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 · Coming political changes...
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Coming political changes won‘t change much

Stephen Tuttle - September 27th, 2010
Coming Political Changes Won’t Change Much
With the elections barely five weeks away, it’s clearly time for
prognosticating, at least in general terms. There’s no good reason to
wait. Better to be wrong now and hope you’ll have forgotten it all by
election night.
Democrats are going to do poorly nationally, a reality that will be
mirrored here in Michigan. Republicans are very likely to regain
majorities in both the U.S. House and Senate. Republican
gubernatorial candidates will do extremely well, replacing Democrats
in many states.
There are a combination of factors conspiring to create the perfect
election storm for the Democrats.
The party in power traditionally loses seats in the first mid-term
elections in a new presidency. Plus, several Democratic first-termers
were swept into office on the Obama wave and faced dautning reelection
prospects under the best of circumstances. Those two facts alone
would have cost the Dems seats in the House regardless of any other
But, of course, there are other factors. Despite the various bailouts
and stimulus efforts, the economy is still a mess. We are still
engaged in two wars in the Middle East. Unemployment continues to eat
away at the innate optimism of many Americans. The cartoonish annual
deficits would be downright hilarious if not for the fact they
actually have to be paid back.
The public is stunned by the confluence of so many bad things
happening at the same time. There is palpable fear and anger and
plenty of politicians anxious to exploit both.
The Republicans have done a remarkably good job of denigrating
everything the Obama Administration and the Democrats have done and
the Democrats, including President Obama, have done a pathetically
weak job of defending themselves and their policies. The result has
been a one-sided debate that has helped convince some Americans we’re
in the midst of a catastrophically failed persidency and must make
radical changes to fix it. (And, by the way, he was born in Kenya and
is a Muslim and a Marxist.)
That drumbeat of negativity helped give birth to the tea party
movement. This national phenomenon, ably bankrolled by the Koch
brothers, Rupert Murdoch, Club for Growth and Dick Armey’s minions,
has successfully put its considerable weight behind an interesting
line-up of candidates who could not have succeeded at any other time
or in any other circumstance. But succeed they have.
Senate candidates Joe Miller in Alaska, Sharron Angle in Nevada and
Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and gubernatorial candidate Nikki
Haley in South Carolina are just the poster children for a list of tea
party candidates at several levels of government. The have already
performed a sort of miniature ideological cleansing within the
Republic Party, sweeping aside long-term incumbents or party favorites
who had demonstrated an inadequate level of fealty to the new
definitions of conservative, both economic and social. Democrat
protestations to the contrary nothwithstanding, many of these
candidates are going to win and bring some hardcore ideology along
with them to Washington and state capitals.
The tea party movement isn’t just a groundswell of regular folks
coalescing around political principles at the grassroots level. The
powers behind the movement are extremely well organized and the
movement, such as it is, is extremely well-financed. In Alaska and
Deleware, for example, hundreds of housands of dollars came pouring
into aid the Miller and O’Donnell campaigns not in the form of a few
bucks here and there from mom and pop but in the form of huge
third-party independent efforts.
Once elected, they’ll have almost no chance to govern, however.
Despite all the publicity attendant to their campaigns and victories,
they will comprise a small minority within the Republican majority.
They will introduce a flood of legislation nearly all of which will be
politically and practically impossible. They will discover, as the
left has the last two years, the fire-breathing rhetoric that stirs up
crowds and generates votes does not necessarily translate into
legislation or policy. The new Republican majority in Washington will
be neither veto-proof nor filibuster-proof. Absolutism, pure though
it may be, does not work in Congress nor is it supposed to.
As soon as the mainstream legislators discover the rookies don’t
really have either a blueprint for governing or an idea of how to
actually cut taxes and reduce the size of the government, they will be
ignored and legislative business as usual will commence. Given there
are 40,000 registered lobbyists in D.C., there is every likelihood the
tea party purists will be co-opted by the special interest groups
exactly like any other newcomers. There may be a new hierarchy among
the special interests but the influence peddling will continue
It is quite likely we’ll see a return to gridlock. Democrats will
become the party of “no” and perform their obstructionist procedural
tricks and threats exactly as the Republicans have done for the last
two years. Since “compromise” has become a dirty word on both sides
of the aisle, there is little chance common ground will be located any
time before the 2012 presidential elections.
What we’re seeing here is not a change-election but a
punishment-election. Republicans have been the victims of this
blood-letting thus far but Democrats are now in the voters sights and
will likely pay a stiff penalty come November. Voters will feel
better about themselves for a few months until they realize this new
crop of winners is less capable than was the old crop they plowed
Oh, and my one firm prediction? Barack Obama will be reelected in 2012.

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