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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Thursday, August 12, 2004

No Free Lunch

Random Thoughts George Foster Code Red. Code Red. Take cover, the U.S. Treasury just launched its own terrorist attack on America in the form of $500 billion in federal deficits for next year.
I thought Republicans were the party of fiscal restraint, personal responsibility, and ANTI-big government. This federal deficit is the largest in U.S. history and don‘t give me the pat excuse that our overspending is an anomaly - the result of being at war.
Thursday, July 29, 2004

History‘s Investigations of Presidents

Random Thoughts George Foster The independent 9/11 Commission report was finally completed last week to mixed reviews.
More and more, it seems each president spends as much time dealing with ongoing investigations of his respective administration as he does governing the country.
Thursday, July 8, 2004

Don‘t Show Me our Dead Soldiers

Random Thoughts George Foster Recently, when a mother invited the media to film and broadcast the remains of a U.S. soldier arriving in the United States, her son‘s casket became the first of almost 900 American troops killed in the Iraq conflict to be made public.
Thursday, June 24, 2004

Bill Clinton Meets Michael Moore

Random Thoughts George Foster Brace yourself. This week‘s news will be saturated with analysis of Bill Clinton‘s memoirs and Michael Moore‘s new movie.
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts George Foster Can the Pistons beat the mighty Lakers?
Goliath‘s laughs raining down on David. The irresistible force versus the immovable object. Beauty and the Beast. Almost any image you can dream up of two diametrically opposed antagonists applies to the Los Angeles Lakers and the Detroit Pistons.
Thursday, May 27, 2004

Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts George Foster Who do we blame for high gas prices?

Yikes. $2.19 per gallon of regular and rising.
How high can it go: $2.50? $3.00? $5.00? Unfortunately, there is no ceiling in sight. We should be outraged, yet whom do we blame?
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts George Foster The stain on America

There is no way to sugarcoat it.
The film footage of U.S. military personnel mistreating Iraqi prisoners is indefensible, the worst and most ill-timed black eye against our country in history. Without weapons of mass destruction and connections to al Qaeda to justify our venture into Iraq, the “high, moral ground” was all we had left.
Thursday, April 15, 2004

Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts George Foster Pray For Our Troops
Have you ever noticed how John Kerry and other Americans who oppose the U.S. occupation of Iraq often begin discussions, “I support our troops, but...“
Who are they trying to kid? It is impossible to disagree with a military mission and still be an advocate of its soldiers - you can‘t have it both ways. Peaceniks preface most anti-Bush tirades with support of our military personnel because they are afraid of being perceived as unpatriotic.
Thursday, March 25, 2004

Driving my Hummer

Random Thoughts George Foster I don’t know when I first fell in love with the Hummer.
It could have been during intense scenes of Black Hawk Down or at one of the Terminator flicks. The sight of enemy shells blasting off the chassis of those glorious Humvees, while the good guys are hunkered down inside, making their getaway, is enough to start me salivating.
Thursday, March 11, 2004

Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts George Foster The Largest Group of Second-Class Citizens in History
When George W. Bush calls marriage between a man and woman “the most fundamental institution of civilization“, he might be correct. It may also be the most fundamentally dysfunctional institution in this country.
Thursday, February 26, 2004

The Freefall of College Sports

Random Thoughts George Foster Pity poor University of Colorado. The Buffalos have become the scapegoat for criminal athletes everywhere. When two former female athletes from the Boulder campus alleged being raped by male athletes, the saga of what really happens in many big-time college sports programs has reared its ugly head once more.
Thursday, February 5, 2004

Unwelcome guest (workers)

Random Thoughts George Foster In an administration that is the first since Hoover’s to lose more jobs than gained, George W. Bush’s proposal to let millions of illegal workers become “legal“ seems to be a cruel joke at first glance.
Thursday, December 11, 2003

Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts George Foster Winter Sports Update

Hockey. Booo. Fedorov sucks. Go home to Siberia, you bum.
We don‘t really mean it, Sergei. The howling of boos from Detroit hockey fans that rained down on the former Red Wings superstar recently was an expression of disappointment, not hate. Many Detroit fans believe the loss of Fedorov to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks via free agency severely diminishes the Red Wings‘ chances for a Stanley Cup this season.
Thursday, November 20, 2003

The Battle to Keep 9/11 a Secret

Random Thoughts George Foster It seems we may finally get the truth about what happened on September 11, 2001 from the independent commission investigating the attacks. Or will we?
Thursday, November 6, 2003

Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts George Foster The 10 Bravest American Women
As someone who believes that women are of a more courageous species than men, any manageable list of this sort is difficult to compress. Historically, high probabilities of being objects of discrimination and abuse tend to make women mentally tougher than men. At least that‘s my theory.