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 09-10-2012
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Letters 09-10-2012

- September 10th, 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.

The War on Women

Personally, the “War on Women” has been an ongoing issue with the Republican Party. This is the dying party of the white dynasty. Since the last census, the white population of this country is becoming a minority.

In fact, I find the Republican stance on abortion and birth control rather fascinating. In some ways it would seem that the “Grand Old Party” would want women to have access to preventive health care - but, wait a minute - that might mean they could get educated and try to obtain upward mobility for themselves and their families.

The Republicans are patronizing, bitter, white people losing their followers. The hollow words of Republicans and their ideological stance on abortion and birth control are archaic. Last week it was made public that a dying cardinal accused the Catholic church of being 200 years behind the times.

The last few months have seen the nuns on the bus who have toured the country defending their ability to care for the poor, the sick and the needy. The Catholic Church is attempting to curtail their activities and place them under the auspices of a bishop because they advise women and families on birth control and help them obtain abortions if necessary.

These are dying patriarchal institutions attempting in their last gasping breathes to retain their misogynist rule over women so they can stay barefoot, pregnant and poor.

Before Rowe vs. Wade, women of means went to other countries to have abortions or had willing gynecologists who would perform D & C’s for women with female “ailments.” The only women who suffered were the young, or those of meager means, so they suffered through the pregnancies, and were stigmatized, or had illegal abortions by well-meaning mid-wives, some doctors in after hour clinics, and self-trained people who understood and sympathized with their difficult situation. Or, better yet, families sent them off to “visit” relatives or they were sent to a home for wayward girls to wait out their pregnancies.

The Republicans are not a party of ideals or ideas - their’s is a party of the wealthy protecting their wealth. It is not inclusive of anyone who disagrees with their backward ideology. It cloaks itself under religious umbrellas that are antiquated. If it really was a party of lesser government, then the place they would begin their crusade would be to stop interfering in people’s personal lives.

Christine Verdon • Northport

Ann Romney’s ‘ick’ factor

I am offended by Ann Romney’s “I just love you women. I love women” speech at the Republican Convention.

Did you ever hear a man say, “I just love you men. I love men”?

It is clear Ann Romney does not identify with women -- she stands outside (of women’s issues) like women of the 1950s and ’60s. As if to say, I am different, I am not like most women, but I love them. Indeed, I just love women. Ick!

Mary Sutherland • Glen Arbor

Women suffer from P.M.S.

No, no, not that P.M.S., but one engendered by national and state Republican legislators. amplified by that paragon of moral authority, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops! It is nourished and spread due to the apathy of women who do not speak up. I am speaking of the Patronization, Misogyny and Sexism started by the titular head of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh, with his “slut” comment about Sandra Fluke.

The Republican Party Platform would eliminate a woman’s right to an abortion, even in the case of rape, incest and yes, even if there is a threat to her life. Personhood amendments that would make certain forms of contraception illegal. Bills trying to re-define rape, co-sponsored by Paul Ryan and Todd Akin, and even crazy comments about the likelihood of pregnancy in cases of “Legitimate Rape” (Todd Akin). Forced trans-vaginal ultrasounds, unrealistic waiting periods and on and on in over 16 Republican state legislatures.

The Taliban would be proud! I would hope that women will wake up for themselves, their daughters and their grand daughters.

To paraphrase a very conservative Republican, ‘Extremism in the defense of women’s rights is no vice’ Do something.

Nick LaRose • TC

Wealthy puppet-masters

In case you missed it, you can’t vote Republican any more!

That is, you can’t if you want to vote for someone like Eisenhower, Milliken, or even Reagan -- he raised taxes! Often!

That party, the Grand Old Party is, as Ernie Harwell used to say, long gone! In its place we have, in the words of a respected conservative observer of our politics, an “insurgent outlier -- ideologically extreme ... scornful of compromise.”

Although the change was already underway, the Supreme Court speeded things up with its infamous 2009 Citizens United decision. The conservative justices may have felt they were doing the GOP a favor by opening the floodgates for political contributions from longtime Republican supporters --corporations and wealthy people.

But the actual consequence has been to deliver the GOP to a small group of billionaires and strategists whose political ideology and tactics and vision for America are all at odds with traditional Republican (and American) ideals.

And make no mistake: cash has meant control. The Super-Pacs funded by these anonymous donors are much more than just the sources of those noxious attack ads. They basically select and finance the campaigns of “representatives” who have pledged to follow the Party line. This new well-funded, topdown Republican Party structure --which also includes think-tanks and legislation mills -- enforces uniformity of ideology and strategy. Compromise is out.

We all know the stated aims of these anonymous billionaires and their strategists -- oust Obama, constrict government, cut taxes on the wealthy, eliminate regulation, wipe out unions, etc. But what are their unstated goals and values? For clues, look at their campaign of voter suppression in the swing states:

1) They don’t like democracy. Too messy and uncertain. And 2) They believe the ends (winning the election) justify the means (intimidating legitimate voters).

Ron Tschudy • Central Lake

No hysteria in NRA

Trust a liberal to label his opposition as “hysterical” (re: “NRA hysteria unfounded,” Letters 8/27). All that libs can do is name-call.

Anyhow, the NRA was and is anything but hysterical in its warning about Obama and the Left being bitterly opposed to an armed citizenry. The fact that they spent their first-term political capital almost exclusively on getting Obamacare through does not mean that they have given up on the basic leftist goal of suppressing the people’s right (guns don’t have rights) to be armed. Also, Wayne LaPierre’s salary is closer to $600,000, after 35 years with the NRA.

Lastly, if you are going to call the NRA a branch of the Republican Party, which it most decidedly is not, why not point out, far more truthfully, that the Trial Lawyers Association, now laughably renamed the American Justice Association, is one of the biggest direct financial supporters of the Democratic Party? SEIU (can you spell ACORN?) comes next, and the teachers’ unions, whether their members want their dues used this way or not.

At least the NRA is patriotic.

Charles Knapp • Maple City

GOP's Medicare disaster

Our Republican candidates want to repeal Obamacare and replace Medicare with private health insurance vouchers for all of us younger than 55. Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek promise that “nothing will change for current Medicare beneficiaries or for those between the ages of 55 and 65.”

They are lying. For our current seniors, repeal of Obamacare would reopen the costly “donut hole“ for prescription drugs and eliminate free preventive care. Those of us between the ages of 55 and 65 would never receive those Medicare benefits.

A less easily understood problem -- the Republican plan would stop enrolling new Medicare beneficiaries just 10 years from now. As with private insurance, younger beneficiaries cost the Medicare program less on average than older ones. With no new beneficiaries coming in, Medicare’s cost-per-person would rise dramatically as the pool of remaining beneficiaries grows older and older.

Make no mistake, under the Romney- Ryan-Benishek plan everyone aged 55 or older will get fewer Medicare benefits and the program will become ever more dependent on taxpayer subsidies every year.

Jay S. Johnson • Empire

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