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 · Region Watch · Another brick in the Wall
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Another brick in the Wall

- November 3rd, 2005
Catch the nightly TV news reports on the ongoing struggle in Israel and chances are you‘ll see images of gunfire and suicide bombers.
But the untold story is that of an ongoing peace movement that unites Palestinians as well as Israelis. Two leaders of that movment, Palestinian Ayed Morrar and Israeli Jonathan Pollak, are bringing their story to Traverse City next week as guests of Mideast: Just Peace to show the face of nonviolent struggle.
Morrar and Pollak will speak on the Palestinian/Israeli Nonviolent Movement on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. at the Grace Episcopal Church Hall, 325 Washington Street, TC; and on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 10 a.m. at the Friends Meeting House at Fifth and Oak streets, with the public invited to attend. The event is sponsored by Mideast: Just Peace, Women in Black, and the Episcopal Peace Fellowship.
Speaking by phone from Los Angeles, Pollak says the idea is to show Americans that thousands of Palestinians and hundreds of Israelis are working together in a grassroots campaign against the construction of Israel‘s wall of separation. He himself has been involved in 200 protests on the West Bank over the past three years and has helped mobilize hundreds of Israelis against the wall.
Ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004, construction of the “Apartheid Wall“ continues against the protests of Palestinians who feel it‘s a land grab of their farms, orchards, businesses, property, and access to water.
Is it frustrating to continue protesting when the wall keeps going up?
“Both politics and struggle are always a frustrating process,“ Pollak responds, ‘but we‘ve also had some successes. If I didn‘t believe in what we‘re doing, I wouldn‘t do it.“
Morrar has seen some success. He led 50 nonviolent marches in his town of Budrus where the wall was to have annexed 25% of the community. Because of the protests, the route of the wall was pushed back, taking only 3% of the town.
Even nonviolent protests are dangerous, however. Morrar notes that the rubber bullets fired by Israeli troops are actually steel projectiles covered with rubber that can kill. A number of members of his family have been injured or jailed during the protests and he himself was sentenced to four months once, but released by a judge a few days later.
“Obviously, the protests are dangerous.,“ Pollak says. “Nine demonstrators have died in the past three years from the use of live ammunition, even though all of them were unarmed. I myself was injured; I was shot in the head by a tear gas projectile and had to have 23 stitches and treatment for internal hemorrhaging.“

PIPE DREAM: When Traverse City voters head for the polls on November 8, they‘ll confront medical marijuana initiative Proposal 3, put forth by the Coalition for Compassionate Care.
On Sept. 5, the TC City Commission voted 4-2 to put Proposal 3 on the ballot. If approved, it would create an ordinance stating that the use, delivery, or possession of medical marijuana recommended or supervised by a physician would rank as one of the lowest law enforcement priorities in the city.
The proposal is in response to the 2004 arrest of disabled Gulf War veteran Matthew Barber, who was busted for two ounces of pot during a traffic stop. Barber made the case that he was using marijuana to treat the spasms, pain, imbalance, loss of his legs and occasional blindness of his multiple sclerosis. MS is a debilitating disease which attacked Barber‘s central nervous system and left lesions on his brain. He argued that the use of cannabis allowed him to avoid the unpleasant side effects of approved medications, making it possible for him to care for himself.
Local law enforcement officials said that although they had sympathy for Barber‘s condition, they had no choice but to uphold state law. In response, Barber‘s wife Laura and other local marijuana activists spearheaded the drive to get Proposal 3 on the ballot.

HOCKEY HERO: The new Griffin Ice Arena on M-119 in Harbor Springs has the kind of street cred you seldom find at such venues in terms of a genuine hockey star in charge.
Craig Coxe has been appointed Director of Hockey at the arena. Coxe has extensive experience in the National Hockey League; he was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in 1982, and played for the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, St Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks.
After retirement Coxe served as a coach in the minor leagues. “Coxey” or “Coach” as he is known around the new rink, enjoys helping kids improve their hockey skills.

NO WORRIES: Republican legislators across the nation are reportedly worried about a Democratic Party sweep of the 2006 elections based on the unpopular record of President Bush; but no worries from Rep. Dave Camp (R-Midland), who‘s been in virtual lockstep with the president over the past five years.
Reason being that Camp has raised more than $1 million for his coming campaign, while his challengers have diddly to spend.
In a press release last week, Camp said he had $1,025,202 for the 2006 campaign. He noted that challenger John Emerick of Mount Pleasant did not file a campaign finance
report, and that Democrat Mike Huckleberry of Greenville, who ran for the congressional seat in 2004, reported a negative cash balance of $193.
Campaign manager Jason Geer said the war chest would allow the campaign to better inform voters on Camp‘s ideas and policies.

2,000 PROTEST: As the Express went to press, area peace activists were preparing to demonstrate in memory of the 2,000 servicepersons killed in Iraq. On Saturday, Oct. 29, a march and demonstration was set to culminate at the Traverse City Post Office, accompanied by the recitation of those who have died in
the conflict.
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