive health services is increasingly at risk, especially in non-urban areas like our own.
It’s time that women, our partners, and all citizens take a stand to make it known that we support a woman‘s right to make decisions about childbearing, birth control, and to obtain accurate and comprehensive sexuality education.
I encourage you to contact your legislators and tell them that you support these basic rights. In the meantime, support the women in your life who are no doubt making decisions about their bodies and about their future with too few options and not enough information.

Holly Wren Spaulding • Cedar


Last week‘s bridal section incorrectly stated that Castle Farms in Charlevoix was hosting a bridal expo in February. The actual date is Oct. 1.

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