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 9/4/03
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Letters 9/4/03

Various - September 4th, 2003
Lost hikers

I was surprised by your July 31, 2003 response to Gerry Harsch’s point-by-point correction of the MLUI‘s position on the Hartman-Hammond Connection project. You state hundreds of residents who‘ve walked along the river found the proposed bridge 0.5 mile south of South Airport Road. A mile is 5,280’ whether you walk or drive. If you trust your vehicle’s odometer, check the distance next time you cross South Airport Road on Cass Road when you get to Hartman Road. If you travel LaFranier or Garfield Road, check the distance to Hammond Road. If it’s not showing 1.25 miles, you had better get the odometer fixed because all the land surveys show the distance to be 6,600 feet, not 2,600 feet. I would say you and Thayer are about a mile off on your “facts“.
The “Smart Roads“ option publicly discussed by the MLU is readily available. This literature proposes closing driveways, improving BATA, limiting sewers and water service extensions, building roundabouts and sidewalks. Smart Roads doesn’t state that additional lanes will be added to Cass, Keystone and Beitner Roads – the roads they propose all the traffic south of South Airport Road use for the next 20 years. A typical two-lane road can safely and conveniently handle about 12,000 cars a day. So how are these existing two lane road going to handle the estimated 30,000 cars a day coming off South Airport Road onto Hartman-Hammond 20 years from now?
The old saying goes, “You can fool some of the people, some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people, all of the time“? The last public survey in our county found that 61% of the residents supported the Hartman Hammond Connection. When told there was opposition, 6% dropped their support. Is this 6% the hundreds of area residents that have found a bridge crossing at 0.5 mile from South Airport Road?

Michael Dillenbeck • Manager, Grand Traverse County Road Commission

Attention gay people

Letter to T.C. citizens,gay and/or otherwise inclined. You oughta‘ know, but apparently many of you don‘t. This is a new era in American culture, and you can own your sexuality. You don‘t have to hide anymore. You no longer need two
personalities; one for your friends and another for your co-workers. You no
longer need to perpetuate cultural stereotypes.
When you hide who you are, you‘re only empowering the rednecks, and the “Christian“ right. As for the redneck, yes, the potential threat of violence is always there, but know this, it‘s rooted in their own confused sexuality.
I‘ve mostly had straight male friends -- guys who were comfortable in their own skin -- me being gay? It was a non-issue. As for the Christian right, well, due to the sheer economic power of the gay community, they don‘t have a chance (in their own private hell) of pushing anybody back in the closet. Traverse City residents need to realize this. If all the local gay business owners and investors took to
the hills, this town would evaporate.
Also people on average just don‘t care anymore whether you‘re “straight“ or “gay.“ It‘s irrelevent. So own who you are, and own your economic power; because in a town like this, it‘s all that really matters. And keep that in mind this fall when you vote for community leaders.

Mike Morey • TC

We Created Saddam

Every week there is a new “reason“ to justify invading Iraq. This week it is because 200,000 people disappeared under Saddam Hussein‘s rule. This is intolerable.
But let‘s explore this history. In the mid 1950s the Iraqi people overthrew the British and began a process of democratic elections. The U.S. didn‘t like the direction Iraq was heading and installed Saddam Hussein. We trained him and his people, we supplied him with weapons and money, and we supported his overthrow of democratically elected leaders. Over the years we encouraged Saddam‘s tactics. We used him to fight Iran and supplied him with chemical weapons. Rumsfeld (during his first tour) met with him on numerous occasions. We were neutral when Saddam asked our State Dept. for permission to invade Kuwait.
During the first Gulf “war“ we bombed Baghdad (killing hundreds of civilians) and much of Iraq. We destroyed their water, sewer and electrical systems. We used depleted uranium in our shells and bombs and permanently contaminated the earth. Then we lead sanctions and bombing to prevent rebuilding and cleanup. The World Health Organization said that during the 10 years of U.S.-lead sanctions, 1.2 million Iraqis died because of lack of clean water, proper sewage treatment and medicines. And most of these were children. We are now beginning to see the effects of depleted uranium - deformed children, high cancer rates - in Iraq and our troops.
We have “outkilled“ Saddam Hussein 6-to-1 in less than half the time. We installed him and fully supported him. To invade a country, to kill Iraqis, to place U.S. troops in harm‘s way to correct a problem that we created is beyond intolerable. Its barbaric. I believe all parties involved in this atrocity must go before an international court and be tried for crimes against humanity.
I left Vietnam 32 years ago. I had hoped that we learned a lesson. What I see that we learned is that the military/industrial/media/political complex is alive and well and getting fatter at the expense of WE THE PEOPLE.

Arnold Stieber • Grass Lake

No draft necessary

Chairman Mao once said that the United states government was like a hand with five fingers trying to hold down six flies. That is especially true now.
Political leader orders have forced a military manpower shortage on the Pentagon. That shortage has developed because American military forces have been sent to an excessive number of foreign countries and left there.
The reason is because political leaders have ordered the Pentagon to train a growing number of foreign military forces in order to have a controlling interest in them and their governments.
But it was the military manpower demands of the unnecessary war in Iraq that both caused and exposed such a strategic military weakening of national security. That can be fixed, but not all of the anti-American threats created by such an internationally understood war of aggression.
If the military manpower shortage is made up by bringing back another unnecessary draft as a congressional bill seeks to do, then American families will be hurt again just as they were during the Vietnam War.
Because that war was clearly proven unnecessary for national security, that clearly proves that the military draft supporting it was unnecessary.
Added to the observation of Chairman Mao should be a related one of warning from Frederick the Great: One who attempts holding down all finishes by losing all.

Louis Burford • Petoskey
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