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- November 7th, 2011  

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Military cannot resign

Recently on NPR’s Talk of the Nation (10/24) author Bob Woodward said that senior military leaders have threatened to resign over President Obama’s announcement that troops would leave Iraq this year. The 2011 withdraw timeline was established in December 2008 between President Bush and the Iraqi government – and endorsed by President-Elect Obama.

For military officers to threaten resignation not only is an overt attempt to subvert the authority of the President, but is a renunciation of the officer’s oath to “support and defend the Constitution.” Article Two of the Constitution establishes the President as the Commander-in-Chief of the military.

The U.S. military serves as a special government agency established to implement civilian policy. Civilian leadership of the military is what separates the U.S. from oppressive military dictatorships – most of which have failed in the twentieth century.

Military officers unable to carry out the orders of the Commander-in-Chief have a duty to resign without undermining the office, suborning those in their command, and weakening civilian confidence. To do less hobbles the republic and disserves the nation.

Dave Lannen • TC

Iraq & Afghanistan veteran Member of Veterans for Peace

Soffredine for mayor

Our city faces tough economic times, including cuts in state funding and a slow economy. I want Traverse City to continue to be a gem in the state of Michigan.

Leadership is key, and Ralph Soffredine provides that leadership. Over the many years that Ralph has served on the city commission, the city has improved the waterfront, upgraded the parks, and continued—not discontinued—services to neighborhoods. His leadership style fosters relationships and welcomes input from all.

I hope you’ll join me in voting for Soffredine for mayor on November 8.

Kathleen K. Shannon • TC

Rich should pay too

Joseph Pasulka’s assumption that poor folks use more government assistance than the wealthy may be “reasonable” but it is, sadly, false. According to David Francis of the Christian Science Monitor, 2009 government subsidies to the poor totaled $365 billion. But those to the wealthy and middle class totaled $384 billion. And more than half of that went to the wealthiest 5% of taxpayers.

Regarding Mr. Pasulka’s apparent belief that the wealthy got wealthy honestly, how many examples of the opposite do you want?

How about Dick Cheney’s Haliburton getting no-bid government contracts for billions in the Iraq war; GE making $14 billion in profits in 2010 plus getting $3 billion in government subsidies, and ending employee pensions because they can’t afford them; Nike shoes cost $100 while the people who make the shoes get paid pennies; federal land, much of it spectacular wilderness, opened to oil, mineral and timber barons; taxpayers getting the bill for billions of dollars of corporation polluted Superfund sites across the country; and of course banksters getting hundred of billions of dollars from the taxpayers and then giving themselves millions in bonuses.

Is all of this legal? Sadly, yes. Congress and presidents make it so. So the courts have no say and even if they did, as the Citizens United case shows, it wouldn’t matter. So we cannot count on “prosecution as a remedy”.

So, Mr Pasulka, I agree: the poor should pay their fare share. But so should the rich.

Mike Johnson • Harrisville

Vote Yes for equality

Don’t be confused or swayed by misleading information being circulated by opposition to our current equality ordinance. Vote for protection of Traverse City residents and visitors against discrimination because of actual or perceived race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity and more. Similar ordinances now exist in more than 15 other progressive cities in Michigan. Keep Traverse City tall among them.

The Area Council on Religious Diversity asks Traverse City voters to save our equality ordinance on November 8. Do what’s right. Vote YES on Proposition 1.

Rev. Bryan Berghoef • TC

Vote No on 1

As a former resident and long-time visitor of Traverse City I would like to express my opposition to the “Anti Discrimination Ordinance” which I urge you to repeal. When I think of Traverse City, what comes to mind is a city that is a family-oriented healthy community. Providing special protection to the gay and lesbian population based on their sexual identity is in conflict with these values.

Many, including myself, choose not to live or vacation in a community that promotes openly gay, lesbian or transgender lifestyles. Communities that chose to promote the gay agenda have narrowed their target market, which will negatively impact the housing market and growth of a robust economy.

Rather than being seen as a welcoming community to families, Traverse City is at risk of becoming a niche community for the gay population. Driving through Traverse City, you cannot help but be impressed with the open beachfronts, outdoor venues, and lively downtown enjoyed by people of all ages, including young children. By extending special protection based on sexual orientation, the Ordinance is limiting these public spaces to those that are comfortable being in an environment where gay sexuality is embraced and protected.

Traverse City is known as a community that promotes healthy living with an award winning medical center. An ordinance which protects a lifestyle known to have an increase in sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, is putting the overall community health at risk. I strongly urge you to vote No on Proposal 1.

Carolyn Francis • White Lake

Vote for Estes

At the City Commission candidates’ forum on October 11, it was noted that the Light and Power (L&P) Board approved rate reductions for residential customers. A review of the L&P minutes of June 28 notes that Board member Michael Estes moved to cap residential electric rates for the next year. The motion carried with only Ralph Soffredine voting No.

At the same meeting Mr. Soffredine voted to give the Economic Development Corporation $25,000. At L&P Mr. Estes continues to work for the residents of the city just as he did as mayor. I’m supporting and voting for Michael Estes for mayor.

Richard Powell • TC

Vote Werner

Tim Werner has the integrity, leadership, time, and dedication needed to effectively serve on the city commission. I have had the pleasure of working with Tim on major school projects and in a community organization.

He is an active and engaged contributor who goes above and beyond to serve the needs of those organizations. He has the foresight and initiative to anticipate future needs of an organization and bring the community together to address them proactively. A dedicated supporter of Traverse City, Tim carefully considers all sides of an issue and makes informed decisions. Vote Tim Werner on November 8.

Judy Arnold • TC

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