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 04-09-2012
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Letters 04-09-2012

- April 9th, 2012  

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.

Andrew remembered

Steve, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your dear son Andrew. You are right. I would have liked Andrew a lot. A young man who succeeded at the things that truly matter is a loss that shakes the world and is especially devastating to those closest to him.

It sounds like Andrew knew the secret to living life to the fullest. It is found in service to others. May time heal your heart and may Andrew’s memory inspire others to live a life of service. May God Bless You and Keep You.

Linda Krull • Maple City

Bargaining threatened

Our government in Lansing is trying to take away your right to collectively bargain for wages, benefits and working conditions.

In addition to those already passed, there are as many as 80 bills now pending in Lansing that would diminish or block the ability of workers to collectively bargain with employers.

It’s time to fight back. Against fewer jobs with decent benefits or a pension. Against the continued erosion of our middle class. By amending the Michigan Constitution to ensure the basic right of every worker, in both private and public sectors, to collectively bargain.

Our basic employment “compact” in America, things like a reasonable work week, overtime pay, protection of children, a safe working environment, health care benefits or retirement programs, was never bestowed on workers by corporate interests. It was fought for and earned by demonstrating the value of labor to economic prosperity, secured by a process of collective bargaining, which gives all workers the ability to come together and negotiate a fair contract.

We ask all voting-age Michigan residents to actively support this ballot initiative, we need to collect enough signatures by July, and, then, in November, vote for the amendment’s passage.

Then we can focus on the real work of building Michigan, which is encouraging and rewarding contributions and accomplishments from all sectors of our economy and society.

Timothy J. Dowd • Cedar

Cyber school expansion

The Michigan House is in the process of expanding cyber schools. I am a teacher and know that on-line learning may be good for providing students with extra help, but it can’t replace a good teacher in a classroom with other students, and there is no evidence that it improves student achievement.

In fact, there is evidence to the contrary and it may be detrimental to the development of critical social skills children need to be successful in the future. These schools are big business and will pick the pockets of taxpayers taking money from our children and local neighborhood schools.

Call your legislator now and tell them to vote no on this harmful legislation which transfers your tax dollars away from our local schools to for-profit out-of-state corporations.

Jeff Leonhardt • TC

Tax Code Dilemma

How can we solve the monumental issues of our time when political parties can’t even agree on how to frame the problem? Let’s use the tax code as an example. Republicans claim that US corporate taxes are the highest in the world at 39.9% as of April 1st because Japan just lowered its corporate rate.

They’ll conveniently leave out the important details like the fact that Japan already has a 5% VAT tax and is raising taxes on their wealthy citizens to offset the corporate tax losses.

Those pesky little facts will never pass the lips of right wing commentary. Nor will they admit corporations actually pay close to nothing because our Congress made it legal for them to exploit cheap labor and lax regulation overseas and shelter the maximum amount of profit through US tax code.

Most of its 17,000 pages were crafted as a result of campaign cash quid pro quo deals corporations made with legislators to get favored government tax status. A study of corporate tax returns by the GAO in 2008 showed that between 1998 and 2005, 1.3 million US companies and 39,000 foreign corporations doing business in the US paid zip, zero, nothing in federal income tax on combined profits of 2.5 trillion dollars.

In that same time period, corporations paid an average of 13 percent in US taxes. Canada’s corporate rate was 14.5. The UK’s rate was 27.7 and Australia’s rate was 30.5. As a percentage of GDP today corporate tax revenues are lower than every other member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development: 2.1 percent.

We cannot afford to see this nation’s problems in the prism of fun house mirrors. Republicans’ favorite line is, “We need to have an honest conversation with the American people.” We’re still waiting for the honest part.

Julie A Racine • Marion

Women under assault

I am very upset by the ultraconservative stance and the assault on women the GOP has taken.

I have always thought of myself as an Independent until this current campaign, but have found myself, as a retired nurse, very troubled by the recent comments and attacks on women’s health issues. The decision a woman makes about her reproductive rights should be made by her and her health care provider and not dictated by politics.

I have heard remarks about the current administration steering us toward socialism. The GOP war on women is a dictactorship.

Mitt Romney’s statement that he would do away with Planned Parenthood is frightening. It provides cancer screening such as mammograms and Pap smears to millions of low-income women who otherwise would have no access to healthcare. It also provides inexpensive contraceptives to low income women who cannot afford the cost of bringing a child into the world and provide adequate care for that child.

Yes, it does provide abortions, but that is only 3% of the expenditures of this non-profit organization that serves millions of women every year. Early on in my nursing career I saw the horrible consequences of back room or coat hanger abortions: Hemorrhage, sepsis, tetanus, perforated uterus and bowel, and very often DEATH.

Then Roe vs. Wade was passed, in part to offset the high cost of caring for the women who had had illegal abortions with horrible outcomes. There was a dramatic decrease in complications and death because the procedure was done by trained physicians.

Women WILL get pregnant, and women will SEEK abortion, and have for hundreds of years. So keep it SAFE and keep it LEGAL.

I thought women won the right to make informed decisions about their body and their healthcare over 40 years ago, but the current GOP stance wants to take away our rights. Please don’t let that happen.

Jan Stowe • TC

Thanks for sharing

Stephen, thank you for sharing Andrew with us. I read this across the table from my 14 year old son Gabe at Hang On Express in Suttons Bay as he looked at his own copy of Northern Express, lost in the back pages somewhere.

Your words got right through my guard, and I immediately found myself blinking back tears. You are a grateful father of great human being. I will take your advice and let my kids know how much they mean to me. You and your family will be in our thoughts. I hope each of these messages from your readers gets you through another minute.

Raphael Rittenhouse • Suttons Bay

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