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..
Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages
Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.
A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.
Thanks For Thanksgiving Nice “Thank You” letter by Stephen Tuttle [in the November 24 edition]. Good idea.
Don’t Give A Dog or Cat! The holidays are “the most wonderful time of the year,” but they aren’t a wonderful time to add a new dog, cat, or other animal companion to the family. That’s why it’s important to resist the temptation to give a living, breathing animal as a “gift.”
Act For the Future “What worries you, masters you,” according to John Locke. Anyone paying attention these days has plenty to worry about; things like endless war, accelerating climate change, lack of meaningful living-wage jobs, and internal threats to such rights as voting and privacy.
Retail Fairness Now Last year, the Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act, bipartisan legislation that would provide retailers in Michigan with a fair chance to compete with online sellers. In July, the Senate again made efairness a priority by introducing the Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act.
Letter to Santa Dear Santa, I am sending my letter to you a bit early this year. The toy you sent me so very long ago is broken, and cannot be fixed. They used to make things better when I was still a kid. Too much plastic these days, it seems.
Solar Is The Answer There have been many excellent letters about the need for our region, state and nation to take action on climate change. Now there is a viable solution to this ever-growing problem: Solar energy is the future.
Real Minimum Wage In 1966, a first class stamp cost 5 cents and minimum wage was $1.25. Today, a first class stamp is 49 cents, so federal minimum wage should be $11.25.Doesn’t Seem Warmer I enjoy the “environmentalists” twisting themselves into pretzels trying to convince us that it is getting warmer. Sure it is...
Aim For More Renewable Energy: “Aim High!” Isn’t that a goal for all of us? When I look at states surrounding Michigan and even other countries, they have lofty but attainable goals for increasing their renewable energy. Michigan’s goal, set in 2008, to have 10 percent of our energy coming from renewable energy by the end of 2015, is rather pitiful compared to the states that want to attract new industries -- and 2015 is about here.
Market-Based Climate Solution: The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its “synthesis report” on Sunday, stating states that global climate disruption is happening faster than previously predicted. Therefore, we need to transition to non-carbon forms of energy as quickly as possible.
Snow Removal Through The Years: An 1886 editorial in the Grand Traverse Herald declared, “Something should be done with the snow plow jobs. On such a day as last Saturday the plows should have done a good job of clearing the soft snow from the walks. At best the walks have not been opened so that two persons could walk together with any degree of comfort.”
A Living Wage: I frequently hear politicians on both sides say that they are going to create jobs. The recent Proposal 1 which eliminated business personal property taxes was worded to include “create jobs” to trick people into voting yes.
Tax cuts and reduced regulations create profit, not jobs. Consumer demand creates jobs. If a business is operating at only half capacity, that owner will likely lay off employees not hire more. It is only when the business is operating at full capacity that new employees will be hired to keep up with demand. How do we increase consumer demand?
Jesus: God Man or Good Man?
Land Swap Respectful To Native American: My wife and children are proudly Native American, so our family cares deeply about tribal culture and heritage. We are pleased to know that my employer, St. Marys Cement, has completed an archaeological study in conjunction with the proposed land swap in and next to Fisherman’s Island State Park.
Peace Be Upon Him …a Question: Mr. Obama tells us that Islam is not at war with the United States, and we can “reset” to a new, kinder, gentler, more productive relationship with the Moslem world. We’re also told that religion is not an issue between the people of Islam and the sinful people of America. “Politics is the issue,” he tells us.
Support Our Children: Education is paramount to a vibrant and thriving community. Our schools are some of the best in the state offering worldclass education opportunities in pre-k through 12th grades including two high schools recognized as “top high schools in the nation”, Advanced Placement and early college courses, International Baccalaureate and Montessori programming, fully funded early childhood for those eligible, and, athletic and fine arts programming second to none.
Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.
U.S. No Global Police: Steven
Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the
leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with
protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged
with performing military
missions in other places in the world just because they have something
we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to
force them to live by the UN or our rules.
Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.
NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.
Vote, Everyone: Election
Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a
commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV,
but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open
elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting
your county parties and doing research.
Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.
Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.