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 5/13/04
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Letters 5/13/04

Various - May 13th, 2004
Empty promises

The building that house our North Peak Brewery/Restaurant was an eyesore until a group of entrepreneurs turned it into a living, breathing business that employs more than 125 people. It took planning, capital and a lot of hard work to make it a reality. As in any business venture (especially restaurants) the risks were high.
The city officials welcomed our project. We were led to believe that the area surrounding our business would be an extension of a vital downtown. With the proximity to the bay, we were convinced that we had a good location and we decided to take the risks.
Red Mill Lumber was an eyesore as well, but we were told that the property would become a “Gaslight Area” type of development with shops, offices, residential and restaurants. The power plant was coming down and “wouldn’t it all be beautiful!” It hasn’t quite happened that way and now we are facing yet another project that will industrialize our “Gaslight District.”
We have worked hard to improve our end of Downtown Traverse City. I speak for all of the businesses in the area that have spoken against locating the BATA transfer center at the Hall Street location. We are the people who make the Michigan economy work -- small business! We employ people and pay taxes.
Please allow our area to continue to grow and be a vital part of Downtown Traverse City. There are other sites that will be less disruptive to traffice, to residents and to our businesses.

Howard Schelde • Schelde’s Restaurants

Bush blunders

I attended a George W. Bush speech April 26th. I was exhibiting
at the AACC (American Association of Community Colleges) conference in
Minneapolis. He addressed the conference, which shut down the exhibit hall
for security reasons. Everyone was invited to attend.
It was great that Bush acknowledged the community college actions in
training and educating American citizens and work force. And that‘s what the
audience wanted to hear. But otherwise it was a “Ra-ra, we‘re the greatest
country in the world“ speech that left a very hollow and arrogant feel when
it was over.
He spoke briefly to our energy policy. What energy policy? Has
this country made great steps to energy independence and reduction since
911? Instead it appears that cars are bigger, gaudier and with less fuel
efficiency than ever! Have we recognized our addiction to oil and the
extremely negative long range economic, social, environmental and political
consequences of that? We have a bloody war going on. It‘s no coincidence
that it‘s at the vortex of the world‘s oil supply.
We have a president bragging in TV ads that he didn‘t wait for the UN in attacking Iraq, and now we desperately seek increased international help that endorsement would have brought. This is not positive leadership. It is finger-pointing, hypocricy and arrogance. It is damaging to real security and respect.
It is a privilege to attend a live presidential speech. Too bad it felt
like there was more bravado and swagger than substance, especially given the
price we‘re now paying and will pay for decades.

Jack Gyr • Benzonia

Withdraw from Iraq

Were the real reasons for a war with Iraq ever discussed and debated?
Weren‘t WMD, removal of Saddam, conversion to democracy, Iraqi freedom and linking 9/11 to Iraq really marketing reasons to win public support?
When will we learn the real reasons for the Iraq “war“? Probably never? As President Bush said, most of us will not be here when history makes its judgment.
The reasons were no doubt an eclectic collection from an association of strange bedfellows. Just maybe one of the catalysts for the Iraqi experiment stems from an organization established in 1997 called the Project for the New American Century. This organization was a nonprofit, educational organization whose mission was to develop a study to promote American global leadership.
Many of those associated with the organization were some former 1970s liberals who referred to themselves as neoconservatives. The organization published a report, “Rebuilding America‘s Defenses... Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century.” It appears that this report may have served as the initial philosophical
blueprint for the Iraqi invasion.
There was an absence of honest and open public debate and no focus as to the real reasons for invading Iraq; there was only self-deception that led to poor planning. Thus the Iraq “war” was doomed to failure from the very
start. It was not really a war: it was a grandiose social and cultural experiment to be imposed by military force.
It is not the first time that the leaders of other nations have dictated cultural change that has resulted in great upheaval accompanied by substantial prestige, social and
monetary costs. Unfortunately, in this case the costs involve the citizens of two countries.
Now we must have the integrity, the self realization and the cajones to admit that America‘s strategy to change Iraq is flawed. The right course of action is to admit failure and have an open and honest debate as to how to withdraw the military at the earliest possible time. At the end of the Civil War General Lee said, as he
surveyed the carnage on the battlefield, “It was failure of
leadership.” We should not continue to compound our failure in Iraq.

Harold D. Adams • Bloomfield Hills

Tips for Republicans

Things you have to believe to be a Republican today.
1. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you‘re a conservative radio host. Then it‘s an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery
2. The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.
3. Government should relax regulation of Big Business and Big Money but crack down on individuals who use marijuana to relieve the pain of illness.
4. “Standing Tall for America‘“ means firing your workers and moving their jobs to India.
5. A woman can‘t be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.
6. Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.
7. The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans‘ benefits and combat pay.
8. Group sex and drug use are degenerate sins unless you someday run for governor of California as a Republican.
9. If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won‘t have sex.
10. A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.
11. HMOs and insurance companies have the interest of the public at heart.
12. Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.
13. Global warming and tobacco‘s link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.
14. Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush‘s daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a “we can‘t find Bin Laden“ diversion.
15. A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.
16. Government should limit itself to the powers named in the
Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.
17. The public has a right to know about Hillary‘s cattle trades, but George Bush‘s driving record is none of our business.
18. You support states‘ rights, which means Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have a right to adopt.
19. What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the ‘80s is irrelevant.
20. Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.
Feel free to pass these on. If you don‘t send them to at least ten other people, we‘re likely to be stuck with Bush for four more years

-- Chet Eagleman Jr. • Grand Rapids
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