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 8/22/02
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Letters 8/22/02

Various - August 22nd, 2002
Boycott all spring water

I was absolutely thrilled to pick up your latest issue and see the great cover with the protesters lying down in front of the Ice Mountain trucks. Talk about real-life heroes! I want to express my utmost respect and gratitude to Sweetwater Alliance for doing what the rest of us, for whatever reasons, can‘t or won‘t do.
My wife and I were privileged to see and support the Tsunami Water Tour when they made a stop in Frankfort recently. These kids (and they were, for the most part, young enough to be our kids) were truly impressive, reassuring and inspiring. They are willing to stand up and make a real difference; to take what most of us would (unfortunately) find unimaginable steps to fight for what they believe in -- that Michigan‘s water belongs to the people of Michigan and should not be extracted and sold for any price, let alone taken for free and getting paid to take it!
Every citizen in Michigan should be outraged by the sale of Michigan‘s ground water. Wisconsin has so far been able to keep this from happening in their state; why not Michigan? Is it because of our present administration in Lansing, or the passive, lazy attitude that people in Michigan have about it; or is it a combination of both? And will electing “environmentally-conscious“ Granholm for governor have any effect on the issue of water diversion in Michigan? I‘ll gladly give her my vote and see what happens.
One thing I‘d like to add to the article (which we have framed and hanging in our kitchen next to our sink!): if people really want to make a difference in the issue of water diversion, don‘t buy spring water. PERIOD. Don‘t buy any brand, any label. Buy yourself a water bottle for a couple bucks and refill it at your own tap. If you have to buy a bottle of water, buy treated, purified water. Don‘t support the diversion of water from springs anywhere. Not only not in Michigan, but from any other state as well. Spring water belongs where it flows. And a bottle of spring water comes from a spring in someone‘ else‘s home town. If we don‘t want people buying our water, we should have the same respect for theirs. So I would ask that we all boycott spring water; but absolutely, positively boycott Ice Mountain. And support the Sweetwater Alliance.
Chad Evans •  Honor

Join the fight

What I like about Eartha Melzer‘s “The Battle for Ice Mountain,“ NE, 8/15: Melzer‘s article places the “battle“ in the context of big water wars worldwide, in the context of Michigan corporate politics and judicial response, and it vivdly portrays the front-line fighters defending Michigan‘s water while educating the rest of us. Finally, it tells readers what they can do to join the fight.

Tom Shea • TC

A smidgeon of reality

Re: “The Rising Tide Of The Working Poor” (Random Thoughts, 7/12).
Your sentiments concerning “non-privileged“ Americans are surely well-intended and commendable, but your suggested social “solutions,“ I suspect, would barely survive anything beyond the most superficial kind of economic test. How easy it is, upon any sign of economic turmoil, to refer to concurrent “suspicious“ goings-on (Enron, Worldcom) and then, via cleverly articulated literary extrapolation, conclude that it‘s just the tip of a dastardly conspiratorial iceberg which includes all corporations and all rich people, and which is systematically the “real“ root of all of our problems.
Sir, respectfully, would that things were that simple! Not even close. I wouldn‘t argue with you that the level of contemporary greed is frightening as revealed by the behavior of more than a few among us. And, of course, it would be wonderful to have “free“ health care, “free“ college, “free“ day care, etc., available for all. Who could argue with that? But to suggest that the primary obstacles in realizing such worthy goals is a coalition of lying politicians, selfish rich people and robber baron corporations is blatantly untrue and woefully misleading.
Are you aware of any of the following? The top 1% income group contribute somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of all income taxes. The top 5% pay somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of all income taxes. Healthcare costs consume approximately 14% of our annual GNP, far higher than that found in most countries which offer nationalized healthcare. The cost of transferring this service to the Federal government would be so enormous that to compare it to such economic pittances as corporate fraud, corporate welfare and the tax contribution of the rich is laughable at best.
Enough said. Don‘t misunderstand- I feel much as you do in the sense of “what should be,“ I just fear that your argument is primarily emotion based and largely not supported by the light of economic truth. Sad but true. Peace, brother.

Ben Kauffman • Columbus, Ohio
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