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 3/3/05
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Letters 3/3/05

Various - March 3rd, 2005
So long, Hunter
Everyone in America, especially those in my generation, will always remember where we were when the World Trade Center fell, or how we felt when we saw the first eerie green, nightvision blips as yet another war in Iraq was getting underway. But only a select few will have long-lasting recollections burned into our memories of just where we were and what was happening when we first heard news of the death of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.
Though the suicide of one man is utterly incomparable to the horrible and inexplicable tragedies of terrorism and war, the event was still jarring in its own way to everyone who loved and admired Dr. Thompson and his body of work. I felt his loss almost as deeply as if I had known him personally, and so did many others. A truly unique, fearless and brutally honest voice is gone forever, and in today’s mess of amalgamated news and mass monoculture, it will be sorely missed.
Yet, I fear no lack of new, fresh, and independent writers, journalists, and artists of any and all kinds in this generation, for many of us learned well from those iconoclasts who came before us, and that can never be obscured by the cheap whitewash of spiritless pop culture, anti-intellectualism or novelty political concepts like “compassionate conservatism.”
There’s not much else I can say in dedication to the good doctor that hasn’t already been said, except a Southern-gentlemanly “Good-bye, and thank you very much.”

E. J. Lepke • TC

Quadriplegic view
Reading your essay on spinal injuries, you end with the admonition that only those who have experienced this tragedy know the answers to your questions (Random Thoughts, 2/17). I would encourage you and your readers to research the life of Joni Eareckson Tada. She has lived the “quad” life for three plus decades. She also speaks clearly against the very technologies you refer to. With your commitment to an open minded approach to all issues, I am sure you will want to hear what she has to say.

Bill Green • Lowell

(Joni Eareckson Tada has been a quadriplegic since a diving accident in 1967. Unable to use her hands, she learned to paint using a brush between her teeth, producing fine art paintings. She is also the founder of Joni and Friends, a Christian ministry in the disabled community. For more on Joni, check out www.joniandfriends.org. -- ed.)

Flaws in Bush‘s S.S. plan
Until I read the recent editorial written by George Foster concerning Social Security, I was a big proponent of taking the responsibility of retirement funding out of the government’s hands (who trusts the Uncle Sam with our money anyway?) and giving it to each individual to manage on their own (re: Random Thougts, 2/10). That was until several flaws in George Bush’s plan became evident.
The first is, I don’t like the way our government uses fear tactics to present a problem to the people. As an example, it’s now painfully obvious the war with Iraq was not well thought out, was based on faulty data and incorrect assumptions, was way beyond financial predictions, and wasn’t needed in the first place.
Secondly, if Social Security (S.S.) wasn’t systematically plundered by special government interest groups for purposes other than which the fund was intended, it would still be solvent.
Thirdly, we as Americans CAN’T SAVE MONEY! If the average worker can’t deduct and save a small portion from his check every week on their own, what makes you think he or she would save the funds earmarked for S.S.? And who’s going to police this new retirement saving plan? The government? I thought we were trying to get them out of the savings business in the first place. And what’s going to keep a person from withdrawing his or her retirement funds for an emergency or another need? Penalty for early withdrawal? Our government again?
The solution is to make our government more fiscally responsible (an oxymoron) in the management of the S.S. fund and fix the problems that are wrong with it currently. And better yet, take the foreign loans we forgive every year to debtor nations and fund S.S. with that. Privatizing S.S. is like buying a new car because it needs a tune up.
This approach simply won’t work.

Henry Ramsby • TC

Chilling thoughts
This morning I experienced mike fright for the first time in my life, and the closest microphone is on the other side of the room. I’m reading that the House of Representatives overwhelming approved a bill that would put every broadcaster on the line personally for as much as $500,000 for stepping over the line of indecency; a line in the sand that seems lately to move with each new high tide. Next, the Senate will chime in on the matter and someone will read the new law to George Bush. No doubt he’d sign it.
I’ve never done a radio show that would warrant anything much beyond a “PG” rating, and in 30 years luckily I’ve never had one of those lapses of consciousness that results with a curse making it out of the studio. But with the thought of a half million dollars as the jackpot for having my brain synapses temporarily short circuit or for surrendering to the comedy gods during some extemporaneous live bit, I’m sure I’d be stilted if not downright fearful every time my left hand goes towards the mike switch.
And for all of my brethren in talk radio who have the job of stirring the pot for controversy, I can’t help but think this will have a chilling effect that will detract from the entertainment value of their show. And what about the whole idea of a “free press” that should allow for unbridled, outspoken conversation from both ends of the spectrum?
While pros can express themselves well within the confines of decency, I can only think that this half million dollar sword hanging over their heads will have a chilling effect. The only good I can think that might come out of this high-stakes personal liability is that some of those dozens of talking heads on MSNBC, Fox and the rest of cable TV’s so-called “news channels” may tone down some of their shout-fests.
All and all, I think it’s a dark day. And I fear it will get darker before it gets lighter.

Randy West • Los Angeles

(Randy West is a major voice-over broadcaster working in national radio markets. -- ed.)

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