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 4/5/07
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Letters 4/5/07

- April 5th, 2007
Lights, camera... cut!
After reading State Senator Jason Allen’s comment on the Michigan Film Incentive (3/29), I was left with a few questions:
1. If the state legislature supports a 20 percent refund of operating costs to an industry that provides mostly intermittent employment, why not a similar deal for employers willing to offer full-time employment with substantial benefits to Michigan residents, such as the beleaguered auto industry? If Michigan faces a fiscal crisis so terrible that the state is looking to again cut per-student funding to schools, wouldn’t our tax dollars be better spent on, oh, perhaps public education?
2. Why can’t the legislature provide such incentives for businesses and industries that address serious issues, like medical research, green energy, improved education or environmentally friendly transportation?
Admittedly I have liked Michigan’s notable films: “Roger and Me” (even if Moore left out a few key interviews), “Pets or Meat” (“Ah, Flint”) and “Escanaba in Da Moonlight” (Jeff Daniels’ script and performance were great). In fact, I like a lot of movies, but does our state government really need to play executive producer?
3. I thought Republicans were upset because the Hollywood elite and leftist artists are corrupting America. (I’m not saying they’re wrong; I worry every time Quentin Tarantino has a new release.) Isn’t that why Republicans oppose funding the National Endowment for the Arts?
What will Sen. Allen say if the dreaded Michael Moore produces a movie that qualifies for the Michigan Film Incentive?
During the Great Depression, Hollywood produced many uplifting movies like the Zeigfield Follies to improve the nation’s morale. Similarly the state legislature’s solution for troubled modern Michigan seems to be, “Let them eat popcorn.”

Kenneth Arbogast • Alden

An inconvenient truth
I was not surprised by recent revelations of Al Gore’s consumptive lifestyle. While I applaud his film and found it strong on science, I thought it was woefully weak on solutions. Spoken like a wealthy career politician, he tells us we can fix the problem and maintain our current lifestyle and strong economy by electing good leaders. Well, Lord help us if our salvation is dependent on politicians! The whole system is bought and paid for by corporate interests, so don’t look for a visionary to rise in its ranks.
The inconvenient truth is that things will change only when we assume individual responsibility, and that will require sacrifice! ...a word Americans loathe and no politician dares to utter. The truth is the earth is a living, breathing organism, she is sick, we are the disease, and warming is fever. We must honor and revere nature and learn to share and live in peace with all living creatures. We need to rethink every aspect of how we live... from the energy to power our travel and homes, to the food we eat, how we grow it, and how we deal with our waste.
Waiting for policies to change is gambling with our childrens‘ world. Actions we take today can affect change right now – live simply, ride a bike, grow food, plant trees, shop local, walk the walk . . . you too Al.

Richard Allen • Leland

Needs a Pepto
Thanks for leaving multiple copies of your paper in various places for us to pick up and peruse.
I picked up subject issue today at the Big Boy Restaurant and was scanning it while I waited for my breakfast. After reading Robert Downes’ “Fireman in the Well” piece and a couple political cartoons: Tom Tomorrow and “Stripwax”, I wanted to cancel my ham ‘n eggs breakfast and order a dose of Pepto-Bismol for my nausea.
It probably wouldn’t hurt you to be on a regimen of Pepto-Bismol also... it might help you with your EBS (Excessive Bile Secretion) problem.
I brought the paper home and put it to good use where it is getting the attention it deserves: in the bottom of our cockatiel’s cage. Although if he complains I will remove it and take it up to hunting camp and put it on a nail in the out-house.
Next time I need reading material waiting for breakfast, I’ll have brought along a copy of Ann Coulter’s latest column, trying to explain just where you folks got so screwed up.

Richard Diebold • via email

Focus on lost jobs
Remember the campaign slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid!”? It still is.
State Senator Michelle McManus says Michigan has a “budget crisis.” We can’t argue with that statement. But, neither raising, nor cutting taxes will solve this crisis. We can cut services until we become a “third world nation” with dirt roads, no public education system, no police protection, unaffordable healthcare, substandard housing, and two classes of people... rich and poor. Is that what we want? That’s where we’re headed!
A quote from Robert Downes‘ “Random Thoughts” in the March 22, issue of Northern Express Weekly states: “These days, we’ve got infinitely more problems in government with people who pledge allegiance to ideologies than those who have a secret agenda on behalf of a foreign government.”
Ponder that statement and you begin to wonder. If the United States government is working on our behalf, then why isn’t

money “trickling” down to us, instead of pouring out of this country?
Remember when Ross Perot talked about the “giant sucking sound” from the south? That’s the sound of millions of jobs leaving this country for not only Mexico, but India and Communist China... and that sound is now deafening! Is anyone looking out for US?
Our federal government needs to fix the unfair international free trade agreements (NAFTA, GATT, etc.) they have gotten us involved in; but apparently they refuse to do so without massive pressure from us. Does anyone care? If you do, then tell them! Write them. Phone them. Email them.
We need a new slogan. “It’s the lost jobs, stupid!”

Barbara Bernier • Manistee

Dangerous drug industry
In Michigan, and only in Michigan, victims of deadly prescription drugs are completely without recourse. High priced drug industry lobbyists have succeeded in demoting us to second class citizens, and placing the drug industry above the law.
According to Bush administration officials, 55,000 people have been killed and injured by Vioxx. Vioxx-maker Merck admits it made more than $11 billion dollars selling Vioxx, long after it knew of the danger.
Michigan taxpayers now pay the immense costs of injuries, illness, death and the aftermath from dangerous drugs like Vioxx, because the drug industry is immune from the law.
Michigan taxpayers deserve better than to be injured by deadly drugs, locked out of our courts, and stuck with the cost of cleaning up the mess.
Restore accountability, and make the drug industry play by the same rules as everyone else.

Dan O’Neil • TC

It‘s the berries
Your article, “Berry Interesting,” by Rick Coates in the March 1-8 issue was fabulous! As a cherry grower/processor from Leelanau County, I feel that it is THE most accurately written and succinct article that I have read so far about what we’re doing and how cherries fare in the big food world. And I have read numerous articles -- everything from the info put forth by Cherry Marketing Institute itself, to the local AP writer’s version. Good job, Northern Express!
I also am a member of the newly reorganized National Cherry Festival Board of Governors and plan to give a copy of the article to my colleagues and to Exec Dir Tom Menzel and staff. It will help in educating all of us about the cherry world, and I thank you.

Judy LaCross • Cedar

Blissful bed
What a great article you wrote about Migun, of Northern Michigan, in your March 8 issue. I have been using the infrared massage bed since last April. I suffered from lower back pain, and some days I had trouble walking. It hurt so bad. My lower back pain is gone, and I use the bed three to four times a week. If you are reading this and have not tried the “Bed of Bliss,” it’s not too late. Walk in and try it out. I highly recommend it.

Judy Sheffer • via email

That was Ron Hancock who won the award of “Best Bartender“ in Boyne City and not Ray, as reported incorrectly in last week‘s issue.
Also, the Express failed to note that our “Next Best Thing,“ Apple‘s iPhone, won‘t be available in Northern Michigan because its service provider, Cingular, is not available here.

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