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 05-13-2013
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Letters 05-13-2013

- May 13th, 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.

Helmets & motorcycles

Properly worn motorcycle helmets, particularly full-face helmets, are quite effective in preventing head injuries during a crash. Like Jim Lumley (featured in the April 29 issue), I always wear a helmet and am fully covered (i.e. jacket/pants/ boots/gloves) while riding, even when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees.

Beyond crashes, the helmet will deflect stones thrown by passing vehicles, not to mention bees, wasps, etc. (I’ve scraped off more than a few carcasses of stinging insects from my face shield).

That being said, the helmet law should stay repealed. The statement of “helmet laws take away our choice” is a simple argument, and is absolutely correct.

In a civil society -- which we still have -- adults can be responsible to make their own decisions and live with the consequences, both physically and financially.

When a motorcyclist does not wear a helmet and sustains a fatal head injury, it will affect his family and others who depend on him, but the vast majority of people will be unscathed.

In a nutshell, it’s a matter of our liberty.

Some laws are needed to allow the civil society to function and flourish. And some laws unnecessarily suppress our liberty; the helmet law is one of many examples.

Motorcyclists are acutely aware of the danger (even if some may not fully appreciate how dangerous it can be), which is why most of us still wear helmets. It is not the law that tells us to wear them, it is our own sense of responsibility. Nagging parents, spouses, children, other family members, and friends have their say too, of course.

Matt Woodruff • TC

Fear-mongering lobby

Today’s NRA is not the same proud organization my father belonged to. The NRA today has become a fear-mongering lobby for the gun manufacturers.

At their recent convention, keynote speaker Glenn Beck used words like battle, war, and tyranny. He encouraged everyone to carry an automatic pistol, ready to use in case the government gets our of hand. There was zero talk of bringing the country together, but lots of talk about bringing our government down.

The new NRA President Jim Porter, called the Civil War “the War of Northern Aggression,” started by some Yankee generals because they didn’t like the way the Southern boys could shoot. He referred to President Obama as “the fake president.” The ignorance and disrespect of these folks make me feel sick.

Don’t be brainwashed by the NRA. The government is not coming after your guns, unless you are a criminal, a terrorist or insane. Background checks help keep guns out of the wrong hands, and assault weapons with large capacity magazines belong on the battlefield. Since the Newtown massacre (as of April) more than 2,244 people across this country have been killed with guns.

If we continue down this path, listening to radicals with crazy government conspiracy theories, hating those we think are different, carrying a gun, and looking for a reason to use it, we will not have to worry about some terrorist destroying our way of life; we are destroying it ourselves

Sharon Kay Rose • Empire

Don’t blame others

Regarding Pete VanBerlo’s letter (May 6) it seems to me that he has fallen hook, line and sinker for the tactic legislators want us to fall for: blaming each other for our problems and not addressing the real issue.

People, listen up. The real issue is that our government collects enough taxes to operate, provide for those not able to provide for themselves, feed and house those in need and provide a sound health system.

The problem is that they (government) have never been held accountable for how they spend our hard-earned money collected as taxes. By saying they need more tax revenue and that a specific category of citizens have not been paying their fair share they pit us against each other. Government's spending habits are the problem, not any particular segment of our society.

Seniors, with some wisdom gained in the aging process by watching, listening and experience are expressing their concern about our government taking more from us citizens than it needs to operate. Yes, seniors are upset about (Gov. Snyder's) tax, just as they have been upset about other taxes levied toward citizens in all age categories.

How many times have you heard about wasteful spending in a government entity whether it be local, state or federal? Plenty, I’ll bet, because I see it all the time. Do a search on your computer for “wasteful spending.” You will get about 9 million hits in less than a second. “Citizens Against Wasteful Spending,” and “Judicial Watch” are just two organizations that can list millions, billions and even trillions of dollars that are not spent accountably.

So, friends, neighbors and fellow citizens of every age category and demographic, let us not point fingers at each other, instead, when a new tax is announced on whomever, ask why it is needed and where has all the money gone? Be vigilant and stand up for each other and don’t let them keep fooling us and blaming each other for this mess. We’re all in this together.

Steve Benedick • TC

Taxed by Snyder

Wait a minute Pete (re: May 6 letter). Entitlement attitude. What makes you think that you somehow support us retired people who collect Social Security?

Where do you get this idea that I don’t pay any taxes or somehow the tax rates are unfair? How many exemptions do you think we get? I worked 45 years-plus and paid well over six figures in Social Security taxes. This year thanks to good old Gov. Snyder, I was taxed again on it.

This is now a right-to-work state and if you believe my well-deserved benefits are why you're getting screwed, try again. And, if the unemployment rate is down because of this right-to-work crap, you now have the right to work harder for less. Thank the stinking Republican right-wing for this.

Gary Roy Baumdraher • via email

Dear Beloved Michigan

He is one tough NERD.





Yes, look out Pure Michigan.

For the real threat is not


It is

One Tough NERD and his Herd of Citizen Silencing Suits.

First Up:

City managers.

Labor rights.



Next on the agenda:



Air and water quality.

Look out Pure Michigan.

We are SO sorry.

We did what we could.

Love, The Silenced Citizens.

Michele Burian • Harbor Springs


-- Credit for the photo in last week's story on Serenity Wellness is due to Lisa Newhouse of Cherry City Consulting.

-- George Colburn (“Eisenhower's Secret War:”) was a councilman in East Lansing, not Lansing. Also, it was a former Eisenhower staffer who asked him to create documentaries, rather than a fellow filmmaker. Additionally, Bob Elliott is not a translator, but the “voice” mouthing translations of Russian, German and French commentators.

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