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..

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Random Thoughts

George Foster - July 17th, 2003
Why invading Liberia is a bad idea

Say it ain‘t so. Now, the U.S. is thinking of sending troops to
Liberia? Have we all gone nuts?
Liberia is probably the worst hellhole on earth. In the latest
edition of the World‘s Most Dangerous Places, Liberia is one of only three
countries that earns a five-star rating as the baddest of the bad nations.
Liberia is more dangerous than militia-infested Afghanistan. It is more
deadly than Israel/Palestine where it seems people are blown up like holiday
firecrackers on most days. Living in Liberia is far riskier than Iraq where
anarchy still reigns. Only Columbia and Chechnya are rated as equally nasty
places if you value your existence on earth.
Keeping our military out of Liberia isn‘t to say the country‘s
inhabitants don‘t deserve our help. To put it mildly, Liberia is not a
comfortable place to live. Hundreds of thousands have perished in the
crossfire during the last decade while rival factions all vie for control of
this small African country. One in every 15 Liberians has been killed in
the fighting, which often includes torture, rape, and amputations forced en
mass on the victims. Why should we send our sons and daughters in the U.S.
armed forces to join this slaughter?
President Bush has demanded that Liberia‘s president step down from
office. Charles Taylor is the latest of a succession of cruel rulers in
Liberia who seem to be a big part of the problem. Taylor succeeded Samuel
Doe, whose ears were cut off, was tortured to death, and then had the rest
of his corpse dragged through the capital, Monrovia, for all to admire.
Liberians learned quickly what kind of leader Samuel Doe was after he
ousted the previous president, William Tolbert, Jr. in 1980. Doe arranged
for Tolbert and 13 of his aides to be executed on television shortly after
the coupe took place. Hopefully, Liberian parents monitor their children‘s
TV viewing habits.
Taylor is a disaster for Liberia but what right do we have to demand
that Liberia‘s elected president step down? We need to mind our own store
and keep U.S. troops out of this cesspool of death they call Liberia. And
don‘t tell me that our military is needed because of the humanitarian crisis
that prevails there. Neighboring countries in Africa such as Rwanda and the
Congo have lost millions of lives recently due to war, poverty, and disease
without the U.S. threatening to intervene. Liberia is just one of dozens of
countries around the world where civil war rages without hope of cooling
down any time soon. We can‘t be everywhere at once on nation-building
And besides, lest we soon forget, we are stretched a little thin
fighting a war against terrorism. There is no connection in Liberia to
terrorist networks that have declared war on America. Liberia has no weapons
of mass destruction. We have no interests in Liberia - strategic, economic
or otherwise that require a U.S invasion.
On the other hand, Liberia needs a long-term commitment from the
world community to hasten an end to its misery. Unfortunately, the U.S.
severely strained its ties to NATO and the United Nations before our attack
on Baghdad. When France and Germany insisted that an invasion of Iraq should
wait until the existence of weapons of mass destruction had been proved, we
Americans were angered at our allies‘ appeasement policies. Oops.
Liberia desperately needs food, medical supplies, and peacekeeping
troops that only the international community can provide for the long-term.
It is time for the United States to kiss and makeup with NATO and the U.N.
in order to help countries like Liberia help themselves.

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