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 12/19/02
. . . .

Letters 12/19/02

Various - December 19th, 2002
Open Letter to Northern Michigan Hospital:

We urge the Northern Michigan Hospital administration to immediately begin bargaining in good faith with its striking nurses.
As an organization promoting grassroots democracy and social justice, the Green Party supports any group of workers who exercise
their right to seek union representation. Once those workers have democratically elected a union to represent them, we support its
representatives‘ efforts to negotiate a contract which ensures its members fair wages, adequate health care benefits, a pension plan
and a voice in the decisions concerning the health and safety of the workplace.
On Friday, Nov. 22, about a week after the strike started, two Emmet County Green Party members met with NMH President and COO Tom Mroczkowski to discuss the strike.
While we appreciated Mr. Mroczkowski taking the time to explain the hospital board‘s position, the Greens were concerned that Mr.
Mroczkowski and the NMH board seem more concerned with the nurses having a union than with negotiating a fair contract with them. He also expressed concern that the situation would provide opportunity for further unionization efforts within the hospital and at other area businesses.
Mr. Mroczkowski told us the hospital can run indefinitely without the striking nurses, and would be able, if need be, to attract nurses regionally to fill their positions. It appears the hospital is attempting to break the union by holding out through the winter, when it hopes enough striking nurses will have found jobs elsewhere and a vote can be taken to decertify the union. This, to us, seems a questionable strategy, given the nationwide shortage of nurses, the resolve of the striking nurses, and the groundswell of community support for the nurses‘ struggle.
Unlike the hospital board, we believe the nurses‘ union at NMH is a positive step for the nurses, and also for hospital patients. Nurses
involved in direct patient care are a crucial component of the quality of care at NMH: It‘s in the best interest of everyone that they be fairly compensated, and their concerns for patient
well-being be represented on the hospital board. We also believe that the nurses‘ successful unionization effort and their courageous strike - a clear demonstration to employers of the value of their employees, and an example to workers of what they can accomplish by banding together - will have a positive impact in workplaces throughout northern Michigan.

Stephen Brede and Michele Burian
Co-chairs, Emmet County Green Party
Ellis Boal and Virginia Heick
Co-chairs, Up North Green Party

Union deception

Look! It‘s Halley‘s Comet!
That was my immediate reaction to the Teamsters‘ accusation that NMH is violating labor law. It reminded me of how my grandfather used to distract me as he attempted, usually successfully, to pull the wool over my eyes.
I made that comparison after reading the copy of the contract negotiations as posted on the NMH website. The union claims to have made a counter offer to NMH consisting of a handwritten note that has, unfortunately, not been made public. It would be helpful to me, as a concerned citizen who doesn‘t have a dog in this fight, to be able to read and understand a detailed delineation of the union position. I have that from NMH.
For the union to wait several days and then change the subject is, to me, a ploy to throw the interested public off the scent by tossing a red herring.
What‘s next? Hey! Your shoe‘s untied!

Bill Mayer • Petoskey

What would Lincoln say?

Regime change begins at home. The double-speak Orwellian “Regime Change“
translated, killing the leader of another country is specifically contrary to our own government codes. Another reason it‘s a bad idea is that it
sanctions the same behavior by any other country.
What would Abraham Lincoln say? (I quote)
“Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion... and you allow him to make war at pleasure... If today he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, ‘I see no probability of the British invading us,‘ but he would say to you, ‘Be silent: I see it if you don‘t.‘“
Congress, on October 11, invested President George W. Bush, our Hitler act-alike, with the power to order an American invasion of Iraq whenever it takes his fancy to do so for whatever reason he might find glorious or convenient. Think; this power is given to the most incompetent president we‘ve been cursed with in the last 80 years -- the man referred to by a key leader in Canada as, quote, “what a moron...“
And where is the party of opposition? Not the Democrats, who have volunteered to have their spines removed.
Let us pray; (Our president is a Great General: he will blast Saddam Hussein and
rescue us from doom.)
Too bad the leader of a country is not expected to lead the troops in battle. Where would George be found if that were the custom now!
I used to think the problem was that “W“ was dumb. Then I thought that he thought we are as dumb as he is. Now I‘m beginning to think that we ARE as dumb as he thinks we are. Again from Honest Abe. “You can fool some of the people all of the time.“ That must refer to the 20% of eligible voters who voted for our Texas Cowboy.

John R. Alberts • Charlevoix

Reality of Saddam

Mrs. Robinson you are correct. I have changed! (RE: Letters 12/5) I had a vision that made me change my whole attitude. We can say no to war! We can make peace a reality! Why just a couple of days ago Al Qaeda released a statement saying, “The gift for the holiday is on its way.” Do you think they meant some nice slippers? Or maybe a nice guitar so we can all join hands and sing Kum-By-Ya? Maybe if we sing loud enough Saddam will hear it and make his heart grow three times its size. Maybe then he will realize that it is was wrong to use chemical weapons on his own people, and maybe if someone would have given Mohammed Atta a hug when he boarded that jet, all those people would still be alive, and maybe he should have more than one candidate on the election ballot.
Now reality -- Saddam has killed 1.5 million Muslims in the past 15 years. He has never had a weapon he hasn’t used. If he gets a nuclear weapon he will use it.
I am not an advocate for war. The basic preservation of freedom and the release of fear from a tyrannical regime such as Saddam’s is my motivation. Our‘s is a free country, free from oppression that plagues so many other nations. The great minds of our time immigrated to this land; Enrico Fermi, Alexander Bell, Albert Einstein. If America had been around in 1633, would Galileo Galilei have willfully gone into house arrest for expressing his ideas? Hell no! He would have packed his bags and moved to New Jersey.
Freedom from oppression and tyranny is a universal quest. The leaders of 1776 had the guts to stand and fight for that right. In doing so, it made us the greatest nation the world has known. I can only thank god that General Washington and his men did not decide to parade around Philadelphia with picket signs asking to “Make love not war!”
Now some members of our community preach peace and have the audacity to say we should do nothing to help free other people from this repression. They call themselves “peace advocates.” WE ARE ALL PEACE ADVOCATES!  There are two distinct kinds of peace advocate; those who live in dreamland, and those who live in the real world. The dreamers can’t understand why we all can’t just get along, that there is a peaceful solution to all the worlds problems, that there is absolutely never a reason for military action.
The other kind of peace advocate lives in the real world. This person realizes that in some situations peace can only be obtained by force. Now I realize that this sounds like an oxymoron, but again, it is reality. We, above all nations, have the power and moral obligation to stop this.
We have delayed long enough. Saddam Hussein’s rule has to end. And no pleas other than the threat of force are going to stop him. It’s a hard fact, but sometimes the only way to ensure the freedom for others is to stand and fight. The old cliché still stands “To everything there is a season… a time for peace, a time for war.”  If we sit idly by and dream of peace, the blood of many lives will be on our hands. 
I know I infuriated many people with this letter. This was not my intention. My intention is to make people face reality. Here is a hard fact for you; sometimes peace can not be achieved with picket signs. It’s time for us to act.

Tim Burger • via email

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5