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 5/9/02
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Letters 5/9/02

Various - May 9th, 2002
Dillenbeck & Sprawl

Your article on Mike Dillenbeck was as eye-opening as it was frightening. To think that a public official who makes his living tearing down trees, paving land and helping to create sprawl could be disheartened at any oppostion is cause for concern.
“We‘re building this through wetlands,“ he says... isn‘t THAT disheartening? “There‘s nothing natural about the river,“ he says... isn‘t THAT disheartening?
I would suggest that IF this bridge is built the powers that be should extract some documentation from Mr. Dillenbeck beforehand relating to the verifiable effects of the construction. If any of what he professes turns out to be false, he should be held legally
accountable. Let him use his models and predictions of no sprawl, “better ecosystems,“ and his promise of “real environmental enhancements“ in his defense.
Rivers are more than their banks, and should be revered as something other than impediments to transportation. It‘s true there are old animal corridoers there, not to mention hundreds of plant and animal species, but what of the sky over the river? Imagine from water level, looking up into the expanse of 200 feet of steel, listening to thousands of cars a day. This project has been fueled by greed and arrogance since it started. It was ugly in the mind at its inception, ugly on the drafting table and will be even uglier in the real world. If it does go up, take notes.

Michael Delp • Green Lake Township

Letter from Israel

I just came back from Bethlehem and Nablus, and was slightly wounded by a bullet fired by an Israeli soldier. He also hit six others in our group, including two head wounds and a very serious stomach wound to the woman next to me, and a news cameraman, as well.
It‘s a long road from the picture portrayed by the media in the U.S. and Israel to the truth, or at least balanced coverage. We tend to see things through Israeli eyes, and even the Israelis tend to have too much faith in what their government tells them. Know any other people like that?
I don‘t think I have ever seen the Palestinian point of view ever expressed in any publication in the U.S., and I have tried to express it and get it published myself, so far without success except for a few letters to the editor. I think it is important to try to see the picture through Palestinian eyes, as well.
Before the creation of Israel, the place was called Palestine, and it was a British mandate, even though the British had promised independence after WWI. The British “viewed with favor the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine“ in 1924, without ever taking into consideration the wishes of the population. Just prior to the creation of Israel, the Jewish population had grown to 33%, or around 600,000, and they owned between 6% and 8% of the total land area. After independence, they had 78% of the land and had expelled 750,000 Palestinian Arabs who, contrary to international law, have never been allowed to return to their homes.
The Palestinians have paid an enormous price for the creation of Israel. They had already lost 78% of their homeland prior to 1967, and they are in the process of losing the other 22%. Israel has already confiscated more than half of the reamaining land, and is continuing its encroachment on the rest. Israel wants the land, but not the people who are on it. That‘s what this is about, and it is known as ethnic cleansing. The subject is taboo in this country.
Surprisingly, the Palestinians have offered to settle for the 22%, and to offer full peace in return. In that respect, they know when they are beaten. But try to find any mention of this in the U.S. press. Why? Because to say so might undermine U.S. foreign policy, which is to support Israel in this crime.
The Palestinians consider suicide bombers to be the only weapon of resistance at their disposal. I disagree, as do many Palestinians, and think that it is counterproductive as well as immoral, but I have to admit that it is probably slowing down the resettlement of Jewish Israelis in the Palestinian territories.
By the way, what is the point of the settlements? They create a security problem rather than solving one. Their only function is to populate an area with Jews which had previously been inhabited by Palestinian Arabs. Is there a better definition of ethnic cleansing? The cost of building the settlements is enormous, along with the road system connecting them to each other and the rest of Israel. However, it is heavily subsidized and paid for by the U.S. taxpayer, and offered to Israeli Jewish settlers at ridiculously low rates - some free - to get them to live there. Destitute new immigrants from Russia and Argentina have almost no
choice but to live there.
I haven‘t even spoken of the oppression of the occupation, the destruction, the diverting of 80% of the water resources, the shooting at farmers who try to work their land, the wanton destruction of everything in sight that I saw in Nablus (roughly 300 cars simply run over by tanks in all parts of the city for no reason at all), the chopping up of Palestinian territory into 226 separate areas, each blocked off from all but foot traffic from all others, and even then only by going through checkpoints.
Do we see a different picture here? You bet. How would you feel if the Jewish homeland had been Illinois instead of Palestine?

Paul Larudee • San Francisco.

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