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 12/22/08
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Letters 12/22/08

- December 22nd, 2008
Teach them a lesson
First Enron, Xerox, Tyco, etc., then Bear Stearns, Lehman, WaMu, Wachovia, AIG, etc., then the Big 3, now Bernie Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme.
When will the law truly punish corrupt bigwigs? Take their every dollar and possession, and give their whole families nothing but some clothes, Welfare and Section-8! And no gifts from friends either!
Poverty: isn’t this what their former workers and their families get? And by whose fault? Bastards...

J. Andrew Smith • via email

Where‘s the justice?
A local cop chokes on pizza and has an accident -- or vice-versa? Another officer runs a red light and has an accident because he was “blinded by the sun.”
The media is replete with other reports of those in uniform who drive drunk off (and on?) the clock. Often their accidents or other misjudgments result in NO ticket or significant discipline.
Contrast that with a hard worker who gets up early on an ugly morning to deliver a local paper on yet another poorly maintained Grand Traverse County Road Commission road. She has the misfortune of slipping on icy slush and is issued a ticket. Perhaps her insurance costs will increase.
Little wonder that people are losing patience as well as respect for the local “institutions”?
Ethical, dedicated, law-abiding members of the law and Road Commission must be embarrassed.

Joyce Walter • Suttons Bay

Say no to the bail out
As the disgraced Detroit Big Three automakers are asking Congress for tens of billions of taxpayer dollars, we should remember the last several billion that we gave the industry, and its outcome.
In the 1990s, the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles worked to make 80+ miles-per-gallon cars and allowed for communications amongst scientists between the big three auto makers to help speed that process along.
The Partnership was a huge success, with three 70+ miles-per-gallon prototypes. General Motors had the Precept, with one version getting 108 miles-per-gallon, equivalent running on hydrogen. Ford had the Prodigy getting 72 miles-per-gallon, and Daimler-Chrysler also had a 72 miles-per-gallon vehicle. Taxpayers were proud that their billions were not wasted, and expected these vehicles on the market.
But none of the automakers put any of these vehicles into production, or anything similar.
Instead, they chose gas-guzzling SUVs, the epitome of stupidity from a climate change and energy conservation perspective. Using slick ads to push their behemoth vehicles, the auto makers are among the biggest culprits in the fast rise in greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
What happened to the efficient vehicles? The failure to incorporate that technology was also a major cause of our economic collapse. With the rise in gas prices this past summer, the values of SUV’s plummeted, and for many, their gas guzzlers are now worth less than the loan they have on them.
Why should we give a bail-out when the automakers are the ones who put themselves into the crisis they are in through their own idiocy? Why don’t they dust off these efficient vehicles and put them into production, something both our wallets and our planet could have used a decade ago?
They say those who forget history are bound to repeat it. After the foolish follies of the auto industries, in pushing gas guzzlers on the American public (along with tax breaks that they manipulated through Congress), why should we bail them out?

Chad Kister • Nelsonville, Ohio

Where was Shelby?
Alabama Senator Richard Shelby has expressed his outrage at the proposed bailout for U. S. automakers. Could it be because of his anti-union animus towards labor unions in general, and the United Auto Workers in particular? It is apparent that Senator Shelby is interested only in protecting the interests of the union-free foreign auto manufacturers in his state.
The $14 billion bailout package proposed for the Big Three U.S. auto manufacturers pales in comparison to the open-ended $700 billion bailout package given to mortgage lenders. At least there are payback provisions attached to any bailout for the automakers.
It’s also obvious that Senator Shelby’s record demonstrates his contempt for collective bargaining, rationalizing that union workers make too much money. Really? Where was Senator Shelby’s outrage when corporate CEO’s were (are) raking in millions of dollars in wages, stock options and bonuses? Where was his outrage when they got paid this outrageous compensation while at the same time leading their corporations into an economic abyss?
Where was Senator Shelby when the mortgage-lending shell game was being played out?

Paul G. Jaehnert • via email

Advent Conspiracy
In the life of the Christian church, the season of Advent (the four weeks before Christmas) is a time of preparation, waiting and hope. Advent is a time to take stock of our values, priorities and goals.
Christ’s birth is a story of promise, hope and revolutionary love. Yet how do most people celebrate this? Some trample Wal-Mart employees to death to save 30 bucks on a DVD player (an ironic twist to ‘Black Friday’ if there ever were one). Others spend hours sitting in traffic jams. Some are overwhelmed with stress while others accrue massive amounts of debt. And even when the last trash can of holiday refuse is dumped and out of sight, the earth continues to pay the price.
Enter The Advent Conspiracy. The Potter’s House is joining with other progressive faith communities by encouraging its people to do four simple things this Advent.
Worship Fully: Advent is a time to lay down your burdens and lift your hearts to God. Life is difficult, we know, but Advent reminds us that love triumphs and peace will reign.
Spend Less: Buy one less gift and use the money for something good. You need not be a Scrooge; just be intentional.
Give More: Time is the real gift of Christmas. Go sledding with your kids, bake cookies together, call your mom.
Love All: Do something compassionate for those in need. Jesus loved people in ways that broke down barriers. Jesus loved those who were poor, forgotten, oppressed and hurting. We have the opportunity to do the same.
I recently learned that 1.8 million people die each year from lack of clean water. That figure includes about 3,900 children a day. It’s estimated that it would take about $10 billion to solve this problem. But that’s chump-change when you consider Americans spend an estimated $450 billion on Christmas.
Do something on your own. Partner with our church to dig wells. Support a local non-profit. Just do something dangerous this year. Give ‘presence‘ and join the conspiracy.

Rev. Corey Sanderson • Potter’s House, United Church of Christ
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