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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. . . .


- July 26th, 2010
Not censorship
Your article entitled “X’ed Out” recalls a controversy that surfaced
several years ago regarding the National Endowment for the Arts and
its attempt to withhold funds from some grant applicants.
Near the crux of both controversies is the definition of censorship.
That word refers to the prohibition of the direct and open expression
of ideas and information. To the best of my knowledge, no new
prohibitions have been installed here, and the films that were denied
public support in Michigan and elsewhere may still be made in those
same places, privately, with alternative funding, and without public
Simply witholding support, which is the right of any funding entity,
does not constitute censorship.
The author of the article is welcome to express his disapproval of the
state’s film funding process and its result, but his reference to “the
stink of censorship” is both innacurate and inflammatory. The
applicants who were denied public support were not censored by the
state. It merely refused to offer them financial benefits.

Harvey Gordon • Glen Arbor

Time on their side
So readers can better understand why we cannot win a war in
Afghanistan, let’s turn the coin to another side. If the USA were a
Christian nation (which it is not) we would have the problem of which
Christianity ruled? Evangelicals? Catholics? One of the over 100
church groups here in the Copper Country? And if they were militant,
would we have a situation like Northern Ireland where one Christian
group murders the other? Now take it another step:
This hypothetical Christian nation is attacked by Moslems who believe
that our alcoholic, depraved, pornographic, immoral culture must be
reformed from the outside along with imposing Orthodox Sharia law.
Even if the invaders had superior arms and killer drones, Americans
would fight by whatever means to throw the invaders out. We would
never surrender to that foreign culture.
So why would the Taliban? Taliban means “students of the Qhoran” who
happen to use violence and coercion to enforce their concept of
Shariah law. In Saudi Arabia they have the religious police, stoning
and beheading of adulterers. In Israel the Haredi, the so-called
“black hat” Jews refused to let their girls go to school with
Ashkenazis or Sephardics because those are not “Jewish” enough.
Religious intolerance comes in all stripes and colors.
Add to the Afghan definition the tradition and culture of revenge.
Kill a civilian and you recruit a dozen avengers who will do anything
in their power to settle the score against the invader. Would we do
the same in their circumstance? As the Taliban say, “The Americans
have the watches, but we have the time.” As soon as we leave, they
will be back.
As long as a $10 IED can destroy a $1 million armored vehicle, the
economics are on their side.

Harley Sachs • Houghton

Scare tactics
A response to Jim Carruthers’ comment in the July 12 article, “Natural
Gas.” Mr. Carruthers stated in reference to the local fight against
biomass, “A handful of environmentalists are leading our community
astray with misinformation, which is most damaging.”
It’s too easy to spit out such minimizing and fear-breeding blanket
terminology, i.e. “handful” “environmentalists,” “astray,”
“misinformation” and “damaging” without any facts or specifics. Again
Mr. Carruthers, I challenge you to specify to whom you are referring,
state what misinformation and the exact damage it has caused. These
scare tactics are getting tiresome and negate the intelligence of our
community. This is why Traverse City Light & Power (TCLP) falls short.
I don’t know who these “environmentalists” are; I’m just a local TC
citizen who read the current scientific studies (those which have no
financial or political ties to biomass) and decided against it. I made
an informed decision all by myself. Many other “Average Joes” did the
same thing and formed a group specifically to stop biomass in our
area, our state, and nationally (MCE3 or Michigan Citizens for
Energy, the Economy, and Environment).
Other non-environmentalists, such as our local physicians, have
organized against biomass. Lastly, let’s mention the 1,000-plus TC
residents (whom I’m pretty sure are not “environmentalists”) who
endorsed both biomass petitions and want to rally against the issue in
November. What do you have against environmentalists anyway?
The biomass fight is far from over. It goes beyond TCLP’s boundaries.
It includes not only the burning of trees, but tires, garbage and all
things that fall under the biomass umbrella. So, don’t get too
For more “damaging misinformation” visit MCE3.org and

Valorie Gibbs • TC

(TCLP voted to abandon pursuing biomass at last week’s board meeting,
citing public disapproval of the proposed plant. - ed.)

An article in last week’s Express erroneously stated that Frankfort
policemen entered the home of Elaine Vanderberg without a search
warrant. It was, in fact, a different law enforcement agency.

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