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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Saturday, March 19, 2016

Us Vs. Them

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle

Who’s to blame? They are. And they aren’t us. That’s the distilled message we’re getting from presidential campaigns. Create a problem, identify villains, blame them for everything. Unfortunately, it is a political infection that has spread to debates on local issues, too. Our intrepid presidential candidates have certainly chosen different targets...

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Imaginary Trump Voter

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Not since 1800 when a newspaper created by supporters of Thomas Jefferson accused John Adams of being an hermaphrodite has male genitalia been a campaign issue. But two weeks ago during the GOP presidential debate in Detroit, Donald Trump thought it was an appropriate topic.
Saturday, March 5, 2016

No Revolutionaries

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle They are just the latest in a long line of candidates exhorting us to get involved in the Next Big Thing, a political revolution that will change everything. Isn’t this exciting? If only any of them were offering ideas that were actually revolutionary.
Saturday, February 27, 2016

Biting the Apple

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle The story is already well told that a husband and wife team of murderers attacked people in San Bernardino, California, then died in a subsequent gun battle with police. They did so, they claimed, in solidarity with the murderous thugs we now refer to as ISIS or ISIL.
Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Scalia Lesson

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Instead, we’re witnessing why Congress has a 13 percent approval rating. The Republicancontrolled Senate, led by Obstructionist In Chief and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has declared they won’t allow any nominee to even get so much as a hearing. They don’t care who it is.
Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Sanders Fantasy

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle The Sanders campaign platform emphasizes four issues; break up and re-regulate big banks and Wall Street, rebuild the country’s infrastructure, create free public college for all and dramatically expand Medicare into a cradle-to-grave single-payer healthcare system.
Saturday, February 6, 2016

No Correct Answer

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle workers, and disciplinarians but without damaging anyone’s delicate self-esteem. All the while they are captive to ever-changing curricula mandates and new, improved standardized tests every couple of years. When they’re finished with all that they might have a little time to do the actual teaching they thought they were signing up to do.
Saturday, January 30, 2016

Bad Civics

Features Stephen Tuttle They conduct research from time to time. In August 2015 they attempted to find out what college graduates know about basic civics. They surveyed 1,000 grads. It took them until January to release the results, and no wonder. The results weren’t altogether encouraging.
Saturday, January 23, 2016

No Falling Skies

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle If there is a problem, it’s that no president has unraveled the nightmare that is the defense procurement system wherein every project takes years longer and billions more to complete than we’re told.
Saturday, January 16, 2016

Legislative Creatures

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Thanks to the legislature and Governor Snyder, local government entities will no longer be able to communicate with the voters in any way within 60 days of an election impacting them. No explanation of the ballot issue, no advocacy, not even a copy of the actual ballot language or simple information about the location and hours of polling places.
Saturday, January 9, 2016

A League Of His Own

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle The majority group believes his poll numbers are overstated, a result of researchers using a target universe including all Republican voters instead of those most likely to vote. On the other side are those now claiming Trump’s support is understated because many of his supporters are embarrassed to admit it.
Saturday, January 2, 2016

Questions 2016

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle While some are resolving to do — or not do — all manner of things they won’t end up doing — or stop doing — the New Year seems a more likely time for questions. As always, there are plenty of them..
Saturday, December 19, 2015

Safest Place for Christmas

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle We seem to have almost made it to Christmas without those darned liberals trying to kill it. At least they are accused of attempting to do so every year around this time. Since no one is trying to kill it this year, we’ve been mercifully spared any books by anyone claiming to save it.
Saturday, December 12, 2015

But You Didn't Know

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle For example, I’ll bet you didn’t know the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has conducted no research on gun violence and its injurious consequences since 1996, despite a consensus that such violence represents a genuine public health threat.
Saturday, December 5, 2015

Ignoring Reality

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Except we’re actually experiencing a net annual reduction in the number of illegal immigrants according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). More are leaving voluntarily or being deported than are arriving. More like a backwash than a flood.