A Big Dam Problem
By Stephen Tuttle | May 30, 2020
We have a serious dam problem. There are about 90,000 dams in the United States. The number is sketchy because the U.S. government only operates and maintains 1,500 of them, and the rest are operated by the state or private entities. Most are at least 60 years old, and failures are not uncommon. Since 1980, there have been an average of 24 dam failures a year, with at least one ...
The Red State/Blue State Fiscal Mythology
By Amy Kerr Hardin | May 30, 2020
The last few years, and especially the past two months, is proof-positive that Republicans are the party of fiscal recklessness. There has been a persistent myth that they are the party of balanced budgets. Cutting the pork barrel is their self-generated myth. Republican voters, under the constant drumbeat of Fox News, have dug deep into this obvious falsehood. The GOP and their corporate handlers are counting on that continued ignorance. As it ...
A Memorial Day Revisited
By David Frederick | May 23, 2020
Memorial Day was established as a day of solemn remembrance to honor all those who have died serving in the American armed forces. In 1953, Memorial Day was celebrated on Saturday, May 30. That was also the day that I, as a 10-year-old child, began a process of learning some things about We the People not taught in schools. Things I observed that day, although not at the time fully understood, were ...
By Stephen Tuttle | May 23, 2020
Traverse City's City Commission and Downtown Development Authority (DDA) recently floated two ideas, and they're batting .500. The suggestion to close two blocks of Front Street to vehicle traffic is a good one. If the long-term objective is to keep vehicles out of downtown Traverse City, a legitimate objective, this would be an excellent time to test the idea. Especially since closing those two blocks of Front Street to vehicle traffic is absolutely ...
Who Are We Willing to Kill?
By Stephen Tuttle | May 16, 2020
“Who's willing to die for liberty?” That's what one of the protesters in Lansing barked at the crowd. It was the wrong question. The correct question is this: “Who are you willing to kill?” Some 45 states already have plans to open some parts of their economy this month, despite the advice of the medical experts. Almost none meet the minimum standards suggested by the White House that now urges them to ...
Lessons From the Pandemic
By Tom Gutowski | May 16, 2020
The federal response to the coronavirus has been less than stellar. The initial rollout of testing was botched, and our per capita rate of testing was for a long time very low, making it difficult to do contact tracing or targeted quarantining, or to get accurate numbers or reopen the economy safely. The Commerce Department urged American businesses to export N95 masks and other supplies to China even while shortages existed in ...
Stretching the Threads
By Stephen Tuttle | May 9, 2020
Our national togetherness apparently only went so far and lasted so long. Now the inevitable partisanship and ugly parochialism have invaded our best intentions. When states hit hardest by Covid-19 asked a thus-far very generous Congress for some financial help, it didn't seem like an illogical request. Their resources and budgets have been stretched the thinnest, requiring significant expenditures while revenues shrank. But no. President Trump said they were all “badly managed” states ...
By Donna Gundle-Krieg | May 9, 2020
We have all been stretched and forced to change our ways during the coronavirus quarantine, and over this time I noticed that more people are suddenly appreciating and practicing my own libertarian beliefs and values. Many aspects of the Libertarian Party’s platform have been tested during this crisis, especially our core beliefs of self-responsibility and limited government. In addition, financial conservatism, property rights, and the freedoms to move, assemble, and worship have ...
(Almost) Nothing is Immune
By Stephen Tuttle | May 2, 2020
Searching for topics not impacted by COVID-19 is almost impossible. It has consumed, or at least intruded into, virtually every corner of our lives. Politics, nationally and mostly internationally, is all pandemic, all the time. Both China and Russia have used the opportunity to try and make trade and defense inroads in Africa and South America but they're dealing, mostly dishonestly, with the bug, too. The oil production war between Russia and Saudi ...
The (Immediate) Future of Northern Real Estate
By Jack Lane | May 2, 2020
Welcome to a whole new real estate world. I’m sure you're wondering whether this is the 2008-2012 financial meltdown all over again. It’s not. Quite the opposite. When this lockdown has passed, and the economy restarts, there’s a fundamental change occurring that will have enormous financial benefits locally: Millions of workers will be able to live wherever they choose and work remotely. The technology has been around for at least 25 years, ...
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