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 2/2/09
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Letters 2/2/09

- February 2nd, 2009
More on the Volt
Here is some additional information to “Recharging Michigan” (Editorial, 1/19):The Volt also contains a gasoline engine assist, which generates electricity for the electric motor on longer trips. This extends the driving range to hundreds of miles.
The Volt is considered an electric car, rather than a hybrid, because the car is always being propelled by the electric motor: On short trips, batteries provide electricity to the motor. On long trips, the gasoline engine provides electricity to the motor.
A commuter driving fewer than 40 miles per day will use battery power only, and will not burn a drop of gasoline. If he or she decides to take a long trip, the gas engine assist turns on after 40 miles and generates the electricity.

Ted LeButt • TC

Not a fan
I find it puzzling and offensive that your publication would give space for Texas broadcaster Roy Henderson to suggest that he is a supporter of Traverse City. (re: “WLDR” 1/19)
He even had the nerve to imply that he’s a bigger supporter than Ross Biederman. Because of Ross Biederman, our communities have benefited from the Biederman Cancer Treatment Center and the Emergency Room at Munson Hospital. Ross and his radio stations give their time and resources to support area non-profits. There’s even a Biederman Foundation that contributes large sums of money to area non-profits.
Let’s recall what Roy Henderson has done for this community: Large eye-sore in downtown Traverse City. Sued the city leaders. I’m totally unaware of anything he has done positive for our community.
I think you show incredible blindness to this community when you choose to showcase an individual who has done nothing to deserve it. Why not showcase the real pioneers of this community who actually live here and care about this community, and who show it through “actions,” not a lot of “talk”.

W. Larson • TC

A Near-Miss Experience
Thank you and thanks to Mr. Nelson, owner of the Cash Plus in TC (re: “Nice Guys Finish Last,” 1/19). There can’t be enough warnings about these rip-offs. They are more prolific than we know.
We had a near-miss when we advertised a boat for sale. We were getting emails from a buyer in Nigeria. His story was that a friend over here was going to pick up the boat and ship it. He sent a bank draft [via FedEx] for way over the price of the boat and wanted us to send him the difference by Western Union. The credit union did not look twice at the check and only when we expressed concern, they checked it out somehow and said it was a fake. We had deposited it into our account but luckily had not yet written our own check. The State Police wanted only the emails, not the fake check. I doubt they ever were able to bring charges. Our money is made so that counterfeit is detectable. Why are not bank checks and money orders made that way? Does anyone ever recover their money?

Marian Johnson • Manistee
(sent via email)

Responsibility of the Artist
A recent letter soliciting government support for the arts (re: Letters 1/26) deserves a balanced response: The economic condition of our country and our state is poor, and reliable forecasters predict that the worst is still to come. Businesses are failing, individuals are losing their jobs, and families are losing their homes. Art is the crowning glory of civilization, but it does not take precedence over basic human needs, and it will not confer its glory on those who are being shorn of their dignity and independence by the current economy. Those of us who share a commitment and a devotion to art also share a responsibility to apply our ambition, our creativity, and our labor to help ensure its irrepressible endurance. Understanding that government funds are derived from its citizens, it is shameful to perpetuate a tax burden on all Americans to alleviate the noble obligation that lies with me and my peers and colleagues in the arts.

Harvey Gordon • Glen Arbor
(sent via email)

Co-equal Suffering?
(Re:Letters 1/19) A writer expressed dismay that someone would question whether Jews regard Israeli lives as worth more than Palestinian lives. With polls showing that 82 percent of Israelis think the Israeli military did not go “too far” in its recent assault on Gaza, it appears that way, no? Consider: In the last eight years (eight years!) 20 people in Israel have died from attacks launched by militants in Gaza. Yet, in just three weeks, some 1,300 Palestinians were killed and 4,000 were wounded.
A 20:1, 300 death ratio is not going “too far”?
“U.S.-based Jewish organizations” decry the suffering of Palestinians and Israelis “co-equally,” the writer claims. But if 20 versus 1,300 is “co-equal,” then one wonders how many more Palestinians would have to die before these organizations would denounce the pretense of such “even-handed” scorekeeping as obscene.
Moreover, for three years Israel has been choking Gaza’s 1.4 million people with a blockade that has prevented food, fuel, and medical supplies from reaching the area. Where is the outrage over this one-sided suffering? Is it only when rockets fly into Israel that suffering becomes real and worth denouncing?
For another Jewish opinion, watch UK Minister Gerald Kaufman’s address to the Houses of Parliament on YouTube. Far from pretending the suffering of Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza is co-equal, Kaufman – a man with impeccable credentials as an Orthodox Jew and early Zionist – boldly denounces Israel’s onslaught in Gaza as criminal, accusing Israel of acting like Nazis. “The present Israeli government,” Kaufman declares, “ruthlessly and cynically exploits the continuing guilt among Gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians. The implication,” he concludes, “is that the lives of Jews are precious, but the lives of Palestinians don’t count.”

Tom Fenton • Cedar

Yes We Can!
It’s a couple of days after the inauguration and the medias’ professional conservatives have weighed in. Though none could find substantive fault with the inaugural speech, all heard “chinks and weaknesses”.
One couldn’t grasp the return to science bit.
Today, we accept the world as round and hardly the center of the universe, but lately folks were seriously insisting on introducing creationism into school curriculums. I’m pretty sure that’s what the President meant talking about science in schools. We are the nation that put a man on the moon! That was pure science folks, not intelligent design.
Another, equated better and more affordable health care with a handout mentality and essentially blamed high tech for today’s expensive services. You might first check with the insurance “industry” about those costs.
There was even something about subdued rhetoric. This President, unlike his predecessor, understands he is president of all Americans, not just his supporters and cronies.
Finally, one writer talked about Obama’s hope as if it were false, sighting, by example, of all presidents, Republican Herbert Hoover. Hoover presided over the Great Depression. Bush pushed privatizing Social Security.
To those whose ears were really open, the message was obvious. Yes we can!

Bill Brown • Maple City
(sent via email)

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