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 8/26/04
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Letters 8/26/04

Various - August 26th, 2004
The gauntlet thrown down
A writer recently complained that there were not a lot of conservative letters in the Northern Express, and the response of the editor was that not many supporting President Bush were received. Well, here we go!
Bush and the War in Iraq: I am tired of hearing so many people say this is a phony war, or an oil war, or a revenge war. Don’t people read or listen to news that is not based on Democratic talking points? EVERYONE THOUGHT SADDAM HAD THE WEAPONS. Hilary Clinton, October 10. 2002: “... intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock... He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Queda members...” Dick Gephardt, September, 2002: “I share the administration’s goals in dealing with Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction.” Ted Kennedy, September 27, 2002: “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking out and developing weapons of mass destruction.” And John Kerry? January 23, 2003: “We need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime.” Bush made a decision based on information everyone agreed at the time was correct.
The Iraq/Al Qaeda connection: Read the article by Richard Miniter called “The Iraq-Al Qaeda Connections” (www.techcentralstation.com). Public records, from government reports to congressional testimony, show a clear link since at least 1994. Also try Andrew C. McCarthy’s article “Iraq and al Qaeda” at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).
Michael Moore: Michael Moore’s documentary is clearly more fiction than fact. He consistently misrepresents, manipulates, and at worst lies. The most foundational premise of his movie, the accusation that Bush flew the Bin Ladens out of the country after 9/11, is demonstrably false, even according to the official 9/11 report. Look it up! Look up a critical analysis of anything by Michael Moore!
Finally, rich people and taxes. Here are some statistics that are easy to find, though apparently not many people are putting forth the effort. The top 50% of wage earners pay 96% of the taxes; the top 10% pay 64% of the taxes; the top 5% pay 53% of the taxes; and the top 1% pay 33% of the taxes. As I write this, 39 to 45 million families of low and middle incomes have no tax liability, and the Bush tax cut made four million of those possible.
Speaking of the taxes, why is there so much support for soaking people who have more money?
Whether they earned it themselves or inherited it, somebody worked for it! It’s not the government’s money to redistribute!
Alright, the conservative gauntlet has been thrown. Let the liberal onslaught begin!

Anthony Weber • TC

(We invite conservative-minded readers to check out the new Right Stuff column which debuts on page 11 with a light-hearted opinion from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. -- ed.)

Hope for horses
Thanks for running the story on “Hope for Hooves” (Aug. 5). It has raised much interest and awareness in our cause.
We are getting many inquiries as to how people can help. That article has given us much needed exposure and for that we are very grateful. Thanks for caring.

Diana Parsel • Hope for Hooves, Charlevoix/Petoskey

No horse atrocities
I would like to respond to the article on the PMU (pregnant mare urine) horses in the Aug. 5-11 issue, “Hope for Horses.” There is much misinformation in that article. IF interested readers and reporters would go to the NAERIC’s (National American Equine Ranching Information Council) www.naeric.org website you will learn the truth about what goes on at these ranches. People have a right to see the correct information, not a one-sided view. This information will help you make up your own mind about these ranches.
My own personal PMU gelding came through one of the yearly production auctions held each fall by these ranches. These are much like the thoroughbred auctions you see for our race horses. Top buyers from all walks of life attend these auctions. Many of the horses sold in these auctions are sold at top price because of their desirable breeding. To call these horses rescued is false. Many go on to be top show horses. The PMU horses have a lot of positive human contact as you will see in the web articles.
My intention is not to discredit anyone. I just want people to have the correct information from the horses’ mouth so to speak.

Gerry Boris • via email

(We too invite readers to visit the FAQ section of www.naeric.org under its Reports header to judge for themselves how premarin mares are treated, bearing in mind that this is a public relations/marketing website for ranchers. -- ed.)

Save power plant building
The issue of saving or demolishing the brick portions of the old Traverse City power plant has become a very hot political subject in recent weeks and months. Most succinctly, the battling is over the value to the people in this community of an unimpeded view of that portion of the West Bay versus having a multi-use, year-round access community building.
I have been hearing for 30 years ( at least) of the need for the City of Traverse City to remove or relocate the power plant from its location on West Bay. The who or whom of the supporters of its removal has changed little over the years; it’s “they” or “we,” usually represented by an authoritative spokesperson. I use the phrasing “they” or “we” for a reason. If this becomes a situation where a public vote is required for resolution of the dispute, “they” or “we” will have to become a specific identifiable number. One person, one vote. Most votes wins. Democracy in action.
On the other side of the debate, a rapidly growing grassroots movement is fighting for the right to let the community decide whether or not they want to save the two brick buildings (removal of the giant blue portion and smokestack is not an issue). This fight itself has developed into two separate battles. First is the struggle to allow the public (read taxpayers) access to the buildings to decide for themselves if they would like to save them for year around community use buildings. Commissioner Orth is strongly (to say the least) against the public viewing the inside of the buildings. The second struggle is all about due process involving both the City Commission and the Light and Power Board. Questions have been raised over what I will call tactical techniques in an apparent attempt to quickly secure the procedural votes necessary to assure the demolition of all the power plant buildings. When the public is saying, “Whoa, let’s slow down and look at this a little closer,” it should happen. Town meetings. Voting. Democracy.
These are big impressive buildings which are full of potential for multiple year-around community uses. They are paid for (you paid for them). They have parking. It’s unfortunate that they are located on the bay, but they are. For me, I think it’s more important to keep the buildings than to raze them. If given the choice of having a place to participate in activities in the long “off” season or see more of the bay, I’ll take the activities.
I would like to thank mayor Linda Smyka and commissioner Anne Melichar for working so diligently to keep the public process public in what is becoming a very combative environment.

Rick Buckhalter • TC

Liars & Swift boat vets
With the recent furor over the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” advertisement, and the accusations of being “liars” being freely thrown around by both sides of the argument, it seems an interesting dilemma is developing.
If what the Swift boat veterans are saying is true, they observed no atrocities committed by their outfits during their tenure in Vietnam. If Kerry is telling the truth, then there were atrocities committed, and Kerry testified that it was so to Congress.
If we are to believe Sen. Kerry, then he had first hand knowledge of these atrocities, and as a commissioned Naval officer, he stood by and did nothing to stop or prevent these atrocities which as a commissioned officer it was his DUTY to do. The Kerry supporters don’t seem to question this at all, but would rather ignore it. How do we court-martial Army Lt. William Calley for atrocities at My Lai, shout for the heads of everyone from Rumsfeld on down for Abu Ghraib, and then turn around and condemn anyone who questions the record of and atrocities that were admitted to by a man who is presently running for President of the United States? Everybody else’s record but his is fair game?
If Sen. Kerry wants to make his Vietnam record part of his campaign, then shouldn’t he and his supporters be ready to answer those who may disagree with or question it instead of just calling them liars? Wouldn’t it be better to just clear the air?
Truth becomes nothing but partisan ideology when it becomes whatever fits a political agenda. When down becomes up and up becomes down just because someone says it is so without having to prove it, we are in serious trouble. When a person is still accused of being a liar despite at least three separate BIPARTISAN commissions exonerating him of doing so then truth no longer matters -- it becomes not what is true and can be proven, but whatever ideologues want it to be. The prophet Isaiah was right. Truth lies dead in the street.

Lee Oslund • Mackinaw City

Bush & Great Lakes water
While I share in the history of the moment, President Bush’s recent visit to Traverse City obscured the real issues in this presidential race. The most reported comment made by our President concerned Senator Kerry’s position on diverting water from the Great Lakes. President Bush stated that his opponent takes a rather ambiguous position on this issue. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Senator Kerry has stated on numerous occasions that he unequivably opposes diversion of water from the Great Lakes region. He has supported funding for municipalities which would improve water quality for all the Great Lakes.
Unfortunately the Bush administration has seen fit to cut federal funding for a program known as the “state revolving fund.” As a result of these cuts, in May of this year alone, 10 billion gallons of raw sewage were dumped into the Great Lakes by the cities of Milwaukee and Detroit. The Bush administration has also cut funding for Great Lakes water treatment and ecosystem restoration by over $249 million dollars.
This is not the only area where the Bush team misrepresents Senator Kerry. A group known as the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” has come out with several ads questioning Senator Kerry’s service in the Vietnam war. None of the Vietnam veterans used for these political ads ever served on John Kerry‘s boat and this whole effort is funded by a rich Texas GOP political operative who is one of our President’s fundraising “Pioneers.”
Every veteran who has ever served with John Kerry states that their lives were at numerous times saved by his courage and leadership under fire. The most notable supporter of John Kerry is a registered Republican who served with the Senator and whose life was saved by the actions of Commander Kerry in the rivers of South Vietnam in the spring of 1969.
All Americans should wish their presidents of whatever party that measure of success which the nation requires. However I do wish that the President would take responsibility for those supporters around him who do nothing but sling mud at whomever he happens to be running against. If he did so ,both his own reputation in history as well as the nation’s well-being would be preserved and enhanced.

Brian Morgan • Gaylord
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