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 4/24/03
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Letters 4/24/03

Various - April 24th, 2003
Syria? What next?

They are saying that we, the US of A is contemplating a possible pre-emptive strike now on Syria. I cannot believe it. I am overwhelmed. All of this in the pretense of ‘war on terrorism.‘
We said Iraq was a ‘War On Terrorism‘ and we know now that they were not a part of the atrocity of September 11 and the horrible terrorist attack on our world trade center. We then said that they had possible ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction.‘ We have as yet not found them. Even bin Ladin said that Iraq had no part of the attack on 9-11.
What madness is this that our own country is embarking upon?
It surely is time for Americans that do love their country to speak out against this madness.

Jim Porter • via email

Payment plan

With the war winding down, the Bush administration is now looking towards the future of Iraq. Two questions remain: Who will rule? How will the war be paid for?
The Bush administration is looking for a representative government of Iraqi citizens who will be able to fairly govern over many religious sects and various tribes.
The one thing the administration wants to avoid is a government which becomes increasingly theocratic, imposing its will on the minority, diminishing civil liberties and squashing any dissent. But with Bush‘s “hands-on“ approach, clearly that will be impossi... wait a minute... isn‘t that what‘s happening here?
As for paying for the war, that‘s simple -- there are three options:
1. Use the proposed tax refunds to rebuild Iraq... and our relationship with our former allies;
2. Have “talk radio“ hosts put on fundraisers... perhaps from the rubble of a bombed palace;
3. Garnish the wages of the Bush administration... for “as long as it takes...“

Ken L. Raney • TC

Dancing in the Streets

It’s April 9th and I awoke to the news that thousands of Iraqis are dancing in the streets of Baghdad to celebrate the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Having had mixed feelings about this war from the beginning, I must admit that I and many other liberals were wrong about this whole issue. Being against war is good as a general proposition. What is not good is a knee jerk reaction against any military response to anything. What is not good is a general hostility towards one’s own country. What is not good is a Euro centric view that anything American is either inherently crude or imperialist.
The mindset of many anti war liberals was seen recently on a public TV broadcast exploring European attitudes towards America and the war. One of the panelists stated that there is a general mistrust of American intentions in Europe. It was said that Europeans dislike President Bush’s Texas accent. They dislike his cowboy image.
In other words, only those with a French or German accent, only those with a European view of world affairs have the necessary intellectual and cultural gravitas to deal in world affairs. This strikes me as the height of intellectual and cultural conceit. To suggest that any serious movement is based in large measure upon a cultural hegemony, a view that one’s own culture is inherently superior to another is sheer demagogery. The French in particular seem to have this national character about them as witness their stoning of a McDonalds restaurant after the war began. Their opposition to this war appears not to be on moral grounds, but cultural ones. Apparently they believe only the French or the Europeans have the necessary sophistication to know when war is necesssary. This from a continent which brought us two world wars resutling in great American loss of life and treasure.
Freedom is freedom and the Iraqi people are this very day enjoying such a liberty because of American and British sacrifices on the field. This was not a war simply over oil. Michael Moore threw a temper tantrum recently at the Oscars. He frequently used the word “fiction” to describe the rationale for this war. He was only half right for the true fiction lies in contemporary liberalism which stands only for anti-americanism without offering any other viable alternative.
One of the great foundations of liberalism is the concept of tolerance. Yet being tolerant in the face of tyranny is not true liberalism. It is simply an acquiesence to evil.

Brian Morgan • Gaylord

Environmental illness

Thank you very much for the article you printed about my life and that of others with MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities — “Living with Environmental Illness,” Express 4/10). I appreciate it and have been getting good feedback from others about your story, and also your ability to present it so well in one page!
It took me a year to regain my sense of balance and be able to walk more than 200 yards without collapsing, and another two years to get to your door. Again, I want to say how much I appreciate it. I am hoping to establish a chemical network for Northern Michigan, and a safe refuge for those suddenly stricken with nowhere to “be.”

Kathy Bowman • via email

Who will pay?

Now let me see if l have this right. The EU and most European countries wanted no part of George Bush’s ego trip in Iraq and now snake oil salesman Colin Powell is in Europe demanding that EU countries come up with big money to rebuild what we destroyed. Ya, I got it right... wink, wink... our leaders are all multimillionaires but want a major tax break while us average suckers pay for their games.
Wake up citizenry. As long as you act and think like a herd of sheep, you’ll be led to the slaughterhouse.

Micheal M. Cromley • Afton

Protect the Arctic

Please support the Markey/Johnson amendment to take Arctic drilling out of the energy bill. A majority of Americans strongly support protecting the Arctic Refuge, particularly its biological heart — the coastal plain.
The coastal plain is one of the most important regions on the planet for conserving biological diversity. Unfortunately, oil drilling would subject it to a spiderweb of roads, pipelines, drill pads, housing, and other infrastructure that would destroy the wilderness character of the land and limit the free movement of wildlife. Please support the Markey/Johnson amendment.

Nicholas Dantzer • Marquette

Food addiction

Thank you so much, Valorie Gibbs, for sharing your story with all of us (“Addicted to Food” 3/20). I guarantee it will make a difference to many people in our community and inspire them to get help. I especially appreciate your comment that “to eat the most healthy and nutritionally sound foods is looked at as radical and extreme.”
Having lost over 100 pounds 14 years ago and being a Weight Watchers leader, this is something that vexes me to no end! Unfortunately, you may find that as people get used to seeing you as a thin, healthy person, they’ll expect you to go back to eating what they do. Don’t do it, Valorie!
Keep your support system strong and your healthy living plan in focus. Keep one of your outfits from when you weighed 347 and look at it now and then.
Thank you again for motivating me to keep working on my program every day.

Mary Mueller • Interlochen

Fantastic James Glass

Like turning back the hands of a clock by several years, I saw my old friend James Glass perform at Little Bo‘s at their open mike night on April 10. I urge the good citizens of Traverse City to be more forgiving and understanding of this very talented performer this time around. With new material written during his recent vacation, he sparkles anew. Listening to a splendid mix of old favorites and the new soulful ones, I had a fantastic time!
I highly recommend that wherever you see the name James Glass on the marquee, don‘t miss the show. You won‘t be sorry!

Doug Bradley • TC
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