Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

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The candidates and the issues

Sara Gay Dammann - September 22nd, 2008
So much is being written about this election and so much of what is being said is irrelevant. It’s time to close the silly season and turn the focus to issues, not gender, not race, not age. The question is whom do we think can best lead this country out of the morass of war and economic woes?
The issues are many. Here are a few:
TAXES: Obama’s tax plan would lower taxes for 95% of all taxpayers, virtually eliminate income tax for 10 million working Americans and for seniors with incomes lower than $50,000, and Obama proposes to let the Bush administration’s tax cuts for the wealthy expire and be returned to middle and low-income taxpayers in the form of tax credits to pay for health insurance.
McCain proposes further cuts in the corporate tax rate (10%) and to extend Bush’s tax cuts for those at the top of the economy.
Obama’s tax record in the Senate includes the Stop Fraud Bill and the 2007 Patriot Employer Tax Act, which provided tax credits to companies increasing workforce in the United States.
EDUCATION: Obama supports universal voluntary pre-school for all children, expanding head start, proper funding for No Child Left Behind, teacher service scholarships, improving science and math curriculums, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit to make college affordable for all students.
McCain supports school vouchers, has no college level programs and has not supported extending Pell Grants.
Obama led the fight to increase Pell Grants to $5,100 and introduced legislation to support summer learning and teacher residency programs.
ETHICS: Obama has a deep record on ethics legislation including bills to end “no bid” contracts, restricting corporate jet travel by legislators, requiring disclosure of contribution bundling by lobbyists, and has refused campaign contributions from lobbyists and PACs.
McCain, despite his rhetoric, voted against lobbying reform and has intensified his fundraising with lobbyists.
HEALTH CARE: Obama’s public health care plan is similar to the federal employees plan, which covers all essential medical services including preventive, maternity and mental health services, and covers all children. For those choosing private insurers, Obama proposes a National Health Insurance Exchange to monitor private plans, ensure they are fair and accessible and to evaluate the plans. To control costs Obama would reimburse employer health plans for catastrophic illness costs above threshold, lower prescription drug costs by permitting overseas purchases and negotiating with drug companies.
McCain’s plan calls for federal assistance for states to create high-risk pools to contracts with insurers and provide $2,500 individual tax credits. McCain has no plan that requires coverage for children.
Obama has co-sponsored several bills including the Healthy Kids Act and SCHIP reauthorization as well as legislation on women’s health issues in both Illinois and the US Senate.
MILITARY: Obama calls for an orderly transition of responsibility in Iraq from the United States military to the Iraqi government. He calls for a shift of focus to Afghanistan where Al Qaeda and the Taliban thrive.
McCain, while acknowledging the resurgence of Al Qaeda and the Taliban still argues for more troops in Iraq.
Obama has a strong record on Veteran’s Affairs and has passed legislation to cut red tape for veterans at VA hospitals, passed legislation to help homeless vets, introduced legislation to improve outreach to National Guard and reserves.
McCain skipped the vote on the bill to provide better education benefits to vets in May, 2008, and has consistently voted against increasing funding for veteran’s health care.
The differences in the two candidates are real. There is reliable information on these issues. We do not need to be misled and it is our responsibility as voters to become informed and make informed choices when choosing our next President and Vice President.
One final note: some brilliant community organizers – John Adams, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, founded our nation. Community organizing is the basis of a true democracy.

Sara Gay Dammann has been a writer and freelance journalist for the New York Times, Detroit News, Chicago Tribune, Time-Life and other publications. She has lived in Charlevoix for more than 40 years where she and her late husband, Tom Dammann, a nationally-known newspaperman, raised their children.

 
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