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..

Topic: letter
Monday, August 20, 2012

The Letter

Stephen Volas shares the anguish of passing time in a federal prison

Features Robert Downes The letter from a drug rehab prison in Minnesota is a long one: 17 pages of handwritten script filled with tortured explanations, stress, and the stale hours of passing time in a federal prison with five years yet to go.
Monday, August 27, 2012

Letters 08-27-2012


Time to split atoms

Across the country, slick sales pitches are being made for wind power. The irony is that those salesmen are working for the natural gas industry. When the wind dies down, something else has to power up; that something is usually a gas turbine burning natural gas, which is the only sort of power plant being built these days.

All those Ontario wind farms are backed up by a gas-burning plant you don’t see; gas burners mean gas buyers and gas buyers mean fracking. Salesmen know which side their bread is buttered on.

If we want to stop burning things to make electricity, our best option is also the most-vilified and least-understood: nuclear energy...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Letters 09-10-2012


No hysteria in NRA

Trust a liberal to label his opposition as “hysterical” (re: “NRA hysteria unfounded,” Letters 8/27). All that libs can do is name-call.

Anyhow, the NRA was and is anything but hysterical in its warning about Obama and the Left being bitterly opposed to an armed citizenry. The fact that they spent their first-term political capital almost exclusively on getting Obamacare through does not mean that they have given up on the basic leftist goal of suppressing the people’s right (guns don’t have rights) to be armed. Also, Wayne LaPierre’s salary is closer to $600,000, after 35 years with the NRA.

Lastly, if you are going to call the NRA a branch of the Republican Party, which it most decidedly is not, why not point out, far more truthfully, that the Trial Lawyers Association, now laughably renamed the American Justice Association, is one of the biggest direct financial supporters of the Democratic Party...
Monday, September 24, 2012

Letters 09-24-2012


Appalled by article

I am appalled that a guest opinion writer in the Northern Express would insinuate Kirsten Keilitz was not qualified for a probate judge job simply because she does not have children. The probate court does not only deal with children, but elder law, estates, etc.

Many of us who have children have not yet had to deal with aging parents as Kirsten has. (And let’s be honest, many judges with families are not involved with their own children.) She is both professionally and personally qualified for the job. She is smart, sensitive, rational, and trustworthy. She is the best candidate for judge.

Colleen Shannon • via email

Oil biz targeting Obama

Why are Republicans opposed to Obama’s plan to allow taxes on very high incomes to return to where they were during the Clinton years? Have they forgotten that when Clinton raised the top tax rate, what followed was arguably the best economy in American history...

Monday, November 5, 2012

Letters 11-05-2012


Women's rights ... Life & death choices ... Negative attitude ...
Two Americas at stake ...
Defending worker's rights  ... Liar on the run...

Email your letter to: info@northernexpress.com 

Please keep your letter under 300 words (one page).

Monday, December 17, 2012


Letters Black marks for governor... "...With our educational system becoming increasingly more amputated, our infrastructure crumbling and our state losing people, I put my hope - and trust - in your insight to keep focused on what mattered and what was needed..."
The meaning of Christmas...
Keep up the videos... Defending Israel... An ignorant letter...
Monday, January 7, 2013

Letters 01-07-2013


What to cut?... Time to talk deficit. Clinton left a budget surplus of over $200 billion. George Bush left a trillion dollar deficit.

Blind lawmakers... Lou Ann McKimmy decries the 182 bills passed in Michigan’s fall 2012 session in her lame duck outrage letter. Her issue seems to be there was no discussion on the bills and there was no time to read and understand them within the given time period.

Mckimmy would have credence had she wrote a similar letter after ObamaCare passed in the dead of night with no discussion and no time to read it. 

Capital idea... Yes to the three C’s (re: Rick Coates’ article on making the region a Culinary, Cultural and Craft Farming capital).

The truth about Israel... WORDS! How easy it is for them to be accepted as inflammatory, baring the view of the writer’s heart. Recent letters used the term “anti-Semitic” to describe critics of Israel, as if that gave their words weight. Being Jewish, I saw “anti-Zionist.”

Missing the mark... I couldn’t let Stephen Tuttle’s “December 26” column slip by without comment. Tuttle states: “Christmas Day is the focal point of the giving season for most of us. And the endpoint.”

Excuse me, but what is this based on?

Those wondrous women... A few hundred years ago, Edmund Spenser wrote about women: “Such wondrous forms ought rather worshipped be than dared be loved by men of mean degree.”

Had Spenser been writing in contemporary America he might have penned, “Such wondrous forms ought rather worshipped be than menaced by Republicans of mean degree."

Monday, January 14, 2013

Letters 01-14-2013


Ending gun violence... Guns don’t kill people. People with guns kill people. It’s the relationship that’s lethal. While preserving our right to own guns the following suggestions would decrease the likelihood of future gun violence and mass murders.

Our plant allies... As the song goes: “from a distance the world looks blue and green and the snow capped mountains white.” It reminds me of Michigan’s sales pitch to tourists “Pure Michigan.” From a distance it is a stunning view, but if we take a closer look there are some serious problems now and more to come.

Hair & there... Re: T.J. Tracey’s letter, 1/7: According to the line item in the December 24 My Style, one had to assume that I seek out $96 haircuts. Yikes! My haircuts at Shear Pleasure are actually $22. The $96 “hair” was my recent bi-annual splurge on a frost/shampoo/cut.

Occupy TC pitch... Remember the Brown Shirts ? (With apologies to Pastor Martin Niemoller)

First they came for the poor, and I did not speak out,
Because I was not poor.
Next they came for the immigrants, and I did not speak out,
Because I was not an immigrant.

ALEC’s bad influence... Congratulations fellow Michiganders! Our once proud state is receiving national media attention thanks to our governor and state legislature. We are evolving into a ruling oligarchy. I speak of the evils of the DeVos family, the Koch brothers, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Monday, February 11, 2013

Letters 02-11-2013


Catholic priorities... Reading in the Feb. 3rd Detroit Free Press of retired Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony’s efforts to “shield priests from prosecution and keep parishioners in the dark about sex crimes against minors” leads me...

Wants to drive 55... Does anyone remember why a national 55 MPH speed limit was imposed by a law signed by President Nixon back in early 1974? This speed limit was in response to 1973’s oil price increases on oil shortages. Limiting vehicular speed was intended to reduce consumption of oil...

Pay attention, voters... As if the lame duck actions of the Michigan legislature weren’t enough, the GOP is now working on a new law to change the way our electoral votes are counted. State Rep. Peter Lund, R-Shelby Township, is sponsoring the bill that would tie our votes to the congressional districts instead of the number of electoral votes assigned to each state based on population...

Assaults weapons unnecessary... Do people really think they need assault weapons that fire 100 bullets without reloading to protect themselves? Do we really think that the federal government will confiscate our guns? If that is our fear, it seems to be a bit unrealistic when the federal government has drones and other sophisticated weapons which could be used far more effectively than gun power...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Letters 02-25-2013


Republican mischief... I have taken pride in the past of being a fiercely independent voter, casting my ballot for example, for Carter (once), Reagan (twice), both Bushes and Obama (twice).

I am not a fan of the social agenda of the Democratic Party, as I view some of their policies as morally repugnant and counterproductive to a healthy society. That being said, I find myself in a sad position of giving up my status as an independent and becoming a member of the Democratic Party. Here are the reasons why...

Seniors mugged by GOP... Just had my 2012 taxes completed; I suspect most people would agree that it is a relief to have it out of the way. What is not a relief however, is losing the over-65 age exemption, and due to the evaluation of my home, losing my property tax credit. The two biggest breaks seniors previously have enjoyed...

Hypocritical Democrats... I have to agree with Bob Ross’s letter in the Feb. 11-17 issue of your paper about the Catholic churches shielding priests guilty of sex crimes against children. His statement that the church should show the same care for postnatals as they do to pre-natals could apply to the Democratic Party in general as well...

Frog for dinner, anyone?... If you put a frog in a pan of cool water, then put the pan over a fire and heat it to boiling, the frog will set in the pan until it is cooked and never try to escape the hot water. If we continue to burn fossil fuel...