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 · Random Thoughts · A love letter
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A love letter

Robert Downes - February 11th, 2008
Dear Northern Michigan Men,
Many of you will be in ladies‘ underwear this week.
Not literally, of course, but browsing the lingerie department in stores around the region for that ‘special something’ for Valentine’s Day.
I remember a packed Men’s Night at a lingerie shop a year ago. Grown men were elbowing each other out of the way, debating the pros & cons of silky bustiers, thongs, teddies and lacy bra & panty combinations. And frankly, they were having a blast.
The chatter in the store was along the lines of: “Do you think she’ll look better in the polka dot combo or red satin? What about something sheer and silky in chartreuse? Hmmm...”
For men, the fun of shopping for lingerie is imagining how our lady will look in the fur-trimmed negligee with the pom-pom ball tassels that we picked out all by ourselves. Or the thrill that will light up her eyes when she tries on that scratchy nylon saloon girl’s outfit that was popular on “Gunsmoke” 50 years ago.
Ahem. That’s why some of us have learned to ‘keep it simple, stupid’ when shopping for sweet nothings. Something sensual but semi-tasteful, and always keep the receipt in case that lace fantasy is too tight, too big, or not her color, and inspires more thoughts of the return counter than romance.
And back it up with a box of chocolates or a red rose, just in case.

Your Valentine Pal -- Bob

Dear Britney,
Haven‘t heard from you since, oh, last week. You never write, you never call...
But I‘m worried that you‘re going the way of Kurt Cobain with your drama queen antics, so here‘s the advice I would have given him before he stuck that shotgun in his mouth:
Get out of town, babe. Drive up to Dawson in Alaska, find a bunch of locals who don‘t have a clue as to who you are, and spend four months rafting 2,000 miles down the Yukon River this summer.
The Great Outdoors -- best rehab center in the world. Mosquito bites, near-death experiences, bears, sittin‘ by the campfire at night -- it‘s just what you need, blackout girl. And when you get back, you can reinvent yourself as a country star with a coonskin cap and buckskin bikini.

Hugs & Kisses -- Bob

Dear TC Commission,
There’s a new bar in Traverse City which has a no-smoking policy. Recently, I stopped in and found a good crowd there, enjoying the new brews and the clean air.
Just down the street there’s another new bar which allows smoking on its premises. It too had a full house, with many patrons who are grateful that they can still have a cigarette with their beer.
Two choices -- smoking & non-smoking -- within a couple of blocks of each other. What a concept.
Hmm, now do we need the Traverse City Commission to tell us what we can or cannot do through the creation of a new ordinance to ban smoking from bars and restaurants?
Or, are we capable of making that decision for ourselves?
Although I‘m not a smoker, I‘d still prefer to make my own choices, thank you. It‘s called “freedom.“

Love Ya -- Bob

Dear Detroit,
Yeah, times are tough in Michigan‘s biggest city and you‘re bringin‘ us down with you, literally.
But you‘ve been hit with a recession bordering on a depression every 10 years ever since I was a kid, way back before Howdy Doody was on the air.
Each time, you vow to diversify your economy when the tough times are over. Then, somehow you pull your rear-end out of the fire and forget your promise.
So don‘t worry. Some Chinese automaker will come along, buy up your auto companies and save the day. And 10 years from now, you‘ll be wearing the same pair of shoes, wondering how it all went wrong. Again.

Your Tough Love Admirer -- Bob

Dear John McCain,
Get back to the straight talk and stop listening to critics who claim you‘re not “conservative“ enough for their brand of bile.
To refresh your memory, Americans are sick of the path that conservatives in your party have led us down over the past eight years. That‘s why we threw them out of office in the last election.
We‘re tired of war, tired of hearing that torture and waterboarding are okay, tired of military spending at the expense of health care and education. Tired of no action on global warming and America‘s bad reputation around the world. This is where conservatives have led us and it‘s why America is saying “enough.“
The “C“ word people are clamoring for is “change,“ not more ideas that are as dead as Ronald Reagan.
People like the independent, open-minded John McCain, not the guy who rolls over for talk radio fruitcakes.

With Warm Regards -- Bob

Dear Barack Obama,
Congratulations on not sweeping the Super Tuesday primaries. If you had won it all, you‘d be stuck spending the next eight months pretending to be the second coming of John F. Kennedy. Eventually, people would find out that you‘re a human being instead of a myth and they‘d feel betrayed. In the long run, you‘re better off being a flesh & blood candidate than a fantasy from the ‘60s.
P.S. Love that ‘Obama Girl‘ clip on YouTube. She‘s going to win it for you.

Your Valentine Buddy -- Bob

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