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 07-08-2013
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Letters 07-08-2013

- July 8th, 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.

Medicaid disgrace

The decision of the Michigan Senate Republicans to abandon ship and go on vacation rather than vote on expanding Medicaid is both disgraceful and stupid.

Not only are they preventing healthcare coverage to almost a half million people who currently lack it, they are refusing billions of federal dollars to subsidize this expansion. These tax dollars will be sent to other states to use for their healthcare instead, depriving our hospital systems of this critical aid.

So while lacking a humanitarian outlook for Michigan citizens, they are also lacking their fiduciary responsibility. All in the name of obstructing Obamacare, or ameliorating Tea Party threats to oppose them in an upcoming primary.

Even Governor Snyder is trying to chase them down to return and do their jobs.

Contributing to this folly was Rep. Ray Franz, who voted against the expansion, and Sen. Booher, whose office reported he would likely vote against it as well.

Let’s hope that Michigan citizens remember this display of political expediency over the good of the people come the next election.

Mary Easthope • Lake Leelanau

Political hypocrites

I don’t understand some politicians who are pale, male, and stale claiming to be prolife Christians, yet at every chance, they pass legislation to cut health care, cut food stamps, cut nutrition programs, sabotage our public schools, cut access to college by doubling the interest on student loans.

They fail to pass Medicaid expansion so poor and disabled people can see a doctor. Heaven forbid if workers whose wages have been stagnant for 30 years should want collective bargaining to improve working conditions and increase the minimum wage. They cut regulations that keep our air, water, and food safe.

One in three women have been sexually assaulted. One in three live in poverty, mostly women and children. More than one million women in the U.S. are raped every year, trapped with the child of a monster and living in poverty. Immigrants are demonized with a new “Berlin Wall” to keep the Hispanics out. Politicians vote for guns and wars. Why? How are these prolife or Christian?

I believe the reason is simple. Follow the money! Corporations spent $2.6 billion and unions spent $117 million on the 2012 election. Plus 501c4 groups don’t have to reveal donors.

Let’s get the money out of politics, reclaim our constitutional rights, and deny corporations our rights. We need nationwide, grassroots nonpartisan action. See www.movetoamend.org. Sign the petition. Inform yourself and “Do Something!”

Beverly BJ Christensen • Cedar

Bring racetrack to TC

There’s a lot of “I” in the opponents' statements (regarding a potential motocross racetrack in Indian River).

“I only have three months to enjoy summer,” “I want peace and quiet.” It sounds a lot like they are also saying, “I don’t care that people here need to make a living.”

What they really need to do is go down to Millington Michigan and ask the people around Baja MX track how bad it really is instead of guessing what worst case scenario “will” happen.

This is a comment to developer Mark Hall...

If all fails in Indian River, I’ve been dreaming of a MX track just outside of Traverse City for years. Feel free to investigate our area!

Trevor Schlicht • via email

Bible bunglers

Regarding the Bible and the admonition about homosexuality, I find it disquieting when Christians usurp the Hebrew Bible, call it the “Old” (and therefore superseded) Testament and then cherry pick the laws of Israel.

If you read the Hebrew scriptures carefully you’ll see that the penalty for breaking the commandments is more severe than the notorious Shariah law. “Honor your father and mother” if broken means death, as is the punishment for all broken commandments, like going after other gods, lying, and envy (coveting, e.g. the evil eye).

But Judaism, unlike some Islamist radicals, has evolved. We don’t kill our children who disobey us.

Christianity emphasizes love and forgiveness. Yet here we have cherry picking of the old, now tempered practices, and the condemnation of gay folks. That’s not how we Jews believe today. If you want a strict observance to the letter of the old law, watch out what you wish for.

Harley Sachs • via email

Don’t be a hater

In the last two weeks, Facebook has taught me that there is a Christian church where the folks who attend, and the pastor who preaches, are nude. A nudist church.

“Not mine,” you say. The Westboro Baptist Church members carry signs at funerals saying: “God hates fags.” They also picket Jewish institutions, children, and even have a “Thank God for Dead Soldiers Campaign.”

“Wait,” you say - “I am a Baptist, they don’t represent me!” Or maybe you are a Christian and a Michigander and you read this: “Christian protesters traveled across the country to Dearborn, where they taunted attendees and held a severed pig’s head for three days at the annual Arab International Festival.”

“Not representing me” – a Christian and a Michigander sez you.

And yet, often – I also receive either an e-mail forward, or Facebook text that routinely says “ALL Muslims or ALL Islam...” and what follows these “all” pronouncements is invective, hate, fear, and lies.

Some say “all” is justified because moderate Muslims do not challenge the radicals (they do; however, that’s another letter).

But, let’s turn that around—when is the last time you have repudiated the KKK, Westboro, or those who traveled to Michigan to protest, in the most ugly ways, a long-held festival for the residents.

So next time you see an “all” Muslim or Islam message on your desktop, stop it. Don’t forward it. Exercise responsibility, check the truthfulness of messages, and if it is hate-producing or peace-destroying don’t forward it.

Learn about those groups who spread hate and fear in your name and challenge them. Words – forgive, grace, love, peace, justice. Practice them.

Mickey Grooters • via email

Crosswalk talk

Can we please get an explanation of what constitutes a pedestrian crosswalk here in Traverse City?

Can someone please explain to everyone the rights of pedestrians who use a crosswalk and the rights of drivers? Can we please get some signs put up at ALL crosswalks?

I work at the corner of Front & Maple and I see near-death accidents almost daily. Since this is one of the busiest intersections during lunch time (Mahoney’s and Mary’s sit across from each other) can we please stop the madness and get some clarity on how crossing Front Street should be done properly? Everyone seems to have their own ideas.

George Nemetz • TC


The National Cherry Festival is the host of the Meijer Festival of Races, and not the Traverse City Track Club as stated in last week’s Random Thoughts column. The Track Club’s primary fundraising race is the Bayshore Marathon and related events.

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