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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Other Opinions

Monday, April 18, 2011

Avoiding the Trump card

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Avoiding the Trump Card
Donald Trump says he wants to be president. He hasn’t made up his mind
just yet but he’s pretty sure, should he decide to run, his victory is a
foregone conclusion.
Say what you want about Mr. Trump, and I’m about to, he’s not the least
bit short on self-confidence.
Many of us don’t believe he’ll run at all. With a new television program
in the works, Trump’s current blizzard of activity could turn out to be
little more than a clever publicity stunt.
Monday, April 11, 2011

Wrong side of the coin 4/11/11

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Wrong Side of the Coin
American presidents have a very steep learning curve when it comes to
sending our young men and women into harm’s way thousands of miles from
home. It appears they simply cannot resist the urge to prove how tough
they are.
So, now we have Libya to add to the growing list of places we just
absolutely, positively had to go and bomb.
Monday, April 4, 2011

Risky business 4/4/11

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Risky Business
There are three reasons Americans are skittish about nuclear power – Three
Mile Island, Chernobyl, and now, Fukushima Daiichi.
For many people, no additional evidence is required.
We got our first taste of this 32 years ago when the Three Mile Island
plant in Pennsylvania had a partial meltdown. That one was caused by a
minor mechanical glitch followed quickly by a series of human errors.
Monday, April 4, 2011

Seniors need to pitch in too 4/4/11

Other Opinions Michael Estes Seniors need to pitch in too
By Michael Estes
A few Lansing demonstrators hustled together by AARP and unhappy union
members to create problems at the capital don’t constitute the majority
thinking of Michigan voters and especially not seniors.
Instead of wasting a sunny spring Michigan afternoon, most seniors were
busy gainfully employed, assisting those in need or enjoying the company
of their friends and family in their retirements.
Monday, March 28, 2011

On the road to Snyderville 3/28/11

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle On the Road to Snyderville
Imagine you moved to Northern Michigan several years ago. You and your
family settled into a nice little community. Let’s call it the Village of
Niceville. Niceville came complete with a quaint Main Street full of
interesting and quirky little shops, lots of open space and parks for kids
and, of course, a beautiful lake.
Monday, March 28, 2011

Stop looting public education 3/28/11

Other Opinions Mary McGee - Cullen Stop looting public education
By Mary McGee-Cullen
I can’t get the chants out of my head!
Exiting the bus in the afternoon sunshine, Saturday, March 12, in Madison
Wisconsin, I was overwhelmed by thousands chanting in unison, “THANK YOU!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU!” The Wisconsin 14 were surrounded by a crowd,
having themselves just arrived in the Capitol for the first time in three
Monday, March 21, 2011

Driving under the bus 3/21/11

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Diving Under the Bus
Are we kidding?
There is a growing group of misinformed folks out there who seem to be
convinced public employee unions are the cause of both the recession and
the budget deficits. If only we could do away with those horrible unions
then everything will be all right.
Monday, March 14, 2011

The President‘s eyesight

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle 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.
Monday, March 7, 2011

Baby citizens and overweight kids

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Baby Citizens & Overweight Kids
It’s time to once again visit the issue of illegal immigration. Sigh.
The latest foolishness on this front is attempts by 14 states to undo
parts of the 14th Amendment. Get it? Fourteen states, 14th Amendment? Very
clever. Efforts are also underway in Congress to amend the amendment.
Their concern is directed at the first line of Section 1 of the 14th
Amendment which reads: “All persons born or naturalized in the United
States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the
United States and of the states wherein they reside.”
Monday, February 28, 2011

A war against the middle

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle A War Against the Middle
There was a time in recent memory when expanding the middle class was considered such a good thing it was the underlying theme of almost all things political. Candidates and elected officials of all stripes promised, or at least discussed, improvements in public education, assistance for small business owners, protecting retirement programs, new technologies and job growth. In fact, we heard some of those very discussions during the 2010 campaigns.
The campaigns are now over and reality has come calling. Our newly elected leaders and their supporters have almost no interest in protecting or expanding the middle class. Quite the contrary. We are now witnessing a full-blown assault on the middle class.
Monday, February 21, 2011

Conservative confusion

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Conservative Confusion
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) just wrapped up in Washington, D.C., the city conservatives love to hate. A fine time was had by some.
These gatherings started way back in 1973, founded by the American Conservative Union, the oldest conservative membership organization in the country, and Young Americans for Freedom, a group of mostly college students. A stodgy old mainline group and another of fire breathing students made for strange political bedfellows but they shared a philosophical bent and a desire to strengthen and increase their numbers.
CPAC operated mostly in the dark for years. It wasn’t that they weren’t trying. They just couldn’t gain much traction with the media or the public. Ronald Reagan’s presidency gave them political legitimacy and power, and the advent of the internet enabled them them to increase both their reach and influence via a growing and more vocal conservative movement.
Their annual conference is now one of the signal events for serious conservatives. It’s well-publicized, well-attended and extraordinarily well-reported, especially since some of the leading lights of conservative talk radio have been featured speakers in the past.
Monday, February 14, 2011

JFK, Ronald Reagan and Hope

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle JFK, Ronald Reagan and Hope
The two modern ex-presidents with the most mystique both marked milestones
January was the 50th anniversary of President John Kennedy’s inauguration. And February would have been Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday. Ironically, there were marked similarities between the dashing young liberal from Massachusetts and the dashing old conservative from California.
There is little debate that Kennedy was a different kind of president than what the country had been used to prior to 1960. Young, attractive, vibrant and with an even younger, beautiful wife he made everyone feel a little more optimistic about the future.
We liked him and wanted him to succeed.
Monday, February 7, 2011

Making History... for Better or Worse

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Making History... for Better or Worse

Egypt is on the brink. President Hosni Mubarak has already declared he
won’t seek reelection. By the time you read this the country may have
fallen into complete chaos or the military and police may have
ruthlessly cracked down on the demonstrators or some sort of
middle-ground sanity might have started to prevail.
Monday, January 31, 2011

Biggest surprises in Super Bowl History

Other Opinions George Foster Biggest Surprises in Super Bowl History 1/31/11
For me, the appeal of the Super Bowl is watching the breakout
performer who unexpectedly shines on the biggest sports stage in the
world during the first week of February. Here are the most startling
performances over the years:

Monday, January 31, 2011

Only One

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Only One 1/31/11

You might have noticed the early preening, posturing and positioning
for the 2012 Republican presidential primary races. The field of
likely, probable, possible and potential candidates has already grown
into quite a throng.
There’s Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former New York City Mayor
Rudolf Giuliani, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, former
Vice Presidential candidate and Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin,
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, former Massachusetts
Governor Mitt Romney, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, former Senator
from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum, former Virginia Senator George Allen,
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and former Arkansas Governor Mike