Watching the Divide Widen
By Stephen Tuttle | Feb. 16, 2019
There was a time when it was somewhat of a special occasion. The majority of the country gathered in front of their televisions and watched the president deliver the State of the Union Address. If you liked the president, you thought the speech was great, and if you didn't, not so much. But there was a certain elegance to it all. The guest gallery included unifying figures nearly everyone could admire. Perhaps a ...
By Isiah Smith | Feb. 16, 2019
“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald Life told in anecdotes:You enter a dark cave, shadows dance upon the wall, twisted dark figures pass around brown paper bags containing ethanol. Slowly, reluctantly, you join them.Alcohol is the only dangerous drug that, once refused, raises questions, concerns, and disbelief. “You’re not drinking — why?” “Is there something wrong with you?” “Are you on a health kick?” “To ...
Running, Exploring, Lurking
By Stephen Tuttle | Feb. 9, 2019
Democrats are circling, posturing, and positioning themselves for 2020. At least 13 of them — there might be more by the time you read this — are running, exploring, or lurking about for a presidential run. Let's start with the frontrunner in the current polls, Joe Biden. Biden has neither formally announced nor formed an exploratory committee, but he is lurking. Frequently dismissed as a policy lightweight, he was out front on issues ...
Bullies, Bots, and Trolls, Oh My!
By Amy Kerr Hardin | Feb. 9, 2019
In this turbulent political climate, internet harassment is clearly on the rise, largely due to a president who can’t make it through his first BK Whopper of the day without trolling anyone who disagrees with his half-baked public policy schemes. On Trump’s lead, online bullying of women, minorities, and LGBTQ individuals is now considered acceptable among his cult. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the posterchild quarry for angry white males with internet access and ...
To Pray or Not to Pray
By Rev. Dr. William C. Myers and Scott Blair | Feb. 9, 2019
Note to readers: The Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners last month approved a motion to open its regular meetings with an invocation. (You can find the resolution in its entirety by searching "invocation” at www.grandtraverse.org.) Here, Scott and Bill respond to the issue. Scott’s StatementThere should not be prayer at county board of commissioners meetings. This doesn’t mean religion is banned from the room. We elect whole people; if religion is part of what makes ...
By Mark Pontoni | Feb. 2, 2019
Back in 2008, I moved to northern Michigan to take a teaching job. Well, actually, I moved to northern Michigan so I could live with my new wife, who had been teaching in Petoskey for several years. The teaching job was a bonus. Now, just over 10 years later, I’m moving back downstate for a different teaching job … and the not-so-new wife is coming with me. As such, after several years, ...
State of Emergency
By Stephen Tuttle | Feb. 2, 2019
Presidents like to find ways to work around Congress, typically by issuing executive orders and hoping the courts will uphold them. President Trump, unable to build his wall via that route, is threatening to declare a national emergency and have the military do it. Unfortunately, there is no specific definition of national emergency, though it is generally expected to be something extraordinary that threatens the health and safety of the country and ...
Prayers, Appointments, and More TIF
By Stephen Tuttle | Jan. 26, 2019
It was an interesting start for the new Grand Traverse County Commission. Things will certainly get even better now that they'll begin meetings with an invocation. Some would call it a prayer. Our Commission says, or at least the four commissioners voting in favor did, the invocation will create an atmosphere of greater solemnity and unity. Well, of course it will, you know, like it does for Congress and legislatures around the country, ...
Social Media is Dumb
But one platform deserves some love.
By Gary Howe | Jan. 26, 2019
FOMO is not what bothers this writer about Facebook. Rather, it’s the lack of breathing room. Facebook is like inviting your friends, family, and acquaintances into your living room and then discovering that they never leave. You get notified every morning that they’re standing outside your bathroom door, saying, “Hey, whatcha doin’? Wanna see what I did in there today?” Twitter is more like a friendly trip downtown. Like urban walks, sometimes Twitter ...
By Stephen Tuttle | Jan. 19, 2019
Modern Democrats have always been a fractious bunch more likely to coalesce against something than for anything. But we now have a small new group in the U.S. House of Representatives with big plans. Disciples of Bernie Sanders and advocates of what some call democratic socialism, these Dems like free tuition at public universities and colleges and cradle-to-grave healthcare sometimes called universal Medicare. It's easy enough to nod our heads in agreement ...
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