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 10/10/2011
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Letters 10/10/2011

- October 10th, 2011  

Email your letter to: info@northernexpress.com

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

Only one letter per reader in a two month period will be accepted. Letters may be edited for length or to correct factual errors. Letters must be signed to be considered for print and a phone number is required for verification. Faxed are not accepted.

Science & vaccines

I am writing this in response to Heidi Kistler’s letter “Chose not to vaccinate.” While I wholeheartedly agree with Ms. Kistler’s views on freedom of choice and the importance of personal research, her logic train derails before it even has a chance to leave the station.

What she calls “fear-based rhetoric” is actually science-based medicine and it is responsible for the high quality of life we enjoy in modern western civilization. The number of ways modern medicine has benefited humanity is rivaled only by the number of logical fallacies in her argument.

The “conspiracy theory” and “urban myth” to which she refers is actually decades of quality research, all coming to the same conclusion that vaccinating works and is safe.

No one is denying that there are sideeffects to vaccinations, but in a risk versus benefit analysis, benefit wins by far. Twelve years of research should have shown her the millions, perhaps billions of lives saved over the many years in which vaccinating has been practiced. It also should have introduced her to the concept of herd immunity which is why Mr. Tuttle has reservations about associating his children with hers.

The evidence against the efficacy of natural remedies and homeopathy is so unbelievably staggering that it’s a wonder any responsible person would consider those “alternatives.” To make matters worse, these people endanger the lives of their own children and others for some unknown reason. To argue that “as a parent, you know” is ignorant at best and deadly at worst.

In the tragic event that one of her children should contract something like whooping cough, how would she feel about getting vaccinated if she knew that she was probably the one who gave it to her own child?

Paul Campana • Thompsonville

Dial-up blues

No Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Magic Jack, cell phone service, and no DSL (ie. high speed internet). These are what we don’t have in Leelanau County. Here’s what we do have at our house:

We wait. We punch up and wait. You’ve heard of “no child left behind.” What about “no household left behind”? A few satellite companies want $80-plus per month after spending hundreds for hook-up. AT&T advertises $12.95 per month for DSL but we can’t get it. They keep sending us ads but when I call, it’s no service in our area. Our cell phones work down the block about half a mile.

This disabled vet, on Social Security, spends over $100 per month on telephone service. I took pictures of over 100 mail boxes in our neighborhood and sent the disc to AT&T with a note saying that the mail boxes belong to people in my area who do not have high speed internet. I received no response.

If I lived next to the library, I’d get high speed Internet for free, and would have cell phone service and would eliminate the land line, thus saving me $60-plus per month.

I guess I have to sell my country home and move to the city in order to get in touch with the world. This Leelanau (land of delight) is lost without an upgrade from DIAL UP.

Don Montie • Leelanau County

Businesses vulnerable

I would like to clarify the dangers of Chapter 605 of the Traverse City Code of Ordinances, entitled Non Discrimination.

As a business person in the Grand Traverse area, passage of a so called Non Discrimination ordinance by homosexual activists has placed you in a potentially vulnerable position.

If you look at Section 14, of the Traverse City ordinance you will find that proponents may point to the civil infraction penalty only being $500. BUT, the section goes on to say, that is “per day,” and the violation continues. Further, violations are presumed to be continuing, unless proven otherwise.

So, for example, let’s say that an employee believes that he/she/it is being discriminated against under the ordinance. And let’s say that it is the type of alleged violation that by its nature goes on until the employer affirmatively makes a change, such as a disciplinary practice. Now, also in conjunction with that, look at Section 10 whereby the individual can wait up to 180 days to complain to the City Manager. The individual is encouraged by the statute indirectly to “sandbag,” wait the 180 days to complain, and by then, the total penalty is up to 180 times $500, or $90,000 presumed - unless the employer later proves that the violation was not continuing. Even if it is a legitimate violation that the employer would stem if he knew of the problem, he would not be given any notice of a complaint until after it has been made to the City Manager, and by then, the penalty can be up to $90,000!

I would think that the entire business community of the Grand Traverse area would be afraid of that, especially all of the small businesses.

I feel this ordinance was ill conceived from the start, and that the granting of special rights was not necessary. The Constitution which gives each and every one of us protection from those who would treat us unfairly was never meant to place us into groups; it was written to ensure our individual rights, and promotion of our sexuality was never considered as acceptable.

Paul James Nepote • TC

Too dressed up I look forward to your weekly paper; I even drive to the Burger King by Meijers on Sunday, rather than wait until Monday to obtain my copy. My favorite features are your letters to the editor, Patrick Sullivan’s articles, Stephen Tuttle’s Spectator, and Robert Downes’ Random Thoughts. Your paper is much appreciated in this very conservative area and I only miss a copy when I’m out of town.

All this being said, I take issue with a recent “My Style” article which appeared to be an ”In Your Face” response to another reader’s criticism of this feature.

Featuring a person with enough pricey clothes on her body to feed a family of four for a couple of months is not worthy of your publication. The subject is attractive and probably could have outfitted herself at some resale shops and still look great. I’m sure this article may appeal to some, but I’ll bet it’s not the single working mom. Perhaps you could rethink this article and feature women who outfit themselves in clothing purchased from resale shops.

W. Dennis Bushey • via email

Lesson on taxes

In response to Stephen Tuttle’s column, “Sex & Taxes” in the 9/26 Northern Express:

Mr. Tuttle really should get his facts straight before he writes his column or he will lose any credibility he might have. Comparing Mr. Buffet’s tax rate with his secretary’s is disingenuous. Mr. Buffet pays capital gains taxes; his secretary pays federal income taxes. If Mr. Buffet makes a salary, he pays federal income taxes on that salary and then pays capital gains taxes on the money he makes with his investments. This fact has been reported by the AP.

And now for a few more facts for people who think the “rich” don’t pay their fair share of taxes: According to factcheck. org, a teacher earning $50,000 a year pays 11.9% federal income tax. The Obamas paid 25.3% federal income tax. If that same teacher had a spouse and two children, no federal income tax would be owed. The top 1% of wage earners pays 40% of all federal income taxes. Thirty eight percent of wage earners pay no federal income taxes.

Notice I have specified “federal income taxes.” Every wage earner pays payroll taxes (Social Security and Medicare). There is a difference. Just a few facts.

Kathy Wilson • Onekama

Tea Party view

“With 25 million Americans lacking adequate work...” If people want jobs perhaps they should look to people who provide the jobs, not the government.

I cannot believe that there are still people out there that believe the government is the answer when we are finally “discovering” the billions that the government has spent for a paltry amount of jobs. And to say that the President is not getting his jobs bill through because of the Tea Party is ludicrous. Have you not heard -- the Democrats will not even allow his bill out of the Senate?

Please hear this, there is not a party called the Tea Party. There IS a group of people that believe in fiscal responsibility, constitutionallylimited government, and a free market-driven economy. They happen to call themselves the Tea Party! They are made up of Democrats, Republicans and independents. And if you people want to remain ignorant of the facts, keep your heads in the sand. To still be quoting that Warren Buffet has the answer is utterly ridiculous. He wants YOU to pay more taxes, while he fights tooth and nail to escape the taxes he owes. Go figure!

Rebecca Carlson • Rapid City

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