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 · Naughty & Nice
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Naughty & Nice

Stephen Tuttle - December 20th, 2010
Naughty & Nice
In addition to good little boys and girls, there are all kinds of
people out there who have been nice this year.
There are teachers, fire fighters, nurses, doctors, law enforcement
officers and military personnel.
Not to mention school bus drivers, the men and women who restore our
power after a storm, road workers, secretaries, retail clerks and
restaurant servers.
Plus snowplow drivers, postal workers, delivery drivers, truckers,
pilots and flight attendants, cabbies and window washers.
We can’t ignore sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, husbands, wives,
grandmothers, grandfathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins
and in-laws.
Then there are factory workers, assembly line workers, ditch diggers,
roofers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, small business owners and
public employees who must implement the nonsense enacted by
Let’s not forget artists, singers, actors, house painters, roofers,
farmers... and volunteers.
There are more, of course. Despite our constant bitching and moaning,
to which I contribute a fair share, there are worthy people quietly
doing worthwhile things all around us every day.
Unfortunately, there are also those who have been naughty. We focus
our attention on them, the twits and ninnies in Washington and Lansing
who bray and trumpet the loudest, because their behavior can have a
direct impact on our lives. The worse their behavior or actions the
more intense our focus. (That we conveniently ignore those elected
officials who are honorable, decent people doing the best they can to
represent the interests of their constituents is a shame.)
Some of that naughty behavior has led to a difficult year and difficult
decade. Few are likely to mourn the passing of either. We’ve had
terror attacks, are still engaged in two wars, are in the midst of an
historic economic mess and are looking at annual deficits and national
debts that are beyond our ability to comprehend.
We don’t have to look far to find new incomprehensible naughtiness.
We’ve now learned the Federal Reserve, which functions as our national
bank, sets monetary policy and establishes interest rates, has loaned a
truly staggering $12.3 trillion to the usual domestic bank suspects and
foreign banks in a dozen different countries. That’s
$12,300,000,000,000 for those of you who enjoy outrageous numbers. The
loans are nearly interest free and, in some cases, the Fed accepted
junk bonds as collateral. Congress was not informed nor was anybody
else, save the seven unelected members of the Federal Reserve Board of
Governors. Congress did not intend for the Fed to be the World Bank.
The money they’ve spread around is, of course, our tax dollars, now
resting comfortably in places like Deutsche Bank in Germany and
Switzerland’s Credit Suisse.
Very naughty, indeed.
Having said all of that, there are signs of political niceness. It
appears both President Obama and Speaker-to-be Boehner have recognized
the need to behave like grown-ups and are trying to be nice. That
their first legislative partnership – an extension of the Bush tax cuts
for two years, a 13-month extension in unemployment benefits and a 2%
cut in payroll taxes for Social Security – will cost somewhere between
$700 billion and $1 trillion is a little troubling but at least they
stopped kicking each other in the shins.
Regrettably, Harry Reid, who has yet to receive the let’s-be-nice
message, continues his highly ineffectual leadership of Democrats in
the Senate, and Republican Mitch McConnell, who refuses to hear the
let’s-be-nice message, continues to be way more interested in
partisanship than leadership. Naughty, naughty. Never mind – we’ll
work around them no matter what they do.
The essential greatness of our country has rarely been generated from
the top down. It’s the other way around. Those of us at or near the
bottom, or maybe creeping toward the middle of the economic and
political food chain keep plugging away, working hard, paying our
taxes, keeping what’s left of the economy alive.
More to the point, we do it fairly well regardless of the obstacles put
in our way by politicians and others who aren’t very nice. And there
have been obstacles aplenty.
Some of us have given our children or spouse or parent to war. Some
have lost jobs or homes. Others savings or pensions.
Still, good men and women of every socioeconomic, racial, religious and
ethnic stripe keep pushing forward. We support each other, both
knowingly and unwittingly. We give a dollar here or there to a
charitable cause. We volunteer. We help a neighbor or a friend with a
meal or a needed odd job. We drive someone to a doctor’s appointment.
We caress a baby’s cheek and comfort a stranger.
One of the beauties of this season is most everybody is nice. Whether
we honor Christmas as a holy day marking the birth of Jesus and
Christianity or a secular celebration of gifting and family gatherings
or both, we look for the good in each other. We’ll even offer some
good cheer to those we know have been naughty.
In the end, there are way, way more of us who are essentially nice than
there are those who are essentially naughty. So we move over, around
and through the naughty folks in our way and often with a smile on our
faces. We always have.
Santa knows who’s been good or bad but so do we. And we don’t need a
list to know there is more good than bad.
Merry Christmas!

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