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 1/13/05
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Letters 1/13/05

Various - January 13th, 2005
Confidence builder?
Mr. Bush urges us to have “full confidence” in his handling of Social Security. He says it’s broke, but it isn’t, say the experts. So maybe the real issue here is “full confidence,” not economics.
Let’s parse “full confidence” in the Bush panoply of diction, using the historical method. (Following Dana Milbank, Washington Post.)
Iraq czar Paul Bremer had Mr. Bush’s “full confidence,” but unfortunately admitted he needed more troops--a no no-- after dissolving the Iraqi army. Mr. Ashcroft enjoyed the “full confidence” of Mr. Bush before putting his foot on the slippery slope. And Mr. Tenet had the “full confidence” of Mr. Bush as he led him wittingly down the “slam dunk” path. Bush was “fully confident” in our relations with Spain--before Spain withdrew. “We have “full confidence” in his (Kerik’s) integrity” intoned Mr. McClellan, press secretary. McClellan should have updated his resume in June 2003 when Bush said: “I’ve got “full confidence” in my new press secretary.” Now he has “high confidence” in Mr. Rumsfeld...
And so, it should afford some relief to Mr. Gonzales, candidate for Ashcroft‘s replacement, that Mr. Bush has not yet given him the embellishment of “full confidence.” This in spite of his calling the Geneva Convention and International Law “quaint” and giving a big “okay” to torturing prisoners.
It appears that “full confidence” is really another example of “Bushphemism,” a highly virulent form of euphemism.
So, death in Iraq is the “folded flag” given to relatives. Borrowing trillions for Social Security is “upfront transition financing.” Missing weapons of mass destruction are now “weapons of mass destruction program related activities.” Capping lawsuits is “reducing lawsuit abuse.” Eliminating right to choice becomes “a culture of life.” Drilling in ANWR is part of “a comprehensive energy plan.”
Got “confidence”?

Robert E. Marshall • Lake Leelanau

Wrong policy
It seems the rich getting richer is the status quo with the Bush administration and rewriting Social Security seems to be no exception. Basing our retirement funds on inflation rates instead of wages is the WRONG policy! Why do so many Americans just sit back and accept this as good policy?
Maybe they believe this is what “God” told George to do!!
Beware the false prophets and follow the money.
Terri Johnson • Frankfort

So the “Red States” are poor, ignorant, and polluted (Random Thoughts, 12/30). How clever of you to avoid the accusation of stereotyping and prejudice by attributing those slanders to Fox News! Of course we all know that liberals never, never are guilty of stereotyping or prejudice. Well, perhaps with the exception of demonizing anyone who doesn’t discard the inconvenient parts of the Bible.
How about we have an honest, intellectual discussion in 2005 instead of hurling insults.

Nancy Brimhall, RN • via email

Social Security blunder
President Bush is taking the first step in his plan to dismantle Social Security.
Recently, White House sources revealed their plan to cut promised benefits to retirees by nearly a third. And these cuts are guaranteed -- whether you opt in to the Bush plan or not.
For those entering the workforce today, that means more than a 25 percent cut in the retirement benefits we are counting on.
We can’t stand by and let George W. Bush and this adminstration cut our promised guaranteed retirement benefits, to fund more of their trademark fiscal irresponsibility.

Patrick DeGue • Suttons Bay

Disregard for science
As a Christmas gift to some, but certainly not to those who concern themselves with endangered species protection and the ecological health of our national forests, the Bush administration issued new rules, eliminating some environmental protections that date to the Reagan administration.
Part of the deal, certainly, is their dedication to corporate interests and their unwillingness to face the “bad news” of present day environmental science. But there is more. It is the reality of the “more” that leaves me almost without hope for the future. It is a philosophy of all too many of our country’s leaders; its essence was articulated by Bill Moyers when he accepted the Center for Health and the Global Environment’s Global Environment Citizen Award at the beginning of December.
Moyer’s speech was titled “Battlefield Earth.” In it he pointed out that millions of Christian fundamentalists welcome environmental destruction as a sign of the apocalypse. These people believe in the rapture, a theology proposed by 19th century immigrant preachers. They think that true believers will be transported to heaven (even the dead will rise from their graves!) and others, like me and other political and religious opponents, will suffer years of tribulation. Where is compassion? What became of Jesus‘s commandment to “love thy neighbor”?
I have long wondered why some fundamental-ist Christians who insist on the doctrine of “creation science” are not also worried about endangered species and have little interest in environmental preservation. What about God’s injunction in the Genesis stories of creation that man is to “till and to keep” the Garden, to be stewards of creation?
We have more than 231 legislators backed by the religious right, many of them doubtless making decisions with the apocalypse in mind. They dismiss a preponderance of current scientific evidence, minimizing hazards of mercury in the air, vastly overrating the oil potential of the arctic Wildlife National Refuge, and denying the pending economic, social and environmental disasters of global climate change.
Decisions for my future, your future, and the future of the planet are being made by apocalyptic thinkers who have a blatant disregard for science. Let’s hope we make it through the next four years!

Alison Heins • TC

Ill planet
Our planet may be terminally ill. Our global greenhouse melts glaciers and polar ice caps, harming forests, lakes, polar wild life. Vehicles multiply in the Third World. Many informed friends are truly alarmed. We are not crying “Wolf”! Scientific studies abound. Without corrective efforts, global warming and pollution may soon be beyond control.
Washington and media often ignore this sobering reality! U.S. may be the only advanced nation refusing to sign the Kyoto treaty, setting goals to reduce pollution. How could our leaders forget their children?
While Denmark and Japan get harmless energy abundantly from windmills and solar panels, our laws actually tolerate more pollution! One scientific projection shows solar panels in an area under 1/10 of New Mexico would produce all our nation’s energy needs. Harnessing ocean wave action is available.
We should fear for our offspring. I’ll write long-hand to our leaders: will you help our kids?

Grafton “Mac” Thomas • Northport

Retirement threat
President Bush is endangering the retirement of millions of Americans by taking the first step in his plan to dismantle Social Security. I am already retired but I cannot see my children, grand and great grandchildren being short changed by this administration.
Recently, White House sources revealed their plan to cut promised benefits to retirees by nearly a third. And these cuts are guaranteed -- whether you opt in to the Bush plan or not. The plan does not insure that those affected would be finanically savy to cope with what needs to be done to insure their retirement years through investing on their own. It sounds good, but reality must overcome the glad-handed promise.
For those entering the workforce today, that means more than a 25% cut in the retirement benefits they’re counting on; for their children, it guarantees a 46% cut. This plan has the potential of being the demise of what we know as the standard of living for the elderly in the future.
We can’t stand by and let George W. Bush and the Republican dominated Congress cut our promised guaranteed retirement benefits -- especially when so many are looking to Social Security to help lead a happy, healthy life when they retire. He wants to be the hero by giving billions to the world and its needs at our expense. We need to let him know we are not buying his rhetoric.

Jim Williams • Kalkaska

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