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 12/4/03
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Letters 12/4/03

Various - December 4th, 2003
The fight for freedom

This is in response to Jim Norgaard‘s 11/13 letter stating “the war on terrorism as it is being waged today will fail“ because “you cannot ultimately win through force and violence.“ I hear people repeating this sentiment over and over as if repetition will make it true. How do you explain that the force and violence in World War II followed by an enlightened reconstruction effort changed two of the most miltaristic societies in history into pacifistic democracies? You may also want to examine the little-publicized steps that many middle eastern despots are suddenly taking to show more respect for their citizens‘ input and opinions, now that the United States has taken action to free an enslaved people.
As far as the Bush administration needing to rely on “real“ and “equitable“ negotiations, I refer you to Charles Krauthammer‘s opinion piece in the Nov. 17 issue of Time Magazine. “Bill Clinton was the most accommodating, sensitive, multilateralist President one can imagine, and yet we know that al-Qaeda began planning for Sept. 11 precisely during his presidency... Bin Laden issued his Declaration of War on America in 1996 -- at the height of the Clinton Administration‘s hyperapologetic, good-citizen internationalism.“
And let‘s not forget the level of success achieved by Clinton‘s agreement with the North Koreans. How naive do you have to be to believe “real“ and “equitable“ negotiations will achieve anything with liars and tyrants?
It is correct that “violence brings only temporary victories.“ Every generation or two it becomes necessary to fight again against those who would take away our freedom and impose some foreign anti-democratic ideology on our country. No infantile mantra of “violance never works“ will change that, no matter how often repeated or how much sophistry used to defend it.

Nancy Brimhall • Alden

Need tuned-in journalists

In his article “Reinventing the Newspaper“ (Northern Express Weekly,
11/13), Robert Downes suggests that one way for daily newspapers
to hold onto readers is by printing compelling stories, getting “back to
being a good read.“ While gut instinct, as Downes recommends, may be
one source of such stories, so too are tuned-in journalists who have
learned to hang out and ask the difficult questions, thought about what
the purpose of their writing is beyond merely reporting the obvious, and
developed the language, temerity, and discipline necessary to tell
stories greater than 750 words.
If daily newspapers want to attract younger readers while avoiding the “McPaper“ syndrome, they need to employ, cultivate, and give space to younger journalists who can tell, in their own voice, the specific, local stories of their generation to
broad audiences from street level.
What would be more interesting than a 3,000 word article in the Sunday edition of the Traverse City Record-Eagle than a well written, insightful account of how some of our region‘s young families are dealing with the rising costs of health
care? And what about a story, told from a young journalist‘s
perspective, that investigates the political workings of northern
Michigan‘s towns and organizations, some of which still resemble the
“‘Main Street‘ novels of Sinclair Lewis, where a small clique of good
old boys steered the course of Anytown, USA,“ to quote Downes?

Mark Livengood • Leland

Patriotic questions

After 40 years of plain questions that went unasked about the Kennedy assasinations (like how Oswald could have shot Kennedy in the forehead from behind), I would like to know why it is that not once in two years has anyone asked the current president directly to his face, “Mr. President, why did you okay the exodus of Osama bin Laden‘s entire family out of the United States without questioning them, within two weeks of the destruction of the Twin Towers, and do you believe any of them might have had useful information about his whereabouts?“
Simple question... plain talk. The president likes plain talk. Americans like plain talk. Then I would ask a follow-up. It would be either “has the Bush oil business ever had dealings with the Bin Laden oil business?“ or “Who arranged the September 2001 Bin Laden family flights back to Saudi Arabia?“ The man or woman who asked this would not be unpatriotic. The questions carry no bias... they carry no hatred... Just plain talk. Two years and two wars later, still no one has asked him. Someone give me a press pass. I will ask.

David Singelyn • Warner Springs Ca

Blind intelligence

In response to George Foster‘s thoughtless propaganda regarding the Bush administration position on pre-Sept. 11 2001 actions (Random Thoughts, 11/20).
Let me say there will be a bank robbery today, there will be murder today, there will be a rape today, there will hundreds of bad things happen today and we know they will happen but without specific intelligence telling you when and where these things are going to happen there is little to nothing you, I, or anyone else can do about it.
A simple provable fact is that the Clinton administration passed laws to prevent the CIA, FBI, and DIA from using their normal intelligence-gathering mechanisms. Because Clinton blinded our intelligence community, we simply knew that there were plans to attack the U.S. but we did not have the intelligence necessary to stop a specific attack.
How far back would you like for me to go to place the blame? This could have been stopped years ago, back when SENATOR AL GORE was questioning Colonel Ollie North during a committee meeting, on the record in transcripts you can look-up, Colonel North explained to Senator Al Gore exactly how dangerous Osama Bin Laden was to the United States. Senator Al Gore made fun Colonel North and disregarded the colonel‘s allegations regarding Osma Bin Laden.
I just retired as a U.S. Army Special Operations soldier who has fought in Panama, Iraq, Kuwait, and participated in the counterdrug operations in Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela, and served in many other operations that you have never heard of while you slept safely in your bed. I have been around the world several times and I am familiar with how U.S. intelligence systems work and didn‘t work under the Clinton administration.
When I see articles such as yours, I see the babbling of an uninformed coward hiding in the country I defend, using the freedom of speech I provided, to stick a knife in the back of the system I am a part of.
And lastly, when you say. “We, American citizens,“ you are not speaking for me and every real American like me, you are speaking for worthless babbling cowards. What I am saying is, don‘t make blanket statements, they could cause you legal problems.

Rex Crouch • via email

40 years, what a difference

Are we better off today than we were 40 years ago?
Forty years ago, the President of the United States could drive down a city street in an open-top motorcade. Forty years ago, the assassination of our President made partisanship stop and the whole world mourn. Forty years ago, a president dared to challenge science, crime and tyranny, and was a soldier and a scholar.
Forty years later, world leaders need extra security when visiting an ally. Forty years later, the assassination of our president would probably be met with relief and cheering worldwide. Forty years later, most leaders are neither scholars nor soldiers, but businessmen.
In 40 years, America has gone from a land of dreamers to a land of Scrooges. In 40 years, we have achieved riots and wars and hate and division and a culture of greed and arrogance and simpleton partisanship and witless immorality. Forty years is a long time.
Leaders can no longer walk the streets of their own nations. The American people have changed, the world has changed, and our presidents reflect that change.
November 22, 1963, marks the day when fear began anew its feud with courage. Fear and terror are now embraced worldwide.
We need to hold our core beliefs and behaviors up to a mirror. What do we see? Is it the profile of fear, or a profile of courage? Peace requires courage.

Steve Consilvio • Auburn, MA

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