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 3/25/04
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Letters 3/25/04

Various - March 25th, 2004
Fudgie situation

I would like to clear things up for Loreen Schaldenbrand based on my understanding of the accepted nomenclature (re: “Rude Northerners,“ Letters, 3/15). You are not a fudgie. You are a lakey. Fudgies visit once or a few times and probably never achieve a well rounded understanding of the area, and might then not have as much respect for the area as a lakey. A lakey makes repeated trips to the area throughout his or her lifetime, perhaps every summer. A lakey probably has friends who are locals. A lakey might own property in the area and therefore pay local property taxes.
These labels are not derogatory by definition. (I am an ex-lakey, now local. Many of my friends are lakeys. I enjoy socializing with fudgies.) But there
is the potential for misuse. Local slang is not to blame. Certain people are to blame. Some fudgies, lakies and locals do act superior and some generalize.
I give my apologies on behalf of anyone who engages in one or both of these irrational behaviors.

J. Scott Petersen • via email

Nutty attitude

I read the letter today from the downstate woman, and her wording was why no one from outside of the southeast Michigan corridor can stand the people from down there (re: “Rude Northerners,“ 3/15). The phrase, “our money,“ insinuating that we should be so grateful for her and her southeastern friends that come up here and trash our lakes, streams, beaches, roads, etc. Yes, the money helps our economy, but for her to say she is so average is insane. Average as compared to who? I don‘t have a cottage, let alone a house, on any lake. I have ONE home. I live here and that‘s it. I couldn‘t afford a second anything, except maybe an ice shanty on Long Lake. The attitude isn‘t just from T.C or the Northern Michigan area. It goes all the way down to the tip of the Manistee National Forest where I grew up hunting and fishing and putting up with the southeastern Michigan people that would come in once a year and think they own the damn place.
The attitude she sees here isn‘t an instant dislike. It is the knowing of what comes with the people from down there. Not all downstaters are bad, but people with attitudes like this women is what drives us nuts.
Just because you come and spend money from Detriot, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Kazoo in our nice area doesn‘t mean we have to roll over and be all nicey nicey. I have long lived by the rule, “Show me a reason to respect you and I will;
show me disrespect and you can leave.“

Joe Deater • via email

Holy Spirit at work?

I was amused at the letter from Corey Sanderson that questioned the value of the movie “The Passion.“ Anytime someone critiques a film they haven‘t even seen, I chuckle. In his case, I laughed out loud because at the end of the letter he he stated, “Maybe the Holy Spirit was also working through “50 First Dates“. Wow. I saw that movie and wonder what part the Holy Spirit was working through.
In that movie, Adam Sandler plays a veterinarian working in a Hawaii aquarium, who is so afraid of commitment that he concentrates on having affairs with tourists, since he knows he will probably never see them again. Maybe the Holy Spirit was there for the groping of breasts or the the grabbing of buttocks? Or maybe during the discussion about wet dreams or the tip Adam gives a walrus to wear a condom? Possibly the characters were speaking in tongues during the 13 sexual references and 16 obscenities?
I respect Rev. Sanderson‘s right speak out on anything, even a moive he did not see. But I also have the right to laugh when someone opines that an Adam Sandler movie is a vehicle through which the Holy Spirit works.

Jim Pascoe • TC

To die or not to die ...

What the state does, it does in the name of all its citizens. As a citizen of Michigan, I don‘t want to be a murderer. If murder is so heinous a crime, don‘t make me guilty of it, too!
The finest example of a civilized society is the state that imitates it‘s best citizens. Copying the behavior of it‘s worst citizens is the act of a vengeful society, not a wise one. Blood lust speaks to our primitive nature, not our moral instincts. Even animals don‘t seek revenge.
People who advocate the death penalty promote murder as a solution to murder. That‘s like saying the best way to stop fights is to beat up the fighters. Or burn down the home of an arsonist. An eye for an eye always ends in a blind alley.
For decades statistics have proven the death penalty does not deter crime, and costs more in tax money than lifetime imprisonment.
For my sake (and your grandchildren), please stand against capital punishment.

William F. Brabenec • Attica, MI

Unplug Bush

The electric utility industry has given nearly $6 million to the Bush campaign for 2000 and 2004. Many of the companies contributing these funds were either sued or under investigation by the Clinton Administration for Clean Air Act violations. But that didn‘t stop the utilities from securing three slots on the Department of Energy transition team, as well as numerous meetings with Cheney‘s secretive energy task force.
To reward them, the Bush Administration reversed its 2000 campaign pledge to
regulate carbon dioxide emissions, abandoned the Kyoto treaty on global warming, and rewrote key provisions in the Clean Air Act, allowing old coal-fired power plants to continue emitting deadly pollutants that cause thousands of premature deaths each year.
The financial industry has contributed more than $38 million to Bush‘s campaign efforts in 2000 and 2004, and has 73 Rangers and Pioneers (the fundraisers who deliver “bundled“ contributions totaling $200,000 and $100,000, respectively), more than any other industry. Not surprisingly, Bush‘s tax cuts have been a top priority of this industry, and will personally save industry CEOs hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in taxes each year. In addition, the privatization of Social Security, a top Bush priority in a second term, would shift trillions of dollars of retirement savings to private investment accounts.

MaryAlice Lynott • Kewadin

Biblical marriage ideas

This came to my attention and I think it is something that everyone ought to read, as it says a great deal about the nonsense being spread concerning the issue of marriage.

“The Presidential Prayer Team is currently urging us to: “Pray for the President as he seeks wisdom on how to legally codify the definition of marriage. Pray that it will be according to Biblical principles.
Any religious person believes prayer should be balanced by action. So here, in support of the Prayer Team‘s admirable goals, is a proposed Constitutional Amendment to codify
marriage on biblical principles Let us be satisfied with nothing less:
A. Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. (Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5)
B. Marriage shall not impede a man‘s right to take concubines, in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21)
C. A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21)
D. Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden. (Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30)
E. Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9)
F. If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother‘s widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe. (Gen. 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10)“

Julia Brabenec • Northport

Bungling Bush

The $200 M campaign defense of the incredible Mr. Bush has begun. I empathize with the job of the Grand Old Party. To defend an illegitimate administration based on deliberate, vindictive, arrogant deception and pre-emptive attacks? Calls for real creativity.
His credentials:
Budgeteer? He managed to lose and outsource more jobs than anyone since the legitimate Mr. Hoover. His budgets don’t include war, extended tax cuts, increased expenses for the military and reduce care for veterans. And how about that deficit? Wow!
Environmentalist? His Clean Waters Act enabled more pollution. New Clean Air rules allow more atmospheric poisoning by mercury, sulfuric acid and particulates causing asthma in children. He can’t accept the preservation of the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve -- which won’t help as much as a small reduction in use of oil.
Diplomat? Arrogantly rejecting the Kyoto agreements created global enemies and will lead to loss of life and property everywhere. (Even the Defense Department now agrees.) Insulting our allies is no way to get consensus. I will never forget the response from a young Italian in a little village near Florence when I wished him a good afternoon. He looked at me very cooly and said: “No speak to Americans.” And our best opening gambit all over the country was: “Bush, Berlusconi” and a big thumbs down.
In allowing Mr. Aristide, a legitimately elected president, to dangle in an uprising seemingly fostered by our own various federal departments, he demonstrates his contempt for democracy. Does he think Haiti has oil?
Nobel Peace Prize? His is our first, but not last, overt preemptive attack on another country. And, with the collaboration of his intelligence services, it seems he attacked the wrong country. Don’t forget those WMD’s. The UN’s Hans Blix hasn’t.
Well, what about his defense?
Looks to me like $200 million worth of WMD’s (Weapons of Mass Deception).
Best to ignore them all.

Robert E. Marshall

Bad Bush ads

And it has already begun, straight from the horse‘s mouth, here we have it, misleading at its best, downright deception at its worst. What am I talking about? Why, Bush‘s new bash on Kerry ads; what else? They make claims like, “Kerry will raise taxes by 900 billion dollars,“ and “weaken the Patriot act used to fight terrorists.“
The truth: John Kerry has promised to lower taxes on working families, not raise them. He will repeal the Bush tax cut only for families earning $200,000 or more, simply returning those families‘ taxes to pre-Bush rates. He will close corporate tax loop holes. And he will provide additional tax cuts to working families to help with health care costs which have increased dramatically under Bush. The truth: John Kerry wants to strengthen the parts of the Patriot Act that actually fight terrorism, such as intelligence information sharing. However, he believes there may be some parts of the Act that take away our freedom without providing any protection against terrorism, and that those parts should be reviewed.
We need a president who knows that standing up for freedom means standing against terrorism. Most of all, we need a leader, not a misleader. I suppose blatant lying is to be expected from this administration by now; they lied about WMDs, they lied about the Saddam-Osama connection, but how low can you go when you start to exploit the death of 9-11 for your own political gain, when it was an event you failed to stop after being warned by the CIA? Today I am ashamed to be an American, and I don‘t like that. I want to be able to take pride in my country, but as long as deceptive crooks run the White House, it‘s not going to happen.

Jason M. Glover • TC

Mother Sprawl

By Johnston M. Mitchell

As old man winter’s white coat
blankets his sister’s road kill
grey buzzards can no longer prey,

While perched atop skeletons of summer‘s shade
a congress of crows convenes
over a scene some will never see again.

Some birds zoom south
Others cuddle up and wait it out
as white blankets some older birds for good.


As another winter passes
greedy vultures renew their preying.

Carpe diem
it‘s those damning obits,

Chronicles of recent loss revealing
fresh carrion for land‘s agents of progress.


Mother sprawl excuses no one,
never recusing herself.

She splits in two
death‘s family feuds,

And preys on
divorce’s legal bitter.

Her rants finagle and reap
an eating place and condos called the bear.


She digs up cleansing spongy soils
for boats bobbing to and fro,

And turns frigid foods into waste
making a town double in size.

Her claws carve deep into a whale back
leaving scars of bare lots eroding.

Soon to be another victim,
a jail‘s inmates cop no plea.


Mother sprawl will even root up
blooming orchards‘ sweet smells
fruits of passion in our country side.

Hovering high, glittering over a lake
blossoms fade to new city lights
lighting up every night‘s skies.

Her ravenous hunger wants for farmers‘
blight and meager income.

That old cranky buzzard
he won‘t sell his land.

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