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..

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Letters 1021-13

- October 21st, 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.

Benishek’s blunders

Congressman Dan Benishek voted to strip Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Payments (food stamps) from the bi-partisan Senate passed Agriculture bill. According to the USDA, there are over 92,000 SNAP recipients in Benishek’s district. He also voted against the expansion of Medicaid benefits for the most vulnerable Michigan residents.

Dan Benishek voted to shut down the federal government, putting more than 500,000 civil servants out of work nationwide. According to the state budget director, Michigan lost $18 million per day caused by the shutdown. Additionally, he was one of 80 GOP Congress people who signed a letter to Mr. Boehner and Mr. Cantor, calling for a federal government shutdown.

You will see that Dan Benishek agrees that “we should continue our efforts to repeal ObamaCare in its entirety this year, next year, and until we are successful.” Through legal and proper channels, the ACA is now a federal law.

The shutdown caused the closing of all five of the national parks in Michigan during the fall color season. Four of those national parks are located in Benishek’s district: Isle Royale National Park, Keweenaw National Historic Park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Dan Benishek supported the Ryan Budget that would turn Medicare into a voucher program. He called for privatization of both Social Security and Medicare. Additionally, he has called global warming “baloney” and “a hoax.” He supported drilling for oil and gas in the Great Lakes.

With a small margin of victory in 2012, and given that he has voted to shut down the government which has impacted many Michigan citizens, I doubt that many food stamp recipients or national park service employees will vote for him in 2014.

Betty Bushey • TC

Who’s to blame?

Regarding Thomas Scribner’s letter, “Reckless Behavior,” 10-7-13, quite a rant. Mindless, totally partisan, uninformed, but quite a rant nonetheless.

His statement on Obamacare, “Despite the evident popularity....” shows he doesn’t have a clue. Three weeks after the roll-out of the health exchanges, the system still remains virtually unusable. According to all reports from every major news source, these exchanges are a disaster. I’m sure all those people around the country are finding that their premiums going up, their plans being no longer available for renewal, their doctors not participating, their hours being cut to below 30 hours a week are certainly finding Obamacare extremely popular.

As far as his complaints about the ‘reckless Republican Congress’ goes, is he aware that the Republican Party has already sent about 10 or 12 bills to the Senate for consideration? Harry Reid has unilaterally decided that any bill forwarded to the Senate is automatically dead on arrival and has been unwilling to negotiate on anything. If anyone is closing down the government, it’s Reid and his henchmen and Democrat sycophants who are hell bent on spending this country into bankruptcy.

If Mr. Scribner is so concerned about the closed national parks, I would suggest he write to Harry Reid and ask why the government is spending more money preventing people from accessing those parks than would have been spent by keeping them open.

Joel Weberman • Mesick

What about taxes?

The report, “Obamacare: What’s In It for You” by Robert Downes was certainly biased and borderline propaganda.

I write a weekly personal finance column and any subject matter that touches on politics needs to be unbiased and factually driven. For example, there is no mention of the numerous new taxes or increased deductibles, increased premiums that adversely impact people. Simple put, poorly written without adequate research.

Ken Morris • via email

Who’s running the show?

Here is a little “pop quiz” re: definitions and examples.

What is the government of the U.S.? The U.S. is a federal constitutional republic. The citizens elect who controls their government.

What is an oligarchical government? Government by the few; a government in which a small group exercises control. Dare I say the Tea Party? Looks like it. That segments of the GOP party has successfully shut down the business of Congress.

Is that bad? I say yes; for example Congress paid themselves for not working, while the economy lost $300 million per day while the shutdown was in effect.

Bipartisanship? Relates to, or involving members of two parties working together. Aren’t they honorable men, committed to work for the wholeness and unity of their countrymen?

Thomas E. Hagan • Empire

Misinformed on BC/BS

In the October 7 issue, letter writer Tom North stated categorically that he was informed through their customer service department that “Michigan Blue Cross/Blue Shield will terminate ALL-100% of their current insurance plans by 3-31 14.”

As a subscriber to a BC/BS plan that supplements our Medicare, I was naturally disturbed by his statement, so I contacted BC/BS myself.

The customer service representative I spoke to reassured me that there would be no change to our current plan, and added that changes would only affect younger people applying for policies under the Affordable Care Act.

We have always found Stephen Tuttle a reliable source of information and wish you had checked the letter writer’s claims before you published them.

LaVerne Greenwood • Waters

The latest free trade threat

TPP: Trans Pacific Partnership. Have you heard of it? If you care about “Pure Michigan” or “All Things Local” you need to be paying attention.

This is a trade agreement that for the last three years has been negotiated behind closed doors. It has been called “NAFTA on steroids” for good reason.

Remember NAFTA and the promises of prosperity, when all we got was a diminished middle class as manufacturing jobs were shipped overseas? TPP would be the final giveaway to giant corporations so they can then override domestic laws on environmental health, safety, and citizens’ rights. It would supplant U.S. sovereignty and cancel our right to self-govern.

This secret trade deal, if passed, would eviscerate regulations that now protect workers, the environment and our financial system. Unsafe foods could pour into our country and we would be powerless to stop them. Big tobacco could sue anyone that enacts anti-smoking laws. Local small-scale farmers could be deemed to discriminate against foreign suppliers, and local agriculture would be devastated.

The Senate can reject this corporate giveaway. Call Senators Levin (292-224- 6221) and Stabenow (202-224-4822) and urge them to reject this now.

Ann Rogers • TC

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