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..

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Election Autopsy: Two Reader Viewpoints on what it all Means

Various - November 11th, 2004
A Divided Land
I am sure you are aware that the countless volunteers for the Kerry campaign are feeling quite devastated right now. As someone said on the Larry King show, many of us feel like expatriates in our own nation. We have to face the fact that we live in a culturally divided land and that a majority of our fellow citizens (a tiny majority at that) do not share our values.
Hence there is great alienation in the land. How can there be a healing in America if moral compromise is considered evil by our opponents? It seems to be an all or nothing battle.
This vast cultural divide is clearly more relevant to our political culture than any particular issue. It seems to be both intractable and troubling.
Perhaps prayer from both sides, asking for divine guidance will deliver our nation from this peril.
Hope springs eternal in the hearts of men.
I am devastated and feel like a stranger in my own country. Yet as Senator Kerry said, someday we WILL cast ballots that will change the world. Our efforts were not in vain.
We are living history right now and even though we did not succeed in this race, victory surely belongs to those who pursue righteous causes. We live in an age where those proclaiming the name of Christ are “choking on gnats and swallowing camels.” It is our duty to expose the moral hypocrisy of the religious right and to regain the moral highground.
Democrats and progressive independants can do this if we are not afraid of engaging in moral polemics with our adversaries. It has been stated that Democrats emphasize social morality (war on poverty, civil liberties etc.) while Republicans emphasize personal morality ( fidelity to marriage etc.).
In order to recapture a large portion of the American electorate, Democrats need to address issues of personal morality without sacrificing our desire for civil liberties and equality before the law. The only criticism I have of my fellow liberals is that many times we are so afraid of making any moral judgements that our message becomes unclear or murky.
We can no longer relinquish moral battles. We need to continue to address “the issues,” but all issues have a moral dimension to them. In fact morality is the coinage of the realm regarding any political discourse.
If we as liberals can take charge of this ongoing moral debate in this nation we will win. The truth is really on our side.
It’s been a long hard road since late March when I and a few others held our first Kerry “Meet Up” at Northwoods Restaurant. All of us have been through too much to simply wither away after November 2nd.
As Senator Kennedy said in 1980 after he lost to Jimmy Carter “The dream shall never die.”
The cause for social justice will always continue. We are at the high water mark for the Republicans right now. But as the Bible says “this too shall pass.” I cannot imagine a repeat of this situation four years from now.
Let us take up our causes and hold them dear. Let us maintain contact with one another. Let us continue to collaberate even during an off year like 2005. It is during these dark times that we have an even stronger obligation to preserve ourselves and to comfort the weak among us who are in even greater need of compassion.

Brian R Morgan • Gaylord

Some Friendly Advice
Well, the man frequently referred to as “Hitler” won convincingly. Since 1968 the Democrats have only had two presidents elected. Since 1994 the Democrats have lost more House, Senate and governor seats.
Are any of you Bush haters honest enough to admit a trend here? If not, here are some commonly believed liberal myths that were disproved on Tuesday;
Myth: Higher turnout benefits Democrats
Reality: The election of 2004 had the highest turnout in history with 120 million voters. President Bush won with the highest vote total EVER and the first majority since 1988. Do any of you still have delusional thoughts of “voter suppression”?
Myth: Republicans don’t care about the environment.
Reality: How do you explain the overwhelming support for the Open Space proposal? Grand Traverse County voted 60% for Bush, yet supported preserving precious farmland and shoreline for the public to enjoy.
Conservatives are all for common sense conservation. What conservatives are AGAINST are extremist environmental policies based on junk science such as “global warming” and the “Kyoto Treaty,” which would destroy our economy.
Myth: George Bush wrecked the economy, dirtied the air and water, and rushed to war.
Really? Name me a president who won an election with a bad economy. Where’s the evidence that the air and water is “dirtier”?
Are you telling me that corporations don’t pollute under Democrat presidents? Rushed to war? The same war John Kerry voted for?
I actually want two strong parties in this country. I think it’s healthy to have political checks and balances. The far left factions of the Democratic party need to understand they THEY are the ones who are extremists and out of touch with most of America. This election PROVES this. This is a country that believes in defending itself whether or not the United Nations join us. This is a country that believes in freedom OF religion not freedom FROM religion. This is a country that believes that tax-cuts are generally good and are not jealous if successful people share in the tax cuts.
If Democrats want to win elections in the future they have to be honest with themselves. You can’t win support by referring to people who disagree with you as “homophobes,” “bigots,” “racists” and “fascists.” You can’t defeat an opponent if you don’t respect them. You can’t send out people who hate America like Michael Moore and George Soros to convince undecided voters to your side. You can‘t continue to believe “old media” outlets like CBS who used forged documents to alter an election... or the Associated Press who put out phony exit polling numbers that showed a “Kerry landslide.” You can’t forbid pro-life Democrats (Joe Lieberman) from having a say in your party while pro-choice Republicans (Colin Powell, Rudy Giuliani) are prominent in theirs.
If the Democrats don’t believe and understand these trends, then we are truly headed to a one party system.

Steve Yenshaw • TC

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