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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Stephen Tuttle

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

More War

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle A group of murderers claiming affiliation with ISIS or ISIL or ISI, or whatever it is we’re calling them now, massacred 130 people in various locations in Paris — and since ISIL is in Syria, we’ll go to war in Syria, despite the fact that none of the attackers in Paris were Syrian; they were all European nationals.
Saturday, November 21, 2015


Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Here in Traverse City we should be thankful for the Dennos Museum, the State Theatre, the National Writer’s Series, the Traverse City Film Festival, the National Cherry Festival, the Old Towne Playhouse, the City Opera House, the Comedy Festival,...
Saturday, November 14, 2015

Blame the Media

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle There was a fairly long modern period during which the media pretty much stayed out of the private lives of our presidents and presidential candidates. That Franklin Roosevelt couldn’t walk was rarely mentioned. Harry Truman’s colorful language was not quoted.
Saturday, November 7, 2015


Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle We started producing veterans and trying to find a way to care for them, before we were even a country. In 1636, Plymouth Colony agreed to provide assistance to those wounded during their skirmishes with the Pequot Indians. It was the first known benefit for veterans in the New World.
Saturday, October 31, 2015

“... One Supreme Court...”

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Any time members of Congress start discussing the constitutionality of something, as they have endlessly with President Obama’s executive orders and as they did again during the ninth investigation into the events that unfolded in Benghazi, the notion of “original intent” crops up.
Saturday, October 24, 2015

Lanes and Docks and Lawsuits

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Perhaps they’re right, but they might have at least pretended to appreciate public input and the study. Dismissing both out of hand was unusually bad form. And we could have used a bit more information.
Saturday, October 17, 2015

Interesting Times

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Soon-to-be former Speaker of the House John Boehner has stepped down from what has become one of the worst jobs in American politics. An old-fashioned dealmaker in the better sense of that phrase, Boehner found himself marooned between an uncooperative White House and an intransigent insurgency in his own party.
Saturday, October 10, 2015

Piling Up Teddy Bears

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle In fact, according to the Mass Shooting Tracker — and how hideous such a thing exists — there are more mass shootings — incidents in which four or more people are killed or wounded — annually than there are days on the calendar; already more than 300 this year.
Friday, October 2, 2015

Plenty to Talk About

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Municipal elections are typically more civil affairs, at least in part because the candidates actually live among and interact with the citizens they serve. There is reason to believe that will be the case again this year with reasonable candidates for each available office.
Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fear Not

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Dr. Ben Carson, who really should know better, says he doesn't think a Muslim should be president because their religion isn't compatible with our constitution. Uh huh. If such a thing existed, Dr. Carson would surely be nominated for the Nobel Prize for irony.
Saturday, September 19, 2015

Bibles and Billionaires

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle Kim Davis, America’s most famous county clerk, was out of jail and back at work last week, once again sounding like a weiner commercial talking about answering to a higher authority. And abdicating her legal responsibility to issue marriage licenses..
Friday, September 11, 2015

Michael A. Cathcart

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle

Monday, September 21 is the 30th annual International Day of Peace. World leaders will pay lip service and nothing more.

In Traverse City, the festivities will take place on the more convenient Saturday before, starting at the Clinch Park beach at 8am. There will be a march, there will be signs, there will be speeches. Hope for elusive peace will be the theme (and if previous years experience is a guide, there will also be people protesting those asking for peace. You would have to ask them why).

Friday, September 4, 2015

The New Orleans Folly

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle We’ve congratulated them on their recovery and bemoaned the fact that so many are still displaced; New Orleans’ population is about 40 percent smaller than it was immediately before Katrina, and tens of thousands of homes and businesses remain unoccupied and uninhabitable.
Friday, August 28, 2015

Buses and Buildings and Babies

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle

Next week the yellow buses will once again be among us.

More than 70 percent of northern Michigan school children will be riding those buses. Their safety will be in the hands of the courageous men and women who drive them (yes, courageous. You try driving up to 70 children twice a day, five days a week and then tell me that doesn’t require courage) and the motorists who interact with them.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

No Debate

Other Opinions Stephen Tuttle It’s less than a month until the next Republican presidential debate extravaganza but you still have time to make plans. And the organizers of these things still have time to create something meaningful instead of the ten-ring circus we saw last time..