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 03-25-2013
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Letters 03-25-2013

- March 25th, 2013  

Email letters 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

A change of heart

As a result of learning that their children were gay, both former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney, and now Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman, have changed their position on gay marriage. They both now support it.

Isn’t it a shame that the compassion and understanding that these two men so readily displayed to their own children could not have been extended years ago to the gay children of other parents?

Bob Ross • Pellston

A financial crisis hoax

The financial crisis is a hoax perpetrated on Americans by Wall Street billionaires, many who receive huge subsidies but pay zero in taxes.

Pete Peterson, the Blackstone mogul of Wall Street, spent over $500 million in lobbying and advertising trying to overturn Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and to give billions in tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy. Why?

In the past three years the U.S. deficit has fallen faster than any time since the end of World War II, as reported by the Office of Management and Budget.

Social Security has a $2.7 trillion surplus. It is funded by employers and employees not taxpayers. Remove the FICA cap so everyone pays on all their earnings not just the first $113,700.

Medicare saves billions by efficiently providing preventive services. Let Medicare negotiate drug prices like the Veteran’s Administration.

Medicaid provides funding for three quarters of nursing home residents. Medicaid also provides for those with disabilities and the poorest of the poor.

The Republican’s austerity agenda is drastically hurting working people whose wages have stagnated the last 30 years while the stock market is somersaulting one skyrocketing record over another.

The sequester is forcing thousands to part time work without benefits. Public employees are losing their jobs. Should your fireman lose his/her job so a hedge fund manager can continue to get a carried interest loophole (15% tax rate rather than standard 35%)?

We are losing our democracy. We have to get the money out of politics. Citizens United gave corporations unlimited funding of perpetual campaigns. There are 127 CEO’s pushing for a “grand bargain” austerity budget. Citizens United 2 is McCutcheon vs. FEC, coming to the US Supreme Court this summer. Call every legislator this week. Numbers at www.senate.gov, www.house.gov, www.housemichigan.gov, www.senatemichigan.gov. Stop the bloodletting! Get angry!

Beverly BJ Christensen • Cedar

The 'job creators' of old

I always have wondered whether plantation owners in the south during slavery considered themselves to be "job creators."

Let's see. The people to catch slaves, transport them, sell them, use and abuse them. And of course, the people who get very rich because of them.

Seems to me that anyone who works for slave wages, full time, and can’t feed their family is in the same boat. Do you think?

And lets not tax those plantation owners, because then they won’t be able to continue this amazing exploitation. No kiddin'!

Gary Roy Baumdraher • via email

Table service, good & bad

During a recent trip to Englewood, Florida and Watertown, NY, I was thinking about Rick Coates and his recent comments on the local waitstaffs. The local waitstaffs of Northern Michigan far exceeded anybody that waited on me in the seven days I was on the road. Chain restaurants, small bars, and local establishments, it made no difference.

Steve Robinson • via email

Health care's bitter pill

Interested in the health care debate?

Read the March Time magazine expose, “Bitter Pill.” It's an eye-opener.

Liberal or conservative, all of us are subjected to the vagaries of the American health care system. Consuming greater chunks of our nation’s financial resources or draining our individual assets, the cost of health care is a financial Armageddon waiting to happen.

The contentious health care debate has focused on the uninsured and on Medicare/Medicaid and who’s going to pay. Time magazine asks a more obvious question: “Why does health care cost so much to begin with?” In other technologically-intensive industries, costs trend downward over time. But with health care costs, like death and taxes, we have become accustomed to believing that there is no escape.

A closer look shows a system rigged in favor of all players in the medical arena - except the patient. Sure, care is probably better than ever, but Americans still spend more on health care than the next 10 biggest spending nations combined. Are we healthier because of it? No. In fact, health outcomes are often worse. So, where is all this money going?

The short answer: rampant, unfettered profiteering in every facet of the system. Health care is big business, and there are many who profit handsomely on the misfortunes of the American patient.

We have health care lobbyists spending double what the military and the oil/ gas industries spend combined. We have congressmen beholden to these powerful interests, preventing negotiated drug prices. We have “nonprofit” hospitals paying multiple upper level executives more than our president. The litany goes on.

Obamacare will get more Americans into the system, but unfortunately it does little to address the real problem. Health care just costs too much and it doesn’t have to.

Jan Ealy • TC

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