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 07-21-2014
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Letters 07-21-2014

- July 21st, 2014  

Our simple rules: Keep your letter to 300 words or less, send no more than one per month, include your name/address/phone number, and agree to allow us to edit. That’s it. Email info@northernexpress.com and hit send!


While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They practice sensational reporting with hosts sitting on a couch gossiping to their “friends” about their fear or hatred of foreigners and immigrants.

The once respected NRA’s credibility is now questionable, with its unethical obsession about a “good guy with a gun” in our schools, exemplifying a waste of elementary school and religious teachings about the sanctity of humanity and basic family values.

The original Tea Party was about “taxation without representation.” Today’s Tea Party is about no taxes for them, higher taxes and a “Big Brother” scenario for us, a hypocrisy that humiliates our forefathers’

George Edmonds, Traverse City

Things That Matter

All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that.

It’s a simple matter for many of us in our small town, we believe as Dr. Martin Luther King did: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

The United States is a graduate course in Democracy. It embodies the best attributes of Western Civilization and rejects the worst. It combines our long experience as subjects of a foreign power with our distain for the despots and autocrats and an innate distrust of those who would be king -- It is a demanding and unending course of work.

America can’t guarantee a smooth road to happiness, no creed or other human social order can. But unlike other social and political structures, America does its best to make certain that at least there is a road and that we all have the freedom and opportunity to travel it.

Mr. Reagan once noted: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We did not pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free …”

Frank Liebert, Harbor Springs

An Anecdote Driven Mind

So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them. In his anecdotal way of thinking, he reckons that what he perceives as an overutilization of manpower on a single, teensy weensy project on Center Road on Old Mission Peninsula is indicative of what ails the whole of the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Viewing a metal sculpture of a government road worker at rest suggests to him that such workers are essentially lazy and that we’d be better contracting with the private sector, where not only do people work harder, but you can also get them on the cheap. Those who might argue that we should be wary of the whole private sector as rife with greed, rather than productivity, because a major auto company confessed covering up life-threatening product defects or that a major bank was fined $12 billion for fraud should face similar indictment. That sort of conclusion would come from an anecdote-driven mind. He concludes his column by stating flatly that if money spent lobbying legislators to raise taxes and for advertising to support campaigns for higher taxes were used to reform the way roadwork is done, “we could have the best roads in the country.”

How much money are we talking about here? An inquiring mind might wonder, but not a Kachadurian mind.

Thomas BeVier, Traverse City

No On Prop 1

Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications. Use tax revenue goes to the state school fund. Do advocates of Proposal 1 explain to us how the school fund will replace the redirected use tax revenue? Do schools have “spare change” to give up? Ballot Proposal 1 deserves a “no.”

Daniel Robbins, Mackinaw City

Fix VA Tragedy

The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women.

Returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, American’s men and women in uniform deserve better. We must uphold our promises to men and women who have served in the armed forces to protect our freedoms.

One critical promise that should be a part of returning to civilian life is the opportunity to find a good job. Military skills and training make veterans highly qualified to take on important jobs when they return home.

In November, we have the opportunity to elect a retired General who knows firsthand how to address employment issues and support returning veterans. Jerry Cannon developed programs here in Northern Michigan at Camp Grayling that help train soldiers to become police officers throughout our state. But there is much more that could be done. Expanding the existing program and offering tax credits to companies that hire returning vets are two immediate strategies that show promise.

Margaret Monsour, Traverse City

Women Take Note

I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed. Congress is not willing to work out a solution. We desperately need comprehensive immigration legislation, not attack helicopters and armed militia hunting women and children.

If we cannot welcome 60,000 desperate children, what will we do with millions of children when birth control is forbidden? Studies show 99 percent of women use birth control during their lifetimes. One in four women have been or will be the victim of rape or sexual assault. Women need to be able to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies. Women in the US now have forced upon us the religious beliefs of our employers and legislators. The First Amendment is supposed to protect us from forced religious beliefs of others.

Women, we are 53 percent of the US population. Imagine what we could accomplish if every woman voted. Register, vote, and take a friend.

Beverly Christensen, Cedar

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