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 04-29-2013
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Letters 04-29-2013

- April 29th, 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 considered for print and a phone number is required for verification. Faxed letters are not accepted.

The stain of torture

After two years of investigation, an independent bipartisan Task Force on Detainee Treatment issued a 577-page report last week. It concluded that the Bush Administration sanctioned and engaged in routine and widespread torture.

The report finds that this torture has “no justification” and “damaged the standing of our nation, reduced our capacity to convey moral censure when necessary and potentially increased the danger to U.S. military personnel taken captive.” The task force also found “no firm or persuasive evidence” that these interrogation methods produced valuable information that could not have been obtained by other means. (While a person subjected to torture might well divulge information; it was unreliable, the report says.)

The C.I.A. not only waterboarded prisoners, but slammed them into walls, chained them in uncomfortable positions for hours, stripped them of clothing and kept them awake for days on end.

Not only is torture illegal, and in violation of the Geneva Conventions; but it is counterproductive. Abu Ghraib lost us the Iraq War and brought new recruits to al-Qaeda.

All wars are insanely brutal, which is why “just cause” principles must be followed. But we mostly swept Vietnam’s “free fire zones” and the countless My Laitype massacres under the rug. So far, we have failed to prosecute those responsible for our immoral, unnecessary and costly invasion of Iraq. What shall we do now with those who have sullied our national character with this torture stain?

Torture and its defense is a shameful manifestation of the far Right’s growing anti-everything madness, fed by tribal-like hatred, un-Christian intolerance, nationalism, and conspiracy-laden, fear mongering. Other characteristics are the unceasing rants against anyone “different”: non-Christians, immigrants, gays or the poor.

The Greeks said that those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. This mean-spirited madness needs to stop for our survival to have worth.

Leonard Page • Cheboygan

Runaway train

On April 15, millions of Michigan middle class workers and families paid a big price for electing Gov. Snyder back in 2010. He cut homestead property tax credits, created a pension tax and lowered the earned income tax credit... then gave away $1.4 billion in taxpayer dollars to corporate special interests. Thank you, Mr. Nerd.

It started with a new tax on pensions for retirees (my husband and I took a direct hit) and a tax hike for low-income workers.

Next on the chopping block, Snyder and Republicans (thank you Sen. Howard Walker and Rep. Wayne Schmidt) increased taxes on college students, the unemployed and homeowners to pay for giveaways to corporate CEOs.

They continue to include appropriations in new bills so as to make them referendumproof, purposefully bypassing the will of the people and, in effect, thumbing their noses at us. They are neutering our democracy.

It’s time for Gov. Snyder and the Lansing Republicans to stop this war on the middle class, education, women, and YOU and ME. Their extreme legislative decisions are directly affecting more of us every day. Snyder has become a shill for the runaway train known as our Republican Legislature. This craziness and self-serving must stop.

Oh, by the way, Gov. Snyder, Sen.

Walker, Rep. Schmidt... where are the jobs?

Deni Scrudato • TC

The pain of war

I don’t mean to offend anyone or be insensitive at this somber time in our history.

The Oklahoma City bombing, Columbine, 9/11, the Sandy Hook massacre, the seemingly daily violence in our country, and now the Boston Marathon bombings, leaves us saddened, bewildered and angry. We try to figure out what is going wrong.

The scene at the end of the Boston Marathon was comparable to war! If the media captured graphically, with the same intensity as Boston, the terror bestowed on innocent civilians and US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, our country would surely feel that same sadness and anger. People running in horror. Lost loved ones. Children maimed. 2,754 civilians (people like you and I) killed in Afghanistan in 2012. 4,805 wounded.

Our troops? Thousands dead?

Over 33,000 wounded? Over 2,400 amputations? Over 300,000 suffering from some sort of post traumatic stress? More soldiers committing suicide than those killed in action?

For 11 years this has been going on!

Does there have to be a national tragedy on our soil for our media to show us the pain? Why do they not show the pain of citizens in other countries ravaged by war? Or the pain suffered by our own troops? Why is that not on the front page of every paper in America? Why is that not covered 24/7 by the television media? Would the citizens of our country demand an end to our involvement if they saw photos and read stories daily regarding our war (s)?

What you saw April 15 in Boston was war. Those who were there experienced it. War is horror.

Tim Keenan, President, Veterans for Peace • Chapter 50

Profoundly wrong

As a social worker who worked his entire career in the field of juvenile justice, I fully concur with Stephen Tuttle’s article entitled “Profoundly wrong” regarding juvenile offenders sentenced to very long or even mandatory life sentences in prison.

In every state, there are statutes that determine at what age children that are accused of committing a crime are tried, and, if convicted, are sentenced as adults. In Michigan, children between the ages of 14 through 16 accused of committing a felony may be waived from the juvenile court over to the adult court, and if found guilty, be sentenced as an adult.

Our forefathers, when drafting our criminal and civil statutes, adopted much of the British statutes, including the recognition of the development of children. Thus, the behavior of children should be held to a different standard than adults.

In fact, the vast majority of youthful offenders do not require placement in residential facilities at all. Juvenile probation officers or social workers can help children and their parents to resolve behavioral problems.

In closing, I would ask readers to reflect back on their own childhoods and recall some of the foolish things we did as kids; as we matured, we modified our behavior. In fact, current studies indicate that we don’t reach full maturity until ages of 23-25!

Bill Lovett, MSW • Charlevoix

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