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 · Region Watch · Charlevoix Filmmaker...
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Charlevoix Filmmaker Searches for Answers Amid Israel‘s Conflict

Robert Downes - July 1st, 2004
When filmmaker Rebecca Glotfelty traveled to Israel and the occupied territories of the West Bank last fall, it was with the idea of creating a documentary that would capture what it’s like to live day-to-day in a climate of violence and chaos.
“I also wanted to eliminate my own stereotypes and misconceptions and just see the people living there as people and not monsters or whatever they’ve been portrayed as to us,” she says.
The result is “Sucha Normal Thing,” an 80-minute film to be shown this Monday, July 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Traverse Area District Library as part of the ongoing Mideast: Just Peace film series.
Glotfelty, 36, feels her film is distinguished by the fact that it doesn’t lean heavily on shock-value anti-Israeli or anti-Palestinian viewpoints, which is often the case with many documentaries.
“A lot of documentaries about the West Bank just continue the stereotypes we have about the people living there,” she notes. “Most of them don’t show the good things the Palestinians are involved in, such as agriculture. It’s a disservice to the Palestinians because they’re doing a remarkable job under the conditions they have to work with.”

Glotfelty is the head of Real People Productions in Charlevoix, where she and her husband Chester Morris own the Cycling Salamander art gallery. She traveled with a Traverse for Peace citizens group last fall to interview farmers, street merchants, government workers, Israeli soldiers, hospital staff, and family members of Palestinians and Israelis killed in the conflict, among others. She shot 35 hours of digital film over a four-week period, and then spent three months editing her material.
“The video is a very accurate portrayal of what the trip was like and what a day is like in Israel,” she says. “It’s not just negative -- it has scenes like those of kids playing football. Although I think the occupation is wrong, the film shows both the Palestinians and Israelis doing things that many would object to.”
Glotfelty is no stranger to the Mideast. Originally from Marshall, she studied Arabic for two years as an undergrad and then spent nine months at the American University in Cairo doing graduate studies in sociology and international relations. With a background in Mideast studies, she’s traveled throughout the region, including a stint in Jordan after the first Gulf War when anti-American sentiment was strong.

What surprised her most about the trip
“I was surprised on the Palestinian side that there wasn’t this blanket hatred of the Jews or Israelis,” she says. “Some told me they wanted to learn Hebrew because they enjoyed the language... Because so many men have been imprisoned there, they already know a smattering of Hebrew.”
Unfortunately, a few extremely angry people on both sides tend to drive the debate, urging propaganda viewpoints like the notion that the Palestinians won’t be happy until the Israelis are driven into the sea. Those sentiments only serve to keep the violence percolating, Glotfelty says.
“A number of Palestinians I talked to thoroughly recognize that the state of Israel is there and is going to be there,” she says. “There’s a greater acceptance of Israel than is acknowledged by both sides.
“There are some Palestinians who don’t want to recognize Israel at all or its right to exist,” she adds. “But the overwhelming majority of people there would agree to a land swap or compensation in some way, rather than the right to return.”

Another unexpected benefit of the trip was that Glotfelty was able to reassess her own feelings on the Mideast.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the beheadings and the Islamic fundamentalism and believe that’s who the Arabs are,” she says. “I had to overwhelm my own prejudices and felt a lot less fear when I was actually there. You realize that there are very few people who are the extremists, and also with the Israelis too. I met a lot of people on both sides and it did a lot to extinguish the prejudices I had.”

”Sucha Normal Thing,” a documentary showing ordinary people dealing with daily life amid the violence in Palestine, will be presented by Mideast: Just Peace at the Traverse Area District Library in Traverse City on Monday, July 5, at 6:30 p.m. Free, with goodwill offerings accepted.

A new outfit in the area called The Soapbox Coalition hopes to mobilize 18-to-30-year-olds to vote in the upcoming election. This Tuesday, June 29, the group will host a cocktail party from 5-8 p.m. at the Dennos Museum in TC, featuring Republican County Chair Kate Stephen and Democratic County Chair Lynne Larson. All are welcome to attend.
The nonpartisan Soapbox Coalition hopes to transition young adults into young voters by getting them up to speed on the political process.
“ In a nation that seems politically divided as never before, the largest bloc of unclaimed voters is made up of 18-to-30-year-olds,“ says Scott O’Leary, regional ambassador for the group. “We’ve been getting a lot of attention lately, and it’s overdue. Traverse City and the rest of the country should focus on the attitudes and expectations of its young adults. After all, we fight its wars, support its economy and will, ultimately, shoulder its debt.“
Rep. Dave Camp (R-Midland) voted to get tough on ID theft by supporting the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act last week.
Under the proposed legislation, two new categories of thefts will be created: “aggravated identity theft,” which will include stolen identities used to commit certain crimes, and “insider identity theft,” which covers thefts committed by persons in positions of trust - such as a co-worker or someone in charge of databases with personal info. Tougher penalties for faking identities will range from two-five years in prison.
B. L. Thompson • TC

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