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 8/2/07
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Letters 8/2/07

- August 2nd, 2007
The aftermath of war
In response to David J. Newland‘s letter (“Do Nothing Democrats,“ 7/26), in which he suggests that Democrats in Congress “lack the moral courage” to end the Iraq war, I would point out that the two wars our nation has fought against Iraq have smashed the Iraqi military. Our troops have shown terrific and terrifying professionalism and overwhelming capability. The oilfields of Iraq are placed beyond the reach of insurgent forces who may desire to disrupt the flow of oil to the U.S. and its economic allies. This is the victory that Mr. Newland overlooks.
What has our engine of war done to ensure the future flow of oil? It has impoverished an entire nation with bombing and sanctions, dissolved the Iraqi police and employed only foreign contractors. The U.S. has done everything it can to create a hopeless and enraged underclass in Iraq. House-to-house sweeps, arrests, brutal interrogations, torture, and random and targeted killings complete the mission of permanently destabilizing the average Iraqi.
There is now self-sustaining violence in Iraq. All that remains is the task of propping up whichever faction supplies us oil, a matter of supplying weapons and resources at a reasonable price. This worked marvellously throughout the Iran-Iraq war.
The men and women who have gone to Iraq are no longer children to be lied to. No political party is going to send them any divine “message.” It is the American people who must hear the message our troops are sending us.
Lastly, I ask you sir, precisely what sort of moral courage would be most appropriate for Democrats who wish to end this current war? And what moral courage was necesssary to begin these wars?

Eric Pyne • Frankfort

The straight poop
Thanks to Anne Stanton for a great article about poop in the July 26 Northern Express. It sure isn’t a fun summer topic, but Anne gets right in and shovels it up. The bottom line is that Michigan’s laws are very weak in dealing with septage waste, whether from animals or humans. And to top it off, the legislature is constantly decreasing the budget of the DEQ for investigation and enforcement.
At a dairy Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) with 1,000 cows, more poop is created in a day than all of Traverse City’s humans. Traverse City has a state-of-the-art water treatment plant, but a CAFO operator can spread that much on a field to wash into drainage ditches and streams. This just doesn’t make sense, unless you are a lobbyist for the Farm Bureau.
And hats off to Keith Termaat and the Milton Neighbors for their grassroots organizing to help Antrim County deal with land application of poopage. The Sierra Club has been trying for years now to strengthen regulations on CAFOs; we appreciate local efforts to keep the topic in front of legislators. We are all neighbors, and we all live downstream.

Tom Karas • Mackinac Chapter,
Sierra Club

Tip of the drug iceberg
Thanks to Anne Stanton and Northern Express for addressing issues around kids and antidepressants. We all need to become more aware of some of the unconscionable things that are going on behind the scenes affecting all of us, including and especially our children.
Ms. Stanton’s articles have only touched the tip of the iceberg. Dr. Fawcet’s comment in his letter to the editor in the July 21 issue about “All prescription drugs being approved by the FDA.” is really the crux of the problem. We have blindly put our faith and trust in a governmental agency that has been shown to be riddled with conflicts of interest, falsified research, cover-ups, and drug - testing scandals. All we have to do is follow the money trail.
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that 87% of authors that write drug guidelines had some type of financial relationship with the drug companies.
And then we have the drug companies themselves. For instance, Merc officials were notified in March and May of 2000 of possible heart risks associated with Vioxx. The reaction was to ignore further studies. The result was 27,000 heart attacks or deaths linked to cardiac problems. A GlaxoSmithKline executive has admitted that fewer than 50 percent of patients on expensive prescription medications gain any benefit at all. And the rates of autism, add/adhd, and other neurodevelopmental problems skyrocketed in the ‘90s as officials turned a blind eye to the use of toxic mercury as a preservative in childhood vaccinations.
The root problem is that we attempt to patch up our physical and emotional challenges by throwing pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drugs at them. Why are we not looking at the underlying causes of those problems: deficiencies in nutrition, exercise and stress management; toxic exposures; and an improperly functioning nervous system?
Drugs have nothing to do with health – they treat sickness and disease. In the process of helping people feel better and improving a specific function artificially, they kill over 100,000 and hospitalize millions each year!
Isn’t it time we address our lifestyle choices and get back to experiencing the joys of living in a body and mind that is creating and expressing an innate state of health, as opposed to suffering the ravages of that which has been allowed to deteriorate into sickness and disease?

Dr. Greg Chappell • Chappell
Chiropractic Wellness Center, Acme

Don‘t close great school
I do not have children of my own, but I have spent my entire adult life as an educator.
I live in Acme Township. When we moved up north, we were very impressed with the quality of Bertha Vos Elementary School, as evidenced by neighbors who chose to move here specifically so they could send their kids to that institution.
For the past seven years, I have spent several days a week volunteering at TC Central High School, and it is obvious that the graduates of Bertha Vos are among the most talented and academically well-prepared students I have encountered. Acme Township is growing by leaps and bounds, and not having a neighborhood school would certainly be detrimental to that growth.
We are miles from any other elementary school. If Bertha Vos closes, it is unlikely that TCAPS will save any money, since so many of the students will end up enrolling in the Elk Rapids schools. Bertha Vos is the heart of our community. I am asking the Board to reject the recommendation to close the one school that services the entire northeast corner of the TCAPS school district, for the sake of our children, our community and itself.

Lois Goldstein • Williamsburg

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