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 1/8/04
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Letters 1/8/04

Various - January 8th, 2004

Alice had it right: “…it keeps getting curiouser and curiouser.”
I’m writing in regard to the hopelessly flawed, outrageously expensive Hartman/Hammond cum bridge proposal.
Now, after damning condemnation by the DEQ, EPA and DNR, The Grand Traverse County Road Commission (“embedded” with MDOT) has desperately employed a public relations firm (at tax payer expense) to sway the exasperated, apathetic public to their ill-conceived cause.
One can’t escape the notion of professional pork-barrelers with hidden agendas and malleable allegiances. How transparent that the faux farmers (e.g., Bill Clous) and realtor/developers clothed in Carhartts as well as a prominent state political clan, just happen to have a vested interest in the asinine route as proposed.
The only mitigating compromise might be the establishment of a “greenbelt” whereby no new commercial development and only limited signage and access be allowed. The traffic would be served and true colors (dual sense) would then be displayed.

Thomas C. Hall • TC

George “Grinch“ Bush‘s Christmas Eve massacre

If a million old-growth trees fall in the Alaskan forest and no one is there to hear it, did they really fall? Like most Americans, I have never seen the Tongass National Forest in person, but I know it is real, I know it is beautiful, and I know it gives me a deep feeling of peace knowing there are some wild places that yet go untouched by the hand of mankind.
As Americans, we each “own“ part the largest remaining American rain forest. It is the day before Christmas, and I have other things to do than write a letter to the editor, but like the Grinch who stole Christmas, the George W. Bush administration is stuffing our Christmas trees up the chimney while we sleep, with the Chistmas Eve sanctioning of the building of roads and the killing of the ancient trees in this sacred place.
Merry Christmas everyone. After stealing our treasury and giving it to oil, drug, and weapons manufacturers, the irreplaceable national heritage of our last great forest is being handed to the timber industry. Your a mean one Mr. Grinch. As our children dream the dreams of innocence, you are stealing the lungs of their planet. Wake up parents... wake up America....

David Singelyn • via email

Israel‘s ‘relative calm‘

Misuse of words can make them meaningless and a
transparent propaganda tool. Israeli attacks in two days around
Christmas left 15 Palestinian civilians dead in the occupied areas but
was not described as terrorism (even though considered war crimes by
the 4th Geneva Convention). This was followed by the Popular Front for
the Liberation of Palestine attacking Israeli soldiers at a bus stop.
Parroting Israeli officials, this act (sanctioned by international law)
was labeled a “terror“ attack and other media outlets spoke of breaking
the “relative calm.“ During the “relative calm“ over 117 Palestinians
were killed and hundreds injured.
Another example of word butchery is attacking those who
speak out against the atrocities committed by the Israeli occupation
forces by labeling them as “anti-Semitic“ (or a “self-hating Jew“ if
Perhaps the lack of such possible twisting of words explains why there was no report on the Israeli occupation forces use of live ammunition
on Friday to attack a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid wall
that is now imprisoning Palestinians in the ghettos/bantustans. But then
again, the press could have reported using the Israeli doublespeak of
“security fences“ and their explanation that only one bullet was fired
hitting Gil Na‘amani, an Israeli peace activist, twice and injuring
others (internationals and Palestinians)! Isn‘t it time to tell
the truth and stop this massacre of words that used to have meaning? I
believe in non-violence, but we all must understand that the violence
(killing three-to-five times more Palestinian civilians than Israeli civilians)
is a symptom of colonization and occupation. To end the violence, we
should stop funding it by withholding from Israel the billions of
dollars of our taxes ($5 billion just in 2003). And we should stop
misusing words.

Mazin B. Qumsiyeh, PhD • via email

Saddam‘s sick story

Capturing Saddam Hussein must have been a mistake. Now, if he‘s not assassinated, he will have the stage to tell his story. It will be very difficult for the US political/military/industrial complex to hear. Saddam was installed in power by our government. His methods of terrorism were known, but ignored by our government. Our government used him against Iran. Rumsfeld met with him many times. His weapons were purchased from US companies. The US lead sanctions killed over 1.2 million Iraqis and most of them were children.
I hope that Saddam is tried before a world court, by impartial judges, and that prosecutors and defense lawyers are allowed to present their case. I hope that his full story is released to We The People.
Only by following rules of law and order can we move the world into peace. I‘m a Vietnam infantry vet, and I‘ve seen first hand that invasions and death and destruction are not the answer.

Arnold Stieber • Grass Lake
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