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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My disillusionment with traditional medicine

Nicole Wildman - March 3rd, 2008
My disillusionment with traditional medicine started shortly after I quit my job of four years as a hospital unit clerk. I began to see for the first time just how much the medical community at large is motivated by fear.
That fear leads some doctors to micro-manage every symptom, treating everything with a different pill. I saw patients taking pills to allay the side effects of their other pills. Then there was the failure I saw taking place in my own family. I watched my husband taking Naproxen every day for the “arthritis” in his wrists (he’s 28 years old); I saw my kids having repeated ear infections, chronic coughing, asthma, constipation... and the very unpleasant side effects of the repeated antibiotics, oral and inhaled steroids for a three-year-old... and still, the problems didn’t go away.
Then there was my own poor health. My body has become hypersensitive to all kinds of drugs, even Ibuprofen. I have numerous food allergies, and just feel sick and weak all the time. I’d seen a few doctors, but got no answers. It seems that most of the time, if doctors don’t know the answer to your problem, they just tell you it’s “stress.”
One doctor told me to exercise. That was the extent of his treatment. Never mind that exercise made me feel like I was going to drop dead, but the doctor wouldn’t know that, because he never really listened to anything I had to say.
On top of all this was the harassment from the nurses at our pediatrician’s office, who could not get over the fact that my husband and I, after careful research and consideration, are among the many concerned parents who have decided not to vaccinate our children. I knew I had to find something better for my family.
Then, this fall, I heard of a branch of medicine that was new to me: naturopathic medicine. I was fascinated by what I heard. These are doctors who use only natural methods of healing, and treat the whole person by finding the root of illness, helping patients to find overall good health. I knew this was what I’d been praying for.
I did a little searching and found Dr. Nathan Olsen, N.D. A native of Traverse City, he received his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine at Portland, Oregon’s National College of Naturopathic Medicine. I was excited to find out that, yes, he is a real doctor. We met with him for a 10 minute “meet and greet,” which turned into a 45-minute discussion.
I initially had a few doubts about starting on this path. I wondered if I could trust this person with the health of my children. I had heard that herbs could be as toxic as drugs. I worried that he’d just want to get us taking all kinds of supplements.
As a Christian, I’d always been warned that holistic medicine usually incorporated spirituality that would clash with our beliefs. Dr. Olsen quickly put my mind to rest. He treats children on a regular basis. His homeopathic medicines are FDA-tested and approved. He only gives supplements as they are needed for healing. He will incorporate whatever spirituality the patient is comfortable with.
I had also wondered if he was qualified to diagnose diseases, such as diabetes or cancer, and if he could run blood tests. The answer to this was also affirmative. As a licensed physician he has access to labs.
A few weeks later, my youngest got her first ear infection of the year. So began our journey into natural healing. Instead of prescribing antibiotics, the doctor gave us some homeopathic eardrops, and helped us adjust our children’s diet to avoid future infections. The eardrops worked wonders. My older daughter has never developed the horrible chronic cough and asthmatic symptoms that she usually has from November through May. This is almost definitely the result of simply removing dairy from her diet for the winter.
I was a little put off by one thing though. None of us were weighed and measured. I thought, maybe he forgot. I know better now; it’s really not beneficial to keep such careful track of those things in a healthy person, and many people are much too focused on numbers on a scale or growth chart, rather than just being aware of a person’s overall condition. Any drastic changes in weight or failure to thrive will be obvious without the use of a scale.
This kind of attitude gave me a sense of freedom and peace. As we continued our visits, we started to really feel the benefits of Dr. Olsen’s approach. We are never rushed. He really listens.
My husband and I also began to receive treatment. My husband’s so-called arthritis turned out to be nothing more than a few bones out of place. He had also suffered for a long time with stuffy sinuses and very loud snoring, and he seemed to get sick often. The doctor formulated an herbal tincture for him, to boost his immunity and open his sinuses. He saw results immediately, with no side effects. He can breathe freely now, and the volume of his snoring has decreased.
As for myself, I finally found someone who understands my health problems. We have not solved them yet, although Dr. Olsen is confident that we will, but we have made good progress through regular counseling.
This incorporation of emotional and physical health is a dream come true for me, as my health problems are very intertwined with my emotions. Our doctor has started to feel like a true friend to our family, someone we can trust and depend on. He’s not motivated by money, but truly cares for us. I can’t imagine what life would be like if we had not found him.
There are a few downfalls though. Since naturopathy is considered “alternative medicine” in Michigan, it is not covered by most insurance companies. However, I find the price to be affordable even for a young family of four, with every one of us seeing the doctor regularly; and we live on one income.
Then there is the fact that even though the doctor can legally prescribe drugs, he chooses not to. In the event that a patient does need antibiotics or other drugs, they are referred to a traditional doctor.
Dr. Olsen tells me that most people usually seek out natural healing as a last resort. I think this is a sad fact. It makes more sense to me to seek out naturopathy as the first form of treatment, and seek help from traditional medicine only if it proves necessary, since traditional treatments seem to have more shortcomings and side effects. I’d encourage anyone looking for a healthier way of life to look into naturopathy. I’m so glad I did. Some good websites to check out are www.naturopathic.org, and www.michnd.org.

Nicole Wildman is a resident of Traverse City.
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