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 12/26/2011
. . . .

Letters 12/26/2011

- December 26th, 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. 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 letters are not accepted.

The Money Party

Let us look at the effects of money on our government. First, our representatives spend at least 30 percent of their time raising funds to be re-elected rather than reading the bills they are passing, or attending committee meetings where those bills are discussed, or meeting with constituents.

At a very minimum, the fund-raising Congress is flawed because they are so distracted.

Another effect that money has is access to government.

The principle aim of most corporate campaign contributions is to help corporate executives gain access to key members of Congress.

This system does not benefit every special interest but only those that can afford the high costs of not only organizing and making campaign contributions, but also paying professional lobbyists.

Lobbying distorts the representatives’ allocation of effort in favor of groups sufficiently resource-rich that they can finance an expensive lobbying operation. Often the representative does not hear the other-side of an issue.

For example, consider the financial reform bill. In 2009 there were more than 1,500 lobbyists representing financial institutions lobbying to affect this critical legislation – 25 times the number of lobbyists supporting consumer groups, unions, and other proponents of strong reform.

Another way lobbyists distort government business is the prevention of government action.

Notice the gap between what the people believe about an issue and what congress did about an issue.

For example, the vast majority of citizens are in favor of taxing the rich, but our representatives are not inclined to raise taxes on the wealthy.

A government that is democratic in form but is in practice only responsive to its most affluent citizens is a democracy in name only.

Ronald Marshall • TC

Australia offers more

Regarding “Australia a great place” (NE 19 Dec.): Besides good pay and health care, can boast another service: “The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World,” initiated by Robert J. Burrowes and some other Aussie resisters who launched the Charter world wide on Armistace Day, 11/11/11 at 11am.

In greater Seattle, the Charter endorsers included Veterans For Peace, #92, the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, the local Nonviolent Peace Team. Launchers here included people from Seattle Occupy, a number of vets, one active Army soldier in dress unform and parents of a soldier killed in Iraq.

They gathered at the Wall of Remberance in downtown Seattle, which lists the names of area miltary killed in last five major U.S. wars.

Tom Shea • Snoqualmie, WA

Holidays great for giving

During this special holiday time of giving and receiving, the Antrim County Democratic Party would like to take time to thank all the caring citizens who help to support our area food banks by donating food, time, and/or money. Your generosity has helped our neighbors who have fallen on hard times.

A big thanks to the concerned citizens who attended the educational forums which offered the public a better understanding and discussion of the serious budget and educational problems the schools are now facing, as well as offering a view of what the future may hold.

The Antrim County Democratic Party is also thankful that with donations we could provide support for the State YMCA Youth and Government Program. This helped to send additional middle school students to Lansing, hoping they gain a better understanding of and interest in the democratic system.

Also not to be forgotten, thank you to those who take time to keep Antrim county the jewel it is by walking the roadways picking up litter.

The area Democrats have been supported by many who are not members of the party, but join in the effort to improve our community. To everyone, a huge thank you.

Kathy Peterson • Kewadin

Australian example

Mike Johnson’s description of his life in Australia, a country where working people can still afford to live comfortably and still earn a living wage, is another reason to aggressively pursue dramatic campaign reform measures here.

In Australia, voting is compulsory. In this country, voting is not the easy or the automatic process it should be because registration requirements serve as impediments.

There is strong evidence that entire segments of the population, such as the elderly and people of color, are being actively disenfranchised in many states (i.e., 32 states) prior to the 2012 election. Voting needs to be more actively encouraged in this country.

Entering one’s name on the voter registration rolls should be done as part of a coming of age ceremony when our youth turn age 18 and also done automatically when immigrants are sworn in as citizens.

Campaign financing should be done strictly with public funds and severely limited private funding to close an avenue whereby wealthy individuals and corporations buy political influence and to allow more people without means to run to office.

Campaign duration should be limited to six weeks (as it is in Australia) in order to lower their cost and to limit seemingly endless and mind numbing political analysis. We can do anything in this country if we set our collective will towards it.

Let’s reform political campaigns and take our country back from the money talks system we currently have.

Kathryn Bamberg • Williamsburg

Bring all troops home

I’m delighted to hear that military operations in Iraq are coming to a conclusion but don’t allow the administration to fool you!

Military spending and US commitments in Iraq will continue into perpetuity. Just like they have in Germany, Japan, Korea and half the rest of the world.

It’s time to bring our military personnel and dollars back to the States. In Iraq we lost 4,487 American citizens and wasted $805 billion. For what?

Let’s bring those dollars home to improve our environment, infrastructure, schools and a host of other programs that benefit to our citizens and don’t sacrifice the lives of our citizens.

Let’s get 100% out of Iraq and every other ounce of earth on this planet not identified as one of our fifty states.

Substantially curtailing military spending will go a long way in solving our budget problems and improving our relations with the world.

Michael Estes • TC

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5