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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Worst sports cheats of all time

George Foster - August 23rd, 2010
Worst sports cheats of all time
As the accusations pile up against cyclist Lance Armstrong for using
performance-enhancing drugs, sports fans are left wondering if there
are any modern athletes who have achieved success without banned
Record-breaking baseball legends such as Barry Bonds and Alex
Rodriquez have admitted to using steroids in the past. There have even
been accusations of drug use against Tiger Woods and others in the
game of golf, of all things.
Use of performance-enhancing drugs is cheating, pure and simple. I
believe there are degrees of cheating, though. Use of drugs by
athletes is often to gain an edge in competition. Worse are those
athletes whose lack of regard for fair play is so unconscionable that
their acts transcend the use of drugs by far.
Here are the worst of the worst cheats in history.
Rosie Ruiz – 1980 Boston Marathon. Ruiz shocked the running world as a
complete unknown, appearing to win the women’s race in record time.
After she was crowned, complete with sweat dripping down her shirt, it
was discovered no other racer recalled seeing her during most of the
race. When officials realized Ruiz slipped into the 26.2-mile contest
near the finish, she was disqualified shortly afterward. Yet, as a
result of the race, Rosie Ruiz won a lifetime of infamy.
Spanish basketball team – 2000 Paralympics. After Spain won the gold
medal for the “intellectual disabilities” category, an undercover
reporter discovered that the Spanish team hadn’t been tested for
disabilities. It turned out 10 of the 12 members of the Spanish
basketball team were perfectly normal. In addition, the Spanish swim,
track and field, and table tennis teams also had players with no
mental impairments. Cheating in the Special Olympics? It may be
impossible to stoop lower.
Tonya Harding – 1994 Olympics. Having your husband injure the knee of
your main rival for a spot on the team just might be against the
rules. Enough said.
Hippolyte Acouturier - 1904 Tour de France. If you think the current
Tour de France is riddled with cheating, the early years would make
your hair stand on end. In the second year of the Tour, Hippolyte
Acouturier decided it would help his chances if he tied a cord to the
bumper of a car and held the other end in his teeth. Having his bike
towed in that fashion much of the time, Acouturier won four of the six
stages that year. He still finished second to another racer who
apparently cheated better (worst?). In the end, the top four finishers
of the Tour were all disqualified in a race littered with broken glass
and nails intentionally spread on the roads. Other sinister tactics
included itching powder poured in some racers’ shorts and water
bottles spiked with who-knows-what. All the while, gunfire had to be
used to hold back angry mobs of spectators.
Press sisters – track and field in the 1960s. Tamara and Irina Press
of Russia (USSR) dominated women’s track and field for almost 10
years. Between them they won five Olympic medals and set 26 world
records. The only problem was the “sisters” looked like men, talked
like men, and acted like men. When the Olympic committee instituted
gender testing for female athletes in 1966, the Press sisters both
abruptly retired. Derided as imposters by most of the sporting world,
Tamara and Irina have lived out their lives as heroes in Russia.

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