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 · Features · Under the eightball
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Under the eightball

Robert Downes - August 31st, 2009
Under the Eightball
Tim Hall honors his sister Lori with a documentary on Lyme Disease

By Robert Downes 8/31/09

Filmmaker Tim Hall will see his labor of love up on the screen at the State Theater in Traverse City this Monday, Aug. 31, with Under the Eightball, which promises to be a hard-hitting documentary.
A director, musician and activist in progressive causes, Tim is the brother of Traverse City writer Lori Hall-Steele, whose death at an early age last year inspired his film tribute. Here’s what he had to say about the film on the eve of its premiere:

NE: What is Under the Eightball about?
Hall: The first half of Under the Eightball chronicles my sister, Lori Hall-Steele and her battle with Lyme disease. What many people don’t understand is the controversy that surrounds Lyme disease, stemming in part from conflicts of interest rooted in financial gain for key precedent makers in the medical and scientific community.
Because the disease can mimic over 300 different illnesses, including ALS, many doctors don’t even bother with it, or due to lack of knowledge, can’t correctly diagnose it. Plus, you have rapidly spreading co-infections that can effect the severity of Lyme disease, and that are even less understood, requiring a vast array of treatments.
The second half of the film asks the question “who is responsible?” The answer is widespread. The environment; insurance and pharmaceutical companies; medical boards; biological weapons development; ego; greed. We’ve taken on the difficult task of boiling down years worth of information and presenting it to our audience in a comprehensible and entertaining form.

NE: How did you decide to make the film?
Hall: When Lori became ill my only impulse was to drop everything and devote myself to saving her. Luckily, I was able to find funding which allowed me to pursue answers and at the same time document Lori’s story, so no one else would have to experience this again. My girlfriend, Breanne Russell, quit her job and together we searched for ways to save Lori, a journey which has taken us across the country and back.

NE: Your press release states that Lyme disease has “roots in the U.S. Government’s Bio-warfare Program.” Is this supported by medical literature?
Hall: In one of our interviews, author and physicist Jerry Leonard is quoted as saying: “The information is out there. All you have to do is pick up a book.” This is a sad reality. The information is out there, for anyone who seeks it. The problem I suppose, is that unless you have the impetus to know, you’d rather not. Jerry Leonard will be present for the screening Monday evening.
After the film’s release, we will be providing a complete list of footnotes, if you will, which will be accessible on our website undertheeightball.com.

NE: Didn’t Lyme disease exist before such a bio-warfare program was developed?
Hall: That’s a good question. Many will say that yes it did exist, or what symptomatically looked like Lyme before the outbreak in Lyme, Connecticut. They use this as a reason for why Lyme disease couldn’t possibly be a biological weapon. Well, that just doesn’t make sense. Just look at anthrax, a naturally-occurring virus that was taken into a lab and genetically altered to be antibiotic-resistant. Weaponization of viruses and bacteria has existed since biblical times. The world has never seen an outbreak, an endemic of this disease or anything symptomatically similar in our recorded history... until the apex of our biological weapons studies, 11 miles from a biological research facility.

NE: How did you get the scoop on this ahead of news organizations such as the New York Times?
Hall: Perhaps newspapers didn’t have the impetus that we did -- trying to save a dying sibling. The information has been reported, in pieces. When presented in small segments it is difficult to see the entire picture. We feel we have effectively unravelled a complex and extremely complicated knot.

NE: Has making the film been a tough experience for you?
Hall: One of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

NE: What was your budget?
Hall: When you are trying to accomplish a film in an extremely short period of time a budget is essential. It allowed us to travel and meet people that could help Lori. We were very fortunate to find someone that believed in our cause and our talent to help us accomplish this great feat.

NE: Why are you listed as “Timothy Grey” for writer, director and editor instead of your real name?
Hall: Trying to spice it up for homeland security.

NE: What’s your background as a filmmaker?
Hall: I have released one film, VOW and another Lower the Sun is in post production. Breanne and I plan on finishing that this fall.

NE: Your picture is prominent in the poster. Are you in the film?
Hall: Yes.

NE: What is your plan for marketing Under the Eightball?
Hall: After we premiere on Monday, August 31, we hope interest sparks a longer run in the area. We have a few screenings planned on the East Coast and will be planning a national release for the fall. Interested parties can subscribe on our website to stay updated.

NE: What would you like to see happen as a result of your film?
Hall: We hope we’ve created something that will help demystify a difficult subject to understand, or even accept. The fact remains, these studies were done and the effects are immeasurable because the records are classified, top secret, and in some cases destroyed. It is a constitutional issue, these studies greatly intrude on an individuals right to pursue happiness, liberty, and ultimately.... life. Our main goal is to spark enough interest and outcry that government on a federal level will be forced to investigate these claims.

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