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 6/24/04
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Letters 6/24/04

Various - June 24th, 2004
Our country hijacked
Theodore Roosevelt said: “To announce that there must be no criticism of the president or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
America has always been a proud nation of patriotic, determined people and we’ve enjoyed the admiration and respect of the vast majority of people around the world. It is so sad and dangerous that in such a short period of time this has changed due to the arrogance and the “go it alone” style of the Bush administation. Our country and what we stand for has been hijacked by the current administration and they have used a false sense of patriotism to further a self serving agenda. Their policies are not making us safer or healthier and have brought down our standing in the eyes of many other nations. The lies and deception about this war, dropping out of the Kyoto Accords at a time when we need to be showing leadership on global warming, and the dismantling of our policies to protect the environment are just a few of the offenses that threaten our freedom, safety and the quality of life for all.
We hope that all the people of this county regardless of party affiliation will take a deep look at the direction we are going and decide if we want, or can afford four more years of this administration.

Ben Bowmaster
& Paula Wisniewski • Cedar

Our wonderful
‘No Child‘ program
The 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education was May 17. This historic decision gave every student in America a seat in the classroom, and the No Child Left Behind Act guarantees each of those students an education.
We celebrate these together because a bipartisan majority in Congress -- under President Bush’s leadership -- passed the No Child Left Behind Act recognizing that equality of opportunity alone does not guarantee a quality education.
No Child Left Behind is less than two years old and already we are seeing positive results -- higher test scores, closing of the achievement gap, increased funding but more local control. But some critics don’t like it. They advocate lowering the standards in our public schools.
That would reverse the gains we’re seeing and negate the Brown decision that means so much--the value of the seat in the classroom is only as good as the education one gets while sitting there.
Scott Sokolowski • TC

Angered & disgusted
I am a proud and patriotic American.
I was born and raised in the United States of America.
I am fiercely proud of the land of my birth and upbringing.
I have great respect and admiration for the American people.
I hold great respect and admiration for the Constitution of the United States of America.
I will defend her honor to my last breath.
I am neither Democrat nor Republican.
I am neither liberal nor conservative.
I am angered, disgusted, and outraged by the manner in which the good name of America and the dignity and integrity of her people have been dragged through the mud by our current administration.
Like many other Americans who find themselves in the same situation as myself, I will express that anger, disgust, and outrage by NOT voting for Bush this November.
I am critical of the actions and policies of the Bush administration BECAUSE I love this country and all that she stands for. My reasonable expression of that criticism is my right as a proud American as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. I am also aware of the unquestionable fact that NO presidential administration or political party is more important than the nation, the people, and the Constitution that our elected officials are sworn to serve and protect.

Karl Kitchen • Suttons Bay

Reagan revisited
I’m not shedding a single tear for Reagan.
- Reagan was the man who kept Saddam Hussein in office during the first years after his coup d’état. He approved the sale of anthrax, West Nile and other chemical and biological warfare niceties to Hussein’s Iraq, laying the base of Hussein’s WMD and helping to kill thousands of Iraqis and tens of thousands of Iranians.
- Reagan was the man who brought military instructors into Afghanistan to train the militia of the warlords and Islamic extremists; the name of one of the early blue-eyed boys was Osama Bin Laden.
- Reagan was the man who covered Central America with proxy wars lead by death squads that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians with weapons they got from Washington for free. 200,000 were killed in Guatemala alone, a country of less than 7 million inhabitants in those times.
- Reagan was the man who trashed much of the Social Security system of the U.S. He slashed civil rights protections, especially for colored people.
- Reagan’s criminal Iran-Contra scam helped flood the American ghettos with cheap drugs from Central America.
- Reagan was the man who tried to establish ketchup as a vegetable in schools to save money, to name just one of his absolutely crazy ideas of how to take advantage of the poor.
- Reagan had delusions that were downright ridiculous, such as the SDI, aka Star Wars Project, now revived by another wacky president. He related stories about himself having freed the Auschwitz concentration camp and other stories that showed to everybody that he couldn’t tell truth from mere fantasy.
- During his presidency the number of prisoners in the U.S. rose from 300,000 (by far the highest figure per capita worldwide) to 800,000, and he was proud of that. Meanwhile, under Bush, the figure has exceeded 2 million, which means that 50 % of all prisoners worldwide can be found in the U.S. (50 % of all practicing lawyers too, by the way).
I guess the worst thing was the fact that it was Reagan who brought the Bush clan into the core circle of American power.
Actually the list of Reagan’s malefaction could fill volumes. The only “good” thing was that during his presidency US citizens began to again feel like they were the greatest race on earth, after the humiliating experience of the Watergate scandal and the pretty weak years under Jimmy Carter.
And he sure didn’t end the Cold War. It was Mikhail Gorbatchev who did that. Without Reagan it might have taken a year or two longer, but that wouldn’t have made much of a difference.
Americans tend to make their former presidents heroes when they die. Quite right. Some presidents like to make themselves heroes already before they die. Reagan liberated Auschwitz, and Bush liberated Afghanistan and Iraq. Ha ha.

Hans Joerg Rothenberger • via email

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