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 12-23-2013
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Letters 12-23-2013

- December 23rd, 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.

Obamacare’s good deal

It’s true that Obamacare led my daughter’s insurance company to decide to drop her plan. But guess what? Thanks to Obamacare, she will be getting better coverage from the same company at lower cost.

I recently heard an announcement for a fundraiser to help cover the medical expenses of a child who required an extended hospitalization. I hope the fundraiser was a great success and the child is doing well. I’m also grateful President Obama stared down the forces of evil that fought ruthlessly to perpetuate a system in which so many families in such situations face financial ruin. Thanks to Obamacare, that will no longer be the case starting next year.

Many people either can’t afford preventive care, or put off preventive care due to its high cost. Thanks to Obamacare, these people will have no problem obtaining preventive services in the future, as these services will generally be covered at no cost by their affordable insurance policies. Needless to say, this will be extremely beneficial to these individuals, as well as to society as a whole.

Obamacare, or more fittingly ObamaCares, is not perfect, but it’s a huge improvement over the status quo. Thank you President Obama and the Democrats.

Fred Cepela • TC

GOP’s desperate attacks

An irony in the monumental fight over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is that most Democrats prefer a single-payer system (Medicare-For-All), demonstrably the most efficient and economical method of healthcare delivery. But because such a system was a political non-starter with Republicans, President Obama proposed legislation that was until recently the Republican health program, one that preserved private insurance, in accord with Republican ideas of market exchanges and individual mandates – a program that in no way could be called “socialized medicine.”

Nonetheless, the distortions and obstruction began immediately, as Republicans rejected their own idea. You know things are crazy when Mitt Romney abandons his own wildly successful program in Massachusetts in order to become the Republican nominee for president. As Republicans now have absolutely no program of their own, all they can do is try to destroy the ACA.

Now that the glitches in the initial ACA rollout are being repaired and people are signing up in droves, the attacks are getting truly desperate. With GOP blessing, the Koch brothers are running a multi-million dollar campaign to persuade people not to sign up for health insurance. Think about it: self-described “conservatives” advising young people not to think ahead, not to worry, accidents don’t happen.

It’s the Democrats who are looking ahead. They will not settle for the bad old days of bankruptcies, suffering, and death. Despite its initial problems, Americans will continue to sign up for the ACA because it is their best hope of securing protection they desperately need and have been denied.

In a saner and more ethical political climate, Republicans would actually help to make Obamacare work – to finally address the scandal of the richest and most powerful country in the world unable to figure out how to provide health care for all its citizens.

Mary M. Easthope Lake Leelanau

Guns & screwdrivers

Recently, I bought a gun at a sporting good store that required a background check that took about 3 minutes. The next day I stood in line at Sears about 5 minutes to buy a screwdriver set that was on sale. Is Sears trying to take my tools away? p.s. Tomorrow I can sell both at a garage sale to anyone, no wait.

Terry Frysinger • Frankfort

Mandela's legacy

Nelson Mandela is being acclaimed worldwide for his role in managing the peaceful transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa. Without Mandela, South Africa would have otherwise become a bloodbath.

For over 40 years, the conservative movement largely opposed Mandela, supporting apartheid as a bulwark against communist influence in Africa. Misguided, ends justifying means, anti-communist paranoia has been part of the world’s greatest democracy’s lasting shame.

Since the 1950s, we have supported oppressive regimes everywhere solely in the name of anti-communism. The people of Cuba, Vietnam, Iran, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Haiti, Guatemala and dozens of other countries will never forget our interference with their self-determination.

In 1986, Congress passed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act which triggered the end of apartheid. Then President Reagan referred to this effort to pressure the minority racist South African government through disinvestment and other sanctions as “immoral” and “utterly repugnant.” Fortunately 31 Republican Senators out of 53, joined with Democrats to override Reagan’s veto. Reagan even listed Mandela’s African National Congress as a terrorist group - a designation not lifted until 2008.

The National Review, the Heritage Foundation, William Buckley, Pat Buchanan, the fundamentalist Christian leadership, Grover Nordquist and others supported apartheid and opposed Mandela’s release. Then-Congressman Dick Cheney even called Mandela a “terrorist.”

But our sanctions worked. After a 27 year imprisonment for his opposition to apartheid, Mandela was released in 1990, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for negotiating the peaceful transition of power and became the first democratically elected South African president in 1994.

The conservative movement has a convenient way of forgetting about their enduring choices to be on the wrong side of history. We need only remember how conservatives similarly responded to our own champion of civil rights, Dr. Martin Luther King. When it mattered, when Mandela and King put their lives on the line for social justice, the right was on the other side – as usual.

Leonard Page • Cheboygan

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