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 12-03-2012
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Letters 12-03-2012

- December 3rd, 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.

Agony in Gaza

With the last attack on Gaza, at first I was just thankful that my daughter was safe. After viewing just a part of the carnage where civilians were deliberately targeted, I felt sick and angry.

The horrific situation in Gaza is not an accident. It is fueled by the U.S. and paid for with U.S. tax dollars.

The U.S. taxpayer pays out more to the Israeli military than does any Israeli citizen, (ifamericansknew.org). The continued human rights violations, the ethnic cleansing and genocide, are policies of the Israeli government and funded and fully supported by the U.S government, taxpayers, and consumers. If you feel courageous, read Losing Omar (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/ world-middle-east-20466027) Blaming terrorists is easy but fails to questions why terrorists exist.

Remember Columbine! People will react, especially the young, when they have reached a breaking point. When your land is stolen, your olive groves destroyed to build homes for Israelis, you have no means to make a living, when you have no health care, no education, and your children and families are murdered or beaten on a regular basis, with human rights violations that should result in war crimes trials, that breaking point is not far away.

People will listen to the voices of Hamas even though that voice doesn’t offer a real solution. Very few Americans would act with restraint under the same conditions.

It is time for Americans to stop blaming, “those Muslims” and look in the mirror. Stop buying products produced on stolen Palestinian land and labeled “product of Israel.” Join the BDS movement (boycott, divest, sanction). This is the only route to peace.

When Israel is crippled financially, they will stop perpetuating the holocaust in Palestine. The $8.2 million PER DAY sent to Israel with no questions asked has to stop. All of us can find a better place for that money in the U.S.

Barbara Young • Bear Lake

Respect other religions

The Episcopal Peace Fellowship at Grace Episcopal Church has reviewed the decision by the pastor of First Congregational Church to ban the Islamic prayer from the presentation of “The Armed Man - a Prayer for Peace.”

While attempting to be respectful of this decision, we are surprised, disappointed, and shocked. This decision did not convey Christian love and respect for others’ views.

The Episcopal Peace Fellowship holds an annual service to honor and commemorate Michigan soldiers who were killed in the past year. Members of different faiths, including Jewish, Native American, Buddhist, Christian, and Islam, present prayers for peace.

Including all people and faiths as we pray for a less violent world is one way to work for peace.

This work by Karl Jenkins is dedicated to the Kosovo war victims. It is an anti-war concert. In addition to portions of the Mass, it uses words from other sources, including the Islamic call to prayer, the Bible, and the Mahabharata; and quotes from Rudyard Kipling, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Sankichi Toge, who survived Hiroshima.

The concert is an integrated professional work of art, the integrity of which is debased when portions are removed.

Betsy Davidson, Chair - Episcopal Peace Fellowship

Excuses, excuses...

We have been waiting way too long for Congressional action on the fiscal crisis.

Excuses: summer breaks, holiday breaks, campaign breaks, and now a “Lame Duck session.” Obstruction and delays are no longer acceptable.

Yesterday, I phoned Congressman Camp and Benishek’s offices to suggest my goals.

-- Simpson-Bowles as a bipartisan framework. Increased entitlement cuts ACROSS THE BOARD: Agricultural (even tobacco growers), energy sectors (oil companies too), -- Defense and all areas. Perhaps in 2103 a 2% cut, 5% cut next year, 8% next, etc.

-- Tighten the belt slowly framework.

Our re-elected President has addressed cooperative action and has been delayed and blocked.

A Benishek’s office staffer curtly advised that I needed to call Camp’s office as he represents our district until January! I thought in a democracy that our views were of interest even if not from the district. Not so according to ‘Federal Law’ she said.

There is a will, there must be a way to act.

Mary Hagan • Empire

Bad videos

Guys, While I applaud your goal of providing the “extra” content to Northern Express through the medium of video clips, all I can say is... you need help!

I realize you may not have much of a budget for this endeavor but at the same time, it shows! Sending someone out with a hand-held camera and talking to people from behind it just doesn’t cut it. Do you have any experience in video production?

I know this is a rather scathing review but you look bad, real bad. The “interview” with Russ Springsteen at Right Brain was not thought out, it was spur of the moment, and as far as I’m concerned was a disservice to his business. There was more footage of The Accidentals than there was of the new brewery. I could go on and on. I apologize for being so critical but c’mon, you can do a better job.

Tom Speers • via email

(Thanks for the tips, Tom. We’ll try to do better. In the meantime, readers can check out our cinema verite videos by subscribing to the new, free Express Extra email publication with a sign-up link at www.northernexpress.com. The Extra includes breaking news and two or more videos in each edition. Or scan the QR code (below) with your smart phone to go to the new Express Video Seen page.

Musicians, arts organizations and activists are welcome to submit their videos to the Express Extra for consideration. -- ed.)

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