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 5/31/07
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Letters 5/31/07

- May 31st, 2007
The poop on manure...
Kristi Kates’s article regarding organic food contained information that was rather shocking. Consider the following statement: “Non-organic cows, if you will, are often fed – brace yourself – manure for dinner...” What source did Ms. Kates use to cite this nonsense? If taken to its furthest extent, the tortured logical absurdity of such a statement leads one to conclude that non-organic cows are like perpetual motion machines wherein they provide (ah hem, ‘excrete’) their own breakfast, lunch and dinner.
If cows indeed ate manure for ‘dinner’ or any other meal, then no farmer need grow corn or hay to feed their cows. Amazing! Can you imagine the profit margin on such an animal? No overhead and all production would be a farmer’s dream!
Having been an agricultural loan officer for nearly 30 years, I have examined many farming operations that focus on either dairy or beef production. Never – brace yourself – never have I encountered any herdsman who incorporates manure into the feeding rations of their animals. I was raised on a farm and we managed a modest dairy herd until I went to serve in the Army. I observed the habits of the creatures for whose welfare we were responsible. One thing I know from direct observation is this: Cows will not eat their manure. They will eat all around a ‘pie’ but will not eat into it – ever.
Because Ms. Kates writes about non-organic cows in painful ignorance, one wonders if anything she has written is credible. That which may be laudable about eating organic is discredited by authors who veer from trustworthy citations and instead rely upon bombastic and shocking myths that are a disservice to the reader. Northern Express would do well to choose their contributing editors more carefully.

Ronald G. Rhoads • TC

(Brace yourself for an unpleasant revelation following the next letter... -- ed.)

Cows & manure
Interesting article, although I question where some of the bizarre information came from. For example: the statement about non-organic cattle being fed manure!
My husband and I have been raising “natural” beef since 1997. I have never seen a cow eat manure; in fact, they will graze nowhere near a pile of manure!
Cattle that are raised in the feedlots are fed a high ration of corn and also pumped full of antibiotics to combat their bodies not being designed to process such a high dose of corn. Cows are made to eat hay -- they can handle small amounts of grain which we ration daily to marble the meat. That is why it takes so long to raise beef cattle to finish weight the “natural” way.
Your article sends the wrong message to people! If Kristi wants to see if cattle will eat a “cowpie,” I invite her to spend the day watching our herd; I guarantee she will never see one belly up to eat some manure!

Cathy McAuliff, TSR, Inc.

(Kristi Kates‘ reporting is based on a practice that was recently outlawed. Until 2004, chicken manure was mixed with cattle feed in the American West, where ranchers felt it added protein to the livestock‘s diet in the tough winter months. The Organic Consumers Association notes that the practice (along with feeding cattle blood byproducts) was outlawed by the Food and Drug Association in 2004, due to concerns over Mad Cow Disease. Google the web for “cattle, poultry manure“ to find many articles on this subject. -- ed.)

Supply & demand
I have one simple question I ask of everyone who expresses some crackpot conspiracy theory on why gas prices are high. So far no one has given me any answer at all, let alone a convincing one. So I am hoping for better from you. Here is the question:
Since in our country it is legal to charge whatever the market will bear for a product, and since when gas prices have gone up, people have continued to buy gas guzzling vehicles, and since the demand for gas continues to increase despite the prices, why don’t the gas companies just keep the prices and their profits high? Why does the price always eventually go down? It doesn’t just happen at election time, you know!

Nancy Brimhall • via email

Attack on freedom
The ordinance to ban smoking in public places is another attempt by government and non-smokers to infringe even further on the rights of Americans to live free of government interference, as well as giving government even more control over how we choose to live our lives.
This ordinance will not only ban smoking in public places, it removes the right of small business owners to run their businesses as they see fit. No matter what the anti-smoking lobby and their cohorts would have you believe, bars, restaurants and other such businesses are not public places. They are, in fact, private businesses which are open to the public to frequent if they so choose, and if any individual chooses not to enter a private establishment, for whatever reason, that is the individual’s decision to make.
Further, every time someone goes on a rampage against smoking and smokers, they always offer a range of statistics to back their argument. It should be clear that statistics, to any educated mind, can be twisted to support any argument. I could make the argument, perhaps, that 90% of drug users probably chewed gum as children.
Cause and effect? I don’t think so. It seems that tobacco use is being blamed for everything from cancer to horse colic.
The statistics don’t say how many smokers smoked their whole lives and never developed cancer? How many non-smokers developed lung and other cancers? How do the thousands of chemicals in our food, water, air and land affect our lungs, organs and immune systems?
According to U.S. government statistics, the second leading cause of lung cancer is radon gas. How many of these lung cancer statistics are included in smoke-related cancer deaths? How many cancers and other diseases are statistically related to environmental toxins?
I do not argue the fact that cigarettes are addictive. That much is clear and the cigarette companies have a lot to answer for, especially with regard to chemical additives and nicotine enhances to induce addiction. However, when I hear the constant rampaging against tobacco, it brings to mind the infamous film, “Reefer Madness.” It seems that tobacco is today’s target, the latest “smoke-screen” to diffuse assaults on our health due to environmental toxins.
If someone prefers a non-smoking establishment, fine. That is a choice that they have the right to make. But if a bar owner decides to allow smoking in his privately owned business, that should be his right also. The same for owners of restaurants and other shops. As I understand it, unless the government starts funding these businesses, they are not “public” places, and no matter how the anti-smokers try to spin it, they never will be.

Joel Weberman • Honor

Regarding last week‘s story on Scovie’s Waterfront Grille in Charlevoix, it should be noted that The JOVI Corporation (Joan and Vi Forreider) owns the restaurant.
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