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 11/18/04
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Letters 11/18/04

Various - November 18th, 2004
Deficit disaster coming
When Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan started lowering interest rates, I was not surprised, but when he kept lowering them, I was. He didn’t stop until rates were at 1%, way too low to accomplish what he said he was trying to do. That was to help stimulate the economy. When he started to raise rates, I was again puzzled. At that time, the economy was not doing well, job creation was falling, and inflation was mild. So why was he raising rates?
It finally dawned on me, rates were lowered not only to stimulate the economy, the primary reason was to shore up the financial industry for what is to come. He didn’t disclose his true reason so as not to create a panic.
He warned Washington several times about the deficit with zero response. When the dollar continued to fall after the first of the year, he changed the Fed stance and warned that interest rates would be rising at a steady rate.
I hope the change in stance was not too late. You see, Greenspan is trying to stabilize the dollar, again without creating a panic.
The dollar has been setting new lows against all major currencies almost every week this year and recently set a new all time low against the Euro.
If the dollar falls too far, we are in deep financial trouble. Foreign investors will start selling our bonds instead of buying them. Depending on how fast events unfold will determine how severe the coming recession will be, and if the mental midgets in Washington make a major mistake or if we have a major event, look out ‘29, we will set a new record.
What to watch: if the dollar continues its slide, interest rates keep rising, and Washington does nothing to control the deficit, grab your hat.
What to do? First, don’t borrow any more money, pay off as many debts as you can, own gold, gold coins, gold stock. Buy resource stocks, especially the metals. Agri business stocks may also help. Do not own government bonds or dot.com stocks. Avoid risky stocks. Your goal should be to limit your losses, not to make money.
We should know by March if Greenspan has moved quickly enough, yet he can only do so much and then it is out of his control.
If events start to happen quickly, get a supply of dry foods, oatmeal, dried beans, canned goods, etc. and pray.
Send your house rep and both of your senators a three-word message: “Balance the budget.“

Richard R. Riker • Mackinaw City

Peace is partisan?
“Boston!” boomed the election official in my face. I was standing in East Bay Township Hall on November 2, with my ballot in hand, waiting to vote. I looked down at my sweatshirt. I was wearing my navy blue and white nautical sweatshirt from Boston.
“Did anyone say anything to you?“ he sneered, motioning to the election officials that gave me my ballot.
“What do you mean?” I replied calmly.
“Boston! ...Hey, what’s that pin say?”
I was wearing my omnipresent peace pin on my shoulder. “May peace prevail on Earth.”
“Did anyone say anything to you about wearing that in here?”
“No. Why?” I queried.
“That’s a political statement.”
“Peace? Or Boston?”
“Peace is an under-the-wire political statement,” he exclaimed.
“Peace is partisan?” I looked at him in disbelief. “Now, that is sad.” He turned and walked away. I voted.
As I was leaving, I saw him standing by the front door of the township hall. I passed him silently. Was he on the lookout for more peace buttons?
What’s happening to our country? We all want peace. Don’t we?

Judy Childs • TC

The child killers
The answer to Max Holden’s question is Iman Sameer Al-Hams (re: “Bullets for Bullies,“ 11/4 Letters). She is his modern Ann Frank, the 13-year-old Palestinian girl shot 15 times by an Israeli officer in Gaza’s Rafah Camp on October 5 on her way to school.
An Israeli soldier reported: “Then our commander shot her twice. He made sure she was dead and then, I don’t know why, but he decided to turn back towards her body and unloaded a round of bullets into it ... this was the most revolting thing I have ever seen as a soldier.”
The Israelis cleared the commander of any wrongdoing. The name of the 10-year-old girl that was shot and killed while sitting at her desk school in Gaza’s Khan Yunis refugee camp on October 12 was Ghadir Mathmar. The name of her fellow 10-year-old classmate that was shot and killed at the same school while sitting at her desk on September 7 was Ragdah Adnan Al-Assar.
Since 2000, Israelis have killed 647 Palestinian children under the age of 18 and the Palestinians have killed 117 Israeli children under the age of 18. During the latest incursion into Gaza, the Israelis killed 27 Palestinian children. All of their names can be found at www.RememberTheseChildren.org.
The lopsidedness of the numbers is symbolic of the imbalance of power in this conflict. Many say the violence will only end with the end of the Israeli Occupation. If that is so, the Occupation will end only when the United States stops funding Israel at the rate of $15,000,000 a day.
I agree with Holden when he says, “Americans bought every one of the 15 bullets fired into Iman Sameer Al-Hams.“ Without speaking out we have the same blood on our hands as those who knew but did not speak out about the Holocaust. To learn more go to www.ifamericansknew.org

Marian Kromkowski • Suttons Bay

Copycats can‘t win
A political party that thinks it must ape the winning party will never win.
Being born again will not work and trying to walk in the Republican Party’s shadow is for losing only. To win, go back to acting for the poor, the upper lower class, the working people, vets, the middle class, senior citizens, homeless, gays and women.
Find a future president that can make sense like President Clinton did; one that went to public schools, served in the armed forces with honor, worked his or her way through college, made his own fortune, is still married to whoever he or she started with and does not back-peddle in a fight but knows how to fight with passion.
The Republicans have put too much dependence on the far-right churches, corporations and the rich.

Marshall Raftery • Brutus

Three cheers for Hagerty
I am writing to congratulate you on the excellent article about the Hagerty Women (11/4).
I had the wonderful experience of working for this unusual company and could not let this subject close without the mention of a very important woman. Linda Austin (titled ‘unknown goddess‘ to most of us) trained me and probably more than 100 customer service representatives on all the ins and outs of this very complicated business. I am sure that there were times that she would have liked to clobber most of us (especially me) over the head with a baseball bat. She cleaned up my mistakes and kept her temper in check (at least we never saw it) through every error that was ever made.
Hagerty is a company that Traverse City should be proud of and is very lucky to have here. I am grateful to have worked there and to show them as part of my work history.

Thomas (Drake) Kincaid • TC

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