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 6/7/07
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Letters 6/7/07

- June 7th, 2007
Global warming facts
This letter is directed specifically to those, including our elected officials, who believe global warming is a natural cycle of our planet and has little or nothing to do with human activity.
The evidence suggests that the Earth has been considerably warmer, especially during the age of the dinosaurs, hundreds of millions years ago, and colder where the Earth may have been completely frozen about 600 million years ago. But in looking at climate change during the past several million years, there is probably no previous episode of such a dramatic rise in global temperature as has been observed in the last few decades, and those rises have never before been associated with increased carbon dioxide from fossil fuels.
Why is that? For the past few centuries, we humans -- for the first time in the planet’s history -- have removed and burned fossil carbons to provide energy on a massive scale. This process combines with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide, which we release into the atmosphere through our tailpipes and smokestacks. About half the carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels accumulates in the atmosphere and leaves the atmosphere in five years.
Unfortunately, the other half of the carbon dioxide gets stuck in the natural carbon cycle for hundreds of years, which mean the carbon dioxide gets recycled back into the atmosphere. The results of this yearly accumulation of carbon dioxide is that atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased by 40% since the start of the industrial era to levels the planet has not seen in at least a million years.
How do we know if the increase in carbon dioxide of the past few centuries is of human origin? We have very good estimates of how much has been burned owing to the fact that fossil fuels are commercial commodities. The carbon dioxide increase in the atmosphere is consistent with these estimates. Also, examination of the composition of atmospheric carbon shows that it is becoming more like the carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels.
Finally, the oxygen content of the atmosphere is decreasing slightly, consistent with the oxidation of carbon through combustion.
It is also a scientific fact that we can slow down global warming by taking specific actions immediately. We must use energy efficiently like Europe and Japan, which use half the amount of energy per capita and maintains our standard of living. Our industries must restrict their carbon emissions or face a carbon emission tax. Our government must stop subsidizing carbon-based industries and increase subsidies for non-carbon industries.
If we take action now, our cost will be one percent of the global economy, but if we do business as usual then impact of global warming will cost us 20 percent of our economy.

Ronald Marshall • Petoskey

Recycling double talk
I was pleased to see the new Waste Management advertising campaign touting their new Think Green (registered trademark) concept. Having been a commercial customer for a number of years, I was looking forward to finally being able to recycle the glass waste my business generates through Waste Management.
I looked up their website, www.wm.com/WM/ThinkGreen, and thoroughly enjoyed reading about their “deep commitment to making a difference for the environment, for communities and for people,” how they “continue our role as an industry leader, offering communities and businesses more effective and affordable recycling options,” and how they “are taking the reduce-reuse-recycle concept into every venue.” My spirits were soaring!
I called their customer service department to set up my glass recycling service. A very friendly gentleman immediately informed me that Waste Management did not, for any price, deal with glass recycling for commercial businesses in Michigan. Sorry.
Lesson learned. Thanks, Waste Management... where “it’s one thing to say we support recycling. It’s quite another to step up to the challenge of making it work.”

Paul R. Danielson
Proprietor, Trattoria Stella

More on them changes...
In reflection of our youth, I read your article and I do recall our era (re: Random Thoughts, “Them Changes,” 5/10).
I grew up in Escanaba in a youth that was fun but rough. We felt honored to have what we had. We simply did not know of any other way.
We went duck hunting in the fall before our first class, which was homeroom. That was at 8 a.m. sharp. We hunted in an area called Portage Marsh, a massive wetlands of cattails. Mostly, it was three of us, Dave, Spud and myself.
When our principal, Mr. Baltic, learned we had our shotguns and shells locked up in my truck (a ’50 Ford coupe), he had a suggestion. He said to bring them up to his office and he’d put them in the walk-in vault.
So, picture this: three 17-year-old boys carrying their 12 gauge shotguns and ammo up the steps into the old high school and down the hall, up two flights of stairs and into the principal’s office. After last period, we retrieved the guns and left the school.
We did this countless times with deer rifles during deer season.
We were all good boys from good families. In a small town, everyone knew everyone. Trust and respect were adamant.
We have that today, but we also have the other element, sadly. Interesting, isn’t it? This wasn’t the Wild West; this was a Michigan town in the ’60s.

John Colvin • TC

A better way
For years now, since the psyche industry began boiling down our mental, emotional, and spiritual difficulties into “chemical imbalances in the brain,” and well meaning individuals have tried to convince me of the accuracy of this new “science,” I have turned to my “Tiger in the Path“ analogy. It goes like this: You are walking down a jungle path. It is a beautiful day and life is great. Suddenly a tiger appears in the path before you. Adrenaline begins pumping into your veins, filling you with the rush of fear and energy necessary to flight/fight for your survival. At that moment there is an incredible imbalance of chemicals.
But what came first, the adrenaline or the tiger?
All emotions cause shifts in the chemicals in our body. What comes first is the emotion, be it apathy, grief, anger or fear. To address the chemical imbalance is to avoid addressing the emotions that are causing the imbalance.
As Ben Hansen so aptly stated, “Emotional and spiritual problems cannot be solved by popping a pill.” In our current materialistic world with economic and professional stress, global injustice, and family and community disintegration, it is easy to see that many people are feeling helpless, hopeless, and disenfranchised. The spiritual bankruptcy of our country is epidemic.
It is unforgivable in the face of this, and the dire economic straits of our state, that the psyche and drug industries would aggressively seek to profit from potentially fatal, extremely dangerous, and ultimately useless chemical Band-Aids.
The Church of Scientology and the Citizens Commission on Human Rights have been championing this cause for years. It is a profound relief to see others taking up the banner and fighting for mental and spiritual health and freedom.
Although it may be true that there are many roads to God and that God can be found in many places, I challenge anyone to tell me that God can be found in a chemical cocktail. There are solutions to life’s problems. They are spiritual solutions.
Thank you Ben Hansen, Anne Stanton, and the Northern Express for speaking out against this. I am pleased that during “Mental Health Month” you have shown your readers where NOT to turn for help.

Elisa Brabenec • Suttons Bay

Drug overdose
Consider the latest trend. Now there is a beef flavored Prozac, Reconcile, for dogs unhappy when owners leave! However veterinarians prescribe a two-week dose paired with behavior modification therapy so the dogs get OFF it!
A Family Circle Magazine 4/17/2007 article estimates that psychotropic medications for American women between ages of 20 and 44 rose to 16%, or one in six, up 57% from 2001. Adult ADD prescriptions soared to 113% for that same group. If it weren’t made “nice” with a term like “chemical imbalance” instead of, “brain damaged” would women accept this bandwidth?
Unfortunately, with the women diagnosed, it’s easier to blame heredity and offer these drugs their children!
I am working on a manuscript exposing that childhood is under attack in America and it is our nation’s newest pathological illness!
Like lemmings marching towards the sea, parents, educators and government agencies are allowing psychotropic drugs to “fix” obsolete schools, cover up familial stresses and even more terrifying, “design” better learners, more focused employees and happier spouses. It even has a catchy name, cosmetic neurology...
And yet, why were so many school shooters on psychotropic drugs? There are over eight incidents from 1999-200, including Eric Harris, a Columbine shooter on Luvox.
Psychotropics potentially remove the moral compass within a soul; hence, black box warnings!
You know that Prozac for infants is up 300%? Or that America’s Ritalin use is 90% of prescriptions filled worldwide?
The passage of national legislation based on the New Freedom Commission’s adoption of a Texas Medication Algorithm Project mandating the testing of the mental health of children in our schools is chilling. Let’s not even mention the rise of polypharmacy (where multiple medicines relieve their side effects).
Don’t like something about yourself or your kid? Find out what to call it, get a pill and make it go bye-bye!

Mary Ellen La Douceur • Troy

Kids & medication
Hereby, I wish to acknowledge Ben Hansen, Anne Stanton and the Northern Express for stepping forward in exposing the horror of psychotropic drugs.
Specifically, when it comes to children and the overmedication or experimental medication of people who need help but end up in a labyrinth of “symptoms“ brought about by these medications. Often with no way out but another prescription.
I would like to remind those physicians who prescribe psychotropic drugs for personal profit of the Hippocratic Oath they had to take before acquiring a license to practice medicine. It states among other things:
“That you will exercise your art solely for the cure of your patients and will give no drug, perform no operation, for a criminal purpose, even if solicited, far less suggest it.”
By now it is no secret that Big Pharma is motivated by money “at the expense of your life, that of your children, and the future society they will live in.
The State of Michigan should recognize these facts and do something about the shady alliance with drug companies, if only to educate people about these facts and possible alternatives.
ADHD symptoms can be handled without prescriptions. Dr. Mary Ann Block has written an excellent book called “No More ADHD - No More Ritalin.“

Marlene Smith • Northport

Tips for empire builders
Northern Express recently ran a movie review about the 300 Spartans; and in the past, the paper has run a review about Troy.
What both of those movies have in common is that they dealt with the history of fallen empires over 2,000 years ago.
From that great era of Greek power, Athenian ruler Pericles left three wise empire protection rules.
Since then, empires have been rising and falling in a generally western course. Now, only one overtly military world empire remains: the American empire.
But, due to ruler choice, that empire is in big trouble. That has happened because of the damage of the Iraq War, which has violated all three of the rules of Pericles at a most unfavorable time in imperial world history.
Pericles warned that it was foolish for a nation to choose to go to war when it did not have to, and so it has proven to be.
Is an Iran War next?

Louis Burford • Petoskey

Bicycle lesson
I ride bikes and wish more people would. We laugh at you silly people in your inappropriately large cars and high gas prices!
My bikes used to frequently get stolen and I’d get pissed off and blame the tourists. I always got the bikes back, sometimes years later, and it‘s always been some local idiot who thieved them.
I would’ve saved myself a lot of grief if I’d discovered what I did last year: city-issued bike licenses. These are free and available at the police department on Woodmere in Traverse City.
One of my bikes went missing a couple months ago. It was gone only a couple days before I got a call from a police officer who had it in his trunk and returned it to me. He asked if I would let people know about the licenses and that they find stolen bikes all the time and rarely are they able to match them to the owners because they don’t have licenses. So do it bikers, and the rest of you get out of your rolling eyesores and walk!

Mike Morey • TC
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