Letters 10-17-2016

Here’s The Truth The group Save our Downtown (SOD), which put Proposal 3 on the ballot, is ignoring the negative consequences that would result if the proposal passes. Despite the group’s name, the proposal impacts the entire city, not just downtown. Munson Medical Center, NMC, and the Grand Traverse Commons are also zoned for buildings over 60’ tall...

Keep TC As-Is In response to Lynda Prior’s letter, no one is asking the people to vote every time someone wants to build a building; Prop. 3 asks that people vote if a building is to be built over 60 feet. Traverse City will not die but will grow at a pace that keeps it the city people want to visit and/or reside; a place to raise a family. It seems people in high-density cities with tall buildings are the ones who flock to TC...

A Right To Vote I cannot understand how people living in a democracy would willingly give up the right to vote on an impactful and important issue. But that is exactly what the people who oppose Proposal 3 are advocating. They call the right to vote a “burden.” Really? Since when does voting on an important issue become a “burden?” The heart of any democracy is the right of the people to have their voice heard...

Reasons For NoI have great respect for the Prop. 3 proponents and consider them friends but in this case they’re wrong. A “yes” vote on Prop. 3 is really a “no” vote on..

Republican Observations When the Republican party sends its presidential candidates, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people with a lot of problems. They’re sending criminals, they’re sending deviate rapists. They’re sending drug addicts. They’re sending mentally ill. And some, I assume, are good people...

Stormy Vote Florida Governor Scott warns people on his coast to evacuate because “this storm will kill you! But in response to Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that Florida’s voter registration deadline be extended because a massive evacuation could compromise voter registration and turnout, Republican Governor Scott’s response was that this storm does not necessitate any such extension...

Third Party Benefits It has been proven over and over again that electing Democrat or Republican presidents and representatives only guarantees that dysfunction, corruption and greed will prevail throughout our government. It also I believe that a fair and democratic electoral process, a simple and fair tax structure, quality health care, good education, good paying jobs, adequate affordable housing, an abundance of healthy affordable food, a solid, well maintained infrastructure, a secure social, civil and public service system, an ecologically sustainable outlook for the future and much more is obtainable for all of us...

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Drinking: Is it really worth it?

Scott Straley - October 3rd, 2007
In reference to the cover story titled “The Drinking Debate,” I doubt that I am a minority of one in believing it is utterly wasteful to devote that much time, ink, and paper to questioning the illegality of 18-20-year-olds drinking alcohol. This is a truly somnolent non-issue (at best). I did not lose one second of the sleep that was induced by Mr. Coates’s article over the fact that members of society’s most reckless, immature, irresponsible, hormone-inflamed age-group are, by law, encouraged to remain sober until they reach the ripe old age of 21. Do the people of this town wash down so many handfuls of pharmaceutical narcotics with martinis that this is what passes for a “social problem” around here?
As of today, people have to live a whopping 21 years before Big Brother allows them to use their bodies and brains for alcoholic chemistry/biology experiments! Doesn’t it just bring tears to your eyes? Aren’t you just sobbing uncontrollably? How can we, as a free people in a free country, stand idly by and allow such callous injustice to flourish in This Great Land of Ours? Let’s have a shot and a beer and go to war over this, and forcibly take this asylum back from the lunatics! Am I just oozing disingenuousness, or is this more like coarse sarcastic rancor?
You make the call.
I do not feel strongly enough to climb on a soapbox and scream about this non-issue until I blow a head-pipe out of some puritanical religious fervor; I simply don’t give the business end of a rat that the law prohibits 18-20-year-old “adults” from drinking alcohol. Like anyone with at least a thimble-full of common sense, I realize that kids who want to drink alcohol will go right ahead and drink it, by the gallon in many cases, until they fall down and smash their faces on a concrete sidewalk, regardless of their age and of what the state or anyone else says.
Is anyone’s discretionary thought process so immobilized by denial to dispute that quite commonly, any given kid’s Mommy and Daddy are likely to be insipid booze-bags? That the bar at home is stocked with enough hard alcohol to fuel up the Space Shuttle for a mission to Mars and back? Is it such a strain to imagine that people like this have kids who are drunk more often than not? Is it a shocking surprise when these kids end up meeting a tragic and ultimately preventable demise?
Okay, I admit it: I’m a freak. I don’t drink alcohol, not because I’m in the process of recovering from an alcohol addiction, but simply because I don’t see the point. Overall, it tastes like crap (yes, even nowadays, when it is flavored to taste like your favorite Halloween candy). More importantly, far from what your average self-obsessed, naval-gazing late teenager thinks, drinking alcohol doesn’t make anyone cool, or funny, or tough, or any other desirable character trait they wrongly attribute to being a result of pouring a gallon of booze down their neck.
In the best cases, drinking makes a person incredibly stupid; at its worst, it imbues one with the rare talent of being totally idiotic, violent, dangerous, or just flat-out dead (quite often, some innocent sober people end up becoming dead right along with the drunks, just for being in the wrong place at the right time.) Not to mention that pesky A-word: booze is brutally addictive, something that 19- year-olds often don’t accept until they’ve become 40-something, they no longer have a license to drive, they have become an abusive parent/spouse, they’ve been to jail more times than they can remember, they’ve been fired from meaningless jobs more times than they can remember, and much, much worse (manslaughter, hard prison time, use your imagination here).
At this point it seems relevant to offer a reminder that one of the trademark phrases of people in their late teens is “that can’t happen to ME, man.” Why do they all seem to say that, and why does “that” happen to so many of them? Could it be because despite being so wise and experienced, they actually DON’T know everything?
I could (falsely) hope to accomplish something, I guess, by tossing around some boring statistical “proof” about huge numbers of dead people, untold numbers of ruined lives, and some other highly unpleasant, yucky stuff we all know (and generally ignore) about alcoholism, but I’m not running for political office and therefore I don’t require any converts to a new religion I’m selling. I’m just an everyday Regular Joe who wonders: Since drinking alcohol is responsible for amassing a heap of bodies each year behind which we could easily hide Mt. Everest, is it possible that someday “we, the people” will finally sense the acute danger inherent in drinking alcohol and act accordingly? That is, with extreme caution? Without any thought to punitive legislation?
Naaaaahhh. After all, intelligent sober people are NEVER the life of the party. Unless perhaps the party is a combined AA/MENSA function.

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