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 02-25-2013
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Letters 02-25-2013

- February 25th, 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.

Republican mischief

I have taken pride in the past of being a fiercely independent voter, casting my ballot for example, for Carter (once), Reagan (twice), both Bushes and Obama (twice).

I am not a fan of the social agenda of the Democratic Party, as I view some of their policies as morally repugnant and counterproductive to a healthy society. That being said, I find myself in a sad position of giving up my status as an independent and becoming a member of the Democratic Party. Here are the reasons why.

1. Economic: Recently, due to the effects of Senate Bill 10, my pension check of $84.10 was replaced by a monthly bill of over $47. The effect was the same as a tax of over 156% on my pension check.

When I tried to discuss the disproportionate effect of this on small pensions, one of my local state politicians told me he considered this to be fair, even though it was done long after my decision to retire.

Tax cuts for the wealthiest of Michigan have been paid for by tax increases on seniors and citizens with lower incomes. Stephen Tuttle wrote an excellent and insightful commentary about this in a recent edition of the Northern Express.

2. Education: Policies of the party in power have broken the Michigan promise, in effect saying to our college students, “times are hard, our promises are only good during prosperity.” If our leaders don’t keep their word, they should fully expect that to be reflected in society.

And by attacking teacher benefits the quality of education given to the children of Michigan will suffer immensely long-term, as the quality of teachers will suffer.

Telling new teachers that they are considered so worthless that they do not even deserve health insurance when they retire will reduce the quality of teachers. You get what you pay for, and the current politicians are not willing to pay for quality.

Also, it is my opinion that provisions of the emergency manager law which allow seizure of property are in violation of the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution.

3. (And most important) Philosophical: The Republican Party has abridged the rights of the people to petition by attaching non-relevant appropriation items to bills they expect a substantial portion of the people to try to override by exercising their right to petition. I find this technique to be heinously un-American.

Members of the Republican Party have proposed changing the system of delegates to allow disproportionate weight to Republican voters. Under their proposal, Mr. Romney would have received more electors than Mr. Obama, even though he lost the state by over 450,000 votes!

Gerrymandered districts, which I consider to be “legalized corruption,” designed to keep people in power who may not receive the majority of votes, are a reflection of this attitude.

A report from the Republican State Leadership Committee stated that by gerrymandering (controlling redistricting) at the state level, they were able to retain control of the U.S. House of Representatives, thus undermining the will of the people.

This has nothing to do with fairness and everything to do with preserving political power. I would feel the same if it was the Democratic Party, Green Party -- it is corrupt rigging of the game - it is politics at its worst and antagonistic to democracy.

To sum it all up, Harry Truman said it best when he stated, “The Democratic Party works to help people who need help. That other party works to help people who don’t need help.” Sadly, this has been true at the state level in Michigan for at least the last two years.

Bruce Cozad • TC

Seniors mugged by GOP

Just had my 2012 taxes completed; I suspect most people would agree that it is a relief to have it out of the way. What is not a relief however, is losing the over-65 age exemption, and due to the evaluation of my home, losing my property tax credit. The two biggest breaks seniors previously have enjoyed.

Tax deductions for contributions to my favorite organizations are now all but extinct; so much for the incentive to give!

I can live with all this, but what about low income, single parents losing earned income credits and educational credits? No help for improving the quality of their lives, is there? Perhaps we can all agree that the unfortunate situation in which they find themselves is their own fault because they didn’t tug hard enough on their own “bootstraps” as the conservative mantra expounds.

As to the “mugged” metaphor, I feel that our Governor and Republican legislature each have grabbed one of my legs, turned me upside down, and shook at least $1,200 out of my pockets! All this to give a $1.6 billion tax break to Michigan businesses.

And, if that isn’t enough, you can look for an increase in fuel taxes and license fees. Small wonder Forbes and AARP magazines listed Michigan at the bottom of the 50 states for seniors!

If you have not done your taxes yet, just wait for your “gift” from your “Red State” government. Remember this when you cast your 2014 ballot!

W.D. Bushey • Elmwood Twp.

Hypocritical Democrats

I have to agree with Bob Ross’s letter in the Feb. 11-17 issue of your paper about the Catholic churches shielding priests guilty of sex crimes against children. His statement that the church should show the same care for postnatals as they do to pre-natals could apply to the Democratic Party in general as well.

While the Dems are almost always crying that this program or that one is “for the children,” they continue to support the extermination of thousands of ‘children’ every day due to abortion.

It seems to me that sometimes children are no more than a matter of convenience to Democrats if it pushes their agenda forward. One has to look no further than our president, who recently used children more or less for stage props during a speech about gun control; yet when the ‘good’ president was a state senator, he sponsored a bill that would require one doctor to terminate any fetus that had survived an abortion attempt by another doctor.

If the Democrats are so concerned about children, then maybe THEY should be as concerned about the pre-natals, as well as the post-natals.

Kelly M. Croff • Alanson

Frog for dinner, anyone?

If you put a frog in a pan of cool water, then put the pan over a fire and heat it to boiling, the frog will set in the pan until it is cooked and never try to escape the hot water.

If we continue to burn fossil fuel, we will heat up the planet (like the pan of water) until like the frog we will be cooked. And like the frog, we are doing nothing to prevent being cooked.

Randy Bond • Beulah

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