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..

Home · Articles · News · Features · The dark side of Mike Stanley
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The dark side of Mike Stanley

Erin Cowell - January 25th, 2010
The Dark Side of Mike Stanley
By Erin Crowell
Stand-up comic Mike Stanley is a lot like the venue he’ll be performing at this weekend: dark and off-the-wall. The Detroit native and Last Comic Still Standing 2005 winner will be performing at InsideOut Gallery in Traverse City, Jan. 29 & 30.
“I love that place,” Stanley says of InsideOut. “I love the art, how the place is set up. I really dig that place.”
It’s a location that suits Stanley’s style of comedy.
“Somebody once did a review and called me dark and hilarious,” he says. “That’s probably the best way to sum it up.”
So, what exactly is dark comedy?
“I want to push you somewhere you don’t want to go. Then, I want to make you laugh about it,” he says. “People are just so serious about things, it’s ridiculous.”
It will be a return trip for the guy whose style of comedy has been called “high energy” and “fearless.” He’s proven to be an audience favorite as he was recently voted Best Comedian in Chicago – his now homebase on a busy touring schedule.
“I started in the Detroit area and it was always a pain in the ass to drive out of Michigan—it’s a peninsula—just to go to tour out of Chicago.”

Stanley says he grew up watching standup.
“I’ve always been a huge fan ever since I was a kid. I’d watch everything from Cosby to Carlin. As a kid, when you see someone like Gallagher you think it’s the funniest damn thing in the world.
“I did my first stand-up when I was in seventh grade. It was a talent show. I thought it was really bad, but I won third place. I didn’t know how to go about being a stand-up comic. I thought you had to be from Hollywood or something.”
As he got older, Stanley observed other comics at local open mic nights.
“I started watching people. They thought no matter what, if they have a microphone in their hand they thought people would laugh.”
He started out slow, but eventually Stanley got better, turning five minute stand-ups into 50. Bill Bushart, another comic at Joey’s Comedy Club in Livonia, asked Stanley if he’d be interested in touring with him.
“I went from the opening act to the guy headlining,” Stanley says.
Stanley has been touring relentlessly for the past five years, landing gigs all over the Midwest, including return bookings at the Chicago Improv.
“I’m pretty much booked solid through July.”

When he’s not touring, Stanley is co-host of the popular podcast Red Bar Radio, which in early 2009 earned number one on Podcast Alley, an online directory for thousands of podcasts, and is still currently holding in the top 10 list.
He also just signed a deal with Stand Up! Records and just finished shooting for his hour-long DVD, “Tough Luck, Chump!”, and has his documentary “Salty Language, Peppered Morals” (about the Boston Comedy Festival) available through Red Bar Radio.
So, what’s a guy with all these projects doing, coming to a small town like Traverse City?
“I really like the little beach towns,” he says. “Sometimes it doesn’t matter how big the crowd is, as long as the people are into the show.”
Having a good time is a two-way street for Stanley.
“(Onstage) is probably the most comfortable place I feel, other than being in the shower.”
See why Mike Stanley is one of the funniest guys onstage, when he performs January 29 & 30 at the InsideOut Gallery in Traverse City, located at 211 Garland Street in the Warehouse District. Both shows start at 8 p.m. Admission is $10. Visit insideoutgallery.com or check out Stanley’s podcast at

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