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 · Books · Why Mars & Venus collide
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Why Mars & Venus collide

Robert Downes - February 11th, 2008
“Why Mars & Venus Collide”
By John Gray
272 pages

Is your relationship cosmically stressed out? Is a meteor shower of
hassles and time-pressure tearing up your world of love and commitment?
Is your rocket to romance stalled on the launching pad because you can’t
choose between Mars and Venus as a destination?
If so, you may wish to consult “Why Mars & Venus Collide,” the latest
self-help book for relationships by space explorer and love coach John
Gray is the author who charted the differences between men and women in
the 1992 bestseller, “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus.”
In that book, Martians (men) and
Venusians (women) fell in love, and moved to planet Earth, where things
quickly started falling apart because “they forgot they were from
different planets.”
A couples counselor, Gray outlined the differences between the sexes with
a blend of humor, insight and common sense. Since that time, he’s made a
franchise of the Mars and Venus schtick with 15 books, including “Mars and
Venus Together Forever,” “Mars and Venus in the Bedroom,” “Mars and Venus
on a Date,” and “Mars and Venus Starting Over.”

The cosmic question with his latest book is whether Gray can keep pumping
air into the vacuum between Mars and Venus to resuscitate one more
interplanetary ‘how-to’ book for improving your relationship.
The answer to that lies with whether you believe Gray’s premise that men
and women are on a collision course over too much stress in their lives as
a result of the modern workaday world and its demands.
“Over the last fifteen years, a new trend in relationships has emerged,
linked to increasing stress,” Gray writes. “Both couples and singles
believe they are too busy or too exhausted to resolve their relationship
issues, and often think their partners are either too demanding or just
too different to understand...
“Everyday stress drains our energy and patience and leaves us feeling too
exhausted or overwhelmed to enjoy and support each other,” he continues.
“We are often too busy to see what is obvious. A man will give his heart
and soul to make enough money to provide for his family and return home
too tired even to talk with them. A woman will give and give to support
her husband and children and then resent them for not giving back the kind
of support she thrives on giving. Under the influence of stress, men and
women forget why we do what we do.”

Not everyone will buy the idea that modern stress is so all-consuming that
we’re “too exhausted or overwhelmed” to sustain happy relationships.
After all, this is the era when the Nielsen ratings report that the
average American spends four and a half hours in front of the television
each day -- not the most stressful of activities. And are people really
more stressed now than they were, say, while starving on their farms
during the Great Depression, or while worried about getting shot and
having the house burned down during the Civil War?
And is it really so bad, as Gray claims, that couples enjoy text-messaging
and emailing each other rather than “communicating”? For many of us, TMing
or email is a fun reminder that “I’m thinking of you.”
If anything, one could just as easily make the claim that relationships
suffer today because we live under less stress than at any time in human
history. The flip side of stress is malaise and ambivalence.
But fans will be more inclined to agree with Gray, who cites a rogue’s
gallery of stress-producers, such as longer working hours, credit card
debt, health care issues, rising costs for food and housing, and the
problems of raising children in two-career families. If you’re in this
orbit, “Why Mars & Venus Collide” offers advice for recognizing the
problem and learning how to lower your stress and that of your partner’s.

Gray is at his best when he’s offering practical advice and making common
sense observations about the differences between men and women.
In one provocative passage, he says that men and women tend to award each
other “points” for good behavior. But whereas men tend to think that
grand gestures should be worth a large number of points, women tend to
award a single point for every effort, be it the gift of a Mexican
vacation, or volunteering to vacuum the house.
A man receives one point each for going to work each day, coming home at
night, and remaining faithful, Gray says. But if he fails to perform any
of those requirements, all of his points go up in smoke. Gray also claims
that women award a single point for gifts, no matter how grand; so a man
would do better to give his sweetheart a single rose daily for 12 days
than to buy a bouquet of a dozen roses... good advice, perhaps, for
Valentines Day.

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