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 · Random Thoughts · Hope For America
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Hope For America

Robert Downes - November 3rd, 2008
A generation ago, there was another man who brought hope to America in a time of crisis.
John F. Kennedy‘s greatest gift was bringing inspiration and a ringing challenge to young people who were hungry for hope at a time when we lived under the shadow of mushroom clouds and the Cold War.
Today, we face a new crisis: the threat of world-wide economic collapse.
And, as was the case in 1960, we need a leader who can inspire hope, especially in the hearts of young people. It‘s the young who need to be uplifted with an optimistic vision of their place in America‘s future, rather than a creeping sense of despair.
So, although John McCain is an honorable man, and a true American hero, this is not his moment in history. This is not the time for an old man, recycling the failed ideas of the past eight years. This is the time for Barack Obama.
Never in our lifetime have we needed a leader of Obama‘s intellect, wisdom and steady hand more than in the crisis we face today: A crisis brought on by the calamity of the Bush administration and its “me first“ ideology, which has made a near wreck of America. The national debt alone totals the equivalent of a $460,000 obligation for every household in America.
Last week, the Consumer Confidence Index (which is based on a survey of 5,000 families) plunged to an all-time low, driven in large part by the fact that America lost 760,000 jobs this year.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that things can only get better. We may face a period of austerity for a time and return to the values of our parents to be more frugal and less wasteful, but in the long run, we will be the better for it.
For starters, it seems safe to assume that the political party that engineered our current disaster will be swept out of office this week -- possibly for a generation.
• The politics of greed and self-interest are out.
• The policies of deregulation -- which allowed corporate thieves to run wild -- are out.
• The “borrow and spend” policies of borrowing billions from the Chinese and the Saudis to pay for our wars and their oil are out.
• Providing tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs is out.
So, what’s in? A new attitude and a president who inspires us to reclaim our country.
• “Pay as you go” is back in as a government policy. That fiscally responsible policy resulted in the best economy in America’s history under President Clinton.
• Putting domestic issues first is back in. Our new president has an ultimatum from voters to get our country back on track, rather than squandering ourselves in countries packed with fanatics who’d love nothing more than to bleed us for the next 1,000 years.
• Rebuilding America is back in. Our moribund industries will be revamped to produce electric cars, wind farms, trains, nuclear power plants, clean coal plants and solar power projects. New jobs will surely follow.
• America itself will be back “in“ as a leader in the world, rather than a pariah.
So, take heart, Joe Sixpack, and stop cryin’ in your beer if your guy lost this election. The party that plays you like a sap every election with non-issues like gay marriage and phony threats to take away your shotgun -- and then stabs you in the back by outsourcing your job and unleashing lenders to snatch your home -- is toast this Tuesday.
Things are going to get better.

Tootin’ my horn...
For those of you who enjoyed reading my columns from the other side of the world last year, I’m happy to report that my new book, Planet Backpacker, will begin arriving in bookstores across the region this week.
The book started out as a travel blog, written in 100 of the grungiest internet cafès on the planet in places like Cairo, Bombay and Budapest. I can only promise that it packs a laugh or two, along with lots of oddball characters, strange places and thoughts on the rambling life. It’s sure to unleash your inner travel beast, and I hope, some pleasant dreams.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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