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 8/1/11
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Letters 8/1/11

- August 1st, 2011
Remembering Reuther
I retired from the UAW Legal Department in Detroit in November, 1999. I
was hired in May, 1970 and started work there the first day after Walter
Reuther’s death in the Pellston plane crash. I was on his office calendar
as the first appointment had he returned. Patrick Sullivan’s story, “A
Plane Mystery” about Sasha Reuther’s documentary “Brothers on the Line”
brings back many memories. How lucky for me to have spent my working life
fighting for our real American heroes—the working class.
The Reuthers made the UAW into the finest, most progressive labor union.
The UAW helped build the middle class in the ’50s, was instrumental in
helping the civil rights movement and was one of the first institutions to
oppose the Vietnam war. The basic principles of working life that we now
take for granted were championed by the UAW.
Walter Reuther was honored by George Romney with the title of “the most
dangerous man in America”. His successor, Leonard Woodcock (our first
ambassador to China) was #9 on Nixon’s famous enemies list with the words
“No comments necessary!” The next president, Doug Fraser, was perhaps the
greatest man I have ever had the pleasure to work with.
All of these great people were dedicated to a simple principle – that
working men and women were entitled to some say in their terms and
conditions of employment and the dignity and self-respect that came with
The working class and union membership is once again under attack by the
right-wing nuts. Every totalitarian movement has made labor unions their
first target. Fortunately, as long as we have freedom and democracy,
workers will naturally seek democratic rights at their workplace. May
there always be a UAW.

Leonard Page • Cheboygan
A more honest picture
I was thrilled to see Patrick Sullivan’s article about Paul Nepote (7/18),
this man is truly a piece of work. He is the first to point a finger, not
remembering - conveniently - that he is not in a position to throw the
first stone. Quite frankly, I was happy that you shared with all of your
readers the other side of this person.
As I am sure you are aware, Mr. Nepote has gotten a bit of publicity
because of his ranting. Fine and dandy, this is America and we have that
right. However, what is wrong is when someone tries to point out the whole
true picture; then Mr. Nepote seems to have a very convenient and honestly
disturbing, hearing loss. I have been at the receiving end of some of his
bitter verbiage and quite frankly I am bothered by the fact that normally,
the press has only shown one side of this man. Now thanks to you, everyone
has a better and more honest picture of Paul Nepote.
So, while it is our right to vent and share our feelings, beliefs and
such; at least now those who take the time to listen to this person will
hopefully think twice before letting any of his venom absorb into their
I’ll be honest, I too have been known to vent a bit myself. Who hasn’t?
But here is the BIG difference between someone like myself, and someone
such as Mr. Nepote. I, and most others, would never purposely hurt people
that do not deserve it. It is a very good, yet sad thing that those he
attacks have developed thick skin.
I am hoping that before he is allowed one more hurtful, bigoted,
single-minded, narrow-visioned sentence in print, that he looks around. I
mean, really takes a look, and sees that in our beautiful Traverse City,
there are some wonderful, amazing, hard-working, giving, caring, people
that live, work, volunteer, and visit here. And yes Mr. Nepote, some of us
are gay.

Theresa L. Gardner • via email

Where’s the rebuttal?
How could you print such a bigoted opinion in your paper without a
rebuttal from someone connected with gay and lesbian rights? I am married
with children and educated, and am open-minded to today’s lifestyles.
You are a media source that should show both sides of a story; with how
you presented the interview with Mr Nepote it almost reads like you agree.
If this is your view then shame on your ignorance as well as his.

George Davis • via email

(Check out our “Fighting for Gay Rights” story, 9/20/2010, which included
feedback from the gay and lesbian community. - ed.

Mean-spirited media
I have always been amazed at how erroneous ideas are transferred to the
general public. Patrick Sullivan’s hatchet job on Paul Nepote is a case
in point. While not always a reader of the Northern Express, it did on
occasion have some worthy journalism. Your propagandistic blurb on Paul
Nepote was not one of those times.
I note that the fair and decent points that Nepote did make just had to be
preceded by Sullivan’s need to poison the well. Perhaps the editor takes
pride in using his position as a great keyboard to play the latest and
continuing government theme of gay rights; after all, even President Obama
knows how to bully-pulpit the issue.
I think the saddest part of all is that there was very little that the
Northern Express contributed to understanding the issue of special rights,
gay rights, or the future ballot referendum in Traverse City pertaining to
the non-discrimination ordinance. The issue as the NE tries to frame it
is to obfuscate and smear. Hurt the messenger if you can’t hurt the
If it’s applause you want, I’ll give you this. Congratulations for once
again confirming that the progressive narrow-minded media is all about
being mean-spirited and irrelevant.

Matthew Schoech • TC

Science & global warming
It would take a response considerably longer than the space allowed for
letters to respond to all the opinion-presented-as-fact, innuendo and
outright silliness presented in Robert Downes’ comments (Random Thoughts -
“The Tipping Point”). I will focus on just one: Al Gore is quoted as
saying, “There are scientists on one side of the debate and deniers on the
other.” That might come as a surprise to the tens of thousands of
scientists that fall into that “other” category, including:
• Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and member of the National Academy
of Sciences
• Hendrik Tennekes, retired Director of Research, Royal Netherlands
Meteorological Institute
• Khabibullo Abdusamatov, mathema-tician and astronomer at Pulkovo
Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences
• Sallie Baliunas, astronomer, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
• William Happer, physicist specializing in optics and spectroscopy,
Princeton U
• William Kininmonth, meteorologist, former Australian delegate to World
Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology
• Nir Shaviv, astrophysicist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
• Claude Allègre, geochemist, Institute of Geophysics (Paris)
I selected this tiny representative sample of scientists for the prestige
of the organizations they represent and for the geographic diversity they
encompass (USA, Russia, Australia, the Netherlands, France, Israel).
It’s quite dangerous to use the writings of a demagogic dope like Al Gore
in a respected, serious publication like Rolling Stone as the primary
source of information for an article intended to influence the general
public. People might be suspect of your premise and your evidence because
of the company you keep.

John M. Casteel • TC

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