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 2/19/04
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Letters 2/19/04

Various - February 19th, 2004
Who‘s the bigger boob?
FCC Chairman Michael Powell has been a very busy man lately. Janet Jackson‘s breast was clearly more than he could handle. He immediately launched an FCC investigation to discover how a breast found itself bouncing around his airwaves, which are usually reserved for gratuitous acts of violence, and the corporate reconstruction of our reality. How many millions of our tax dollars is Mr. Powell going to squander on his hunt for the cause behind the outing of one of Janet‘s top agents? Maybe he could hire Kenneth Starr to sniff around Janet‘s drawers for oh, lets say $50 million or so...
Does Powell really imagine that Americans are depraved enough to see the glimpse of a mammary gland as more dangerous to the welfare of the United States than Powell‘s own recent efforts to dismantle our First Amendment rights? The damage done to the people by his weakening of the already insufficient limits on media monopolies is far more pernicious than Janet‘s televised anatomy lesson could ever be. How strange that a human breast can turn Powell into such a raging moralistic tiger, and yet the selling of our airwaves into the hands of a few monster corporations leaves him purring like an overstuffed pussycat.
Mr Powell, we don‘t want our only windows on the world controlled by the likes of Rupert Murdoch and Clear Channel. You and your FCC have blatantly betrayed America‘s trust in appointing Fox as guardian of the henhouse of America‘s information. Yes, Janet showed her baby bottle. But it is you who has disgracefully exposed himself by shamelessly unzipping your corporate fly and relieving yourself all over our First Amendment. Mr Powell, you are the one who should be investigated - for corruption in using your FCC post to help foster mega-media monopolies, and helping destroy the laws ensuring the people‘s right to an unabridged free press and free airwaves.

David Singelyn • Harbor Springs

Reproductive rights
Thanks to Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) for introducing the federal Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) on the 31st anniversary of the monumental 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
This landmark piece of legislation is designed to protect women‘s civil liberties and prohibit the government from interfering in the exercise of reproductive rights.
The bill would prevent the government from discriminating against a woman on the basis of her reproductive decisions -- about using birth control, having a child, or terminating a pregnancy. FOCA would also forbid government interference in a woman‘s right to make her own family planning and reproductive health decisions. The legislation would invalidate current restrictions on access to abortion and family planning health care services such as mandated delays and targeted and medically unnecessary regulations.
I applaud these lawmakers for introducing federal legislation that would guarantee and protect a woman‘s basic human right to make her own childbearing decisions. A woman‘s right to make her own childbearing and reproductive health choices has been systematically eroded by anti-choice hardliners and this bill is designed to restore and protect this fundamental human right.
l urge Michigan‘s Senators Levin and Stabenow and Representative Camp to co-sponsor this important bill.
In Northern Michigan, activists are planning many events building up to the March for Women‘s Lives in Washington, DC, on April 25, 2004, when women from all over the country and the world will raise their voices in support of reproductive rights for women everywhere.
Further information on the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is available at www.plannedparenthood.org. For more information about the March for Women‘s Lives, go to www.miplannedparenthood.org/march.

Nancy W. Doughty • TC

Who controls the agenda?
Over many decades I chaired a number of committees, each with various goals and philosophies. Early on I found that if I also assumed the duties of physically compiling the committee agenda, I could control the meeting with little challenge or deviation. If the topic wasn‘t on the agenda, it didn‘t get discussed. Period. That was the trick I used to steer the committees in the direction I wanted them to go, regardless of sponsors‘ intentions or those of other members on the committee.
After witnessing the mainstream press ridicule and ignore Dean, Kucinich, Sharpton, Lieberman and Braun in Iowa and New Hampshire and their previous belittling treatment, I realized that my prior experience on committees had a direct correlation to what is going on in Corporate America today.
The power elite control the American public‘s agenda through their subsidiary, the Corporate Media –- which consists of most of our major newspapers, magazines, cable and network TV and radio stations. Over 90% of the media in this country is controlled by just a half dozen individuals behind the conglomerates -- who control America’s agenda. And if the topic isn‘t on the agenda, it doesn‘t get discussed in their media.
What we hear or read is chosen for us along with its spin. When one considers that the decisions we make are based exclusively on the knowledge we have of a subject, then it‘s no wonder we act and vote the way they want us to. The topics on our daily agenda -- and their political spin -- are chosen by Corporate America, not us.
More and more liberal observers are recognizing that “the mainstream media in the current era is the enemy, and must be treated that way.” While we stand and aim our progressive arrows at the Corporate Huns out in the field, their first line assassins in the media who are directly in front of us are cutting open our bellies.

William F. Brabenec • Attica, MI

last week‘s article on the nursing strike in Petoskey contained an error in spelling which may have altered perception of the story. A patient was treated for a staph infection at Northern Michigan Hospital, rather than a staff infection as stated in the article.
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