Fairness, Opportunity, and Compassion
By Tom Gutowski | Feb. 22, 2020
Thirty-eight million Americans live in poverty. Those of us not among that number should stop lecturing these people about their values and start re-examining our own. The majority of poor who are able to work do so, but even with public assistance don’t make enough money to live what most of us would consider tolerable and reasonably secure lives. The various anti-poverty programs do lots of good, but contrary to popular mythology, ...
The Circus is Coming
By Stephen Tuttle | Feb. 22, 2020
We're two caucuses and a primary deep into the Democratic primary circus. This might be a good time to review the frontrunners. Let's start on the left. No, farther left. Keep going, and you'll eventually arrive at Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sanders describes himself as a “Democratic Socialist,” an oxymoron of the highest order. He ran in 2016 and has not stopped since, cobbling together a coalition of young idealists and lower-income ...
Sanctuary from Nothing
By Stephen Tuttle | Feb. 15, 2020
Kalkaska County is now a Second Amendment sanctuary county. Gun owners there will now be safe from an intrusive government and so-called red flag laws, universal background checks, and prohibitions against semi-automatic long guns and high-capacity magazines. As a bonus, their declaration says their county prosecutor has the discretion to simply ignore any such unconstitutional laws. Except none of that exists. Michigan has no red flag law, there are no universal background checks, ...
Pigs Fly in Lansing
By Amy Kerr Hardin | Feb. 15, 2020
Bipartisan cooperation in Lansing. Yes, you read that correctly. Two Republican leaders and two Democratic officials put their heads together to form a joint task force with the goal of fostering better outcomes for those in the criminal justice system and for the communities in which they live. A diverse group, including conservative think tank the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, recently found themselves in rare agreement on some critical reforms for local ...
Zoning — and its Tie to the Affordable Housing Shortage
By Donna Gundle-Krieg | Feb. 8, 2020
For many reasons, lack of affordable housing has long been a big issue in Traverse City. The problem has now spread to the surrounding areas, such as my town of Mancelona. As a real estate broker who works with housing issues daily, I do not see this housing shortage improving soon. Lack of affordable housing obviously impacts families and their quality of life. In addition, many businesses are having a hard time ...
Death & Disease
By Stephen Tuttle | Feb. 8, 2020
John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Ara Zobayan. Do any of those names ring a bell? Those are the seven people not named Kobe or Gianna Bryant who died in the same helicopter crash. Like always, we've decided to beatify a famous person because they died unexpectedly and too early. Most of us, including those now joining the grief bandwagon, know nothing about Kobe Bryant other ...
A Little Sunlight
By Stephen Tuttle | Feb. 1, 2020
Most consider the phrase “Congressional ethics” a bit of an oxymoron. Their strong law-and-order instincts weaken considerably when it comes to policing themselves. Back in 2012, Congress passed legislation euphemistically called the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act. It prohibited members of Congress or their employees from using information derived from their positions, but not yet available to the public, for financial gain. In other words, no insider trading. It also ...
Who’s Schooling Who?
By Cathye Williams | Feb. 1, 2020
Full disclosure. I’m a Greta Thunberg fan. The calm determination and clear-eyed vision of the 16-year-old climate activist gets me through moments of frustration and despair. I’m grateful for Greta and all of the other youth marching into the new decade tirelessly insisting that world leaders stop talking and start taking action on climate change. It’s no surprise that Greta’s views often clash with the Trump administration. She is frequently the target ...
The Iowa Caucuses
By Stephen Tuttle | Jan. 25, 2020
On the evening of Monday, Feb. 3, after a full day's work and despite what might be horrible weather, Iowa Democrats will trudge to schoolhouses, fire stations, and other public buildings for their caucuses. It isn't a night for the timid. They won't show their identification, or pick up a ballot, or retreat to a little booth to privately and secretly make their choice among the dozen Democratic candidates still in the race. For ...
Dealing with Iran
By Jack Segal | Jan. 25, 2020
What is U.S. policy toward Iran? Since the Jan. 3 killing of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), we’ve seen a war of words between President Trump and Ayatollah Khamenei, missile strikes by both sides, and the murder of 176 innocent passengers on a Ukrainian airliner. In the 40 years since the overthrow of the Shah and the takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran, we had been ...
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