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 3/20/03
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Letters 3/20/03

Various - March 20th, 2003
Mean liberal readers

I would like to thank you for the “Best of 2003“ list
of restaurants, places to go, etc. What I found
especially amusing was your “Best Going Away Present
for John Engler“ and “Best New Job for Trent Lott“.
The “intelligence,“ “compassion“ and “tolerance“ of
your mostly liberal readership was certainly on
display here. Repeatedly making fun of the former
Governor‘s weight problem while wishing upon him such
things as “flaming bags of dog poop,“ “stomach bypass
surgery“ and “guillotines“ really put the genius of
the left in this country on display. As far as
Senator Lott is concerned, I agree that he made some
stupid and offensive statements, but lets not
forget that the only former member of the KKK in
the Senate happens to be the distinguished Robert
“Sheets“ Byrd, Democrat (WV), and I don‘t see any
Democrats asking for his resignation.
I also found it interesting that the comments made
about Governor Engler and Senator Lott were far more
hateful and disgusting than anything suggested in the
“Songs you‘d like to dedicate to Saddam Hussein“.
This just goes to prove time and time again that all
one has to do to be held in lower regard than Hussein,
and Hitler.. all of whom have murdered millions of
people... is to simply disagree with the modern
“American“ liberal.

Steve Yenshaw • Traverse City

Best commanders

I must respectfully disagree with some of your choices for the best/worst Commander-in-Chiefs, specifically John F. Kennedy, Franklin Roosevelt, and Harry Truman (Random Thoughts 3/6).
John F. Kennedy‘s handling of the Cuban missile crisis was indeed adroit, however most histories of the crisis gloss over (as the press did at the time) the fact that in order to get the Soviets to agree to remove missiles from Cuba, Kennedy agreed to remove U.S. missiles from Turkey as well. This was a substantial strategic retreat for the U.S., although one could safely argue that it prevented a general war. In addition, America‘s involvement in Vietnam was easily as much Kennedy‘s fault as anyone else‘s. Despite popular fiction (Oliver Stone‘s JFK) there is no evidence that Kennedy‘s policy toward war in Vietnam would have been any different than Johnson‘s was. The CIDG program, which succeeded only in arming the Viet Cong, which heretofore had been unable to sustain any sort of intensive combat, began not under the Johnson administration but Kennedy‘s. Diem‘s assassination was also planned by the Kennedy administration.
The statement that the U.S. was poorly prepared for WW2 is not exactly accurate. The U.S. was certainly surprised at Pearl Harbor and in the Philippines but even a cursory study of WW2 history will reveal that the U.S. began to mobilize industrially in the late 1930s and militarily in 1940. Virtually every major weapons system used by America began development, and some cases production, prior to America‘s entry into the war. This includes the Manhattan Project. In addition, Roosevelt, despite some missteps, managed to keep the war from developing into a Churchillian series of sideshows that did little or nothing to contribute to the final Axis defeat. He refused to allow huge numbers of American troops to be diverted to such theaters as Greece, China and Yugoslavia using them instead to liberate Western Europe and the Philippines. On the downside there is no question that he should have fired MacArthur after his defeat in the Philippines and he also allowed a divided command in the Pacific to linger.
Harry S. Truman is vilified unfairly for his decision to drop the atom bomb on Japan but again even a cursory examination of the facts will reveal the military soundness of his decision. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing killed between 100,000 and 200,000 people depending upon whose figures one uses. By comparison, the battle for Okinawa resulted in about 200,000 deaths of whom approximately 85,000 (some sources claim as many 175,000) were civilians. The idea that U.S. invasion of Japan would not have produced truly incomprehensible casualties is ludicrous as is the claim that the Japanese were ready to surrender. The military in Japan had known for over a year, since the fall of Saipan and the attendant Battle of the Philippine Sea, that there was no way that Japan could win the war. This realization is what caused the fall of the Tojo government. Despite this the Japanese made no serious attempt to end the war because, in their greed, they were unable to countenance the loss of what they had so recently conquered. In addition, there would have no U.S. invasion of Hokkaido until the summer of 1946. During the winter between 3 and 6 million Japanese would have died of starvation and exposure (according to the W.H.O.). Only prompt action by Douglas MacArthur who was an able administrator if an indifferent tactician, prevented mass starvation as it was.
Truman is also blamed for heavy losses in the Korean War. The Korean War was hardly the U.S. military‘s shining hour, but Truman had little choice in committing the U.S. to the fighting particularly given the fact the U.N. Security Council mandated military action (one of only two occasions that it has done so). Truman also fired MacArthur preventing a full scale war with China.

Eric Smith • Petoskey

Oil vs. Democracy

I am against America until this life ends, until the Day of Judgment&My
hatred of America, if part of it was contained in the universe, it would
collapse&She is the root of all evils and wickedness on earth&Muslim
Brothers in Palestine, do not have any mercy, neither compassion&. Why
dont you wage jihad (against America and Israel)? Why dont you pillage

Does the preceding quote sound chilling? It sounds worse when you
realize it was from by one of our ALLIES in the Middle East (Shaikh Saad
Al-Buraik from Saudi Arabia).

Great pains have been made to link Sadaam Hussein to Al Queda and Bin
Ladens terrorist network. If a plausible link were to be made Iraq
would conceivably be bombed beyond any recognizable standard of a
civilized society (as was attempted with considerable success in 1991).
Conversely, 15 of the 19 WTC terrorists were Saudi Arabian nationals.
Apparently that is not a plausible link to terrorism. We are not going
to bomb Saudi Arabia. While Saudi Arabia happens to be one of the
countries most grounded in religious fundamentalism that, like Sadaam
Hussein, believes in the use of terrorism there is one fundamental
difference. That difference lies in the access to oil profits.

In Colonial times Saudi Arabian oil profits went directly into the bank
accounts of Western oil companies. In the era of Neo-Colonialism the
profits are invested into an account with Chase Manhattan Bank, which
invests the money earning huge profits. Chase Manhattan also manages the
Saudi Industrial Development Fund and the Saudi Investment Bank. Morgan
Guaranty Trust (linked to Mobil and Texaco) also shares in the profits
having a representative on the Board of the Saudi Monetary Authority.
Why was it important to liberate Kuwait? Just ask Citicorp. They control
the majority of the Emir of Kuwaits $120 billion investment portfolio.
It seems charging you 19% interest on your credit cards isnt enough for
them. These companies also need blood money obtained by brutal U.S.
inspired puppet dictatorships deeply rooted in terrorism. And to anyone
who thinks that we liberated Kuwait for altruistic reasons. Take a
look at Kuwaits human rights record. Labeling Kuwait a democracy is a
travesty of the concept.

The conservative estimate of the amount of money the western investment
bankers have at their disposal is One Trillion dollars. A Trillion
dollars here, a Trillion dollars there. After awhile that starts to add
up to real money. A person will kill another person on the street for a
pair of shoes. They will kill another person in a convenience store for
$20. To say that money is not a motive when we are talking about the
amount of money oil revenues represent is the height of naivety. And
this to me is one of the most perverse justifications of any type of
violence. These are millionaires killing people to become billionaires,
and in some cases billionaires killing people to become multi-billionaires.

These are not issues brought up by the corporate controlled liberal
media. Their agenda rests on the control of foreign countries and their
resources. The countries that do not grant our huge MNCs access to
their oil profits read like a whos who of Americas alleged official
enemies list. Among them Iran, Iraq, Yamen, and Algeria. We will use any
excuse to extort, destabilize and attack these countries until they
realize the true meaning of the New World Order: That the chief
beneficiaries of a countrys resources are first and foremost US
corporations. Once these rogue countries submit to that simple idea
the world will be a safer place for democracy.

One may remember the push for the last four decades to elevate Cuba to
the status of the next great threat to western civilization. Not
everyone bought into that. One Mexican diplomat explained that Mexico
could not go along, because “If we publicly declare that Cuba is a
threat to our security, forty million Mexicans will die laughing. The
American media didnt laugh. They bought into it as they have now with
Iraq and are once again trying to sell the deception to the American people.

Will this letter change anything? No. Will anything stop us from going
into Iraq? Probably not. Im just one person who is tired of standing
by, saying nothing, and being a good German.

Michael Kindel

Democracy In Default

If in a democratic nation millions of citizens march to protest the actions
of their government and not even a hesitation is warranted by that
government, is it not their same commission as citizens to challenge the
validity of the very democracy to which they cling? Millions of people
across the globe took to the streets in support of a peace that seems to
balance on a razor‚s edge, but the imminence and tide of war seem too strong
to stop - even hesitate. The administrations of the UK and the US have
become so attached to securing a Œlasting‚ peace that they are willing to
sacrifice the fragile one that already exists.
Any peace, no matter how timid, must be harbored by democracies around the
world. If there is any alternative to war, it must be allowed full
maturation and its every facet fully expended. The loss of life must deter
us at every possible junction away from war. These things must occur,
because in a democracy peace is the greatest virtue. Peaceable, lawful
advancement is the foundation by which all democracies are allowed to
survive. War, though, is a great stumble, and its outcomes widely variable.
The U.S. claims to be the symbol of democracy throughout the world, a symbol
other countries use to navigate toward democracy. What then do other
countries do when their compass steers them from course? When their guide
becomes reckless and ignores their voices? The United Nations stands alone
as the greatest example of a world struggling toward egalitarianism, yet the
United States, a pillar of this international dialogue, withdraws from the
discussion when it cannot impose its will. It steps away from the table
when democracy is at its finest.
The U.S. is undeterred in its war preparations and appears uninterested in
global democracy. Is, then, the acclaimed symbol of democracy in default,
and will this default be but the first domino in a world of teetering

Bryan Siddall • via email

The facts on the war

The modern world is filled with men who hold dogmas so strongly that they do
not even know they are dogmas. Good ole Doc Breen has a Rush Limbaugh / Bill
O‘Reilly dogma. (re: a response to Francis A. Breen, Jr., M.D., Letters 3/13).
I do have a few facts to support my opinion as printed in this paper a few
weeks ago.
Fact: Iraq presented its weapons declaration to the United Nations in
December 2002. There were 11,800 pages in the document. The United States
removed 8000 pages.
Fact: The missing pages implicated 24 U.S. based corporations and
the successive Reagan and Bush administrations in connection with the
illegal supplying of Saddam Hussein‘s Iraqi governments myriad weapons of
mass destruction.
Fact: Some of those same companies colloborated with the Nazi‘s in WWII.
Eastman Kodak, Dupont, Rockwell, Sperry, Hewlett-Packard and Bechtel were
among the American companies aiding the Iraqi weapons program leading up to
Iraqs 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
Fact: The report also reiterated information previously documented by
Senator Robert C. Byrd (D. WV). These reports detailed how the U.S.
Government directly supplied weapons of mass destruction to Hussein -
weapons he then used against his own people while the United States
resupplied his arsenal. In addition to biological and chemical weapons
components such as three strains of anthrax, six strains of botulinum toxin,
three strains of gas gangrene bacteria, West Nile fever virus, and Dengue
fever virus. The Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, Department of
Agriculture and the Livermore Los Alamos and Sandia nuclear weapons labs
also supplied Hussein‘s government with material for its nuclear weapons
program and training in how to use it.
Fact: After the 1991 Gulf War - Dick Cheney‘s Haliburton outfit received
the contract to rebuild Hussein‘s oilfields. It cost a lot of dead bodies
and a fat government subsidy.
Fact: It isn‘t any wonder that members of the U.N. Security Council are
balking and want to suppress what they know. Britain, France, Russia and
China are in fact still arming Iraq!
Fact: It was American peace activists - not gung-ho, pro war, flag
sticker-on-the SUV chicken hawks who first raised the warning about Iraq‘s
U.S. supported weapons program.
Fact: Because of the strength of the allegations of war crime indictments
against key Reagan and Bush,Sr. administration officials-such as former and
current Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfield for collaboration with Hussein on
the massacre of Iraqi Kurds-George Bush felt compelled to do something about
the embarrassing material. Bush simply ordered more than 8000 incriminating
pages of the report snipped and trashed. Who would know?
Fact: Iraq also gave copies to theInternational Atomic Energy Agency. Other
copies found their way to Andreas Zumach, a journalist with the Berlin
newspaper Die Tageszeitung. He broke the story on December 20, 2002. A story
you likely never read or were informed of in the United States The U.S.
origins of the very weapons we are rightfully condeming Iraq for having
possessed is still missing from the mainstream news coverage.
Fact: In 1986 Iraq was considered an ally. Then in 1994 an Orwellian
switcheroo took place when information into the U.S. origins of Iraqi
chemical and biological weapons became public during an investigation of
Gulf War Syndrome. We have had revisionist history since then. Few Americans
understand that the Iraqi dictator is just one more monster created by the
United States and his weapons of “mass destuction“ is simply an out of
control outgrowth of a shortsighted U.S. foreign policy.
Fact: This comedy of errors has lasted through two generations of Bushes
and has been kept alive by Bill Clinton. It needs to end now if our children
will ever have a hope to live free of fear. We need to stop the disease
being spread by Hussein and Osama bin Laden. We can‘t let hatred or short
term political goals dictate foreign policy.Hussein needs to join Idi Amin,
Manuel Noriega, Jean-Claude Duvalier, Alfredo Stroessner, Mengistuhaile
Mariam and other such despots!
Fact: This information came to me from Michael I. Niman - Professor of
Journalism in the Communications Department at the State University College
of New York at Buffalo. Check out his previous articles at

In friendship,

Rev. Robert Frost Donaldson • East Jordan
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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