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 1/21/08
. . . .

Letters 1/21/08

- January 21st, 2008
Hellooo Big Brother
Please join me in scrutinizing the costs and ramifications of the Federal REAL ID rider which was attached to a military spending bill (H.R. 1268) and passed without any debate, and signed into law by President Bush on May 11, 2005.
I encourage you to become informed about this legislation. Folks with web access might consider Googling “REAL ID.” The issue has become more relevant to Michigan taxpayers due to a package of bills recently introduced by the Michigan Secretary of State supposedly intended to bring Michigan into compliance with federal requirements that 33 other states have rejected as too costly, and an invasion of individual privacy.
The unfunded mandates of the federal legislation are projected to cost the nation’s taxpayers $23B, according to the Department of Homeland Security. More troubling are concerns about the “show me your papers” mentality of a defacto National ID Card.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both...”

Thomas P. O‘Rourke • TC

And Next Up On ESPN,
Windshield Scraping
Your recent fitness issue was hugely disappointing in terms of the absence in coverage of seasonal Northern Michigan activities. Especially for newcomers to the area, it’s a disservice not to review fitness pursuits favored by locals. Since this is the winter season, I’ll focus on just one of the best winter activities that was not covered: roof shoveling.
This rigorous former Winter Olympic event, discontinued due to the death of all participants during the Moscow Onion Dome shoveling debacle, is a regional favorite and can be performed in two forms.
The “ladder form” of course involves climbing a ladder, standing on the step labeled “do not stand on this step,” and using an implement to reach up on the roof and drag snow into the body until the ladder is safely buried in snow and unable to be moved until spring. It’s largely an upper body workout and quite helpful in developing rotator cuff problems.
The more avant-garde form is called the “roof mount” and involves freestyle climbing to the roof’s peak, then the use of smaller implements such as shovels and axes until damage is done to the roof. Labeled an extreme sport by Evil Knievel, the roof mount style actually combines a variety of training techniques, including Pilates-like movement for flexibility and reach, skating/skiing/luging techniques while sliding down the roof’s pitch, and upper back strength while hanging from rain gutters or satellite dishes.
I would like to suggest that future fitness issues be produced by season and include other local favorites, such as spring “Sorel Boot Beach Volleyball,” summer “Men Grilling Meat on Boats Near Flammable Outboard Motors,” and a personal favorite of autumn, “Leaf Piling on City Streets Until Oncoming Traffic Can’t be Seen.”

Dave Murphy • TC

Turkey Quiz
Are you going to tell me that the white domestic turkey was not developed by some sort of selective breeding program? That some turkeys are not now so docile the noise of thunder can influence them to look up, and in heavy rain fill their lungs with enough water to cause a condition just like pneumonia? That Ben Franklin was only just kidding around about the wild turkey?
I ask you this. Is there much white meat on a wild turkey? Can Wild turkeys be very aggressive if the need arises? Have you ever seen two toms fight? Do they roost in the trees? Do you really think that Old Ben was just kidding about this magnificent bird?
I would lay my life on the line for the flag topped by the symbol of our country. But, I also know the eagle. I have seen them in a state called rapture. Have you ever seen eagles dance in the sky? Have you ever seen them eating road kill?
I‘ve picked up lifeless bodies of turkeys that were outside during a thunderstorm. Held them head down. Squished them a bit and had them revive. Not all but some.

Michael H. MacCready • Manton

Climate Confusion
I need some help in understanding the concept of global warming. It seems to me that in order to prove any type of change in any area of inquiry, one must first establish a base measurement. To prove that earth’s average temperature has warmed over this past century, one must prove the base average temperature one hundred years ago.
So not only do we need an accurate temperature reading from the year 1907, but in order to reach a global average, we need about 10,000 such readings from around the world, from areas populated and remote.
I wonder who in the world, in 1907 or even 1947, possessed the inclination or the instruments needed to establish even one precise temperature reading at any one point on earth?
An “average” earth temperature would then require accurate readings from about 10,000 points on the globe, all on the same day, at the same hour of the day. This, of course, must include all unpopulated areas such as parts of Africa, Siberia, Gobi Desert, and thousands of ocean surface locations.
Finally, I presume that any year’s average temperature, at any particular location, requires these same accurate readings taken at least four times a year, once during each of the four seasons.
As soon as I resolve these minor objections, I expect to convert to the Church of Global Warming & Climate Change.
Joseph Pasulka • Southport, NC

Travel Club, Anyone?
The International Circumnavigators Club, the largest such club in the world, needs a Northern Michigan chapter.
In 1970, the late George Pierrot wrote an article for the AAA Michigan Living Magazine (which I ran), beginning with “...the International Circumnavigators Club, the world‘s most prestigious group of globe trotters, with members from Detroit and Michigan, now make up its largest chapter with 76 members, but it was never aimed at bigness. It was organized in 1902 by two men who were sailing across the Indian Ocean.”
Pierrot was, for 35 years, the person who ran the World Adventure Series at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and was also the originator of a five-times-a-week travel show on a Detroit TV station. As for myself, I was Michigan‘s only representative with the Society of American Travel Writers. The current Michigan president is John Carroll of the Detroit area.
Now, Circum Don Schwendemann and his wife Barbara and I hope to get more persons from Northern Michigan who have traveled around the world to contact us if they are interested in starting a group locally. I may be reached at 231-933-9756.

Len Barnes • TC

Correction: In an article about the disenfranchisement of state voters in last week‘s primary, the phone number for the Democratic National Committee should have said: 877-336-7200; 202-863-8000.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5