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 08-13-2012
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Letters 08-13-2012

- August 13th, 2012  

Email letters 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.

Evil liberal media

Hey there, y’all, I am here visiting beautiful Northern Michigan from Oklahoma. I picked up a copy of your paper and enjoyed it very much. I got a chuckle out of and felt a need to respond to Bob Lovik’s letter (“Setting things straight,” 8/6). Perhaps I can help “set him straight.”

Thanks to the uninformed, fear-mongering liberal media, this new and threatening process called fracking is the latest and greatest threat to our environment. News flash, fracking has been around for DECADES. Feel free to consult U-M or MSU professors of geology or petroleum engineering to confirm.

Procuring energy in any of its many forms can pose some environmental threats. For example, the thousands of birds, many of which are endangered species, killed by the giant windmills that generate electricity.

There is little evidence to support that fracking is some kind of environmental threat waiting to happen. I don’t glow in the dark, my son is perfectly normal, my water doesn’t spontaneously combust.

I have lived in Oklahoma since 1970 and in Texas before that. Golly gee, my dad was fracking wells in both states for as long as I can remember.

Folks might do well to talk to informed academician and professional gas and oil people before forming an opinion and running scared because of articles or “news” reports from unenlightened media people.

We all need energy in some form or fashion.

Vicki Righthouse • Oklahoma City, OK

Evil conservative media

Two of the events offered in Northern Michigan last week have a strong connection. On July 31, Jennifer Douglas, coproducer of SAVE KLSD shared her documentary about the media and a progressive radio station. The event was hosted by the Straits Area Concerned Citizens.

The San Diego radio station take-over was an example of the attack on the few remaining progressive radio programs in the U.S. The progressive programming got excellent ratings, yet Clear Channel killed it.

Over the weekend ex-mayor Cal Tillman of Dish, Texas presented the story of what hydraulic fracturing, aka “fracking,” did to his town. He did not get into politics nor a description of fracking. Instead he described in detail the noise, the smell, the poisoned air, the ugly site of a town invaded by fracking wells, as well as health implications to his young children.

So what’s the connection between these two events? Too few persons know about fracking, including our elected representatives on all levels.

Mainstream conservative media is not going to cover fracking in an honest in-depth manner. In fact far too often they act as oil/ gas industry cheerleaders. Progressive radio, where it still exists, is the more likely to cover this story accurately.

Many Americans know little about fracking. If you ask (and I have), many will look glassy eyed.

We need our nation’s media to tell us important stories. We do not need a week on the Michael Jackson death/funeral. We need to learn about fracking, climate change, the difference between national deficit and debt, etc. We do not need Rush Limbaugh and Fox News spewing spin and propaganda all day long, week after week.

We need honest news sources, and less spinmeisters.

Fight for honesty in news, contact your representatives, boycott sponsors of any programmer that lies to you.

Visit: mediamatters.org

Karen Martin • Cheboygan

Unions benefit all of us

If you think that destroying unions will help address inequality in this country, think again.

Unions put people first, and in doing so have ended such things as child labor, and unpaid overtime. They have given us the eight-hour work day and the 40-hour work week. They have improved workplace safety, given us workmen’s compensation, unemployment insurance and paid sick leave.

Unions and management bargain together to set standards that others can follow. They make bargaining at both union and non-union jobs possible.

It is an overlooked face that management is an equal partner in the negotiating process, yet unions are the ones demonized.

As the decline of unions continues, so does the ability of all workers to bargain for a fair wage. We are becoming a nation of not service workers, but servant workers.

Imagine a life without human dignity, where every aspect of work is dominated and controlled by an overseer, and where you can be fired for no reason at all. That’s what prevails in the sweatshops of China, Thailand, and other places that make our goods.

Vote to support collective bargaining. It benefits everyone.

Ann Rogers • TC

Democracy & socialism

Some detractors of socialism don't seem to be aware that some strands of the economic policy have evolved to support capitalism and protect people from its potential negative effects.

Socialism sought to make subsistence independent of the marketplace and guarantee a minimum of support to all. Socialists sought to maintain high levels of employment to support the working class.

When former socialist countries adopted capitalism, they did it without protecting their citizens from the negative aspects of the free market. For example, Russia's experience with pollution and China's with unsafe consumer goods.

On the other hand, democratic capitalistic countries not only support free markets, but also protect their citizens from the inability of the markets to provide a safety net. Most democratic capitalistic countries provide universal health care, pensions and labor laws to protect the worker from poor working conditions.

Democratic countries have been able to provide feedback on the inherent problems of a free market economy. In response to the Great Depression, democracy brought reforms to the banking system, eliminated poverty for seniors by establishing Social Security, and created jobs for the unemployed through government programs.

Currently, due to special interests, the ability of our country to correct the negative effects of capitalism is being undermined. Special interests have dismantled regulations, allowing the banks to nearly collapse, weakened the ability of unions to counterbalance the large corporations through adequate wages and benefits, and rigged our tax laws so that the wealthy use tax loopholes to avoid paying their share of taxes.

Yet in the past, democracy has protected its citizens from the inherent negative aspects of the free market by using so-called socialist approaches.

Ronald Marshall • Petoskey

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