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 3/13/03
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Letters 3/13/03

Various - March 13th, 2003
Vietnam veteran‘s view

I recently visited the glorious Traverse City area and met a lot of great
folks at your local peace march. My congratulations to them for speaking up.
During my travels I hear various justification for war. Hitler is one of
Hitler was not the sharpest knife in the drawer. What he did have was
attitude. He could walk up to the podium and proclaim that he had a solution
to Germany‘s problems.
He selected an easily identifiable enemy. He said if you will kill that
enemy, that is a good thing. He then said that if you kill other enemies,
that will be even better. And the majority of the German people cheered and
followed their leader and began the killing. And the ultimate goal was to
take over the world and make it a better place.
Sound familiar?
I give my whole hearted support to those who oppose war. I am one of them.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, in 1954 said, “Every gun that is made, every warship
launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft -- from
those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of
laborers, the genius of scientists, and the hopes of its children.“ I agree.
Killing to solve a conflict is ignorance.
At this point in time in my life I have come to realize that there is always
a peaceful way to solve every conflict. It may take time. It may take
negotiations. It will take skill. It will take intelligence. But there is
ALWAYS a way.
People MUST SPEAK OUT and persistently demand that their leaders develop the
skill to peacefully deal with conflict. To do otherwise is to be a lemming.

Arnold Stieber • Vietnam Veteran
Grass Lake, MI

A choice of two lies

If our president were a wise and intelligent man, he would certainly have found a different way to deal with Saddam, instead of putting America into a state of war as we are now. If I had to choose between the lie coming out of the oval office, “ I have not made up my mind about war,“ vs. the lie, “I did not have sex with that woman,“ I would choose the no sex with that woman one, because the price of gasoline would be a lot less, the stock market might be doing better, we would save billions of dollars that could be spent at home, and many innocent people would not be killed.

Norman Alexander • Traverse City

A time for violence

Reverend Donaldson hides his head in Saddam Hussein‘s chemically contaminated, biologically mutated sand and cries, “It‘s all about our lust for oil“ (Letters 2/27). If this hackneyed, fall-back position of the pacifist appeasers contained an ounce of truth then the United States would have attacked and occupied Iraq during Desert Storm in 1990. But we did not. Rather we liberated an invaded people in Kuwait without taking so much as a liter of free oil for ourselves. The good reverend knows this, but the cry, “It‘s all about oil“ is such a sexy one, such a compelling way to deflect attention from the truth of the holocaust that Saddam has inflicted on his own people --- torture, rape, human experimentation, mass poisoning --- and to point instead a finger of accusation at President Bush, that the reverend repeats the worn-out lie.
Tell me reverend, you sound so familiar, are you related to Neville Chamberlain, maybe to François Deladier? Or are you a follower of Father Caughlin? Or are you just ignorant of the consequences that a cowardly world must pay when it appeases, not opposes, a ruthless dictator? Hitler could have been stopped if the French had come out from behind their Maginot Line to oppose his undermanned army when it marched into and occupied the Rhineland in 1936 or if England and France had not given him Czechoslovakia at the Munich Conference in September 1938. But no, appeasement was the operative word. Give him anything, just so we have “peace in our time.“ Instead of peace, we got pieces --- of broken treaties, of destroyed countries, of millions of broken lives, devastated by the most destructive war mankind has ever seen. But it was those “boys fighting those boyish wars“ that you so decry, who gave their lives for your freedom. Without their sacrifices, you‘d be goose-stepping to Deutschland Uber Allen. Thank God there were more of them than you; thank God for their courage!
World War II ended with the unconditional surrender of both Germany and Japan. If either of those countries had subsequently violated their surrender treaties with us, we would have been morally obligated to resume military action against them. And without our decision being subject to an endless debate in an ineffectual debating society. Iraq broke their treaty with us, repeatedly, over 12 years, while they accumulated horrible weapons of mass destruction. Time to remove them. So please stand aside so no shrapnel falls on your sanctimonious garments and let men who care about freedom do their jobs. Lives will be saved. Thousands of lives will be saved once this madman is put down.
Christ knew that there was a time for violence. Didn‘t he drive the money changers from the temple? I don‘t believe he suggested they leave after sending inspectors to see how many goods they had to sell and after having an endless debate with his apostles.

Francis A. Breen, Jr., M.D. • Lake Leelanau

Happy Women‘s Day

March is designated as Women‘s History Month with International Women‘s Day
falling on March 8. International Women‘s Day marks the struggles of our
grandmothers and mothers to take control of their own lives and destinies
and their struggle to make the future a better place for their children.
All mothers want the best for their kids, including safe water to drink and
clean air to breathe.
When women take charge of their lives and participate in every part of
their society, their communities flourish. When they have access to
education and family planning programs, women can decide how many children
to have and when to have them. Often, this leads to healthier and smaller
families, easing the strain of our growing population on the environment.
International Women‘s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call
for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by women. We
can clean up our air, ensure clean drinking water for our children and slow
our global population growth but only if we make women part of the

Martha Lancaster • Harbor Springs
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