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 5/26/08
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Letters 5/26/08

- May 26th, 2008
Lyme & journalism
For those of us watching as the pablum of corporate journalism leaves readers in the dark about government, society and everyday life, Anne Stanton’s story on Lyme disease was a brilliant and hopeful study on not only the disease and its ramifications, but also a sign that there are still real journalists writing about subjects that matter.
Anne’s story clearly explained the issues involved in a complex topic and broke new ground by establishing the fact that the disease is a problem in Northern Michigan. Describing the difficulties faced by the victims and the medical community was insightful and fair reporting.
It’s an especially sad story because it involves people we know; and it’s an especially heartening story because it shed some light in the darkness by giving new hope to people who found themselves in especially difficult circumstances.

Joe Mielke • Kingsley

Pets also affected
I was not surprised to see the faces of several of my clients on the cover of this last issue (May 12-18). I have heard their stories and that of many others living with Lyme disease.
I care for their pets who are at an even greater risk of contracting Lyme disease. When I first moved here, 10 years ago from Florida, I was told by several area veterinarians that we don’t have Lyme disease in this area. I asked them how many dogs they had tested for the disease, and the answer was always none.
Obviously, if you are not looking for and testing for a disease, you will not find it. Lyme disease carrying ticks are here in Northern Michigan and a real threat to the people and pets who live here.
The heartworm test we use at our hospital also tests for Lyme disease. We routinely find dogs with antibodies to Lyme disease, some with symptoms and some without.
Thank you for your article; it is my hope it will increase the awareness to this disease, and to its prevention, which is by far the better choice than treatment.
I encourage pet parents to have their dogs vaccinated for Lyme disease; the vaccine is safe and very effective. Monthly flea and tick preventive is also very useful to protect pets and the people they live with. I often hear that my dog is not at risk because of this or that. The people you interviewed probably thought they were not at much of a risk either. Ticks can transmit many nasty and fatal diseases.
Thanks to Northern Express for transmitting knowledge and information to our community.

R. Craig Brakeman, DVM • TC

Lyme charlatans
I happened to read your article about Lyme Disease in the 5/12/2008 Northern Express, and I was rather upset by it. I’ve not read previous articles written by you, so I do not have a good sense of what goals you seek to achieve by your writing, but I’m willing to assume that you intend to provide a positive and helpful source of information to your readers.
If that is your goal, your article “Living with Lyme Disease” has failed to meet it. By pandering to those “doctors” (in your article they are styled “Lyme-literate”) who have the most to gain by perpetuating the myth of chronic Lyme Disease, you do a disservice to both your readers and to the individuals who are pursuing an illusory solution to their very real suffering.
I highly recommend reading at least the first of the articles below. You may be surprised at how many aspects of your article are predicted and described by the authors. You may be inspired to write a follow-up article in which you provide helpful suggestions about how to cope with and attempt to resolve chronic symptoms which arise from a more subtle confluence of factors including stress, social demands and pressure, and the cumulative effects of unrelated diseases and dangerous treatments.
This type of problem is increasingly common and requires a more nuanced treatment than the individuals in your story seem to be receiving. The difficulty of treating such problems is compounded by the prevalence of charlatans who see in these perpetual sufferers a perpetual source of income, and, sadly, by the credulity of the media.
Please, if you truly wish to improve the community we share, take some time to inform your readers about more reliable and successful treatments for their suffering. Below are three articles that might provide a starting point for your research.
“Contributions of Societal and Geographical Environments to “Chronic Lyme Disease”: The Psychopathogenesis and Aporology of a New “Medically Unexplained Symptoms” Syndrome“ by Leonard H. Sigaland Afton L. Hassett.
“The Consequences of Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment of Lyme Disease: An Observational Study,” by M. Carrington Reid, MD, PhD; et. al.
“Pitfalls in the diagnosis and management of Lyme disease,” by Leonard H. Sigal.

Steve Ruble • TC

Protect our water
In response to the letter, “A disaster for Michigan‘s water future,” in the 5/19 Express; I recently contacted Senator Carl Levin with concerns about protecting our most valuable resource from pollution, diversion and exotic species.
I was not surprised that his response contained an interpretation of the pending legislation SB860a and what it hopes to do. His response was that President Bush is poised to gut all the components of the Clean Air and Water Act in order to allow polluters to buy credits to continue poor environmental practices.
I for one am very tired of the blame game and don’t care for party lines. I want our elected officials to all place the highest priority on a bipartisan solution that simply does not allow for further threats to our protected water. If we all don’t unite and just say “no” to any effort to harm the watershed, we will have secured a bitter legacy for our future generations. Please remind your representatives that we are sitting on the solution to all our economic woes if we are good stewards.
David North • TC
Obama not qualified
Being an avid viewer of the political scene, I am appalled at the obvious media bias towards Barack Obama by our national news media, particularly the cable news outlets.
Don‘t get me wrong. I am not a Clinton fan either and might just not vote for anyone this fall. However, I do believe that our news media has some obligation towards fairness when they cover political events. To any reasonable observer, it’s quite obvious that our national news “gendarme” has a real contempt for the Clintons.
The attempt to get Hillary to quit the race even before all the primary and caucus votes were cast is truly remarkable and unprecedented in our nation‘s history.The national news media has clearly appointed our next president.
Not only doesn’t Hillary Clinton stand a chance, John McCain doesn’t either. The media elites at CNN and elsewhere are doing everything possible to insure that Barack Obama is our next president.
Senator Obama is a decent man, well educated, and highly intelligent. He is a great campaigner and an inspirational speaker. It is not the man per se that I oppose. Nor do I oppose many of his policies. It’s what he represents. It’s the forces in our society that support Obama, that are using him as a symbol of racial diversity that I oppose.
I have nothing against racial diversity. I do have a lot against affirmative action. Affirmative action has come to represent equality of result over equality of opportunity. The hallowed liberal and corporate goal of diversity now takes precedence over talent, qualification, and merit. Hard work alone is not sufficient in our politically correct society. Many liberals desire diversity to the exclusion of a functioning society.
We have no greater example of this than the Barack Obama phenomenon. A mere four years ago, Mr. Obama was a State Senator. He was in the Illinois legislature where most of the time he voted “present” on most issues that came before that chamber. He was elected to the United States Senate in 2004 and within three years decides to run for president, where he is given a free pass by our media elites and now is the Democratic frontrunner.
Quite simply, Barack Obama, regardless of his ability to inspire young people and others, is simply not qualified to be our president. If Barack Obama were an ethnic white male, he wouldn‘t have gone beyond the Iowa Caucus. He would have been at best an overnight news item, quickly forgotten, or perhaps been nothing more than a footnote to history.
I believe that Hillary has gotten a raw deal from our national press and punditry alike. Nothing she ever does, either when campaigning or even when she wins primaries, is ever enough. The media simply wants to bury her alive and just get on with their Obama fixation.

Brian R Morgan • Gaylord

The business of war
“They died in service to our country.” That sentence will be heard many times as the nation observes Memorial Day.
I’m a father, a businessperson and a Vietnam veteran. Over the past several years I’ve examined my military experience. Two-time Medal of Honor recipient Marine Major General Smedley Butler helped me. He finished his career, looked back and wrote a booklet titled “War is a Racket.” He said he was a thug for big business.
My studies confirm what the general said. Behind all of the flag waving, and the shouts of freedom, democracy and service, is a massive empire devoted to profit by any means. Weapons are our number one export product. The military is a tool. We are taught to puff our chests, and honor the military -- alive and dead -- but we are never taught to question the business of war.
“They died in service to our country.” I hope we think about those words.

Arnold Stieber • Grass Lake

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