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 fire under the...
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The fire under the Teapots

Stephen Tuttle - August 22nd, 2011
The Fire Under the Teapots

The Twin Towers of tea partydom, Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul, have
won the Iowa straw poll. If only it actually meant something.
To be fair, tea party supporters and their feckless leaders in Congress
are on a nice roll. Their presidential aspirants keep percolating
toward the top of various polls and they control the U.S. House by
their unwillingness to agree on anything even one degree outside of
their narrow demands. Even better, their official White Knight, Texas
Governor Rick Perry, has nearly completed his I-Am-Not-A-Mormon tour
and will now start campaigning in earnest.
It’s all pretty heady stuff. Folks who make up about a third of one
party have become the dominant actors in our political melodrama.
Let’s review.
The tea party has a pair of immutable laws: less government and lower
taxes. They support those laws by claiming they are the champions of
Average Joes and Janes, standing up for the downtrodden, disaffected,
disenfranchised and, in general, those on the outside looking in.
Their umbrella of protection should cover the poor, children, seniors,
unemployed folks, middle class folks, small business owners
The arch-enemies of tea partiers are “the government,” Wall Street and
the “lamestream media.”
One might reasonably ask how they intend to protect those for whom they
now claim to advocate.
Apparently, they intend to protect our children by stripping money away
from public education and ending most government programs that have
been shown to help kids.
They intend to help the unemployed by reducing the amount of
unemployment compensation they can receive and shortening the time
during which they can receive it. And by making sure there are no new
government jobs rearing their ugly heads or government contracts for
infrastructure repair and maintenance. After all, they say,
construction jobs are just temporary.
They plan to help seniors by eliminating Medicare as we know it,
requiring our parents and grandparents to find their own health
insurance and then reimbursing them with a government voucher that may
or may not cover the cost of the premiums.
They will help the middle class by taking away their rights to organize
and collectively bargain for decent wages and benefits.
They can then wrap up their undying support by claiming everyone else
who receives government help at any level for any reason is a deadbeat
who should pick himself or herself up their bootstraps and get off the
In other words, the tea party proposals will place the entire burden of
cutting deficits and debt on middle and lower income earners. The
people and corporations at the top of the income scale will get a free
What is especially ironic here is that much of their financial support
comes from the very wealthy hiding behind benign sounding groups like
the Koch brothers‘ Americans for Prosperity or Dick Armey’s
These super-rich individuals and super-powerful corporations want to
protect their low taxes and continue outsourcing jobs, maintaining
tax-sheltered offshore offices, paying lower and lower wages and
stripping away employee benefits. As a bonus, the no new taxes pledge
taken by tea party politicians means corporations and the very wealthy
can keep their extravagant tax loopholes.
In fact, the tea party acolytes have become little more than the
messenger boys and girls for a corporate take-over of the political
process that has little in common with most of the rest of us. That
they have done so behind a cloak of anonymity – or benign sounding
groups – is especially onerous.
The tea party is, unfortunately, not a spontaneous grassroots movement
formed and driven by people who are mad as hell and aren’t going to
take it anymore. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of tycoons and
corporate bullies who have found someone to do the heavy lifting for
That doesn’t mean presidential candidates receiving tea party support
are all illegitimate. They are not.
Michelle Bachmann has added energy and zeal and an ability to every now
and then say amusingly preposterous things. Ron Paul is one of the few
genuinely libertarian elected officials in the country. Rick Perry is
attractive and articulate even if what he says is almost always
platitudinous nonsense. Mitt Romney has both political and business
experience and has succeeded at both; he is still the clear favorite
among non-tea party Republicans.
There is plenty of real tea party firepower. They are, however,
diminished by their obedience to a set of ideals not shared by those
pulling their strings and paying for them.
The corporatocracy that gave financial and strategic birth to the tea
party and the Republican victories in 2010 has pulled off a nifty
political trick. The message they’ve helped create, and that has
generated public support, is nearly the opposite of their actual goals.
And they’ve done it all from almost complete obscurity.
The platforms of the current tea party supported presidential
candidates will help least those who seem to support it the most.
Those needing the least will benefit the most. The tea party
Republicans may well win the next battles but they are definitely going
to lose the war.
They are unwittingly, or not, being manipulated into consolidating the
wealth and power of a tiny cadre of financial and corporate elites.
There will be no rebirth of the middle class or protection of the most
vulnerable among us because it is not to the advantage of those now
controlling the process.
We could end up with a tea party president but that won’t be especially
good news for most tea party supporters. It will, however, be great
news for the big money interests now lighting the fires under the

successful than was Congress since it will be the same people engaged in
the same debate.
There is much work to be done and little time in which to do it.
So, of course, Congress has now adjourned for a five week vacation...
I’m sorry... Congress has recessed for five weeks of “district work
sessions.” Uh-huh. You really can’t make this stuff up.

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