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 1-21-2013
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Letters 1-21-2013

- January 21st, 2013  

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.

Swim death mystery

I am concerned about the drowning death of Arianna Alieto in the Northern Michigan University swimming pool after the team worked out in the pool on November 30.

On January 16 I met an NMU student I hadn’t met before and asked her how the women’s soccer team members were doing and what services were available to students experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress. I understood her to say that NMU students were told that Arianna Alieto was known to have left the locker room with her team mates and that Campus Public Safety was still investigating the matter and awaiting the results of the autopsy.

Assuming that Arianna showered and changed and then left the locker room with her team mates, I cannot help but wonder how an 18-year-young college freshman with a knee injury and epilepsy and possibly living away from home for the first time in her life managed to return unnoticed to the locker room, change back into her swim suit, return to the locked pool area, and drown beyond the point of resuscitation in the 35 minutes between the time a lifeguard was reported to have locked and secured the pool area and the time her body was seen in the pool.

Could she have taken a key to the pool area or jimmied the lock? I also wonder where her clothes and personal effects were stashed when her body was found.

I am calling for the truth to be brought to the light so that everyone involved can process what happened in a safe and healthy way, forgive ourselves and each other, correct our mistakes, and move on together in peace.

Rachelle Giuliani • Marquette

Right to Work myths

So called “right to work” (RTW) laws are best understood as state government interference with privately negotiated contracts to weaken and defund unions.

A real “right to work” is not at stake anywhere in the USA. Since 1947, it has been unlawful for private employers and unions to require workers to join a union to obtain a job.

It is also unlawful to require workers to become full-fledged members of a union to keep a job. All that can be required is what the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1963 decision called “financial core membership,” which is solely the obligation to pay the reasonable costs of union representation.

It is also well-established constitutional law that no part of these “financial core” dues may be used to fund the partisan political activity of unions.

What is at stake is the union’s right to be paid for its services in those shops where a majority of workers have chosen union representation. The type of clause outlawed by the new Michigan law, often called a “union security” or “union shop” clause, requires workers to pay dues after their 30th day of employment.

Workers obtain and keep their jobs without regard to their union status or preferences; their sole obligation is to pay dues after they have been hired.

Thus RTW has nothing to do with worker rights -- unless you believe in the right to freeload.

Unions need such a clause to stay in business because they negotiate “collective services and goods.” These include a written contract with just cause discipline standards and a grievance procedure, plus improved wages and conditions that extend to all workers in the unit, not just union members or those who paid their dues.

For most of what a union tries to do -- secure higher wages, better hours, a safer work site, retirement benefits and due process for disciplined workers -- there is no feasible way for the union to limit negotiated improvements to those who pay dues.

Indeed, the Supreme Court held in the 1940s that whenever a union obtains authority to negotiate on behalf of a group of workers, it has a corresponding legal duty to represent fairly all within that group, whether they are supporters or opponents of the union. A “fee for service” concept cannot work when services are and, under the law, must, be provided to all, whether they are willing to pay the fee for not.

When opponents insist on a right to a free ride on union representation, they usually claim the rhetorical high ground of liberty and job growth to conceal a more politically partisan motive -- to deprive unions of a funding mechanism so that they no longer can play a useful collectivebargaining role in our society.

It is an inherent contradiction to argue that RTW has nothing to do with collective bargaining rights while also arguing that employers are attracted to such states. Business decisions on where to relocate are more often based on things like transportation access, proximity to market, land costs, business taxes, infrastructure, the education and skill levels of the available workforce. RTW status is far down the list - if it all.

No business groups, and certainly not the auto industry, were demanding freeloader status for Michigan workers as a business method to grow jobs.

Finally, 60 years of RTW in the South has proven that such union defunding has only resulted in lower working class standards of living.

Leonard Page • via email

The debt debate

I was sorry to read that Stephen Tuttle hasn’t figured out the dynamic underlying the deficit battle.

The purpose of that fight is to impose austerity and cut federal programs in an effort to balance the budget, a program that is clearly failing in the European Union.

As economists Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz have repeated, a depression is not the time to cut government spending: it is the time to increase it. That is the way we claw our way out of this mess: spending on school teachers, infrastructure improvement, and education for the young.

Stephen, who do we owe the money to? Not the Chinese who hold eight% of the treasuries. We owe the money to ourselves with the Fed, pension funds, and private investors financing our debt. Read Krugman’s book, “End This Depression Now!” and discover how the federal deficit is nothing like household debt.

Richard Fidler •TC

Stop the violence

If “your” woman hits you, call the police.

FIRST! You may have one chance to avoid going to jail.

Don’t imagine that you can handle it yourself. Don’t imagine that anyone will ever listen to your side of the story if you don’t take it to the law right away.

The Women’s Resource Center will not help you, they will only protect the abused woman. She hits you and that makes you a criminal. The love is gone. Get out now, and make a statement to the police. Go to www. batteredmen.com. Stop the sexism. Stop the violence.

Eric Pyne • Frankfort

The value of whole foods

Thank you for the whole food story featuring Dr. Mary Clifton. As a certified instructor for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) Food for Life programs, I can attest to the dramatic health improvements people gain from eating real food. I’ve had students get relief from arthritis pain and step away from their meds, elimination of migraines, diabetes reversal, significant drops in blood pressure and cholesterol, and that is just a start.

I know it can seem overwhelming or confusing to make these dietary changes, but one step at a time and they can get there. (If I can do it anyone can!) A great start is watching “Forks Over Knives” (available through Netflix).

Sherry Davis • TC

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