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 5th, 2010
Fighting to spend
Why do we do it over and over again?
Afghanistan and Vietnam can never really be compared. Each long-term
military action was different and presented different problems. The
similarity between these two very different actions lies in the fact
that they are and were being fought not to win but to spend.
If the civilian leadership in Washington turned the American military
loose to go through a country and kick ass until those who were
considered the enemy were devastated and defeated, the action would
not last very long. The problems would lie in the civilian collateral
damage and death toll. We then must try to rebuild the civilization we
just defeated.
As a civilization we cannot by force install our moral value or
economic system around the world. If this statement is true, and
history has proven that it does not work, why do we try it over and
over again? Is it because there is profit to be made, and it will keep
our populace fixated on something other than real problems that exist
today in this country?
Small unit tactics coupled with effective limited air strikes have
been shown to be effective military actions in today’s world. If we
spend the effort and money on reliable intelligence and then without
hesitation act on that intelligence in a totally devastating manner,
soon the need for that kind of reaction would wind down.
The many men and women who will return home forever changed physically
and emotionally by the actions that we are now engaged in need to
stop. These brave young people could be better used at home, here in
this country, helping those in their own towns rebuild this country
and its infrastructure rather then destroying then trying to rebuild
an infrastructure in a world that we can never really change.

Michael H. MacCready • Manton

Another disaster...
Another great and so timely Anne Stanton article, “Blowin’ in the
Wind” 6/28) had the beginnings of a good look at the environmentally
devastating fracting (also known as “fracking”) issues in Michigan’s
rush for natural gas development.
In a separate but eerily similar vein, we need more awareness of the
horrific Kennecott Mine in Big Bay, a small community in Marquette
The sulfide mine proposed by the Kennecott Minerals Company raises
concerns that have yet to be adequately addressed, the use of fracting
practices is just one of those many concerns. Contrary to Mr. Lagina’s
“...drillers are required to protect the drinking water in Michigan.
The state has incredibly high standards and tough sanctions.” Both
Bark Stupak and columnist Phil Powers say not so in Michigan’s mining
laws. The mine will be dug directly under the headwaters of the Salmon
Trout River, right off Lake Superior, and is very controversial.
Please read and encourage more excellent writers and their
publications to give us more in depth information on the pros and cons
of this particular proposal and encourage more dialog on many
alternative energy resources to help us all make sound decisions for
our future.

Suz McLaughlin • Frankfort

(Anne Stanton writes about the issue of natural gas fracking in this issue.)
Offensive title
Regarding the June 21 issue of the Express, what are/were/weren’t
you/somebody thinking? I am referring to the ad on page 27 for the
Grand Traverse Commons.
There are a great number of families who had relatives in the former
State Hospital/insane asylum (as it was commonly referred to) who will
always carry extremely sad, frightening, bitter, etc. feelings about
what their fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, etc. underwent as
patients there.
While it was “as good as it could be” given the state of
science/medicine in those days, the “treatments” those persons endured
were in many cases what we now consider almost barbaric. In addition,
what those family members were forced to see, hear, experience when
visiting relatives there will live just beneath the surface of memory,
probably for as long as those “visitors” live.
My father was a patient there from 1953 through the mid 1960s, and (as
a young child) my mom and I would visit him as often as we could. To
this day, the memories of what we saw and heard are haunting at best.
I know of countless others who share the same type memories and who
struggle always to keep them beneath the surface of daily thought.
To use the heading “SEEK ASYLUM” for the Commons is as distasteful as
you can get. If it was done out of humor, it ain’t funny! This is
unacceptable for what is striving to be a renaissance use of those
I would presume/hope whomever is responsible will not require further
explanation as to why this “title/heading” is so offensive/disgusting
to so many.

T.L. Watts • via email

Photos for last week’s article “Marti Johnson, funny lady” were
courtesy of John Robert Williams.

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