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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The Pentagon‘s Eco-warriors: Military Ponders Upheaval Caused by Global Warming

Eartha Melzer - April 8th, 2004
A strange thing happened when I called the Pentagon the other day.
Yes, I called the Pentagon. I had just read an article in Fortune magazine which discussed a Pentagon report that predicted catastrophic climate change would
threaten national security soon. A couple of papers had done stories on the Fortune article, but I wanted to read the whole report, so I e-mailed the reporter
for Fortune and he gave me the name of the guy at the
Pentagon who‘d given him the report.
The voice mail for the Pentagon PR guy said he was in the field in Afghanistan and referred me to another staffer. What the heck, I thought, I followed the phone tree and left a message asking for the report.
Right away someone got back with me. No problem, I was told. The only thing is, said my Pentagon helper, the report is really long, it might not fit in that free
yahoo mailbox. But, no problem, the whole report is posted on the Greenpeace website, you can download it from there.
And sure enough, it was.

Who would‘ve thought that the Pentagon would be referring people to Greenpeace for information about national security?
And what does it mean that they are?
The 22-page report, “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and its Implication for United States National Security,“ was commissioned by long term Defense
Department advisor, Andrew Marshall, and authored by Peter Schwartz, CIA consultant and former head of planning for Royal Dutch Shell group, and Doug Randall of Global Business Network based in California.
Global warming should be treated as a security issue, said Schwartz and Randall, not a matter of scientific debate.
Within this decade, the authors project, average worldwide temperature will increase by a .5 degrees Fahrenheit, and by 2 degrees in hard-hit areas. Most
of North America, Europe and parts of South America will experience a 30% increase in the number of days with peak temperatures over 90 degrees F and there will be fewer and fewer days under freezing.
During this period, the optimistic authors forecast, erratic weather patterns will be mostly a nuisance. They give as an example French doctors who may now have to forgo their traditional month-long August holiday, since 15,000 French people died of heat related illness during 2002‘s European heat wave.

Towards the end of the decade the warming will speed, the report states. Trees will die, forest fires will rage and permafrost will melt. Severe storms will threaten islands. By 2005 (next year!) flooding risk will reach four times
2003 levels. In Holland, The Hague will become uninhabitable as the rising sea breaks levies. The world‘s fisheries will be disrupted as fish die or move to more suitable climates.
Then come the really major changes.
As melting glaciers continue to add cold, fresh water to the ocean, somewhere between 2010 and 2020 the ocean circulation pattern will change. This is called
the thermohaline collapse. This will cause an immediate shift in weather in northern Europe and eastern North America. The climate in these places will become Siberian in nature. There will be a decline in rainfall in key agricultural areas. The U.S. is not prepared for this, the authors note.
The report states that mega-droughts will begin in key regions of southern China and northern Europe around 2010 and last a decade. Traditionally dry places will face heavy rains. Cold air moving across Europe will create hard conditions for

Rising oceans will make many coastal cities uninhabitable. Tides of immigrants -- displaced by weather -- will crowd into the remaining livable places with fierce competition developing over water and food.
• The U.S. turns inward, committing its resources to feeding its own population, shoring up its borders and managing global tension.
• China experiences widespread starvation and looks
westward to Russia for energy.
• Food crops are affected by changing temperature, water
stress, and shorter growing season leading to
catastrophic shortages of food and water.
• Modern civilization is disrupted.
• Poor countries blame the U.S. for its role in the mess. (The U.S. releases far more climate changing green house gas emissions than any other nation.)
• Conflicts over resources lead to war.
• The U.S. and Australia build defensive fortresses around their countries to hold back starving immigrants.
• Nuclear arms proliferation is inevitable.
• Large population movements are inevitable and disruption and conflict become endemic features of life.

The question is not whether this will happen, says the report, but when it will happen and how to deal with it.
Schwartz and Randall recommend immediately identifying “no regrets strategies“ for how to provide food and water for everyone. They advise engaging in further study into how climate changes will affect local areas.
In the past few months Sir David King, chief scientist in Tony Blair‘s British government, and Hans Blix, who ran the United Nations inspection program in Iraq, have given speeches saying global warming is a bigger threat than terrorism. Swiss Re, the world‘s biggest re-insurance company, recently announced that our socio-economic system may not survive coming climate changes; and Canada‘s spy agency released a report on the need to prepare for massive climate-driven immigration.
While the Bush administration continues to deny global warming and pushes
fossil fuel use, the Pentagon, Greenpeace and others are trying to get the word out -- if we don‘t prepare to withstand climate change, and maybe even if we do, the carrying capacity of the world is in question.

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