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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- December 14th, 2009
Riveting Read...
Anne Stanton’s articles on U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak should be reprinted
in the Washington Post and New York Times. Her Stupak interview about
the world of the C Street “Family” (12/7) is riveting.
As a Grand Traverse Democrat, I supported Mr. Stupak for years, but no
more. The Stupak Amendment to the health care bill is a pointed,
political attack on women’s health insurance rights and reproductive
rights. His association with the “Family” (a secret religious group in
Washington DC) – is very surprising news.

Grant W. Parsons • TC

Tiger‘s Dubai connection
While Elin Nordegren, Tiger Wood’s wife, is becoming a household
name, probably few Americans have heard of Tatweer. Tatweer is a
subsidiary of Dubai Holdings. On the same day that Tiger’s world was
rocked by a developing salacious sex scandal, his financial portfolio
must have taken a heavy hit as well. On that very day, the free-market
dreamland of Dubai - a corporatist state literally built on sand -
suffered a serious economic meltdown.
The crown jewel of Dubai is the real estate management company
Tatweer, and Tiger is one of their major players. Along with
Dreamworks, Six Flags, and Universal Studios, Tiger has his own
division: The Tiger Woods Dubai. Here’s Tiger hawking his resort:
“I am confident The Tiger Woods Dubai is set to become one of the
world’s most sought after destinations. I think this community will be
a genuine oasis for those lucky enough to live or stay within its
spectacular grounds,” Check their website, and you couldn’t argue:
Some Americans remember Dubai Holdings. This was the “company” (Sheikh
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, holds 99.67% of the
company) that became embroiled in the controversy of February 2006,
when, with the strong support from the Bush administration, it
attempted unsuccessfully, to purchase control of most of America’s
commercial ports.
Some Americans will also remember that in 2007 when things got ‘too
hot’ for Dick Cheney’s former company, Halliburton, it ran off to
laissez-faire Dubai. Halliburton -- essentially a subsidiary of the
Bush administration -- faced charges of performing shoddy contract
work in Iraq, treating contract labors as virtual slaves, and, of
course, tax evasion.
Into this seedy wonderland Tiger jumped in the middle of the last decade. Now,
because of sexual “transgressions,” Tiger finds himself under the
media microscope. Unfortunately, American journalism rarely gets
beyond sex scandals. Real stories, if they get reported at all,
disappear down the “memory hole.”
Rather than interviewing another gorgeous cocktail waitress, the media
peeping Toms circling Tiger might serve the American public better by
flying over to Tiger Woods Dubai, and try to learn a few things: Say,
for example, is it possible that slave labor was used to held build
Tiger’s resort? Or is it possible that Tiger is hiding taxable assets
from our government in Dubai? And heck, since they already made the
trip, they could try to ask similar questions about other American
investors in Dubai.
Why are we sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan? For the same
reason we are occupying the Middle East generally. To shore up the
economic interests of an international ruling elite rich enough to
move to Tiger Woods Dubai.

Matt Malpass • East Jordan

Shop America
If you don’t like what’s happening to our economy; if you fear we are
going to end up as another “third world” country; then pay attention
when you do your Christmas
Pay attention when you do ALL of your shopping. Read the packaging on
the items you buy. Check to see where items are “manufactured.”
Remember that a product may be “distributed by” a U.S. company, but
“manufactured” in China or some other country that is benefiting
because they have the manufacturing jobs which companies here have
Yes, products “Made in the USA” may cost a bit more, but maybe we need
to think about the cost of not supporting our own manufacturing jobs.
The idea that we can be a “nation of consumers while producing
nothing” is proving to be disastrous. Yet, none of our elected
officials seem ready to come forward to admit that the free trade
agreements we’ve entered into are destroying our middle class and
threatening the future of our country. A bankrupt country is not a
strong country!
Write, email or phone your representatives with your concerns.
Finally, let store owners know you are looking for products
manufactured or grown in the USA.

Barbara Bernier • Manistee

DNR‘s hard line
Walt Lund’s comment about the DNR is very much to the point (Letters,
“Huntin’ Camp Blues,” 11/30). Michigan people have lost the DNR days
of Governor Milliken. Now we have a DNR with an ex-Flint hard rock
police chief as head cop.
The DNR director is and has always treated her deer herd like a
possession similar to a cheating husband: “Put them in a cage where I
know everything that’s going on.” This kind of government control has
chased hunters from the sport by the thousands. Some women CEOs like
our director have no capability of making smart informed friendly
decisions. It’s ‘balls to the wall’ with almost everything.
So years from now when someone asks, “Do people still deer hunt in
Michigan?” People like Walt will remember days from long ago when
conservation officers didn’t act the Gestapo and they actually were
friendly and didn’t come to you looking to write a ticket to get their
‘daily quota.‘

Patrick Ruddy • via email

To lose a job...
Boo hoo. Here’s a hanky. Sorry you just lost your job.
That’s pretty much all anyone ever says these days, given the times
we’re in. Even in Traverse City, which has marginally better
employment prospects than anywhere else in Michigan. Tough luck, they
say. Join the club.
Tough luck that you have rent to pay in a week. Tough luck that you
spent months trying to land this job. Tough luck that you’re a single
mother. Tough luck that your kid is sick with some mysterious appendix
ailment and the children’s hospital in Grand Rapids won’t accept the
new Medicaid plan in Grand Traverse County. Tough luck, because you’re
an at-will employee and you have no rights whatsoever.
At-will means you can be terminated at any time for any reason... Even
if you do everything right and by the book. Sick with H1N1?
Documentation from the emergency room won’t necessarily cut it
anymore. Nor will following the doctors orders and wearing a surgical
mask when you go into work to alert your bosses that you’ll miss a
day due to illness.
Ah, sorry. Getting sick during flu season is not an approved activity
in the employee handbook. You’re supposed to spend the shift sneezing
and coughing all over everyone. Should have been born with a stronger
immune system. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Happy
Yeah, this is a sob story and a fairly common one. But it still
illustrates the essential indecency and unfairness of the at-will
status, and the reality that some people refuse to understand: You can
do everything right these days and still get fired. So much for the
holiday spirit.
Amber Bogart • TC
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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