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 3/17/08
. . . .

Letters 3/17/08

- March 17th, 2008
Votes must be counted
Michigan and Florida defied the Democratic Party’s rules by moving their primaries to January in an attempt to leap-frog other states’ primaries. As a result, the Democratic National Committee is planning to deny seats to the delegates from these two states at the Democratic National Convention.
In spite of all this, a legally binding primary was held in these two states. It is only a matter of time before someone who voted in these primaries will file a lawsuit because their vote must be honored. Nobody in this country can be told that their legally cast vote does not count because leaders of a state and national party made a mistake.
Before those primaries were held, the DNC and the Michigan/Florida Democratic committees should have realized that you cannot simply disregard a vote just because they could not come to an agreement. And you cannot just “re-do” an election to fix a mistake.
If anything, the Democrats should have learned this from the 2000 presidential election. You must count every vote that is cast on the day, place and time that it is legally cast. Otherwise, we run the risk of putting in jeopardy the very foundation of our nation. Unfortunately, this issue will once again have to be resolved by the courts because the so-called party leaders tried to get cute with the process.

Joe Bialek • Cleveland, OH

On the ballot
Great news! On March 3, the Michigan Board of Canvassers officially certified that MCCC (Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care) collected enough signatures to transmit the medical marijuana initiative to the Michigan Legislature.
The 496,000+ signatures officially counted by the state came back with an 80.2% validity rate, far exceeding what was needed to qualify. Such a high validity rate is testament to the diligence of our petition team, whose exacting attention to detail ensured we would survive any eventuality.
The initiative will now be transmitted to the legislature, which has 40 days to either pass it into law or send it to voters in November.
Because the legislature has considered multiple medical marijuana bills in recent years and none have ever gained traction, Michiganders – who support protecting patients from arrest by nearly a two-to-one margin – are all but certain to vote on the issue at the polls.
The official word that we have gathered enough signatures to send the initiative to voters in November culminates a historic, monumental effort. We are one step closer to making Michigan the first medical marijuana state in the Midwest. And patients all across the state are one enormous step closer to alleviating their pain without the fear of arrest and jail.

Rev. Steven B.Thompson

Stop Alba‘s well
Alba and Mancelona are the headwaters of the great rivers of Michigan, the Black, the Jordan, the Boyne, the Manistee, the Sturgeon, the Cedar, the Au Sable.
Yet, the DEQ may permit CMS to dispose of cement kiln dust (CKD) leachate, a liquid waste laced with heavy metals, including lead and mercury, into a deep injection well in Alba. In spite of recent scientific studies that show fractures in the “containment” layer, the DEQ has given the green light to CMS. Why?
If a child has a wound and is bleeding to death, the paramedics do not organize a team to clean up the living room. They work diligently to stop the bleeding!
Like a tea bag, kiln dust only makes a brew when water is added. In spite of knowledge of the toxicity of CKD leachate, the DEQ allowed CMS to deposit tons of CKD in unlined pits and topped the waste pile off with a golf course.
The majority of this CKD is above ground and could be removed today and contained per the EPA, which instructs CMS to “remove, isolate and contain” the kiln dust.
The leachate captured at East Park in Bay Harbor amounts to less than three-fourths of one percent of the leachate from Bay Harbor. Yet the DEQ and CMS appear to be willing to risk contamination of our mighty rivers for what? The Bay Harbor golf course!
Ask the Governor to stand up for environmental justice and petition the EPA to designate CKD leachate as “hazardous” waste. Stop the bleeding and order CMS to contain the CKD. That means a hard hit for CMS and a golf course, but it’s the right thing to do.

Jo Anne Beemon • Charlevoix

The torture president
In his memoir, Richard Clarke quoted George Bush as saying:
”Everything is available for the pursuit of this war. Any barriers in your way, they’re gone. Any money you need, you have it. This is our only agenda...
“I don’t care what the international lawyers say, we are going to kick some ass.”
The Bush administration has held fast to this bunker mentality through the fifth year of war. The arrogance of any president claiming constitutional license to override any law—including laws against torture—if he deems it necessary to wage a war is mind-boggling. Now President Bush has vetoed the Intelligence Authorization Bill (H.R. 2082) which would have outlawed the use of torture by the CIA.
The International Red Cross estimates that 80% of Iraqis incarcerated by the US military were arrested by mistake. How many of those tortured were innocent and had no information to provide to their interrogators? Have we forgot that following WWII, the U.S. prosecuted Japanese soldiers for using waterboarding? Torture is immoral. It is also a proven ineffective means of gathering information.
Stay informed of Traverse for Peace and Justice’s Campaign Against Torture activities at TraversePeaceAlerts.org.

Marian Kromkowski Suttons Bay

Beware of Vista
Kathy Shales wrote of her PC problems in the March 10 Northern Express. She’s not alone.
On March 9, e-mails between senior Microsoft employees were unsealed by the judge in a class action suit and published in the New York Times online edition. They show that Microsoft was aware of serious problems with its Vista operating system, and released the product anyway, misleading not only consumers, but also its business partners, including Dell and Hewlett-Packard, and large retailers, including Best Buy and Wal-Mart.
In fact, many PCs thought to be Vista-ready don’t operate properly when running Vista. In addition, as many Vista users know all too well, even when their PCs work, many peripherals – printers, scanners, cameras, and so on – don’t work with Vista because device drivers (more software) don’t exist. Microsoft doesn’t support a “downgrade” to Windows XP for most customers, although consumers can purchase Windows XP, re-format their hard drives, and then install XP. Do you have a week or so to spend backing up all of your data, and then re-installing all of your software?
Operating systems are the brains of the computer: they make all of the rest of the software and all of the devices work or not work. They are unbelievably complex. Microsoft has a history of releasing software with many known problems. Don’t buy a computer that runs a brand new operating system from Microsoft unless you are able to tolerate two years of shake-out. I bought a new Dell laptop a year ago and insisted on Windows XP. Boy am I glad I did.
If you’re already stuck with Windows Vista, be patient. The problems will be resolved eventually. If you bought a computer with the “Vista Ready” sticker, and it doesn’t fully support the Vista operating system, you are part of the class action suit, which goes to trial in October. That should make you feel a little better.
If you aren’t a techie or you have better things to do with your time than fiddle with your PC, buy a Mac. Yes, they cost more. That’s in part because Apple spends more to make their operating systems easier to use and more stable. You do get what you pay for.

Raechel Wright • Charlevoix

Matter of conscience
Express letter-writers Zachary and McIntyre (2/25) renew our attention to the Iraq War through the metaphor of a broken car and the war‘s impact on ‘the economy.’
Another piece of war we may forget is that war calls our soldiers to kill people. What does killing people on command mean, how does it feel, what does it do for a soldiers sense of well being, his or her conscience?
Traverse-area citizens have the opportunity to view how some soldiers in combat deal with the morality of the call to kill. The award-winning film,
“Soldiers of Conscience,” will be featured at the State Theatre, Tuesday, March 18, 7:30 p.m.
“Soldiers of Conscience” played here in Seattle for six days. We had the opportunity to discuss the film with one of the producers as well as with Aidan Delgado, one of the five soldiers featured in the film.
The film also shows Army instructor Major Pete Kilner helping soldiers address their underlying moral stance to support their call to kill. This recognizes that some returning combat veterans, lacking a moral basis for what they have done, may become psychologically disjointed.
“Soldiers of Conscience” shows the deeply personal reality of the call to duty with its moral dilemma to kill or not to kill, a question most of us do not have to answer. We recommend seeing this film.

Tom and Darylene Shea • Seattle

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