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 · The President‘s...
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The President‘s eyesight

Stephen Tuttle - March 14th, 2011
The President’s Eyesight
Barack Obama will be reelected in 2012. Probably.
The president’s approval ratings continue to hover at or above 50% and the
gaggle of Republicans now posturing for a chance to oppose him does not
appear to include even one substantial opponent.
Of course, no current polling gives us the slightest hint as to how anyone
might vote come November, 2012. Some Republican, or small group of
Republicans, will eventually emerge from the pack with the ability to
launch a serious campaign. It might even be someone we’ve not yet
considered. Two years before the 2008 elections not many had heard of the
first-term Senator from Illinois with the funny name.
There are plenty of reasons for some to suspect a one-term presidency for
We’re still at war on two fronts with no end in sight. We’ve no clue as
to the outcome of the current unrest in north Africa. The budget deficits
are close to paralyzing and cannot be sustained. The healthcare reform
bill is still unpopular with many. Unemployment continues at unacceptable
levels. The bailouts of the auto companies, banks and Wall Street
investment houses are viewed with both distrust and disgust. The stimulus
spending has had little noticeable impact and the states have received
their last share of it. Gasoline prices have exploded and might derail
whatever economic recovery exists.
It’s a depressing mess. Sometimes it feels like the world has spun out of
The president has set a withdrawal date for Afghanistan. But the argument
can be made that revolutionary unrest in the region provides the first
legitimate strategic reason for being there at all. The temptation to
stay so our presence can “stabilize” the volatility and outcomes will be
overwhelming. This will soon change from being Bush’s war to being
Obama’s war.
We’re not sure if the current unrest in north Africa and the Middle East
is a good or bad thing. In Libya, the departure of He Whose Name Cannot
Be Spelled would be good news but we’ve no idea who might replace him.
Our track record in that part of the world is so abysmal Obama might be
doing the right thing by staying out of it.
The deficits have become almost surreal. Borrowing 40 cents of every
dollar we spend will eventually crush the economy. Though there are some
economists who believe the spending was justified the public intuitively
understands this is nuts. And we haven’t even begun to seriously discuss
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid which account for more than 40% of
the federal budget.
Healthcare reform is slowly wending its way through the courts. More than
a dozen lawsuits were initially filed and of the three that weren’t
dismissed outright, two Federal District Court judges upheld the law and
one tossed it out in its entirety. Republicans in Congress continue to
try to undo it or defund it and public opinion is split about 55-45
against it. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court will make the decision.
The bailouts likely saved millions of jobs as well as the American auto
industry which is once again profitable and doing some limited hiring.
Allowing the greed of a handful of traders to destroy Wall Street,
attractive as that option must have been, would have led to a calamitous
cascade of additional job losses. Still, hardly anyone seems pleased.
President Obama, like every president, has been buffeted by old problems
he inherited and new crises he could not have anticipated. The trick is
to maintain some overriding direction while managing the day-to-day
It’s fair to wonder aloud if, in the midst of the various storms, Obama
has lost the vision thing.
Voter uncertainty can be deadly for an elected official and it’s no longer
clear we know exactly where the president wants to take us. Are there
goals? How do we reach them?
If we believe there is an objective worth reaching we’ll put up with
almost anything on our way there. But we have to have a pretty good idea
of where we’re going.
That’s part of the reason the Recession that Never Ends never ends. There
is plenty of money out there in corporate America; more than $1 trillion
in reserve by some accounts. Unfortunately, our monetary policy has been
mostly about putting out various financial wildfires. Is there going to be
tax reform or not? Is Congress going to work together or not? Is our
petroleum-based economy going to depend on the vagaries of unfolding
events in the Middle East or not? President Obama has been little help in
offering reassurance or specific leadership.
Having said all of that, Obama still enjoys popular support and decent job
approval ratings. Many people, if not most, still believe things will turn
around. We want him to succeed. He is a dynamic campaigner and the best
fundraiser in the history of American presidential campaigns.
Even better for Obama, no Republican has yet emerged with any overarching
theme beyond “less government, lower taxes.” That’s a narrow policy
position, not a vision for the direction of the country. It will not help
GOP presidential candidates that their fractured electorate will be more
demanding than ever. Candidates will have to partake of the now
traditional dance – careen wildly to the right during the primary season
to appeal to those most likely to vote in Republican primary elections and
then ricochet wildly back to the middle to appeal to the more
middle-of-the-road independent voters who actually decide presidential
Despite our problems, President Obama still has an advantage. It will
become a significant advantage when he remembers we’ll put up with the
potholes along the way if he’ll just remind us where we’re going.
It’s enough to make you sick.

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