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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Letters 07-09-2012

- July 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.

Mortgage scams

Great article on the mortgage loan modification scam involving the now imprisoned Tashia L. Winstanley of Holly, MI (6/25).

I too had an “encounter” with her beginning in December of 2010 when I agreed to pay her $1,700 to represent me in a loan modification process with Bank of America. Unlike some of her other clients who have lost a ton of money, some their homes, my imposing demeanor must have set off an alarm with her and all I lost was the $1,700. I demanded to have ALL of our correspondence in writing, via email or USPS; no telephone calls, thanks.

Anyway, you must be aware of a letter recently sent from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office: Notice of Victim’s Rights. The State is now charging her with: 1 count of Criminal Enterprises - Conducting 1 count of False Pretenses - $20,000 or more 3 counts of False Pretenses - $1,000 or more but less than $20,000 Obviously Winstanley’s hopes of early release in July are disappearing quickly.

Last December I was awarded a small claims judgment in Oakland County against her so I’m high on the list of would-be “collectors” if it turns out she has some recoverable assets.

In my case, after she was incarcerated last fall, I was referred to the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency (nonprofit) here in Cadillac and together we have worked out a solution to my modification request with Bank of America. I still have my home. Please keep up the good work.

John E. Wright • Cadillac

James Madison's view

Re: “A birthday present” by Stephen Tuttle.

In the defense of historical accuracy, I am compelled to comment on Mr. Tuttle’s creative manipulation of the founding fathers’ collective intent as they crafted the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. Tuttle, like most liberal pundits, veil their partisan political attacks in colorful patriotic bunting to psychologically prepare their readers for “story time.”

Predictably, Tuttle begins his Star Spangled Banner 4th of July tale by gushing about the team work employed by Colonial Americas’ 1% while they created the greatest governing system ever conceived. He then sadly declares: “Today we would accomplish none of it.” Yet, unmentioned in his scolding of our current crop of politicians and his hand-wringing assertion “ ...they will break a system our ancestors fought and died to create and protect.”

James Madison’s Federalist Papers #51 “to the people of the state of New York,” explains why we are supposed to have legislative gridlock in Washington D.C.:

“TO WHAT expedient, then, shall we finally resort, for maintaining in practice the necessary partition of power among the several departments, as laid down in the Constitution? The only answer that can be given is... by so contriving the interior structure of the government as that its several constituent parts may, by their mutual relations, be the means of keeping each other in their proper places... But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. The provision for defense must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place... In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

The titanic political struggle being waged in Washington right now is exactly the outcome Madison desired. In fact, I imagine, he is looking down upon our nation's capital with a twinkle in his eye and a Cheshire cat smile on his noble lips. So, fear not citizens all is well with our great Republic’s body politic: Ambition is counteracting ambition, and as conceptualized the government's several constituent parts are keeping each other in their proper places and thereby controlling itself.

Steve A. Redder • Petoskey

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