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 · Spinning until...
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Spinning until we‘re woozy

Stephen Tuttle - June 13th, 2011
Spinning Until We’re Woozy
State Senator Howard Walker votes for catastrophic cuts to public
education and then writes an op-ed piece claiming to be a big friend of
education and explaining how he actually did us a favor.
John Edwards gets indicted for felony-level campaign law violations and
then tells us he didn’t know anything about the money being funneled to
his mistress to keep her quiet and, even if he did, he broke no laws.
Sarah Palin tells us Paul Revere made his famous ride, in her version with
bells ringing and guns blazing, to warn the British. Then she makes it
worse by claiming she’s right and everybody else is wrong.
Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York gets caught sending pictures of
himself in his underpants to at least one online lover and denies, denies,
All four of the above are variations of spin control; putting the best
possible face on something that might not be all that pretty. We used to
call this lying but we’re more sophisticated now.
Senator Walker provided us with an excellent example of the You’re Not
Smart Enough To Understand So I’ll Explain It To You spin.
His vote to cut public education funding was preposterous. Especially
since the very school districts he represents will be the hardest hit as
our education system begins to suffer death by a thousand budget cuts.
But, according to Senator Walker, he and the Michigan Legislature actually
did the schools a big favor by not hacking away even more. Proof positive
of their commitment to our schools. We’re darned lucky he’s there to
protect us.
John Edwards, a former U.S. Senator, the Democrats’ nominee for Vice
President on the John Kerry ticket and a candidate for president, gave us
the classic I Might Have the Morals of Pond Scum But I’m Not a Criminal
Edwards was famously caught with his pants down, quite literally, while
cheating on his dying wife and impregnating his mistress. Seems a couple
of his supporters coughed up nearly $1 million in an effort to keep the
other woman quiet. The entire episode is about as sleazy and smarmy as
anything can be.
Edwards has now been indicted for campaign finance violations since
federal law demands that any money given to a candidate for any purpose
should be reported as a campaign contribution. Oddly, the Edwards
campaign sort of forgot to mention the hush money payments.
The Edwards spin is that, yes, he might have done wrong but he didn’t do
anything illegal. The public opinion spin seems to be: please, Mr.
Edwards, be quiet and go away and don’t bother us anymore.
Then there is Sarah Palin. She’s trying the always popular Don’t Confuse
Me With The Facts spin after absolutely butchering a little piece of
American history.
The former Alaska governor and her family have just completed a tour of
American historical sites on the East Coast. That they did their tour in
a campaign bus with fawning media in tow is really beside the point. Her
flawed understanding of history is not.
After walking Boston’s Freedom Trail, Palin expounded on Paul Revere’s
famous ride. Here is the direct quote as reported by the Associated
Press: “He who warned the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away
our arms by ringing those bells, and makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse
through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to
be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.”
There is the tiniest little grain of reality tucked away in her ramblings.
At one point on his trip from Lexington to Concord, Revere was, in fact,
stopped and questioned by the British. And he told them he had warned
everyone from Boston to Lexington and that hundreds of Minutemen would be
But that’s a pretty far cry from claiming the purpose of his trip was to
warn the British, and there were definitely no bells rung or shots fired.
The idea was to secretly warn the independence-seeking colonists of the
British approach, not the other way around.
Democrat Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York is our latest spin player.
He’s trying the All Right, Now That You’ve Caught Me I’m Sorry spin.
Weiner, who is married, apparently had a very active online “dating” life
that included sending lewd pictures of himself to at least one of his
internet sweeties.
Weiner first claimed his e-mail was hacked, then said the picture in
question might be him but he had no idea how it got sent to anybody, and
then, finally, he had to fess up and ask for forgiveness but he won’t
resign. Way too little way too late.
Trying to spin your way out of trouble instead of just telling the truth
seems to have been fully embraced by Democrats and Republicans alike.
Conservatives, liberals and everyone in between now spin like a top. The
good news is we’re starting to get pretty proficient at differentiating
between the fertilizer and the flowers.
We know, for example, that Howard Walker can say what he wants but he’s
been a friend to public education in the same way a chainsaw is a friend
to a forest.
We know Paul Revere did not ring any bells or fire any shots or ride for
the purpose of warning the British regardless of what Sarah Palin claims.
And we know John Edwards and Anthony Weiner are immoral weasels unworthy
of any additional attention.
The bad news is there is so much spinning we’re all starting to get a
little woozy. Eventually we’ll just assume everything is spin, nothing is
the truth and stop paying attention altogether. When that happens the
spinners will have won and the rest of us, perpetually dizzy, will have

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