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 7/1/04
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Letters 7/1/04

Various - July 1st, 2004
July 4th & patriotism
Patriotism, justice, freedom, values. Strong words. The Flag. You see it everywhere. These words and the Flag are, or should be, grounded in our Constitution.
The most heroic and patriotic act that everyone can do this July 4th weekend is to read the Constitution. It only takes about 30 minutes. It doesn’t sound too exciting - certainly not as exciting as watching parades, waving flags, or going to picnics - but our Constitution is the foundation of our country. Its the reason we celebrate July 4th. The Constitution is not a dusty old document to be ignored. The last Amendment was in 1992.
Before I left for Vietnam over 30 years ago I took an oath to defend our Constitution against enemies domestic and foreign. Today that oath has significantly more meaning for me. I see our freedoms being removed, and our Constitution being violated, by laws with such wonderfully sounding names as “The Patriot Act” and the “No Child Left Behind Act.” Article VI of the Constitution says that all treaties that we sign become the law of the land. I look at the Geneva Convention and the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty and I see direct violations. Even the rights of peaceful assembly, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are being violated.
Enjoy the 4th, and discover the roots of our country. Look for Veterans For Peace in the Cherry Parade on 7/6.

Arnold Stieber • Grass Lake

Beauty in the eye...
The zoning board, city and county commissioners have approved the Hall Street site on which BATA will build its new transit center. This is a two-county system, which is unique in itself.
However, Bernard Stover and Donna Folgarelli have chosen to instigate a lawsuit opposing construction of the building. When you consider that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the Stover building (Harbor View Centre) reminds me of the one on Ellis Island in New York, at which many immigrants arrived years ago, now brought to state of the art.
As for the Folgarelli deli building, it is definitely not an aesthetic contribution to the city. My words here are gentle in comparison to Folgarelli’s when describing the clientele who use the BATA bus system. I’m only responding to hers in kind.
The lawsuit will be costly to them; if only they could put their money to better use. BATA will win. You may as well join them, as you just can’t beat them.

Jean A. Wilson • TC

Halliburton hellfire
I am an American citizen who is appalled by the special treatment that the Halliburton company receives from our government. Any reasonable person realizes that having Cheney in the White House and Haliburton getting a no-bid contract in Iraq is a laughable conflict of interest and represents a profound and shocking example of corporate America buying the White House. Bush/Cheney represents greed and American narcissism and I pray to the good God above that Kerry is elected in November, 2004... for our country’s sake!
Please note the following reports:
1. In March 2003, the Pentagon awarded Halliburton’s construction wing, Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), a no-bid contract to help rebuild Iraqi oil fields after a possible war there, including advice on putting out oil well fires. The Army Corps of Engineers said that Halliburton’s compensation for rejuvenating Iraq’s oil industry could be up to $7 billion.
2. Halliburton gouged gas prices in postwar Iraq at the expense of American taxpayers. The military investigated Halliburton and found that it overcharged for gas it imported into Iraq from Kuwait. U.S. taxpayers and the United Nations oil-for-food program are paying Halliburton an average price of $2.64 per gallon, which is more than twice what others pay for Kuwait fuel. The appropriations bill that President Bush signed in November 2003 mandates that taxpayers subsidize all gas importation costs beginning in 2004. Pentagon auditors have asked the Department of Defense to investigate Halliburton’s activity in Kuwait, and in December the military ended its contract to with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root to import oil.
3. Halliburton reaps profits while forcing troops to eat in filthy conditions. Halliburton’s subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root [KBR] serves 110,000 soldiers in Iraq their meals. For that service, American taxpayers pay Halliburton “$28 per soldier per day.” But, according to NBC News, “Pentagon inspections of mess halls run by KBR are finding a mess in some of them... In the main Baghdad dining facility where President Bush surprised the troops on Thanksgiving, inspectors found filthy kitchen
conditions in each of the three previous months. Complaints filed in August, September and again in October report problems. Blood all over the floor of refrigerators, dirty pans, dirty grills, dirty salad bars, rotting meats and vegetables. In October, the inspector writes that Halliburton’s previous promises to fix the problems have not been followed through and warns the company serious repercussions may result, due to improper handling and serving of food.”

Mario De Carolis • TC

Whiting Hotel days
I enjoyed Mike Moey‘s article regarding the Whiting Hotel (5/27). Its history, as he stated, is most interesting. If at all possible, could you do a follow-up article that would include more pictures, biographies of famous residents, and/or facts relating to its glamorous past?
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