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..

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‘Roids & baseball: Soap opers never ends

George Foster - January 18th, 2010
‘Roids & Baseball: Soap opera never ends
Why is it that every time a Major League baseball star admits using
steroids, the sports world seems to erupt? By now we should be more
stunned when discovering a successful player from the 1980s or ‘90s DIDN’T
use performance-enhancing drugs.
Recently, when a teary-eyed Mark McGwire publically admitted to making a
“mistake” by using steroids throughout his storied career, another
firestorm engulfed the media. Is he really contrite for his actions?
Should McGwire be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame? Has he been
punished enough?
It seems to me that these are still the wrong questions. The image of a
sobbing player, asking for forgiveness after being caught cheating, then
moving on with life as if nothing happened but breaking a few rules sends
the wrong message to other players and our kids.
We should be asking the sport of baseball how it can better educate young
athletes about the serious dangers of steroid use. Maybe some athletes
think they can live with known side effects such as acne, baldness, bad
breath, yellow teeth, nervousness, and height loss. It may even be worth
it for some men to look forward to a future existence with shrunken
testicles and breast development.
Yet, it could literally be impossible to live with the increased
propensity for heart attacks and liver damage brought on by steroids.
These drugs can kill you.
Beyond the obvious physical changes, increased aggression and violence
are the least understood side effects of these drugs. The ‘roid rage
phenomenon is blamed by many for the disproportionately large number of
body- builders accused of murder compared to other athletes.
’Roid rage may also help explain the reaction of McGwire’s former
teammate, Jose Canseco, the day after McGwire’s recent confession. Though
McGwire admitted to using steroids, he denied Canseco’s allegations about
him. Canseco wrote a book in 2005 about baseball and steroid use, claiming
that he introduced many baseball players to the drugs, including McGwire,
and injected him with drugs in bathroom stalls before games.
If there was ever an example of why steroids should be avoided at all
costs, Canseco’s juvenile actions should qualify him as the poster-boy.
After McGwire’s confession, Canseco exclaimed, “I can’t believe he called
me a liar.”
“I even polygraphed that I injected him, and I passed it completely. So I
want to challenge him on national TV to a polygraph examination. I want to
see him call me a liar under a polygraph examination.” Canseco was
scheduled to appear on “Larry King Live” that night, but said he had to
cancel due to the emotional stress that McGwire’s interview had caused
Between McGwire’s sobbing confession and Canseco’s apparent emotional
meltdown, we are left wondering if the former “Bash Brothers” (as they
were know in their heyday) of the mighty Oakland A’s are still on
steroids. They have been reduced to the Bawling Brothers – a couple of
weepy drama queens only concerned about proving the other to be the bigger
If Major League Baseball was really serious about waging war on steroids
in sports it would strictly enforce the rules now in place and bar
admitted steroid users such as Mark McGwire from the sport effective
immediately. No playing or coaching, no Hall-of-Fame eligibility, no
attending games, no autograph signings, no connection with the game in any
way - unless the drug-abusing players paid a penance.
Their punishment would be to convincingly lecture youth groups over a year
on the dangers of steroid use. That way it might sink in for all of us
that using performance-enhancing drugs is far worse than making a simple

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