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 · Rich Rod: still...
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Rich Rod: still standing...barely

George Foster - March 1st, 2010
Rich Rod: still standing... barely
When the NCAA charged that the
University of Michigan football program has violated rules since 2008,
Rich Rodriquez (Rich Rod) took one more body blow in his fight to keep
his job as U of M’s head coach.
No Wolverines football program had ever been charged with violations
in its long history. The charges can be boiled down to the following:
CHEATING. Rich Rod is in big trouble.
Even the university agrees that U of M football probably exceeded the
number of coaches and practice time allowed in the last two years, a
violation of NCAA rules. The infractions don’t seem as serious as
those committed by other colleges in the past, such as doctoring
transcripts of athletes or even paying recruits to enroll. But
cheating is still cheating, usually the result of a desperate coaching
staff looking for an edge. As we listen to some die-hard U of M
football fans excuse Rich Rod for being unaware of the violations at
the time, how does that square with current and former Michigan
football players understanding the same infractions and reporting
Since Rodriquez took the job in January 2008, his formerly rising
reputation as a young coach destined for greatness has been sullied to
the point that many former supporters at U of M would like him
terminated - now. There are even web sites totally devoted to the
firing of Rich Rod.
Why, when he has been so successful in the past and has only been on
the job two years? Even NCAA sanctions could be weathered by most U of
M fans if Rodriquez’s teams had not lost more games in each of his
seasons than Michigan teams have in over 40 years. Rich Rod’s squads
won only three and fives games in 2008 and 2009, respectively – not
coming close to qualifying for a bowl game in either season. U of M
had played in bowls for 33 consecutive years (by my calculation) until
the beginning of the Rodriquez era.
Rich Rod might be a nice guy and a decent coach, but you have to
wonder if he is in over his head. When he took the job in Ann Arbor,
he seemed to toss U of M’s rich football tradition aside abruptly –
requiring that everything be done the Rich Rod way.
In Rodriquez’s defense, it is not his fault that the coaching
fraternity in Ann Arbor has mostly been incestuous until now. Before
Rich Rod, Michigan football coaches were usually promoted from within
– there have only been a handful of head coaches since 1900. It is not
surprising that jarring changes would come from hiring a coach from
West Virginia with a new-fangled passing attack that requires the sky
to rain footballs as opposed to the power-running game of Wolverine
teams from the last two centuries.
Yet, the drum-beat to fire Rodriquez continues to pulsate, U of M
football players transfer to other colleges by the droves and even
previous coach and die-hard Wolverine Lloyd Carr seems hard-pressed to
make any public comments in support of Rich Rod.
Of course, U of M fans will instantly forget any taint of scandal if
the team begins to consistently win games. And it could happen –
Rodriquez has two good high school recruiting years in a row to draw
upon and a more experienced team to put on the football field this
If not, and Rich Rod doesn’t at least lead the Wolverines to a bowl
game this year, he will be down for the count and run out of Ann Arbor
by November.

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