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 · I hate you
. . . .

I hate you

Stephen Tuttle - June 6th, 2011
I Hate You
Hatred is a funny thing.
It sweeps over people like a none too gentle breeze and, for most,
passes just as quickly. For others, unfortunately, it sticks like
annoying gum they can never quite scrape off the bottom of their shoe.
Some declarations of hate are easy to understand because they’re
familiar to us. The “I hate you” rants of a teenager who believes his
or her curfew is too strict. The emotional outbursts during a
contentious divorce. The deeply wounded lamentations of a crime victim
toward a criminal.
We even understand the vitriolic nonsense that passes for political
discourse these days. Some Democrats claimed to hate George W. Bush.
Some Republicans now claim to hate Barack Obama. But it’s a transitory
kind of hate – most Democrats regained their emotional equilibrium once
Bush left office as most Republicans will do in six years when Obama
leaves office.
Unfortunately, there is another level of hate that does not pass by
quickly but lingers with a fetid stench that is passed from one
generation to the next.
The recent arrest of former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic
on various murder, genocide and crimes against humanity charges brings
this to mind.
Mladic is accused of the massacre of 8.300 Bosnian civilians in what
was supposed to be a “safe zone” during the Bosnia/Croatia war in the
90s. He had previously led the four-year siege of Sarajevo in the
former Yugoslavia, the longest such military action in modern history.
The result was another 10,000 deaths.
It all sounds like just another nasty little war in another forgotten
part of the world except that it had 700 year old roots. This is
hatred in the form of a contagious infection festering in perpetuity.
The genesis of these things is often a genuine wrong perpetrated and
then perpetuated by one ethnicity or race or religion against another.
The injustice passes but anger is kept alive by political rhetoric,
imperialistic land grabbers, ambitious military leaders and parents
regaling their children with tales of iniquity, real and imagined.
Ratko Mladic operated in a part of the world where that hatred has been
seething unabated for nearly 35 generations.
The irrational excuses for this kind of nonsense are almost limitless.
In Rwanda,
a long tribal feud finally exploded in genocide in the 90s. Somewhere
between 800,000 and 850,000 Rwandans were murdered in about 100 days.
The immediate cause of the bloodshed was the murder of the Rwandan
president. Underneath it all was the simmering hatred between two
tribes, the Hutus and the Tutsis. They have been squabbling for control
of the region for nearly two centuries. The minority Tutsis ruled
badly for decades and were finally toppled from power by the Hutus.
The real fuse of this massacre was a lot more basic: the two tribes
don’t look alike. The ruling Tutsis and their European benefactors
decided it was their appearance – taller, thinner and with a longer,
narrower nose – that made them superior and conjured some sociological
nonsense to try and prove their point. The hatred that resulted never
The Hutus, seeking vengeance for decades of oppression and bigotry
based on their appearance, went completely mad. Slightly more than
three months after it started, at least 800,000 Tutsis were dead.
In Rwanda it was tribal power and physical appearance. In Northern
Ireland it was political power and religion that spawned hatred.
This one has a 17th century birthday. Protestants against Catholics,
those loyal to the British monarchy’s control against those craving
The modern version of this ongoing generational hatred, euphemistically
referred to as “the Troubles”, took 3,000 civilian lives between 1966
and 1998, as the Catholic paramilitary group, the Provisional Irish
Republican Army and the Protestant paramilitary group, the Ulster
Volunteer Force, traded terrorist bombings and other various forms of
random mayhem and murder. Peace broke out in 1998 but the hatred is
still very real as are the occasional acts of violence that still
Then there are the Jewish people who have been the target of hatred
from a revolving door of oppressors. Their “modern” era of horrors
starts in the year 70 C.E. when the Romans massacred, captured and
enslaved more than a million Jews in the process of destroying
Seems the Romans and their polytheistic paganism didn’t much care for a
monotheistic Judaism. That difference of opinion was, to the Romans,
worth 1,000,000 Jewish lives. Those they didn’t kill they exiled from
a land they called Palestine. (Interesting that 2000 years ago
Palestine was the place where the Jewish people lived.)
Of course, Jews have been persecuted for their religion for at least 20
centuries and for their ethnicity for the last 100 years or so.
They’ve been blamed for any number of global economic disasters, the
Black Plague, the flu epidemic of 1918. You name it and there’s a good
chance they’ve been blamed and persecuted for it. From the Romans to
the Nazis to Hamas, this is the great grandfather of hatred, an
outlandish inheritance of bigotry passed along from parents to children
for nearly 100 generations.
We have our own issues with irrational hatred. Way too many thought it
was perfectly acceptable to enslave people based on their race. And we
tried to systematically eradicate the indigenous peoples already
populating this continent when our European ancestors showed up.
Slavery and genocide, two paragons of hatred, excused as states’ rights
and manifest destiny.
The sociologists and researchers tell us humans have a natural
inclination to be suspicious, even fearful, of people who don’t look
like us, speak like us, or believe the same things we believe. That
suspicion can breed hatred but is generally relieved with familiarity
and understanding.
The kind of hatred that lasts centuries is most certainly not natural.
We teach it to our children and they to theirs. It has many names –
racism, antisemitism, nationalism, tribalism, nativism, xenophobia and
more – but the common thread, regardless of the name, is still hatred.
We are responsible for it. We can end it. It’s time we teach our
children there is no room for it.

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