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 8/19/04
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Letters 8/19/04

Various - August 19th, 2004
Compassion, please
In case anybody missed it, on August 3, Detroit voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative to legalize possession of marijuana for medical use with a doctor’s recommendation. Traditionally conservative primary voters passed the initiative by a 60- 40 margin to mandate that this type of police activity be relegated to their lowest priority.
In other words, Detroiters told their police and city officials to get their boots off the throats of sick and dying patients and to focus instead on legitimate police activities.
Kudos to them.
Compare that to Traverse City. Two months ago, my friend, Matthew Barber, 31, a terminal MS patient, was arrested for possession of two ounces of marijuana, which he uses for medicine with the recommendation of his physician. County Prosecutor Dennis LaBelle has filed a motion to suppress all discussion of Matthew’s medical condition or use of marijuana to treat his symptoms, and he plans to ask for the maximum penalty of a year in jail... for a person with a two-year prognosis for a terminal condition!
I want people to understand something. Matthew developed his terminal MS because of the experimental anthrax vaccine he received in the Army during the run-up to the Gulf War. According to Matthew, more than 20,000 other soldiers were honorably discharged for this same adverse reaction. What kind of message is Dennis LaBelle sending in this case? Is this the best use of GT County’s criminal justice resources?
I have just one question for Dennis LaBelle: If it was your wife or a loved one that was terminal and the only thing that provided palliative care for her was marijuana, would you tell her to just buck up and die, or would you do anything you could to ease her suffering? Let’s have a little perspective and compassion here.

Adam DeVaney • TC

Results do matter
President Bush’s new campaign slogan is “Results Matter.” I agree, results do matter. Some of Bush’s results: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since George Bush took office, the economy has lost 1.8 million private sector jobs. I am certain we live next to or know someone who is one of those almost two million people. Yes, results do matter.
According to a 2002 Bureau of Labor Statistics Economic Report of the President, after 9/11, the collapse of the tech bubble, and the recession, the President predicted six million new jobs would be created; instead, we lost an additional one million jobs. Yes, results do matter.
Now, we have had new jobs created. Some in the area who once had good manufacturing jobs are actually finding work. Unfortunately, many of these jobs pay less than the jobs they lost. The Economic Policy Institute reported on average, jobs in growing industries pay $9,160 less - or 21 percent less - than jobs in contracting industries. Who can live on $9,160?
Yes, I do believe that reults do matter, and I ask all voters to keep these results in mind when they vote in November

Richard W. Brown • Scottville

Outsource this
Recently on CNN, I saw an economic advisor in a nice suit insisting that, “Outsourcing was good for America.” Speaking as one of many former Lear employees whose jobs got passports and left town, I’m comforted to know we are all doing our part for the good of the country.
In a perfect world this gentleman would have been informed that his job had been outsourced, on camera. Then the commentators would cut live via satellite to Saddam’s former Minister of Dis-information, “Baghdad Bob.” Gee, if exporting our jobs is so good for the United States, maybe it’s time to OUTSOURCE GOVERNMENT.

Joseph Morio • via email

Visual terrorism
Friday, August 6 on the Parkway in Traverse City a small group of anti-abortionists gathered. They held huge signs of beautiful babies followed by horrific images of babies being burned and chopped into pieces. My pregnant friend cried out, horrified, as she passed, forced to cover her children’s eyes from the disgusting images of the latter.
What gave this group the right to terrorize my friend, her family and others who passed by? Visual terrorism seeks to shock and horrify those who see it, the same mindset of radical fundamentalists who put hatred and fear upon others. Would their God truly approve of these methods?
I’m angry over this abuse of our privilege of freedom of speech. They forced our police to work overtime and forced a sickening expression of their ideology upon others. Apparently no permit was required because they weren’t going to use a megaphone! Is there nothing our city can do about this or future invasions of visual terrorism?
This group plans the same throughout Michigan. I pray other communities have the guts to stand up to the sick use of those images and not allow them to make another mother cry.

Sally Sanders-Arnold • TC

Spread it around
Watching “Fahrenheit 9/11” or reading the Record-Eagle’s coverage about topics like Matthew Barber and Tom Gilbert are only two great examples recently of why getting two, or more, sides of the story are crucial.
In these days of spin and misinterpretation, a little critical thinking can go a long ways.
If FOX news, The Onion, Northern Express or anything else is your SOLE source of information, you might want to broaden your horizons.

Rob Ford • Elk Rapids

FOX News view
I’m writing in response to those of you who think FOX News is tilted toward the right. The problem is you’ve not seen objectivity in news reporting for so long you fail to recognize it when you see it.

Chris Doyal • Williamsburg

Pass it on
As many of you already know, Detroiters have voted decisively to remove the threat of arrest and incarceration for the medical use of cannabis in the city for those with a doctor’s recommendation. Now, in the wake of this victory, is an excellent time to press our elected officials to take legislative action on behalf of patients who can benefit from this safe and effective herb.

Melody Karr • Mesick

Natural mutation
Re: “Food Fight,” 8/12:
Those who protest genetic engineering should study the history of maize (“corn”). Modern corn may be the result of a natural mutation caused by a volcanic environment. It may be that modern corn diverged from its ancestors by the mutation of a single gene, or perhaps five. What we call “corn” seems to be the result of a feminization of the male tassel of the plant.
The most optimistic theory is that Native Americans genetically engineered corn from three otherwise unrelated grasses. Whatever questions biologists and archaeologists may argue, there is no doubt that corn is younger than humanity. After European contact with America, corn was spread around the world. Far more people seem to be naturally allergic to wheat than they are to mutant maize.

Michael E. Marotta • Kingsley

Really big show
The just concluded Democratic National Convention in Boston might easily be billed as one of the “Greatest Shows on Earth.” Unlike most glitzy performances that fizzle two hours after their two-hour blast (some prior political conventions included), this spectacle captivated TV audiences for four days and invigorated the Democratic faithful who have hungered payback for over
three years.
As a pledged John Kerry delegate from the 4th Congressional District I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the convention first-hand. Words truly cannot begin to describe this experience, which meshed historic speeches, top-notch entertainment, an advanced degree in politics and first-rate social events.
Senator Ted Kennedy, in delightful fashion reminded the country that it was Democratic leadership that brought us Social Security, worker protections and improvements in the water we drink. Former President William Clinton had the courage to admit his shortcomings while reminding the public that John Kerry didn’t wait to be called, he said “send me.” Then there was Barack Obama, the self-described “ skinny black kid from Illinois with a funny name” who turned the arena upside down with his words of a brighter future for all. Then on to a passionate message, championing human rights by President Jimmy Carter or the plea to America by President Reagan’s son Ron, that we in America do not turn our backs on the potential benefits of stem-cell research.
Before it was all finished, Senator John Kerry gave the speech of his lifetime when he laid out his vision for America. As the years pass and political pundits sort through the archives, I am compelled to believe that history will remember the unity and the firepower of the 2004 Democratic National Convention as the start of something very special. This greatest of shows will be recorded as a modern day Boston Tea Party that woke up so many sleeping Democrats to rally and to capture the ultimate prize in November.
Rhonda L. Estes • TC

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