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 9/2/04
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Letters 9/2/04

Various - September 2nd, 2004
Amphibian article
hides the hook
I’d like to thank James Hohman for raising a truly important issue in his article “Does Michigan really need a State Amphibian?” (8/26). Hohman baits his call for a part-time legislature with some funny, cute stories about legislative poofery. But why do neo-conservatives really want to shrink government? To create a power vacumn!
Ask yourself what other group besides government has access to millions of dollars and thousands of workers? The large corporations that Hohman is beholden to! If the legislature goes part-time, will polluters, financial hustlers, and unscrupulous developers go part-time also? Nope.
The Right never did want “one person = one vote.” More like “one dollar = one vote.” Make the legislature part time and make sure that only rich amateurs will have the time and staff to make laws. Make government weaker and give large corporations a free hand to shape society and the environment in their own greedy interest.

Eric Pyne • Frankfort

Barbaric & sad
Having just read Harley Sachs‘ Northern View, “Lay off my yard sign,“ (8/19), I thought perhaps we could commiserate a bit. Like Mr. Sachs, my constitutional rights to free speech have been infringed upon.

• ONE WORLD you are an asshole
• THOU SHALT NOT KILL kill them all

These are (were) the bumper stickers on my car with the offensive scrawl in quotations that appeared on them over the weekend in Harbor Springs. I, too, feel if you disagree with my vision, leave it alone or share your vision on your own vehicle. It for me is not so much the act or the violation of my constitutional rights that upset me, but the disheartening realization that we are becoming alarmingly polarized, increasingly agitated and violent towards one another.
The human race is diverse and using this as a reason or excuse for hate and violence is immature, barbaric and sad.
On Monday I traveled down to TC to join the protest of George Bush‘s visit. After the protest, Bush supporters on Munson Avenue surrounded my car as they left the civic center. I had only a Northern Michigan People for Peace sign back on my car. My fellow peacemaker and I were heckled and aggressively confronted while inching our way down the street. One person jumped on my car while his hysterical companion screamed, “Pedestrians have the right of way.“ I agree with her, but is jumping in my hood part of “the right way“? Incidentally I was creeping along at a speed that wouldn‘t even register on my speedometer. Another stood by my car and mimicked a machine gun shooting at us. There was a barrage of verbal attacks as well. The experience was unsettling to say the least.
In the search for hope after these disturbing events I am reminded that there are billions of people around the world who share the vision of peace. Together we can make a difference. We need to find the quiet space within us, individually and collectively, to cultivate respect, tolerance and love so that we may coexist on this shrinking planet in peace.

Michele C. Burian • Harbor Springs

Censored by local daily
Censorship is alive and well in the good ole US of A. I recently wrote the following letter to the editor of the Traverse City Record Eagle. It was my belief that all opinions could be freely expressed and heard in this forum.
However, I am now seeing things quite differently. Following is my rejected letter:

“(letter to the editor)
Something is terribly wrong when only Republicans and Bush supporters were welcome to hear Bush speak recently, yet every taxpayer, Bush supporter or not, is responsible for paying tens of thousands of dollars as a result of the cost of Bush’s visit to Traverse City. These Republican-only presentations are used strictly for Bush’s political gain, for use on T.V. and in advertising, for use in “energizing” his political support, and to make the appearance that “everyone” is supporting Bush wholeheartedly.
It is a travesty that the social studies teacher who wore a Kerry sticker on her shirt was banned from attending the event, having her ticket to attend taken from her and ripped up by the organizers.“

Today I received an email from the Record-Eagle stating:
“Everyone could attend, they made no one pledge that they were for Bush or were GOPs; they also required everyone to remove stickers or buttons before entering; they could put them back on once inside.”

I was caught off guard receiving this unsigned correspondence, not knowing who sent it, where this person got my email address, and whether this was the newspaper’s way of telling me they were refusing to print my letter. I contacted the Record-Eagle, and was told my letter was “inaccurate” and therefore could not be printed. I was told I could “modify” my letter, remove the “inaccuracies,” and they would again consider printing it.
From things I had read in that very newspaper and saw on local news channels, I heard nothing that said that people could put their anti-Bush stickers and buttons back on once inside the rally. Is this indeed true, or do we have Bush and his supporters squelching our freedom of speech once again?

Karla Smith • Cadillac

True conservatives
aren‘t in control
Re: Anthony Weber‘s letter, “The gauntlet thrown down,“ 8/26. You call yourself a conservative, I call your letter unobservant, lazy, and ignorant.
First, you have not observed what is happening and what has happened. True conservatives are not in control of the Republican party and haven’t been since Reagan. They started loosing control under Nixon, now the needy greedy (those over $200,000 income), the radical wing of the NRA, the religious right, and the tax haters are in control.
Second, lazy because you have not done your arithmetic, at least not all of it. If you had you would realize that we will be facing monstrous deficits forever unless we raise taxes. How can a conservative support the deficit spending of the current Republican party, the deficit-and-spend party?
I have lost a third of my income since I retired in ‘88 (but inflation is under control), health care costs are out of control. If you don’t have three million in your retirement account don’t plan on living 30 years after you retire.
Who is soaking the “rich“? Even now the rich are paying a lower percent of their incomes for all taxes than the rest of the tax payers. Middle income people pay a much higher percent of their incomes on property taxes, sales taxes, gasoline taxes, and other hidden taxes than the wealthy.
All tax systems are unfair, we can’t devise a tax system that is completely fair, so if it must be unfair, don’t you agree that the people who can most afford it be burdened with the unfair part of the tax system?
Third, ignorant because your letter did not identify any problems, offer any solutions; your sources of information were deplorable, and the only thing you gave me was ideological BS.
If you are still reading, I would like to invite you to visit my web site, click on ‘Comments,’ then click on “The Tax Cut Myth.“ http://my.freeway.net/~rrriker

Richard R Riker • Mackinaw City

Meth & marijuana
One of the many things I hear from people opposed to legalizing marijuana for medical purposes is that doing so would send the “wrong” message to children about drugs. I wonder if the same people know that methamphetamine is legal for medical purposes?
It’s sold under the brand name Desoxyn and is used to treat things such as ADHD, obesity, and narcolepsy.
I’ll leave it to the readers to speculate on why this double standard exists. I will say, though, that I think it sends a much worse message to kids to criminalize a treatment that eases the pain and suffering of people who have little or no alternative.

Jen Andtbacka • TC

A class act
It is shocking that the president of our great republic allows campaign ads to spread lies about the exemplary and courageous military record of his opponent, John Kerry, when an admirable leader of his party, John McCain, states that these ads are dishonest and should be stopped.
More than that, John Kerry has not criticized Bush for using influence to have a safe place to serve in the Vietnam era. A class act by Kerry and hypocrisy by Bush.

Grafton “Mac” Thomas • Northport

Free speech rights
Re: “Cracks in the Stronghold,“ (8/26).
Bravo to Holly Spaulding and Terri DeFillipo for standing up for the rights of all Americans by not backing down with their “NO MORE BUSHIT” banner during Bush’s campaign stop in TC. Forget freedom when G.W. Bush and his big government thugs are in town.
Shame on local cops for allowing federal agents to stomp on the free speech rights of locals, and also arrest their attorney. I hope this will be strongly challenged in the courts so as to stop future abuses.
Thanks to the Express for covering this outrageous violation of these brave Americans’ free speech rights. I didn’t hear about this during the cheerleading-style coverage of the mainstream corporate media. But maybe I missed it on TV 7 inbetween one of their constant shameless ads selling the Bush visit DVD.

Daniel R. Patterson
Jeneiene M. Schaffer • Brutus

Cautious optimism
This afternoon I stood on the outer perimeter of the Civic Center complex to welcome, in my own way, The President of the United States. I was joined by hundreds of other like-minded people who were there to show solidarity in seeking a change of direction for this country at the next election. As is the right of all people in America, we voiced our opinions, both with the spoken word, and with signs and banners.
I made it a point not to instigate any dialogue with persons of differing views unless challenged. How sad then to report that I had many unpleasant encounters with people who could only offer profanity and rudeness, instead of reasoned argument.
It seems to me that a common misconception of these detractors is that either 9/11 only happened to them, or somehow everyone else has forgotten about the tragedy,
Comments such as these should be distasteful to us all. Firstly, the whole world will always remember 9/11. Secondly, using this as the sole basis for supporting the administration is naive.
This government has actively generated the fear of another 9/11 to set its whole agenda, which has, in turn, led them to call anyone protesting their policies as un-American and unpatriotic.
I am filled with a cautious optimism that after the November election, this country will begin to repair the damage done to it’s reputation, and again be respected throughout the world. However, this will only happen with a change of direction, and that means a change of President.
Alan Wrenn • Glen Arbor

A great leader
After reading the letters section in Northern Express Weekly, I believe the people of Northern Michigan need to realize we have a great President in George W. Bush. I am disgusted by all the left-leaning I read in the August 19 -25 issue.
The President has done a great job in office and has made many hard choices. When I look back on the days following 9-11 and the overwhelming support to defeat terrorism, I am confused by all the non-support the administration has now. George W. Bush is a leader who stands by what he says. John Kerry is a follower who does and says what he thinks will better his poll numbers. In November, I am confident the American people will elect a leader.

Chad Kimbel • TC

Jet ski hell
I don’t think there is anything related to summer water activities that conjures up the intense hatred that jet skis do. They are hated on every lake, river and beach in the United States without exception. 60 Minutes has done a segment on the enormity of the problems they have caused nationwide. They have earned and certainly deserve the bad reputation.
What in the world were the Traverse City Parks and Recreation Board and the City Commission thinking when they approved the Waterfest? You were chumped. You were slickered. You were conned. You made a bad mistake, and the taxpayers are going to suffer because of your questionable judgement.
The DNR informed me that the jet ski industry has been using a new marketing tactic to promote the sales of their various products. They hold water events to purportedly benefit a local charity or similar group. I strongly suspect that after the event is over; there will be a lot more money in the promoter‘s pockets than the charities.‘
I really don’t like the idea (or reality) that a comparatively tiny group is being allowed to host an event for their personal financial gain to the detriment of the community at large. Even if admission to the event is free, remember, all the promoters are using the created opportunity to push their products.
The worst consequence of all this is the type of people coming to our community. Except for the noise, the jet skis are not the problem. The people operating them are. Boaters hate them. Lakefront property owners hate them. Beachgoers hate them. And now nearly 1,000 are coming to our town.
Everyone knows the type of problems that are created by the jet ski operators when they are on the water. The scary part is that they might come back with their jet skis another time, event or not. This is a bad thing. I hope it’s not repeated again.

Rick Buckhalter • TC
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