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..

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Our Men‘s Issue

Robert Downes - September 6th, 2007
Hey, whatever happened to old
what’s-his-name? The so-called Angry White Male of the ’90s? He swept the Republicans into absolute power and marched around for a decade or so, pounding his chest with his neoconservative views.
He’s been pretty quiet lately. These days, you barely hear a peep out of him.
Maybe he‘s rethinking a few things that used to send him into a tizzy.
Back in the early ’90s, we launched an annual issue in the Express that focused on the theme of “Women Today.” It wasn’t long before men were saying, hey, what about us?
At that time, men -- some at least -- were in a state of flux. The ’90s were the era of the “men’s movement,” with books like “Iron John” spelling out the responsibilities and mysteries (such as they are) of maledom. Groups like Fathers for Equal Rights were raising a howl over perceived injustices in child custody cases. It was a time when men were reading each other the riot act over their responsibilities as fathers. It was the age of the “Angry White Male,” marching in step with Rush Limbaugh, castigating “feminazis” and the Clintons.
Some felt threatened by the fact that women were achieving positions of power -- I remember one guy griping about having a woman for a boss. He assumed that as a man I shared his us-against-them
outlook. But I was embarrassed for him for being so insecure.
Were men angrier in the ’90s? You
decide. But it does seem like we’re mellower in the ’00s.
If anything, we’re in a bit of a retreat because of all the disastrous male examples in recent years.
Other than our brave soldiers -- both male and female -- in Iraq and Afghanistan, who do men have as role models to look up to today? The leaders of the war and subsequent occupation -- Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, Wolfowicz and Bremer -- have created one of the biggest disasters in our country’s history. The blunders of the war are already being studied at the U.S. Army War College as textbook examples of how to blow it, according to “Fiasco,” an excellent book on Iraq.
Among the disgraces mentioned above, we can add Karl Rove, Alberto Gonzales, Scooter Libby, Jack Abramoff and “Good Job, Brownie” Michael Brown. Men with an anti-government agenda who came to Washington at the behest of the Angry White Male and did a number on us. Nice work, guys.
Today, the federal government seems directionless
and ineffective, our Justice Department is a disgrace, much of New Orleans is still a wreck two years after Hurricane Katrina, and our nation’s infrastructure is at risk. America’s image in the world has been dragged through the mud by torture scandals, a war of aggression, and policies of surveillance and
imprisonment without trial that are more in step with a police state than a democracy.
And let’s not forget the moralizers who whipped the Angry White Men into a frenzy during the Clinton years. The replacement team has turned out to be as freaky as a drag queen revue, with the likes of Sen. Larry
“I Am Not Gay” Craig, intern-lover Rep. Mark Foley, and evangelical cheerleader Rev. Ted “It was just a massage” Haggard. These days it seems as if the gay-bashing GOP has come out of the closet as the Gay Old Party.
At least we men still have our sports celebrities to look up to: Barry Bonds, Mike Vick, the Tour de France cheaters...
You still hear echoes and whispers from the Angry White Male these days, even if he’s been chastened by the goofs of recent years. He’s the guy who says that Sen. Hillary Clinton will never be president because she’s a woman.
But maybe that’s precisely why we should elect her.

New faces in new places at the Express

Northern Express would like to welcome Kristi Kates to the role of interim editor this week. Kristi is temporarily taking over for Robert Downes, who is pursuing a personal project over the next few months.
Kates brings strong writing and copy editing skills to the job. She also writes the Modern Rock column for Express, along with 4Play CD reviews, concert coverage and photography, and numerous features.
Additionally, she is a regular contributor to national music magazine Remix, and she‘s an accomplished indie musician, singer, and songwriter in her own right.

Also new is account representative Gayle Lyn Smith, who is reaching out to advertisers in a wide-ranging sales territory that includes Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island, Gaylord, Cheboygan and Indian River in the north, and the Cadillac-Manistee area at the southern end of the Express’s area
of coverage.
Smith is the former Northern Michigan Director of Donor Recruitment-BioMed for the American Red Cross. Personable and energetic, Smith has a strong background in public relations along with being active in local community issues for the last 10 years. her interests range from delving into computer technology to breeding Portugese water dogs. She and her husband Mike, who is an attorney, have twin 13-year-olds and live in Lake Ann.
Welcome aboard to Kristi Kates and Gayle Lyn Smith.
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