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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- November 14th, 2011  

Email your letter to: info@northernexpress.com

Please keep your letter under 300 words (one page).

Only one letter per reader in a two month period will be accepted. Letters may be edited for length or to correct factual errors. Letters must be signed to be considered for print and a phone number is required for verification. Faxed are not accepted.

Welfare for the rich

One often sees in the media signs by the Tea Party calling Obama a socialist. Our socialistic policies began with the New Deal with its subsidies during bad economic times. Since then our economy has improved, but the subsidies continue to this day. For example, every $1 of profits earned by corn sweeteners costs consumers $10, and every $1 of profits earned by its ethanol operation costs taxpayers $30.

In 2011 the Tea Party was the reform party. Earmarks were blocked in the 2011 budget because the Tea Party insisted upon it. There is an Office of Congressional Ethics, the only independent watchdog ensuring that members live up to ethical rules because the Tea Party insisted upon it.

Perhaps the Tea Party needs to listen to those who occupy Wall Street. While there is nothing wrong with getting rich, the income inequality is growing. Changes in government policy beginning in 1972 produced an enormously wealthy class.

The biggest winners are the financial executives. This group was responsible for the financial innovations that brought our global economy to the brink of ruin. In 2004, the top 25 hedge fund managers combined appear to have earned more than all of the CEOs from the entire S&P 500.

The next biggest winners were the top executives from the S&P 500 companies. In the 1970s, the executives at the S&P 500 made 30 times what their workers did. Today they make 300 times what their workers make. The government aided the large banks by letting them borrow money at lower rates than smaller banks costing billions in subsidies.

The deregulation of our financial institutions allowed the banks to gamble with our investments resulting in huge profits for the executives. When the banks were facing bankruptcy due to their reckless speculations, the government bailed them out. The government has aided the CEOs through Corporate Welfare.

Ronald Marshall • TC

Tuttle on the mark

I really appreciated Stephen Tuttle’s article “We Are the 80%.” He has captured what I and, I believe, the majority of Americans are thinking and feeling. Thank you.

Gail Glarum • TC

Unintended results

Dear Carolyn Francis, I should thank you! There were a number of people in Northern Michigan who were not opposed to Proposal 1, but felt it was unnecessary. After all it is 2011, not 1950!

Well, thanks to your letter, Prop 1 passed with over 63% of the vote and the ordinance that was already in place will remain in place protecting our friends and neighbors. Reading your words, “by extending special protection based on sexual orientation, the ordinance is limiting these public spaces to those that are comfortable being in an environment where gay sexuality is embraced and protected,” SURELY reminded people exactly why this ordinance MUST NOT be repealed.

I am PROUD to live in a community that embraces and celebrates people’s differences! I am raising my two wonderful children to uphold these values. We see people for who they are; not what they look like, who they marry, how much money they make or even who and/or what they may vote for.

Humans don’t always agree, but we must RESPECT each other and that starts with our basic human rights. I’m sorry that we won’t be seeing you in Traverse City anymore, but I promise you we’ll be just fine without you and your judgments.

Sarah Bielman • TC

Veteran for peace

I’m a veteran. I was in the Army, infantry, Vietnam. I think Veterans Day has been subverted from its original intent and is now just one more tool that is used to build the myth that the solution to conflict is military action.

I feel that the glorification of the military is so pervasive it has become part of our culture. “The few, the proud . . .”, “An army of one,” highways dedicated to military units and organizations, fighter jet fly-overs, POW-MIA flags – the list goes on and on. What is seldom said is that military action is death and destruction. Therefore, all of these subtly add to the myth and glorify the act of killing.

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 was when the killing stopped in WWI. In November of 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. He said this day should be used by America “to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.” On June 4, 1926, Congress passed a resolution that said we should observe the day “with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.”

I recommend that you use the eleventh hour of the eleventh day to research the most decorated Marine in history – two time Medal of Honor recipient General Smedley Butler. After his career he wrote a booklet titled War is a Racket. Reflect on General Butler, the trillions of dollars spent on war, the millions of lives lost and ruined, and the original intent of Veterans Day. Then, do something to promote peace and justice.

Arnold Stieber • Grass Lake

Help the homeless

Each year hundreds of our community neighbors are faced with the perils of homelessness or go to bed hungry at night. National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, November 12– 20, is a time to raise awareness about the issue of homelessness and hunger in Charlevoix and Emmet counties.

In the past year alone, over 600 women, children, men and families have suffered from homelessness in our community (at least 116 were children or unaccompanied youth). Local food pantries provide thousands of meals to individuals and families in our area. Homelessness and hunger do exist in Northern Michigan!

The Charlevoix-Emmet County Continuum of Care/Poverty Reduction Initiative is reaching out to the community to help solve these social issues that, as a community, affect us all. The C of C/ PRI meets regularly to address issues of homelessness and poverty in Charlevoix and Emmet counties.

How can you help those who are hungry or homeless in our area?

-Volunteer! Local human service agencies, food pantries and the PRI Navigator Program are always looking for volunteer support to enhance the level of service they are able to provide. The Volunteer Connections website (tinyurl.com/volunteerconnections) provides a listing of area volunteer opportunities.

-Be informed and inform others!

Attend the upcoming community Poverty Simulation being planned for January, 2012. Speak up to your legislators, friends and neighbors about our area’s homeless issue. Attend a C of C/PRI meeting (contact Jamie Winters 231-347-1572). Check out our website at char-empri.org or look us up on Facebook. Community involvement is imperative to helping end homelessness and providing services to those that are homeless in Northern Michigan.

-Donate! Local shelters, food pantries and non-profit agencies need food, supplies and financial support throughout the year to meet the ever-growing need.

Jamie Winters • Women s Resource Center of Northern Michigan, Inc.

Corey Berden • Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency

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