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 7/7/08
. . . .

Letters 7/7/08

- July 7th, 2008
Mining disaster
Over a dozen mines for copper, nickel, gold, zinc, and possibly uranium are currently on the drawing boards for the Upper Peninsula, home to some of the most pristine rivers and aquifers in the world.
Acid sulfide mining has the potential to pollute both Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. This type of mining is not like that of the old days. It has the potential to pollute for hundreds of years.
This type of mining has already caused irreparable harm near the Flambeau River in northern Wisconsin. The mine there closed in 1997; however, 10 years later, there are still toxic levels of iron, copper, and manganese in the region. Very harmful to fish, manganese is also known to cause Parkinson-like tremors in humans. In fact, the state of Wisconsin will no longer allow such type of mining unless or until a company can show that a mine has operated and been closed for 10 years without causing such mess.
This type of mining is being explored less than 25 miles from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Minnesota. Sulfide mining also has the potential to permanently eradicate the last known spawning grounds of the rare coaster brook trout along the south shore of Lake Superior.
The demand for raw materials to feed China’s industrial machine could turn Michigan into a “colony.” All so we here in the U.S. can consume more “stuff” and China and other developing nations can have items like cars, refrigerators, and cell phones. The chickens (vultures?) have finally come home to roost.
It is a really dumb idea to pollute pristine rivers that feed our Great Lakes -- our only source of fresh water. As the issues of “not enough clean water” rise to the forefront here in the U.S., we will be left with a nightmare if these types of mines are allowed to take foot anywhere near the Great Lakes.
Join mine protesters as we walk from the Yellow Dog Plains (western Marquette County) to the Mackinac Bridge during the last two weeks in August – just in time to walk The Bridge on Labor Day. You can walk for a few hours, a weekend, or do the entire trip.
Contact us at www.yellowdogwatershed.org, www.savethewildup.org, www.northwoodswild.org for more details.

Margaret Comfort
• Bourbonnais, IL

The coming crisis
Fuel pricing has a more deliberate and insidious aspect than what has been reported. It is not simply true that oil has become more valuable; the dollar has been devalued to a point where it takes more of them to buy a gallon of gas.
Think of it this way. An ounce of gold would buy a decent men‘s suit in Dante’s day. The same amount of gold will buy one of equal value today. The suit only seems more expensive because there are more dollars involved.
The main culprit is the Federal Reserve Bank, which has been politicized by an oil-baron president. This president is also obsessed with his “legacy.” The cost of energy has risen to record levels, and yet, our Republican administration thinks inflation is low. The Federal Reserve takes this cue and lowers the interest rates. This devalues the dollar, which causes the price of gas to spike.
The European Central Bank (ECB) recently raised interest rates due to its perception that inflation is being “imported” from America. The mere suggestion that the ECB is contemplating another interest rate hike is enough to send the price of oil skyrocketing.
This is due to a global lack of confidence in this Republican administration, and its perceived influence on the Fed. How can two major financial institutions look at the same thing and come to such different conclusions?
Like other branches of our government, the Fed has been politicized by a rogue faction of politicians known as the neo-conservatives. It was the neocons who were the architects in the war for petroleum wealth. The bulk of the powerful Washington neocons involved in the Iraq war strategy are oil barons.
A low interest rate has helped to keep the lid on their huge war deficit. The totally irresponsible parties somehow appear a little bit more responsible in a delusional sort of way.
The passing of the presidential gas this November will make it appear that the new administration is to blame as the old one scoots out the door just in time. George Bush will bask in the illusion of his legacy while sticking his “lingering” consequences to someone else. Old pot-hole Engler, and his misguided choir of fiscal irresponsible Republicans did the same thing to our current governor.
The real Bush legacy is best described as a poisoned well.

Timothy Wiley • via email

Still time to impeach
On June 10, Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio introduced House Resolution 1258, calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush. That resolution was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
On June 14, the Steering Committee of the Leelanau County Democratic Party passed a motion expressing strong support urged the Speaker and the Committee on the Judiciary to conduct a hearing as soon as possible so that the full House of Representatives may take action before the 110th Congress adjourns.
Now, some have said that impeachment would take too long and chew up too much time in the Congress. Not true. According to Elizabeth Holtzmann, a member of the Nixon Committee, commenting on the Nixon impeachment, the total time from start to his resignation was three months. One month of which was spent in preparations by the Judiciary Committee, which is not necessary this time. Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit) already wrote the book (on Bush administration abuses).
Nixon was never impeached or convicted -- he resigned. There was no Senate trial. Such was the increased pressure of this investigation and the impeachment resolutions.
Others have said that we should just wait it out and he’ll be gone. Yes, but, look at the legacy we leave for the next administration and our children: signing statements, illegal declarations of war, unconstitutional wiretapping of our citizens, violations of treaties, contempt by our allies, shattered relations with other nations, massive debt, thousands dead....
Why leave such a terrible legacy intact? Should these acts go unpunished or unreproved? Do you think this administration will be criminally prosecuted after they leave? Not likely.
Impeachment is the only required and constitutionally mandated action. Let’s get on with it!

Robert Marshall • Lake Leelanau

Raw deal for veteran
Regarding your recent Region Watch article by Anne Stanton, concerning Calvin Murphy’s VA disability, “Vet Must Share Disability With Ex-wife.” This is a shame, how this Vietnam veteran has been treated by this Manistee judge. The awarding of this veteran’s VA disability as alimony, in contrast to other Michigan case law, has shocked me. It’s as if our federal laws, Constitution, and the United States Supremacy Clause, 38 USC 5301, in protecting this veteran‘s rights, has no meaning, and is of no consequence.
In other Michigan courts, justice seems to work. I’m confused. In compliance with Supreme Court rulings, of a Michigan judgment in North v. North (2001) was reversed with a ruling that the case was a blatant violation of veterans‘ benefits. And Judge Curtis J. Bell (Kalamazoo) found that VA disability compensation as alimony is exempt in the case of Army Sgt. Gordon Sutton, a disabled Vietnam veteran.
Calvin Murphy did not ask for, or expect, more than any other veteran. Sadly, in Michigan, the law, and his veterans rights did not work for Calvin Murphy. And sadly for those fine men and women who are returning from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Walter Reed, this is the justice, and fair dealing they can expect for serving their country.

William H. Heino Sr. • via email

Skeptical of voting
Do you think “voting rocks”? Voting is only a tiny part of the political process. If your political participation is limited to voting, you are doing your countrymen a disservice.
Our word “sufferage” has an interesting history. Today, it means the ability to vote. “Sufferage” comes from Latin- “suffragium.“ In the early days of the republic, it meant a voting tablet or ballot.
Over time, power became centralized and more corrupt. Voting became pointless. “Suffragium” came to mean political pressure or advantage that you could get a powerful friend to employ on your behalf. Perhaps he could get you a government job, or political favors.
Eventually, corruption became universal. Suffragium came to mean the gift, payment, or bribe that the tyrants demanded for every little thing they did. In the last days of the rotting, festering Roman Empire, all public transactions required a fee -- kind of like now.
Let us move on to modern times. Joseph Stalin said: “Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count me votes decide everything.” As computerized voting becomes more prevalent, and many of the machines leave no paper trail, how much faith do you have in the system?
Why should you attend political meetings? If 90 people in your town go to a meeting supporting one candidate, and the official results say that only 12 voted for him, you have reason to suspect something foul has taken place. That candidate could have had 200 votes. Without the meetings, after the election, each of the 200 would believe that he or she was one of the 12 listed in the “official” results.
Do not allow yourself to be manipulated by glossy political ads with pretty pictures. Please do not cast your vote with blind party loyalty. Our republic, our country, and our liberty is too precious to be trifled with in this manner. Please remember always, that if you vote for the lesser of two evils, that you are still voting for evil. When faced with this option, write in a good person, vote for a third party, vote for Pedro.

J. Douglas Holmes • Frankfort
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5