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 3rd, 2011
Pay up and move on
Choosing war is a knee jerk reaction to a foreign problem. In
Afghanistan, after fruitless war, the British decided to simply pay
off the tribal leaders to keep the Russians out so the battered
British troops could go home. The British finally understood the
nature of that country: mostly illiterates who know little more than
fighting among themselves and against all foreign invaders.
Now, we have been sacrificing blood and treasure in Afghanistan for
nine years with no definition of victory.
Bribery is a way of life there. Instead of fighting, we should have
simply paid off the Afghans in exchange for their keeping al Qaeda out
of the country.
It is not cost effective to wage war in Afghanistan. Consider these
simple numbers: each “troop” (soldier, airman, marine) we put in
Afghanistan costs us $1 million a year. A thousand troops cost us $1
billion a year and that doesn’t dent the opium trade. But the value of
the Afghan opium crop is only $100 million. We should do the old A&P
thing: buy up the entire crop of opium and destroy it. Dealing
directly with the farmers will corner the market and put the smugglers
and middlemen out of business.
The opium trade may be immoral, but so are tobacco subsidies for
American farmers. More Americans die every year from tobacco than from
Once trained, what is to prevent the Afghan police and army from
joining the Taliban and turning against the American foreign invaders?
Are we nuts, stupid, or what?

Harley Sachs • Houghton, U.P.

The party of Scrooge
Republicans filibustered unemployment benefits five times in the past
year while families suffered unimaginable hardships. They refused to
extend unemployment benefits next year without budget busting tax cuts
for the rich. Republican statements on the unemployed:
“The Tea Party didn’t like the tax cut deal because of all that
unemployment junk.”
-- Matt Kibbe/ Freedom Works
“Unemployment is a necessary evil.”
-- Senator John Kyle
“It would be sheer stupidity to extend unemployment.” -- Napolitano/ Fox News
“Is the government creating hobos?”
-- Dean Heller/ PA
“Expanding benefits will mean more people holding off on finding a
job” -- Pat Buchannan
“Delaying unemployment would compel those lay-a-bouts to get off the sofa.”
-- Charles Payne/ Fox News
“We should not be giving cash to people who basically are going to go
out and blow it on drugs and not take care of their children.” --
Senator Orin Hatch
“You can make more money on unemployment than you can going down and
getting one of those jobs that is an honest job but it doesn’t pay as
much. We’ve put so much entitlement into our government that we really
have spoiled our citizenry.”
-- Sharon Angle
“Some of these people, I bet you’d be ashamed to call them Americans”
-- Glen Beck
“Unemployment extensions? Don’t make me choke on my own bile” -- Rush Limbaugh
“My grandmother was not a highly educated woman but she told me as a
small child to quit feeding the animals. Because they breed. You’re
facilitating a problem if you give an animal or a person ample food
supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much
further than that. And so you’ve got to curtail that type of
behavior. They don’t know any better.” -- Lt. Governor Andre Bauer
“If they’d rather die, then they better do it and decrease the surplus
-- Ebenezer Scrooge

Julie A Racine • Marion

The price of freedom
This fall, Harvard grad student Vanessa Williamson launched the
project, “I Heart Taxes,” a nonprofit website for the patriotic
At ihearttaxes.org you can find a long list of the benefits we get in
turn for paying taxes: paved and plowed roads, schools, public
libraries, clean water, cancer research, and your local fire
department. You can also find items with the following slogans:
“Taxes Fight Fires, “Taxes Put a Man on the Moon,” and “Don’t Mess
with Taxes.” You can also watch a patriotic Donald Duck cartoon from
WWII (“Pay your taxes to defeat the Axis!”).
Williamson contends that “If we don’t change how people talk about
taxes, we are never going to win these fights. IHT is a voice for
people who are proud to pay for the things we do together, as a
country.” As a gift to the people of the United States, all proceeds
go to support the U.S. Treasury.

Rebecca Peterson • Elk Rapids

WikiLeaks and ‘Sicko‘
I find Michael Moore’s self-righteous indignation amusing (re: “Leaks
Don’t Kill People, Secrets Do,” 12/20). Considering his palpable
disgust for liars and their lies and his mistrust of all forms of
government I wonder if Mr. Moore has any sense of shame. Per Frank
Warner (“A Liberal for Liberation”) who writes on 12/18/10 in part:
“When Michael Moore’s pro-dictator film “Sicko” was shown to Cuban
doctors in 2007, some became so “disturbed at the blatant
misrepresentation of healthcare in Cuba that they left the room,”
according to a U.S. diplomatic cable revealed by WikiLeaks.
So the Cuban Communist Party banned the film from most Cubans, the
WikiLeaks memo reports. The memo was sent a few months before the
egomaniacal Fidel Castro overruled his lackeys and had the film shown
to let his slave population know how much the world -- or at least
Michael Moore -- loves him.
Moore’s movie pretended to show that Castro’s universal health care
for Cubans was doing wonders for that nation, when in fact it is a
medical system with lots of doctors, but with low-quality care, little
medical equipment and almost no medicine.”
Yet not so amusing, but rather curious, is Mr. Moore’s silence
regarding President Obama’s ‘government’ that he so breathlessly
embraced not long ago, which took its first steps in controlling
internet traffic. Per the Wall Street Journal, 12/22/10:
“The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday voted 3-2 to back
Chairman Julius Genachowski’s plan for what is commonly known as “net
neutrality,” or rules prohibiting Internet providers from interfering
with legal web traffic. President Barack Obama said the FCC’s action
will “help preserve the free and open nature of the Internet.”
Right. ‘Free and open nature of the Internet’ in each of Obama’s 57
states too, I presume.

James Cryderman • via email

Martial law and Rex 84
Stephen Tuttle is a voice I never expected to come across in Northern
Michigan. His logic is reminiscent of Noam Chomsky; it makes me feel a
little more sane to know that there are people who are possessed by
searching for the truth of sensationalized subjects.
Speaking of, I wonder if Mr. Tuttle could be convinced to do a column
on Rex 84, which is a program George Bush Jr. set into motion back in
the days before WikiLeaks.
Rex 84 (short for Readiness Exercise 1984) amounts to an undisclosed
number of internment camps around the country (many of them
underground) made specifically for the sequestering of the American
people, should they physically show their disapproval of our absurd
Questions that come to my mind are, who’s working for who here? and
just why was Bush Jr. so prepared to deal with an upset populace? I
believe it’s extremely important that Rex 84 should be made known.
People who complain about the TSA regulations have no idea about how
many rights they stand to lose, because when and if Rex 84 is ever
initiated, the Constitution will become suspended under martial law.
Every citizen in the country should know this.

Mike Curiel • via email

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