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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- January 17th, 2011
Mental illness & Arizona
Let’s stop being afraid of the subject matter of mental health.
Just because a mental disease can show itself in an overt, scary way –
as recently shown in Arizona – it does not mean we should run. It is
a disease. Like all of the hundreds of diseases that human beings
suffer, it has a biological, physical and emotional cause. We just
need to do a lot more work to really identity mental illnesses. It is
one of the major medical areas still not fully explored.
What can each of us do? First, if you or a family member seem to
be mentally suffering, just go to your doctor and talk. Keep asking
questions, read up on it as much as possible. Don’t be afraid, don’t
ignore the situation and don’t let it fester. Second, try very hard to
keep it in a balanced state. Balance is the key for diabetes,
hypertension, etc. Third, philanthropic people, gear up. City,
state and national telethons like Jerry Lewis’s MD drive are needed to
garner huge funding for mental health research - more activated brain
scans, post-autopsy brain pathology and sociological studies.
We all have suffered from disease. Mental disease sufferers have
suffered longer. Let’s put our American wherewithal into it.
Remember, truth will always give light to the darkness.

Jill Rahrig Bourdon • via email

Our brothers‘ protector
Cartoonist Walt Kelly first used the saying, “We have met the enemy
and he is us” in 1970 on a poster for Earth Day. I have come to
understand something like that in “we have met the terrorist and they
live among us.”
Time after time we are dumbfounded by the horrific actions of our
fellow man. Once again someone has chosen to become what can only be
described as a home grown terrorist.
In recent history here and throughout the world one person, or a
group, have planned and instituted such levels of indiscriminate
violence that their actions can only be seen as terrorism. Don’t fool
yourself; a harsh military response or the actions of a bully are
forms of terrorism.
As a nation we must come to grips with the fact that if someone is
willing to give up their life to harm you, then they will do so no
matter what level of security is in place. Our nation’s intelligence
community is tasked and challenged to protect us from terrorist
actions from outside our boarders. But it is the everyday citizen who
needs to be alert for the potential domestic terrorists who live and
move among us.
We must become observant within our own communities. We need to
meet our neighbors and try to become aware of how they feel about us,
others, and the community. We must be willing to question behavior
that falls outside the norm. We are not just our brother’s keeper but
our brother’s protector as well. To not question activity that is
clearly violent in thought, practice, and deed is to allow the fuse of
violence to burn inevitably toward an explosive situation.

Michael MacCready • via email

A website was incorrectly listed in a recent letter on family
farms. The correct website is www.MichiganFamilyFarms.com.

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