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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- November 15th, 2010
Candidates ignored wars
I always read with great anticipation Stephen Tuttle’s piece, as I generally find some very like-minded observations and opinions that are always helpful to hear from someone else!
I was, however, noticing a glaring omission in last weeks article and it strikes me to the core as Stephen Tuttle has been so often the lone voice of reminder of the ‘elephant in the room’...
Last week was the 10th Veterans Day since the U.S. engaged in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not one candidate, that I heard of, had the gumption to even bring up during this last election campaign. We are, as a nation, DISGRACEFULLY silent on this subject! I don’t care if you’re red, blue or green with envy.
Where are the ‘Walter Cronkites’ to bring this subject in graphic details to us nightly, over our dinner tables? Where is THE elected official speaking out for the continued funding of this effort while we struggle with so many issues on the home front? Where are the true moral voices to guide us through this mess? Where are the LOBBYISTS for the returning vets struggling to deal with their experiences or the families who’ve lost a loved one?
But perhaps most importantly, why are WE silent? I surely don’t claim to have the answers but I am so missing the rational dialog to help us out of this mess!

Suz McLaughlin • Frankfort

Tipping point
The custom of tipping has its roots in England more than 200 years ago. Samuel Johnson is given credit for establishing the tradition that has evolved into the present-day tip. In the 18th century London coffee houses, Johnson and his friends would hand their server a slip of paper with coins attached. On the paper was written, “To Insure Promptness.” The acronym of this phrase is apparently the derivative of the word “tip.”
As someone who has worked over three decades in the ultimate hospitality business, casino gaming, and have over the past 15 years written a syndicated column about it, when I walk into an establishment, I recognize an employee gets paid minimum wage, or close to it. Additional income comes through the gratuities of patrons, like myself. I, like I’m sure everyone else who tosses gratuities into the “Feeling Tipsy?” jar assumes it is going to those fresh, pleasant faces we encounter, and not ownership reaching into the cookie jar at the expense of teenage employees.

Mark Pilarski • TC

Mysterious leaf mounds
Paranormal events are reported from time to time and might include phenomena such as UFO sightings, crop circles, and Tea Parties. I’d like to report another: Leaf mounds.
Archaeologists have determined that ancient indigenous peoples of the Americas constructed mounds for ceremonies, burials, residential uses or perhaps just to give 21st century archaeologists something puzzling to discuss on Wikipedia.
After noticing the proliferation of leaf mounds in our area, I’d like to invite archaeologists or even residents of Roswell, New Mexico to visit Birchwood Avenue at the base of Old Mission Peninsula to investigate.
I became interested in leaf mounds several years ago after playing chicken with a speeding, oncoming SUV and a pair of joggers with dogs on leash while navigating a leaf mound maze on Birchwood Avenue. Until that point, it hadn’t dawned on me that those leaves didn’t just fall in an enormous pile that occupies most of a lane of traffic. No, it appears that sentient beings determined that it was safe to create one-lane traffic on a public two-lane road.
After my near accident, I called central dispatch to see if the city might like to re-mark the road as one-way and declare a direction. The dispatcher said, “I’ll send someone out to take a look.” Weeks passed and the mounds grew, leaving me curious about police action. But then I realized that the police probably did as promised. They took a look and said, “Wow, that’s interesting... wonder how big they’ll get?”
There are many mysteries and marvels in this world. I’m proud that we have one of our own here in Traverse City. Well, actually we have two: Leaf mounds and municipal sprinkler systems that operate in the rain to irrigate concrete.

Dave Murphy • TC

Investigate torture
In President George W. Bush’s memoir, Decision Points, the former president claims he gave permission to torture by use of waterboarding to the CIA.
Torture is against the law. Torture does not make us safer; instead its use inspires extremists. Also, victims of torture frequently provide false information. Torture does not make us safer; it makes us a target.
President Bush has admitted to authorizing the use of waterboarding, a technique that violates our nation’s morals and our laws. There is consequently a profound question before the American people: Should we as a nation hold accountable those who violated U.S. law and our most fundamental moral standards?
I join with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture to call for a comprehensive investigation of our nation’s use of torture. Only then can we understand how to prevent it from happening in the future.

Barbara McIntyre • TC

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