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 · Leaks don‘t kill...
. . . .

Leaks don‘t kill people do, secrets do

Michael Moore - December 20th, 2010
Leaks Don’t Kill People, Secrets Do
By Michael Moore
Last week, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for
WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from
me stating that I have put up $20,000 of my own money to help bail Mr.
Assange out of jail.
Furthermore, I am publicly offering the assistance of my website, my
servers, my domain names and anything else I can do to keep WikiLeaks
alive and thriving as it continues its work to expose the crimes that were
concocted in secret and carried out in our name and with our tax dollars.
We were taken to war in Iraq on a lie. Hundreds of thousands are now dead.
Just imagine if the men who planned this war crime back in 2002 had had a
WikiLeaks to deal with. They might not have been able to pull it off. The
only reason they thought they could get away with it was because they had
a guaranteed cloak of secrecy. That guarantee has now been ripped from
them, and I hope they are never able to operate in secret again.

So why is WikiLeaks, after performing such an important public service,
under such vicious attack? Because they have outed and embar-rassed those
who have covered up the truth. The assault on them has been over the top:
• Sen. Joe Lieberman says WikiLeaks “has violated the Espionage Act.”
• The New Yorker’s George Packer calls Assange “super-secretive,
thin-skinned, [and] megalomaniacal.”
• Sarah Palin claims he’s “an anti-American operative with blood on his
hands” whom we should pursue “with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and
Taliban leaders.”
• Democrat Bob Beckel (Walter Mondale’s 1984 campaign manager) said about
Assange on Fox: “A dead man can’t leak stuff… there’s only one way to do
it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch.”
• Republican Mary Matalin says “he’s a psychopath, a sociopath… He’s a
• Rep. Peter A. King calls WikiLeaks a “terrorist organization.”
And indeed they are! They exist to terrorize the liars and warmongers who
have brought ruin to our nation and to others. Perhaps the next war won’t
be so easy because the tables have been turned -- and now it’s Big Brother
who’s being watched… by us!
WikiLeaks deserves our thanks for shining a huge spotlight on all this.
But some in the corporate-owned press have dismissed the importance of
WikiLeaks (“they’ve released little that’s new!”) or have painted them as
simple anarchists (“WikiLeaks just releases everything without any
editorial control!”). WikiLeaks exists, in part, because the mainstream
media has failed to live up to its responsibility. The corporate owners
have decimated newsrooms, making it impossible for good journalists to do
their job.
There’s no time or money anymore for investigative journalism. Simply put,
investors don’t want those stories exposed. They like their secrets kept…
as secrets.

I ask you to imagine how much different our world would be if WikiLeaks
had existed 10 years ago. Take a look at this photo:
. That’s Mr.
Bush about to be handed a “secret” document on August 6th, 2001. Its
heading read: “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US.” And on those pages
it said the FBI had discovered “patterns of suspicious activity in this
country consistent with preparations for hijackings.” Mr. Bush decided to
ignore it and went fishing for the next four weeks.
But if that document had been leaked, how would you or I have reacted?
What would Congress or the FAA have done? Was there not a greater chance
that someone, somewhere would have done something if all of us knew about
bin Laden’s impending attack using hijacked planes?
But back then only a few people had access to that document. Because the
secret was kept, a flight school instructor in San Diego who noticed that
two Saudi students took no interest in takeoffs or landings, did nothing.
Had he read about the bin Laden threat in the paper, might he have called
the FBI?
Or what if the public in 2003 had been able to read “secret” memos from
Dick Cheney as he pressured the CIA to give him the “facts” he wanted in
order to build his false case for war? If a WikiLeaks had revealed at that
time that there were, in fact, no weapons of mass destruction, do you
think that the war would have been launched -- or rather, wouldn’t there
have been calls for Cheney’s arrest?
Openness, transparency -- these are among the few weapons the citizenry
has to protect itself from the powerful and the corrupt. What if within
days of August 4th, 1964 -- after the Pentagon had made up the lie that
our ship was attacked by the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin --
there had been a WikiLeaks to tell the American people that the whole
thing was made up? I guess 58,000 of our soldiers (and 2 million
Vietnamese) might be alive today.
Instead, secrets killed them.

For those of you who think it’s wrong to support Julian Assange because of
the sexual assault allegations he’s being held for, all I ask is that you
not be naive about how the government works when it decides to go after
its prey. Please -- never, ever believe the “official story.” And
regardless of Assange’s guilt or innocence, this man has the right to have
bail posted and to defend himself. I have joined with filmmakers Ken Loach
and John Pilger and writer Jemima Khan in putting up the bail money -- and
we’re glad the judge granted his release last week.
Might WikiLeaks cause some unintended harm to diplomatic negotiations and
U.S. interests around the world? Perhaps. But that’s the price you pay
when you and your government take us into a war based on a lie. Your
punishment for misbehaving is that someone has to turn on all the lights
in the room so that we can see what you’re up to. You simply can’t be
trusted. So every cable, every email you write is now fair game. Sorry,
but you brought this upon yourself. No one can hide from the truth now. No
one can plot the next Big Lie if they know that they might be exposed.
And that is the best thing that WikiLeaks has done. WikiLeaks, God bless
them, will save lives as a result of their actions. And any of you who
join me in supporting them are committing a true act of patriotism.
I stood in absentia with Julian Assange in London and I asked the judge to
grant him his release. I am willing to guarantee his return to court with
the bail money I have wired to said court. I will not allow this injustice
to continue unchallenged.

Reprinted with permission from

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