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 · Region Watch · New CD aims to beat Bush
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New CD aims to beat Bush

Staff Reports - July 8th, 2004
New CD aims to “Beat Bush”

... but even the President might enjoy this polite CD

President George W. Bush doesn’t seem to be too popular with local musicians. Scores of top acoustic artists in the region have joined forces to record a new CD as part of the effort to dump Bush from office this November.
The CD, “Into the Blue,” was recorded as a Democratic Party fundraiser this spring out of frustration over Bush’s policies, says producer Tim Joseph, a self-employed builder and a musician with the Peacemeal band who also happens to be chairman of the Manistee County Democrats.
“We told musicians throughout the area that it was being recorded for a regime change and asked if they’d like to get involved,” Joseph says. “And everyone said of course.”
In fact, the musicians on the album, who represent the top flight of acoustic performers in the region, are privately calling it the “Beat Bush CD.”
Joseph says the idea for the CD came from Manistee County residents Judith Cunningham and Susan Mencarelli. Mary Sue Wilkinson of the Iowa Rose band got involved, rounding up musicians last year when feeling against the Bush administration’s war in Iraq was running high. “We started last October and lined up all of the artists over the winter,” Joseph says, adding later that, “I told them it was crazy because I knew it was going to be a lot of work to produce in such a short time.”
“Into the Blue” includes 15 songs by area musicians including Claudia Schmidt, Jim Crockett with New Third Coast, Robin Lee Berry, Seth Bernard, Peacemeal, Iowa Rose, Song of the Lakes, Ruth Bloomquist, Rachael Davis, The Pets, K. Jones & the Benzie Playboyz, Betsy Baye & Groove Engine, Jive at Five, Tim Joseph with Dale Scott & Fog Harbor, and Norm Wheeler. Including back-up players, there are a total of 77 musicians on the album, Joseph says.
Recorded at Frontier Recording Studio in Copemish with the help of Marlene Zalstra, 2,000 copies of the CD are being sold from the bandstand for $15 by participating acts. A benefit concert is planned for this fall.

If you’re anticipating outraged political overtones, however, you may want to stick to your Ani DiFranco CDs. Only two songs -- “Quiet Hills” by Claudia Schmidt and “The Last Believer” by Jim Crockett raise any suggestion that there is (as Schmidt sings) “a darkness on the land.” The rest of the CD is far distant from the rabble-rousing tradition of protest music. None of the songs indicate displeasure with the Bush administration, and there’s little of a confrontational nature on the disc, other than a 13-minute poetic rant by Norman Wheeler entitled “The Creation of Music.“ Nor does the cover -- a placid sand dune scene -- reflect the notion that this is a politically-inspired CD.
In short, “Into the Blue“ seems so eager not to offend that it comes off as more of a beg-your-pardon murmer than a Democratic Party battlecry. It‘s a CD that even President Bush might enjoy playing in the White House.
“There’s a lot of variety -- luscious, beautiful folk music,” Joseph says. “There’s some funny stuff, some raucous music and some rockin’ blues.” His own cut on the album, “Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Back Again/Nixon’s Farewell,” starts out with a light-hearted campaign tune from the 1930s.
Later, however, he expresses some of the anger that’s lacking on “Into the Blue.”
“There’s nothing about Bush on it,” he says. “We don’t want his stupid face on it -- we’re hoping he won’t be around next year and the CD will have some longevity.”
In a related development, a Democratic Party fundraising concert is scheduled for Aug. 14 at Elmwood Park on West Bay in Traverse City, with a dozen or so local acts expected to perform.
-- by Robert Downes

More proof that the Green Party may be a huge joke
Charlevoix County Drain Commissioner JoAnne Beemon found herself in the startling position of being nominated for President of the United States by a major political party in late June.
Beemon, 57, a member of the half-million member Green Party, was attending its national convention in Milwaukee, when she was asked to be one of several nominees to run for President of the largest superpower on earth.
“I thought, wow, I’m running for President of the United States in the third largest political party in the country,” she said in a phone interview.
Apparently, movers and shakers in the Green Party felt that Beemon’s credentials as a drain commissioner qualified her to serve as Commander in Chief and head of the world’s largest economic power.
Beemon said it was her knowledge of water issues that resulted in her nomination. She says she carried the Michigan delegation, but the party’s final nod went to lawyer David Cobb. The party declined to support Ralph Nader for a third go-round at its helm.
“The thing that was thrilling for me was to stand up before 1,000 people and talk about the Jordan River Valley, stream protection and grassroots issues,” she says.
Although Beemon may never end up as President, she does happen to be an excellent singer and will be fronting the Up North Big Band this Wednesday, July 7 at the Cherry Festival Swing Dance at High Pointe Golf Club for those wishing to congratulate the nominee.

Meet the Governor
Locals will have a chance to meet Governor Jennifer Granholm at the Cherry Festival this Saturday, July 10 at a Governor’s Breakfast to be held on the deck at the Holiday Inn in TC.
U.S. Senator Carl Levin, Rep. Diane Byrum and other political notables will also be in attendance. The buffet-style breakfast runs from 8 a.m. to the start of the Cherry Royale Parade and costs $15. The public is invited to attend.
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