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..

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- January 18th, 2010
Overwired hipsters
After reading your article, “The Great Beagle Chase,” I was struck with a
much deeper understanding of why so many people in the rest of the world
have come to hate and fear us and why we in fact have come to feel the
same way about each other.
It is not so much that they hate our freedom as much as what we do with
it. It’s true, we face many issues greater than one more over-wired,
self-absorbed urban hipster but, I do not think it was “ironic” that Lima
was found by the one person paying attention and not spending time
‘tweeting’ on their iPhone, updating Facebook and writing a blog.
While it may be that I fall on the side of Mr. Howe in matters of politics
and culture in this very divided country, let me make one thing perfectly
clear - if you have a Facebook page for your dog you are part of the

James Carpenter • via email

Different viewpoints
Regarding Tim Butler’s letter “Tea Party Viewpoint” (1/11), certainly the
Bill of Rights gives Tim the right to speak his mind about the Express,
but those same rights are given to the Express and it’s loyal readers.
While he may have had relatives enjoying tea parties, I have relatives
serving in the armed forces of this country to guarantee Mr. Butler’s
right to speak out about his beliefs, his relatives’ right to protest, and
my right to laugh at the wonderful satirical cartoons in the Express.
Perhaps I should write a letter to Fox News confronting them with their
lies, fabrications and crazy right-wing scare tactics. I might even
threaten to withhold advertising dollars just to really scare them. OR, I
could just pop some popcorn and sit down for the laughs Sarah Palin will
surely get as their newest pundit!
I appreciate the Express and it’s views, and cannot wait to get each new
issue, especially to read “This Modern World.” Keep up the good work!

Wendy Daniels • Bellaire

Rock Hall‘s dirty secret
In response to Rich Cenci’s letter in last week’s Northern Express,
induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has absolutely nothing
whatsoever to do with artistic merit, influence or popularity. The
choice of inductees is decided by Jann Wenner and his board of record
company executives, who then decide whose catalog they need to move
this year, and that’s who gets in.
That’s ONE scenario. The public has no say in the process at all, so
all the superfans of one particular artist out there who are constantly
circulating petitions are wasting their time and energy.
As to who belongs and who doesn’t, that is all a matter of personal
opinion. Billie Holiday? Yeah, maybe she doesn’t “belong” (perhaps she
was an influence on some R&B performers), but since the Beatles
incorporated classical themes into their music, does that mean they
don’t belong either?
One of my all-time favorite bands, the Pretty Things, will probably
never make into the Hall of Fame but do I feel they belong? HELL YEAH.
Why? For the same reason the Dave Clark Five belong in the Hall. They
made GREAT ROCK ‘N’ ROLL RECORDS. All a matter of opinion and taste.
To sum up: the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame is a great museum, but a
flawed concept.

John Trembly • TC
Give thanks
Something to think about: Be thankful you have a job, if you’re tired
and wish you didn’t have to go to work.
Be thankful that at least you’re getting paid for this day, even if you
have a bad day.
Be thankful, that at least you got paid, even if the money doesn’t seem
Be thankful you have a steady paycheck if the rat race gets you down.
Be thankful you have benefits and days off. Would you rather have no
heat, no money for gas, no money for insulin and medicines, no money
for food? Fill in your own needs.
Remember, and be thankful.

Susan K. Johnson • Williamsburg

Population crunch
In reference to the review of the film,
Collapse, in the January 4 issue: The collapse of civilization because of
the end of oil is not as immediate as the population crash in certain
countries where the birth rate is no longer enough to sustain current
When the average number of children per family drops below two, the
population will decline. Russia is worst off, with little more than one
child per mother. As a result of the low birth rate, poor health care and
alcoholism, Russia is losing 500,000 in population every year.
A similar decline is taking place in Italy, Germany, and Spain where birth
rates no longer sustain the population. What’s left is an aging
Even China and India are experiencing demographic crises because of a
shortage of female babies. A future wife in India can now refuse a
marriage contract if the groom doesn’t promise her a proper toilet. There
is a shortage of potential wives.
More and more children are raised as the only child of parents who
themselves had no siblings. That means children with only one parent, no
siblings, and no uncles or aunts.
We are already experiencing the difficulties of this situation in our own
classrooms. Children raised by one parent who have no siblings and sit for
hours playing computer games have problems relating to other kids.
Splintered families lose the benefit of living in a multi-generational

Harley Sachs • Houghton, MI

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