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 11/20/03
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Letters 11/20/03

Various - November 20th, 2003
SUVs need improvement

The number of SUVs on the road is growing at an alarming rate. While many people like to drive them, SUVs are very unsafe and guzzle far too much gas. I worry about the toll of SUVs on the lives of other Americans and the environment. Congress should act to improve SUVs, so that every American can have a vehicle they are proud to drive.
SUV rollovers killed 2,358 people in 2002 alone. But better safeguards would have prevented many of these deaths, and thousands more injuries. SUVs lack a strong roof and doors that withstand rollover crashes. SUVs are also a threat to others on the road. In frontal crashes, SUVs are four times more likely to kill car drivers than is a car. Better design could fix these safety problems.
The fuel economy of the U.S. vehicle fleet peaked in 1988 and has been swiftly declining ever since. The upsurge in SUVs, vans and pickup trucks, which average six miles per gallon less than cars, is mainly to blame for this decline. Instead of fuel economy, engineering developments have focused on increasing weight, acceleration and horsepower. American ingenuity should be applied towards reducing our oil dependence and saving money for consumers when gas prices go up.
Congress should require SUVs to be safer and more fuel-efficient. The time has come for a better SUV.

Daniel M. Robbins • Mackinaw City

Blasting the doves

On the subject of legislation passed on November 4, this is An Overheard Exchange.
Mr. Mourning Dove:
“Come fly with me, oh love of mine
Let‘s perch upon a power line
Don‘t be shy - no need to hide
The earth - the sky - we‘ll gaze far and wide
I‘ll coo to you, gently, my love, without cease
We‘ll let everyone know we‘re the State Bird of Peace
Morning and Evening, we‘ll sooth every ear
As we offer our songs, without worry or fear.“
Mourning Dove‘s Mate: “I‘m game.“

Lorraine Mark • Honor

Outsourcing jobs outsources prosperity

We are slowly moving toward becoming a Third World country. Let me connect the dots. Many of our industries are being moved to low-wage-paying countries, leaving many of our own working people without jobs. Even those companies that opt to stay here are pressuring their workers to accept wage and benefit concessions. Our government no longer has the tax revenue needed to support programs designed to keep unfortunate citizens from having to live like Third World citizens.
I believe that these things are occurring because our elected officials have their eyes focused on the needs of those executives who provide the biggest pocketbooks rather than on developing a long-range economic policy designed to benefit all citizens.
Come on, President Bush, get with it!

Donald M. Wickert • via email

Jobs disappear overseas

I just got another call -- one more white-collar job is going overseas. That‘s three college-educated friends laid off in two weeks, with no job prospects in sight. Am I the only one who‘s worried? Most of our manufacturing jobs are already overseas; now all the white-collar jobs are following.
Hello, Corporate America, wake up! If everyone in America is out of work, just who do you think is going to buy your products? The Third World countries that are sucking up our jobs are still too poor to buy. The U.S. is the biggest consumer market in the world -- or was. Just who do you think you‘re going to sell your products to?

Barbara Sabo • Hermosa Beach, CA

Dangerously incompetent

President Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction and the purported “grave and imminent“ threat Iraq posed to the U.S. Or, if he believed his claims, Bush is dangerously incompetent.
George W. Bush, Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld have conducted a criminal preemptive war of aggression, attacking people who did not threaten the United States and killing and maiming thousands. Their actions violate the U.S. Constitution and the U.N. Charter which prevents countries from waging attack on other countries except as an act of self-defense in response to an imminent threat.
In July 1974 the House Judiciary Committee voted for articles of impeachment for President Nixon for lying to the people and to Congress. Within a month Nixon resigned from office. Nixon‘s political demise came less than two years after he won one of the largest landslide electoral victories in U.S. history. The United States of America was spared great harm because the media informed citizens of that threat.
The Bush Administration and Attorney General John Ashcroft have treated the Bill of Rights with contempt and have sought to roll back decades of hard won civil rights and rights for working people. This President has claimed for himself the authority to jail citizens and residents of the United States indefinitely, without any charge against them, without trial and without access to a lawyer.
The unilateral actions of the Bush Administration in waging and threatening wars of aggression do not serve the interests of the people of the U.S. The billions of dollars being spent on war, taken from the working people of the U.S., are being funneled to the Big Oil and corporate elite who are Bush‘s true constituents.

Harry Miller • Chicago
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