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 · Other Opinions · An open letter to my Tea...
. . . .

An open letter to my Tea Party friends

Stephen Tuttle - May 3rd, 2010
An open letter to my Tea Party friends
Dear Friends:
First, congratulations! You’ve gotten involved. This is a very good
thing. Much of your movement is in the best traditions of robust
protest. This is at least one way actual change begins. You should be
pleased with your initial efforts.
However, there is danger in your movement and maybe a few words of
constructive advice might be helpful. It’s unlikely you’ll listen but
one can always be hopeful.
Stop saying things that simply aren’t true. President Obama is not a
socialist and he certainly is not a Marxist. Since a hallmark of
Marxism is absolute control of the media and a willingness to crush
any opposition, the mere fact you protest freely and openly disproves
the notion of Marxism. Additionally, the media is still free to print
what they want and Rush can still spew his bile and Glenn can still
sob as he laments his lost country. You continue to worship where and
how you choose without fear of reprisal, and, as I’m sure you know,
Marx believed religion was the opiate of the masses and his followers
eliminated churches. Decry a government you believe has lost its way
all you want but don’t make things up. One other thing – Obama wasn’t
born in Kenya.
Stop talking about tax increases. There haven’t been any at the
federal level for you since Obama took office. Quite the contrary.
Those making less than $250,000 a year have seen their taxes reduced
more than $170 billion; more people than ever will receive tax refunds
this year and the size of those refunds will be, on average, more than
$2,000 more than last year. If you’re making more than $250,000 a
year, just be quiet while the rest of us suffer.
Stop talking about eliminating Social
Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Elected officials are not going to
undo them and neither are you. Those receiving Social Security and
covered by Medicare are in the demographic most likely to vote and
they aren’t going to vote for folks who take away both their income
and their healthcare. Do you really want to eliminate the primary
income source for tens of millions of retirees? And take away their
primary healthcare provider at the same time? Retirees aren’t going
to find jobs to replace Social Security or be able to afford their own
health insurance to replace Medicare so give it a rest.
Be careful about who you allow to speak for you. There is already a
certain guilt by association happening. When you let the most extreme
members of Congress, like Michelle Bachman and Tom Tancredo, spew
their venom at your rallies a lot of people believe they are your
spokespeople and your support begins to peel away. And some of your
self-appointed leaders are... how can I put this... nuts.
Even though you are open to any and all who want to support you, it
would be a good idea to start openly disavowing the fringe elements
now attaching themselves to your cause. Already the birthers,
truthers, denialists, anti-immigration haters, white supremacists and
other extremists can be seen with their signs at your rallies.
Placards with Obama sporting a Hitler mustache and some of the
outrageous sloganeering that now shows up hurts your cause. People
who might be sympathetic to the gist of your concerns turn away when
they have to be associated with that kind of vile nonsense. We need to
know you don’t support those folks and don’t agree with them.
Be careful when you talk about revolution. By definition that would
require an entirely new system of government. Our system isn’t broken
to the extent it needs to be entirely replaced. It’s just being
misused by many within it and those who have figured out how to
exploit it. I’m sure what you mean is that you want to fix it, not
replace it.
Don’t delude yourself into thinking a Republican takeover of Congress
is going to help much. It won’t. Your hero Ronald Reagan expanded the
size of government and ran up huge deficits. Bush the Younger was even
worse. Neither party has an off-switch when it comes to spending our
money. Run your own candidates and good luck with that.
Stop talking about deregulating business or doing away with the EPA.
We’ve already tried those ideas and they don’t work. Not many want an
even more out-of-control Wall Street or filthy air and water.
The good news is you’re definitely on to something with your concerns
about government spending. A staggering 39% of federal spending now
comes from borrowed money, an unsustainable level. But you need some
focus. Attack the ridiculous practice of Congressional earmarks – if
something needs funding then let it be introduced and debated as part
of real legislation. Defense, now 20% of the budget, is still rife
with overruns and fraud and abuse. Same with Medicare. You can’t and
shouldn’t eliminate it but there is rampant fraud that needs to be
rooted out. Unfunded mandates that burden the states are another
target ripe for your anger. Revamping the bizarrely complicated
federal tax codes would also help. There’s more but I assume you get
the idea.
Your activism is praiseworthy and some of your goals laudable. But
you’re in danger of becoming just another fringe group of angry,
unfocused extremists who will quickly fade into the sunset. So keep
protesting, but watch yourselves.
Thanks for reading.
Your friend,
Stephen Tuttle is a political consultant who formerly wrote for
the Arizona Republic.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5