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 · Features · Hire a Vet
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Hire a Vet

Michael Moore - March 25th, 2013  

By Michael Moore

Last week I received a call from one of my buddies who is in the Army Reserves up here. It was the same news he’s given me on at least four other occasions in recent months.

The news? That another one of our local Iraq/Afghanistan War veterans has committed suicide since returning home from the war(s).

That’s five suicides of local troops that I know of in just the past few months -- young men who’ve returned here to Northern Michigan after one (or four or eight) tours -- and then find themselves unable to cope because they have no job, no grounding in the reality of civilian life, no support, and no one to talk to about what they’ve been through.

But this call last week was different. My friend in the reserves said that, not only had another Iraq War veteran taken his life, his family doesn’t have the money for the funeral. My army friend didn’t ask that I write a check, just that I spread the word around that the local vets were passing the hat so he could receive a basic burial.

The VA will only bury you in a veterans cemetery, not in your hometown next to your loved ones. If you want to be buried in your town, the county can only kick in $700. The VA will provide the grave marker.

I told him to stop passing the hat; my family would pay for the burial.

Now, look -- I know that you all know my position on these wars, so I don’t need to go into that here, especially not today, the tenth anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. Some of you feel different than I do. But, regardless of our positions, I’m sure we agree that to send our neighbors off to war and then, when they return, ignore them, is shameful.

So perhaps you’re wondering at this point, “What does this have to do with a film festival and a movie theater?” One of our missions at the Traverse City Film Festival and State Theatre is to be a place where the community can come, not just to watch movies, but to share ideas and work to better the lives of people in our area. We believe that any time art can contribute to that, we are all better off as a society. And while there isn’t much a movie theater or film festival can do to provide better assistance, counseling and support for veterans, there is one thing we can do. We can hire them.


One of the most difficult things for our troops when they return to civilian life is finding employment. So today, I am making a public request to our fine business community in Northern Michigan to join with me in adopting an Affirmative Action Policy for Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans.

The policy is simple: When you have a job opening, encourage veterans to apply and, if qualified, hire them. We are asking local business owners to post this policy on their premises (we’re providing posters and buttons online and at the theater). We’re asking local business owners to let their customers know that they are a business that is friendly to Iraq/Afghanistan veterans.

We want to see as many storefront windows as possible bearing this sign:

“We are an Iraq/ Afghanistan Veterans Affirmative Action Employer”

Here is what we have posted on the front door of the State Theatre:

“WE HIRE VETERANS. The Traverse City Film Festival and State Theatre’s affirmative action policy encourages veterans, especially those from the Iraq/Afghanistan Wars, to apply for open positions at the State Theatre. We are also posting our open positions (like the one below) with local veterans groups and at active and reserve duty headquarters.”

Why are we doing this? Because we believe the best way to thank our veterans for their service is not to say it to them, but to do it.

So, here’s the current job opening we have at the State Theatre -- and we highly encourage Iraq/Afghanistan War vets to apply:

“HELP WANTED: PROJECTIONIST We are looking for an Iraq/Afghanistan War veteran to fill our job opening for a full-time projectionist immediately :

- We seek to hire a veteran. - We will train you. - Must love the movies, the community and working on nights and weekends.

- Salary is a livable wage for Traverse City. Benefits include medical, mental health, dental and vision care. Inquire at The State Theatre.”

Thank you, Film Fest and State Theatre supporters, for joining me in this effort to make a difference in the lives of our troops and their families.

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore is the force behind the State Theatre and TC Film Festival.

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