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 · Other Opinions · May we all rest in peace...
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May we all rest in peace ( and quiet)

Dale S. Scott - August 25th, 2008
The morning sun peaks into our bedroom window. Most noticeably during the “in between” seasons.
Early to mid-spring as the sun shines higher in the northern hemisphere, before the leaves pop out.
And in the fall after the cold wet wind has blown those same leaves from the maple trees that encroach upon our third floor love-nest from the north and east.
Once or twice each April that same east window is rattled by sleet laced winds when they seem to be trying to turn our house around or turn our gaze to the south and the approach of summer.

Fifteen years of blissful nights have come and gone in this bedroom and not once has my door been beaten down by the combat boots of foreign or domestic soldiers. Imagine the terror imprinted into the hearts and minds of the Iraqi families who suffer this indignation! A handful of U.S. soldiers, barking commands in a foreign tongue or curt Arabic, busting into your room in the dark of night with weapons aggressively readied.

Each night in late spring, we leave our south-facing bedroom window open just a crack. The fresh air is a gift.
Several times during these weeks I will be awakened by a barely perceptible sound from just beyond the gardens.
The birth of a Shetland lamb, or perhaps twins, is imminent and often announced by the mother with a very special bleat, or groan, or grunt.
Moments later I may be seen in bathrobe and sheep boots with a bucket of warm water and molasses, wending my way among the dormant veggie and flower beds toward the barn.
The life cycle has begun again in the peacefulness of the early morning.
Our southern bedroom window is much like a series of still life paintings progressing each morning when we rise
from the planting and greening of our gardens through harvest and browning down in the fall.

These past 15 years of spring lambing and changing lushness of gardens has not once been marred by helicopter gun ships strafing our rooftop, walls, or gardens. Nor has there been a single instance when foreign military bulldozers have entered our compound intent upon crushing our barns, gardens, or fruit trees.
To the Palestinian people, who for a half-century have been impounded by the Israeli government, these invasions of privacy are surly more akin to prison guard abuses made worse by the knowledge that many of the weapons exploded among them are built and funded by the United States. Both U.S. and Israeli investors in military equipment and munitions are counting their profits while the product of such investments is shattering lives. And peace. And quiet.

When the outdoor temperatures dip into the 10s and 20s, both above and below zero degrees Fahrenheit, our bedroom window that faces the west displays the spectacular red-orange fireball of winter sunsets.
While the hawk blows in from the northwest we lie and watch the 75-foot-tall maple, white ash, and beach trees thrash about high above us and creak and snap under the stress of the wind and the cold.
Each year, a few of these giants succumb to these forces and end up in our woodstove, creating the gentle heat that rises to keep us snug in our peaceful sanctuary.

Not one time during these winter nights of near hibernation has a soldier of the “War on Terrorism” entered our sanctuary and announced that I or my wife would be detained because our names looked a lot like names on a list of suspected friends of possible acquaintances of probable Muslims. Or because an anonymous tipster had suggested that our website favorites contained the address of the Aljazeera news. Imagine the contempt for “freedom” and “democracy” that would take hold and grow in a community that experienced even one such incident!

Dale S. Scott of Harbor Springs is a member of the folk band Peacemeal.
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