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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- March 29th, 2010
Advice to Dave Camp: Get an imagination
Dear Representative, Dave Camp, I am writing to you in response to
your “NO” vote last night on health care reform.
Rather than have your staffers send me your boilerplate response,
please take a few extra moments to actually consider what I write.
Close your eyes and imagine that you aren’t on the federal dole, and
that you and your family don’t have health care and a pension for
life. Please also imagine that your campaign contributions do not come
primarily from corporations, that you are immune to insurance company
lobbying efforts and, further, that you can vary from your party’s
position without fearing a political backlash.
Now, imagine that you cannot find a job, you’re self-employed or work
for an employer who cannot afford to offer health care.
Unfortunately, your spouse is in the same situation. Imagine you have
children to whom you want to give everything good.
Your reality, however, is that you are barely able to scrape by on
your combined take-home pay. You are both good, honest people who
worked hard, but could never seem to catch a break.
Now, imagine that one of the following occurs:
You have a heart attack, your wife is diagnosed with breast cancer,
and one of your children falls off his bicycle and suffers a severe
concussion. What would it feel like to walk into a hospital knowing
that you have NO WAY to pay for care?
What if you had just canceled your family’s health insurance because
your premium increased by 40%, and you had to decide between that and
being homeless? What if your wife’s cancer was a re-occurrence from
15 years ago, you’re still paying off that debt, and you can’t get
insurance due to the “pre-existing condition”?
Got it? Now, step back in time and imagine that you, this good but
desperate person who does NOT have government-guaranteed health care
for life, is casting the vote you cast last night.
How do you vote?

Robert Chapman • Suttons Bay

When the Republicans ruled

Poor John Boehner! So bitterly you wept as you bemoaned the Democrats
ramming health care through Congress, and so pitifully you sob that
they’ve violated the will of the American people! But you see, John,
I have an attention span, so I remember the past eight years, when
both Congress and the entire Bush administration were doing both of
those every minute, and you were loving it! Typical Republican

J. Andrew Smith
Bloomfield New Jersey

Democratic Party is out of control

In what I describe as an overwhelming elitist and arrogant manner,
the Democratic party has just hoisted a certain finger in response to
the overwhelming majority of American citizens and the health care
issue. Is it possible that we are witnessing the end of democracy as
we’ve come to know? Is the question so far fetched?
What body attempts passing legislations taking over 16% of the entire
economy without an actual vote?
I’m sorry folks, but from what I’m witnessing we should all be scared
in a very big way. Both Democrats and Republicans. The hierarchy of
the Democratic Party is out of control! Can’t see much difference in
how a Hugo Chavez would be conducting such an effort.
I will bet that making the 25 million illegal aliens “legal” with a
wave of the wand will be the next effort undertaken. What’s after
that? How about our Constitutional Second Amendment rights? Let’s
hope, pray, and work towards the best. Failing that, we should all
be prepared for the worst.

Brian D. Spencer • Traverse City

Protect Michigan’s water from exploitation

Not a single Republican currently “serving” in the State Senate should
ever again be elected to public office. Public officials who felt the
taxes that were proposed last fall, such as a tax on vending machine
sales, would have been more harmful to the state than the cuts to
education, mental health, and public safety that have occurred don’t
have good enough judgment to lead this state. And those who are
unwilling to compromise have no business in politics.
The primary culprit, of course, is Mike Bishop. Michigan voters must
make sure that he cannot inflict anymore harm to our state after
The good news is that we have Dan Scripps working on our behalf.
Representative Scripps is working hard to create jobs and conserve our
natural resources, the two of which go hand-in-hand. Scripps’ proposal
to protect groundwater would have no effect on taxes or fees, but
would safeguard our cherished water resources from overexploitation.

Fred Cepela • Traverse City

Prisons aren’t working

Kudos to [Express guest columnist] Gary Singer for speaking out.
More people who actually know about the “inside” should speak out. He
brings up many points the general public may never be privy to from
the outside. Prisons are countries and jurisdictions unto their own.
Outside rules do not apply whether you are an inmate or just a visitor
at the prison.
Don’t be so naive as to think that just because a person pleads to a
charge that they are guilty of that charge. Also don‘t be so foolish
as to think that a jury of your peers will see the truth.
Truth is extremely hard to prove. There are more innocent people in
prisons because of someone lying than you will ever know. Any one of
us could be the next innocent incarcerated.
Law enforcement, prosecutors, etc. want to scare Michigan’s citizens
into believing that ALL inmates are violent.
Prison should be a place of rehabilitation producing a productive
citizen. That can’t happen if inmates are not given incentives to work
towards rehabilitation allowing them feel good about themselves and
possibly reduce their term. If high recidivism is an issue then that
surely shows that the way prisons are run now is not working.

Gerry Boris • Charlevoix

Fear of Sarah?

(In response to StephenTuttle’s column, “Why not Sarah Palin?”)
She’s got you nervous doesn’t she, Stephen? A “rogue” mother, wife,
family gal from Alaska where she speaks of a way of life known to many
and to top it off, a Christian! How dare she! Did you read and quote
from her books? I won’t deal with your fear of her by taking on your
points of her past, as most of what you counter with Sarah is your
opinion only. I would suggest to offer you a code of journalism, give
references. Has Sarah said she is running? Has Mitt Romney? How far
back have you studied the American political scene? Post-Carter? Why
not Obama?

John C. Colvin • Traverse City

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