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 · Features · MS Patient Faces Hearing for...
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MS Patient Faces Hearing for Medical Marijuana

Eartha Melzer - July 8th, 2004
At the age of 29, Matthew Barber, a disabled Gulf War vet, was diagnosed with terminal multiple sclerosis. He became paralyzed, lost his memory, and experienced extreme pain from lesions on his brain.
Barber tried all conventional treatments, with no improvement. Medical bills cost Matthew and his wife Laura everything they owned, and Laura had to quit her job to take care of him.
Two years ago while in the VA medical center for emergency treatment of Matthew’s agony and paralysis, the Barbers were told by a visiting neurologist (from California) that marijuana was the only treatment that offered promise for MS patients.
Because marijuana is not legal for medical use in Michigan, the Barbers had to break the law to get Matthew marijuana.
Smoking marijuana, Matthew improved significantly.
Last month the Barbers were stopped for speeding. Police searched their vehicle and discovered Matthew’s cannabis -- two ounces -- a month’s supply.
The couple explained that they had the marijuana for medicinal reasons. They say the police were civil and apologetic as they arrested them and took them to jail.

On Tuesday, July 6, the Barbers go to court for a pre-trial hearing on the charge of criminal possession of cannabis.
Matthew says he will not stop using marijuana. Laura says she will not stop helping him get the marijuana he needs,
“I have seen the change in my husband in 18 months of doing this,” Laura says. “My husband is able to walk. Not long distances, but he has more use of himself than he has had in the last three years. We have noticed a slow down in the progression of the lesions in his brain.”
Matthew feels that God had a hand in developing this legal situation.
“We were tired of sneaking around,” he said. Matthew had prayed about what to do and received a message: don’t walk in fear; find a solution so you don’t have to be afraid.
The Barbers are now ready to face a jury trail in hopes of establishing the right to use medical marijuana. They feel that Matthew’s life will be in jeopardy if he is imprisoned and forced to stop using cannabis. They say they chose to face this risk and argue the issue not just for themselves but for all the critically-ill people who use medical marijuana and are forced to live in fear.
In related news, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed last week to hear a case on the legality of medical marijuana.

Marijuana activists
plan show of support

The local Michigan Cannabis Action Network chapter is planning to rally outside the Grand Traverse County courthouse at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 6 to show support for Matt and Laura Barber.
“He is not willing to go back to existing in a fog of pain, nausea, and drugged confusion, unable to walk, needing to be catheterized or diapered,” said activist Melody Karr in a release to local media. “The possession of cannabis in any amount in Michigan is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $2000 fine. If Matthew goes to jail and is unable to use cannabis, he will experience a re-admittance and exacerbation of his disease within a matter of days, and death is a real possibility. Other medical cannabis patient-advocates have been killed in exactly this way.”
Karr said the Barber’s attorney will request leniency in light of Matt’s condition and the fact that his use is medicinal. “But because there is no medical marijuana law in Michigan, and the federal government has interfered extensively in states which do have medical marijuana laws, this is by no means a foolproof tactic.”

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