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 6/12/03
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Letters 6/12/03

Various - June 12th, 2003
Teamsters not as corrupt as U.S. corporations

Northern Michigan is fortunate to have as open a forum as your publication.
While Eric Smith repeats the labels corporate America has pinned on the Teamsters, he fails to mention that for the past couple of decades the Teamsters haven‘t been able to go to the bathroom without the Justice Department tagging along (re: Letters 5/29). This has certainly made them, contrary to Mr. Smith’s statements, a union that Corporate America should model itself after.
My understanding is no Teamster has ever missed a pension payment, while the misdeeds of Enron, Arthur Anderson and the like have destroyed the retirement plans of tens of thousands of fine Americans.
Perhaps if the Feds pursued corporations with the same zeal they‘ve shown the Teamsters, Americans would not be losing their jobs and life‘s savings with the frequency they are these days. Of course that would be anti capitalist and I suppose unAmerican.
Why are unions automatically branded bad and business organizations formed to exploit employees okay?

T. Luoma • Rapid City, SD

Teen pregnancies down

The number of teen pregnancies in the United States is at a record low! In 1999 (the most recent year that accurate data is available) the teen pregnancy rate fell to a record low and the number of teen abortions was the lowest since 1973, according to new national data compiled by the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI).
AGI researchers attributed about one-fourth of the decline in the teen pregnancy rate to increased abstinence among teens and the remainder to changes in behavior, including increased use of long-lasting contraceptives, such as Depo-Provera. This is great news for all of us! We should be thankful for the agencies in our community who are working so diligently to prevent teen pregnancies and abortions.
Planned Parenthood is one of those agencies. Planned Parenthood runs a successful “How to Say No“ program for teens that deals with self-esteem, positive decision-making and the importance of abstinence. They also provide factual and comprehensive information to families, access to affordable contraception and health care for women and teens and educational resources on a number of topics. They are a wonderful resource for all of us, and they are working to lower the teen pregnancy rate even further.

Annaka Dodd • TC

Neutral in Petoskey

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Petoskey City Council for declining the gracious offer by the Teamsters to involve themselves in the current unpleasantness taking place on Connable Avenue.
As a Petoskey resident and voter, I agree with the mayor and the city manager that there is no apparent reason for the city to stick its nose where it doesn‘t belong and applaud their decision to maintain strict neutrality.
There is one way the city should be involved, however, and that is insisting upon the removal of the “NMH Negotiate“ signs that have spread like a malignancy over city property recently. To my mind, their continued presence gives the false impression that the Petoskey citizenry is overwhelming in its support of the Teamsters.

Bill Mayer • Petoskey

Our Tex-Mex towns

In an article by Congressman Bart Stupak, he carped, ad nauseum, about how the selfish Republican Party did not care about “working Americans“ and how their tax cuts were not only unfair to “working Americans,“ but were also “mortgaging the future of this country.“ (“Borrowing Money to Cut Taxes Doesn‘t Make Sense,“ 6/5.)
Contrary to the congressman‘s apparent inability to understand the fundamentals of economic theory, the borrowing “does“ make sense, but the congressman in all actuality is not interested in tried and true economic theory and government policy implementation, only political expediency.
But at whose expense? Congressman Stupak mouthed two trite phrases in his article which are indicative of his political party‘s attempt to exacerbate the Northern Michigan region‘s increasingly volatile conflict between the various social and economic classes in anticipation of the 2004 elections. 1.) “As stunning a setback as this tax cut plan is to working Americans and their families...‘, 2.) “Democrats are the only people who have developed rational plans to create jobs immediately.“
Are “Democrats... the only people who have developed rational plans to create jobs immediately?“ (Are you sure, Bart?)
Is the flooding of Stupak‘s congressional district with low wage-earning foreign workers a local example of the Democrat party‘s rational plan to create jobs?
Last winter I was told by a staffer at Stupak‘s Petoskey office that his Michigan offices assisted companies in acquiring the labor from what I believe are people who are little more than slaves being sold at public auction. Consequently, it is not an innocuous tax cut bill that working families need to fear, it is Congressman Stupak‘s complicity in exploiting third world laborers and the effect their importation is having on the region‘s environment and domestic labor force.
To “working Americans“ in Northern Michigan, the foreign labor that is dumped on the regional job market in the late spring is a “stunning setback.“ Their arrival not only deprives many residents of the jobs they are searching for, but also because the labor pool is artificially high, the over-supply of labor tends to force wages down for the jobs that are available.
The other deleterious effect of imported labor is the loss of forests and beaches to resort sprawl, a phenomenon that could not occur without the exploitation of people of color from the third world.
Maybe “the brilliantly successful C.E.O. and investor Warren Buffet“ owns commercial property in Mackinaw City; that might explain why he (Stupak) seems to have sold his soul and is embroiled in a meaningless mine-is-bigger-than-yours contest with his Republican brethren in Washington, D.C., while the district he was elected to represent begins to look like a Tex-Mex border town.

Steve A. Redder • Petoskey
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