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 · Other Opinions · The Mosque at Ground...
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The Mosque at Ground Zero

Stephen Tuttle - August 16th, 2010
The Mosque at Ground Zero
There is a plan afoot to remodel an already existing structure in New
York City as a mosque and community center. It is two blocks from
ground zero. The opposition to it is loud, growing and misplaced.
The arguments go like this: it’s too close to ground zero, the
feelings are still too raw, it was Muslims who attacked the World
Trade Centers, blah, blah, blah.
Worse, the debate has now been fully politicized. Former New York Mayor
Rudolph Giuliani has weighed in, calling the decision to go forward
with the plans a “desecration” and wrongly accusing those involved in
the planning of being “sympathetic to terrorists”.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which should know
better, says it will open old wounds. New York Governor David
Paterson, while expressing some support, has offered state funding if
the proposed project is moved. And, of course, Sarah Palin, who has
become something of a scavenger of human misery, has decided that
vocally opposing the mosque is an excellent opportunity to make some
cynical political points.
On the other side, current New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has openly
supported the plans and watched his traditionally high approval ratings sag.
The man who planned this 13-story, $100 million development that will
include a community center, performing arts center and day care center
in addition to a mosque, is either the greatest con man we’ve
encountered in some time or exactly the kind of Muslim with whom we’ve
been trying to curry favor since 9/11. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf extols
the virtues of democracy and freedom and, in fact, has publicly said
the United States is the model on which his kind of Islam should be
It is more than ironic that our tax dollars have been used to support,
and in some cases build, these kinds of Islamic centers around the
world in an attempt to promulgate peaceful, mainstream Islam. There
are those insisting no such thing should be built in lower Manhattan,
a brief ferry ride from the Statue of Liberty. Apparently there will
be no yearning to be free going on in their neighborhood.
Our continued insistence on lumping all Muslims -- and there are more
than a billion of them around the world -- into the same group with
those who have bastardized the Quran for their own murderous ends is a
grotesque mistake that belittles us and the values in which we so
strongly believe.
More to the point, it feeds the beast we’ve come to call radical Islam
more fuel for the hatred machines they continue to build – America is
intolerant, America hates us, America is the enemy.
You would think this kind of religious bigotry would be part of our
past. Every major religion has had its violently extreme splinter
groups and their moments of inexplicable darkness. Murderous
megalomaniacs have infected Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and even
Buddhism. Yet no one has suggested their houses of worship should move
someplace else.
We’ve opted not to condemn or attempt to banish any of the great
religions based on the bad behavior of a relative handful of rogue,
murderous adherents. We’ve accepted the quite correct notion that no
religious belief system should be condemned in its entirety because of
a few lunatics claiming to represent it. But we have excluded Islam
from this obvious truism.
Then there’s the entire matter of the First Amendment. Our various
government agencies don’t get to decide how we worship or where. The
first couple of layers of governmental regulators have made decisions
allowing the mosque to move forward. Even if roadblocks are erected,
as some on the New York City City Council and within the New York
Legislature have suggested, it’s quite likely the courts will remove
those hurdles. As they should.
Yes, it was Muslims of a sort who hijacked commercial jets and rained
horror down on New York City, Washington, D.C. and the rolling hills
of Pennsylvania on 9/11. But theirs is not the Islam practiced around
the world. In fact, the violence and hatred practiced by the Taliban,
al Qaida and other Islamic terrorists are not recognizable as any
religious belief system at all.
A mosque and community center in
New York, close to ground zero, is the perfect
location and the perfect opportunity for us to learn about real
Islamic practices, and for them to reach out to a community so badly
wounded by a handful who tried to steal a religion away from them and
quite literally destroy that which Allah asked them to
If radical Islam rears its ugly head in a new center in New York,
we’ll know about it soon enough and can then take the necessary steps
to stop it. But it is past time we give those Muslims who want nothing
more than to peacefully coexist with their neighbors the chance to do
just that. Our politicians have plenty of other issues to soil with
their grubby quest for another handful of votes.
The mosque and community center should be built not because it will be
a symbol of Islamic tolerance, understanding and pluralism but because
it will be a symbol of ours.

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