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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- February 1st, 2010
Supreme threat
The Supreme Court issued a decision this week that may be the single
most dangerous blow to democracy ever conceived. By granting
individual rights to corporations they have undermined the very
premise our country was founded upon.
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were created to protect
individual rights from being trampled by rich and powerful groups like
the court of King George III. By granting individual rights to
corporations the Supreme Court is creating openings for a new set of
royals to arise.
Incorporation was created to allow individuals to shield themselves
from the dangers of being in business. This allowed business and
industry to grow and prosper in ways it might otherwise not have done.
Corporations diffuse risk among many individuals, making the risks
easier to face for anyone growing a business. Instead of doing
business as a sole proprietor (read that as “individual”), one can
incorporate and gain a certain amount of protection not afforded
individuals in business.
Special rights applying only to corporations come with its
establishment. So, you create a corporation so as not to function as
an individual.
Now the Supreme Court says corporations are individuals. I defy
anyone on the Supreme Court to produce any individual whose rights had
been infringed upon by the ruling that was overturned. Placing
restrictions upon a corporation in no way restricts the rights of the
individuals who exist under the umbrella of incorporation.
By granting individual rights to corporations the Supreme Court has,
in effect, created super persons that have not only individual rights
but a second layer of “corporate individual” rights.
If a corporation breaks the law is it now possible to hold the entire
corporation at fault? Should every share holder be completely
responsible for corporate behavior? If not then how can they have
rights separate from, but equal to, an individual’s own rights? And,
as it has been pointed out by many other people this week, how are we
to know with any certainty who is behind the veil of the corporate
structure? We cannot.
We should all be very afraid for our democracy at this moment in time
and I believe there should be a massive outcry from the people to
remove from office the persons who have visited this plague upon our
house. Impeach them now!

J. Grant • Mesick

Go slow on biomass
The Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) would like
to praise Traverse City Light & Power (TCLP) for their goal to use 30%
renewable energy by the year 2020. This is an ambitious and worthy
goal that should be supported by the entire Grand Traverse region. The
question is... how should this goal be achieved?
NMEAC also praises TCLP for its willingness to hold two public forums
on February 25 and February 27. It is hoped these forums will discuss
all forms of renewable energy including the pros and cons of building
biomass plants in or near Traverse City. Let the people of the city
and region freely express their concerns and ideas and help decide
which forms of renewable energy are the best fit for Traverse City.
In recent weeks, many concerns about building biomass plants have been
expressed. Let those concerns have a full airing at the upcoming
forums. Some have even suggested possible alternatives to biomass and
these should be given serious consideration.
It is also important for TCLP to further explore energy conservation
to help achieve its goals as well as work with the Grand Vision Energy
Group. There may be additional ways to reduce our energy use and lower
demand for electricity over the next three to five years.
Please slow down any final decisions on biomass plants until the
community can discuss all of the alternatives at these open forums
scheduled for late February.

Greg Reisig, Chair • NMEAC

Digital threat to jobs
Concerning your column, “The Great Job Eater,” all I can say to you is
“Amen, brother!”
Are we willing to pay a little more out of our own tight pockets to
save jobs here in the U.S.? First it was manufacturing (it’s cheaper
made overseas!), now it’s our service industries (it’s cheaper
All so we can have a few more toys. If we don’t change our ways, we
won’t have ANY toys to play with; we will have been bought and paid
for by another country, and owned by them.
To a very large degree, the power is in our hands, not the
government’s. Obama can give tax incentives left and right to small
businesses, etc., but if we refuse to support them, we run the risk of
losing our freedoms we hold dear and welcome the hangman’s noose.

Cecilia Droz • Lake Ann

Looking for leaders
Considering that one family has left Michigan every 12 minutes in
recent years, you would think politicians in Lansing would wake up and
realize that partisan gamesmanship will not turn around our great
Michigan cannot afford -- literally and figuratively -- to continue
waving goodbye to her future.
With 280,000 jobs lost in 2009 and 22,000 students expected to leave
elementary and secondary schools for a brighter future in another
state this year, the challenges may be daunting, but they aren’t
We have the workers, agriculture and entrepreneurs, the
innovation-ready universities, and abundant natural resources to
overcome the Lost Decade and remake this state for the 21st century.
All that is missing is the political leadership to move Michigan forward.
Our great state deserves leaders willing to put Michigan first and
work across the aisle in the tradition of former governors Romney and

Dennis Lennox • Drain Commissioner, County of Cheboygan

War is no solution
President Obama has asked Congress for an additional $33 billion on
top of $708 billion for the Defense Department to fight the wars in
Iraq and Afghanistan. This $33 billion will mostly go to expand the
war in Afghanistan and Pakistan along with Predator and Reaper drone
These pilotless drones are used for surveillance and attack missions.
Over 1,000 civilians have been killed in these attacks and the drones
terrify women and children by their presence.
As we watch the heroic actions of Americans and our service personnel
in Haiti, and see the gratitude and respect for their actions around
the world. I am reminded of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hatred
cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
War does not work to bring peace and democracy. We must be a force
for justice and peace around the world if we are to have peace and
security in America.

Jo Anne Beemon • Antrim County

To clarify the article on Shirley Vinson last week, the Child
Protective Services in Utah conducted an investigation of Vinson
before moving to terminate her parental rights of her toddler daughter
and newborn baby boy. CPS had concerns about Vinson’s ability to
parent, due to her anger problems, and because Vinson exposed her
daughter to scenes of domestic violence. The CPS also alleged that
Vinson, while homeless, stayed with strangers, who had alcohol and
drug problems. Vinson voluntarily gave up her rights.

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