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, November 1, 2010

The paycheck problem

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle The paycheck problem
As the campaigns finally, and mercifully, come to an end (and let’s
take a moment here to bow our heads in reverential thanksgiving for
whoever that blessed soul was who invented the “Mute” button on our
remote controls), there is a fairly startling issue politicians of all
stripes chose to ignore.
Monday, November 1, 2010

The greatest baseball player of all time

Other Opinions George Foster As the 2010 World Series winds down, you and I are once again left to
debate that centuries-old dilemma: who really is the greatest baseball
player to ever trod the earth?
Babe Ruth was famous for his power-hitting (and power-living), Ty Cobb
had the best career batting average, and pitcher Cy Young won over 500
games in his long and storied career. We youngsters might put our vote
in for Alex Rodriquez, Barry Bonds, or Roger Clemens.
Monday, October 25, 2010

TCL&P: Vote No on Prop 1

Other Opinions Mike Coco TCL&P: Vote No on Prop 1
By Mike Coco
On November 2, Traverse City voters will be asked to make a radical
change to the City Charter, our constitution, regarding Traverse City
Light & Power (“TCL&P”).
TCL&P has received the message that many people in our community are
passionate about having a thoughtful energy plan that reflects our
community’s values. This includes addressing energy use and
generation in a more environmentally conscious and sustainable way.
As the current board chairman, I assure you that the TCL&P board
embraces and welcomes this community discussion. We have not performed
well recently in our public engagement; we are working to do better.
Monday, October 25, 2010

Please don‘t vote

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Please Don‘t Vote
Please don’t vote. No, seriously. Why bother?
Let’s face it – all the candidates for every office are either
worthless or no better than the other guy or gal. We know this
because we’ve been told that for months now. One party is pretty much
just like the other and neither side seems to have more than an ounce
or two of common sense. Many of you are now counting on some tea party
candidate, or sympathizer, to really stir things up, restore the
Constitution, cut spending reduce taxes, blah, blah, blah. Or you
want some liberal to maintain or expand social services, tax the rich,
end the war, blah, blah, blah.
Monday, October 18, 2010

My opponent is a bum

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle My Opponent is a Bum
All right. We get it.
All the candidates currently advertising on television are bums. We
know this because their opponents have told us over and over and over
again ad nauseam.
Monday, October 18, 2010

TC: A beacon of light for medical marijuana patients

Other Opinions Bob Heflin TC: a beacon of light for medical marijuana patients
By Bob Heflin
The Northern Express recently ran a story about a “climate of fear”
among area medical marijuana patients. After speaking to local
authorities, the Traverse City Compassion Club learned that medical
marijuana is not a high police priority at this time in Grand Traverse
County, although recent arrests do include a patient growing over
their limits, and someone growing without patient certification.
Monday, October 11, 2010

Indefensible Spending

Other Opinions By Stephen Tuttle Do you really want less government spending? Then let’s take a close
look at the defense department.
Department of Defense requests for the 2011 fiscal year are $721
billion. A tidy sum. That doesn’t even include non-military
intelligence operations, the VA, veteran’s pensions, Homeland Security
and a host of other defense-related expenditures. When those are
added the defense budget swells to about $1.2 trillion.
There might be some waste in there.
Monday, October 4, 2010

Reforming the educational reformers

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Reforming the education reformers
Education reform is suddenly all the rage. It seems our public schools
are failing. This is apparently some kind of revelation for the
reporters and politicians, though our schools have been on a downward
slide for about three decades.
Monday, September 27, 2010

Coming political changes won‘t change much

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Coming Political Changes Won’t Change Much
With the elections barely five weeks away, it’s clearly time for
prognosticating, at least in general terms. There’s no good reason to
wait. Better to be wrong now and hope you’ll have forgotten it all by
election night.
Monday, September 20, 2010

The tax hike that isn‘t

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle The tax hike that isn’t
It seems we’re going to be whacked with a staggering $3.8 trillion tax
hike. At least that’s what the leaders of the Republican party keep
telling us. And what possible reason could they have for wanting to
deceive us less than seven weeks before the national mid-term
Monday, September 13, 2010

Blaming the government for everything

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Blaming the government for everything
Whose fault is this, anyway?
If we listen to some folks, like those who recently gathered in
Washington, D.C., to celebrate Glenn Beck’s evangelical coming out
party, it’s the government that has caused this entire economic mess.
They created it and we need to cut them down to size in order to fix
what they have wrought. Less government, lower taxes, then everything
will be all right, again. (Never mind that at the federal level more
than 95% of us are already paying lower taxes.)
Monday, September 13, 2010

Say goodbye to the Bobbie Layne curse

Other Opinions George Foster Say goodbye to the Bobby Layne curse
If you have been a die-hard Detroit
Lions football fan over the last 50 years (unbelievably, there are a
few of us), don’t bother reading this column.
As for the rest of the football fans out there, I do understand your
skepticism over any mention that the Lions team will be good in our
lifetime – but you are wrong. Beware: if you read further you risk
joining those of us who see bluer skies ahead for Detroit Lions
football – Honolulu blue.
Monday, August 30, 2010

New Constitution a bad idea

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle New Constitution a Bad Idea
Michigan’s November ballot will include a proposition asking us whether or not we wish to convene a Constitutional Convention in order to rewrite the state’s constitution. To suggest this is a bad idea is roughly akin to suggesting nuclear weapons might cause a little damage.
Our state constitution, one of the youngest in the country, was written in 1963. One article requires us to evaluate the document every 16 years and vote as to whether or not we want to rewrite it. In 1978, 78% of us said “no”. In 1994, 72% again rejected the idea. So, here it is again.
How does this process work? The devil really is in the details.
Monday, August 23, 2010

Protecting the 14th Amendment

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Protecting the 14th Amendment
The first sentence of the 14th Amendment to the United States
Constitution 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 State wherein they reside.” Crisp, clean and
easy to understand. It is now under attack.
Monday, August 23, 2010

Worst sports cheats of all time

Other Opinions George Foster Worst sports cheats of all time
As the accusations pile up against cyclist Lance Armstrong for using
performance-enhancing drugs, sports fans are left wondering if there
are any modern athletes who have achieved success without banned