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 · Other Opinions · Join the War Corps:...
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Join the War Corps: It‘s Time for Conscription of the Willing

Bill Smith - August 12th, 2004
Over 40 years ago President Kennedy introduced the Peace Corps, a voluntary initiative to support the Kennedy vision of the U.S. role in helping to make the world a better place.
I propose that President Bush introduce the War Corps, again a voluntary initiative to support the Bush vision of the U.S. role in helping to make the world a better place.
The War Corps provides a serious ‘action plan’ for believers in the Bush Doctrine of “preemptive invasion.”

The War Corps will be bipartisan. Its centerpiece plan offers a renewed draft called the “Conscription of the Willing.” Here is how it would work:

President Bush delivers a major speech debunking the myth that mostly not-so-privileged Americans are dying overseas in order to benefit mostly privileged Americans back home. The President will call on anyone supporting the Bush Doctrine to step up and offer the names of all eligible family members for a special “conscription of the willing” draft to be held in the near future.
President Bush gets the ball rolling by submitting the names of his own twin daughters, who flank him on both sides with smiles and waves, along with the sons and daughters of cabinet members and close advisors.
Top appointed and elected officials (i.e. Congress) who have voted for and supported the Iraqi War, or high-profile private citizens in support of the Bush Doctrine (i.e. talk show hosts, corporate executives) will be invited to classify themselves or their own children (or grandchildren, etc.) as “1-AA.” All 1-AA children, unless impoverished or medically unable, will serve combat duty after training.
All other private citizens (i.e. you and me) who support the Bush Doctrine will be invited to sign up their eligible dependents for the “1-A” category, to be drafted until 50% are conscripted. 1-A families will receive pins, bumper stickers, and plaques to proudly display their voluntary 1-A status in support of the Bush Doctrine. The first 1,000 1-A families who enlist before conscription will also receive commemorative flight goggles – replicas of the ones the President wore when he declared victory on the aircraft carrier.
Some conscripted individuals will be given the opportunity to learn the languages of Pakistan, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Korea – useful for incursions into countries known to have been far greater threats and/or conduits of terrorism than Iraq.
All top corporate executives who wish to support the War Corps, but who have no eligible dependents, will be invited to slash their total compensation to $911,000 per year, with the remainder donated to veterans programs, or to start up costs of a new 24/7 Bush Doctrine cable channel which alternately broadcasts Presidential rally speeches and John Wayne movies.
All conscripted children of 1-AA and 1-A families may choose to serve in non-combatant roles by helping families of civilian victims of invasion (now numbering in Iraq four times the number of U.S. civilian 9/11 victims – picture four sets of twin towers leveled by American bombs).
All citizens will always be encouraged to enlist without waiting for conscription.

Huge bipartisan rallies of 1-AA and 1-A extended families will be held in major urban shopping malls. Drawings will be held to distribute newly legalized automatic weapons to the lucky winners. Names of the Willing will be published in local newspapers, with pictures of them shown in combat zones.
And what about those 1-AA and 1-A families who choose not to serve, who choose not to put their own children in harm’s way? It’s a free country – and I am sure you will find them with the rest of us waving their flags proudly at the next Fourth of July parade.

Bill Smith is a resident of Suttons Bay.

Some bumper
sticker suggstions:
• My Child Joined the War Corps!
• In Bush We Trust
• Soccer Moms For War
• Containment is for Wimps
• Terrorism: Evil Without a Cause
• Preemptive War:
A New American Tradition
• We Have A Positive Vision: And You’re Either For Us Or You’re Against Us

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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