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 · Music · Foreigner
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Rick Coates - August 16th, 2010
It feels like the first time for re-energized Foreigner
By Rick Coates
Foreigner guitarist, lyricist and co-founder Mick Jones has seen the good, the bad and the ugly of the music business. He brings a reincarnated Foreigner to Interlochen Center for the Arts on Thursday.
Jones is the only original member left in the band that released 39 singles with 20 reaching the into the Billboard Top 20. Since their first release in 1977, Foreigner has sold more than 50 million albums, packing such hits as, “Cold As Ice,” “Feels Like the First Time,” “Hot Blooded,” “Double Vision,” “Dirty White Boy,” “Waiting For A Girl Like You.”
Along with singer Lou Graham, Jones penned the hits. He is also a respected producer in the business, and when Sammy Hagar replaced David Lee Roth, Van Halen asked Jones to produce their 5150 album.
The group is touring support of their first studio album in 14 years, “Can’t Slow Down.” Mick Jones took time out to answer a few questions and give his opinion on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Foreigner lineup, why it took so long to go back into the studio, and the future of Foreigner.

Northern Express: Why did it take so long between studio releases?
Mick Jones: There were several reasons, certainly the personnel changes were part of it. I kept putting off recording. It was a little bit scary after awhile as well. You start to wonder if people will accept your music. But finally I felt we needed to take the plunge. This lineup had been together for a few years and I thought we were ready. What I like is that when people listen to ‘Can’t Slow Down,’ they recognize it as a Foreigner record.

NE: But this is basically a brand new lineup. How were you able to accomplish that signature Foreigner sound?
Jones: It is a testament to these guys in the band. They are very conscientious and respectful of the past. They have a tremendous amount of dedication to the catalogue of songs that made Foreigner.
For me this has been a blessing. I got caught up with the demons of this business and left for awhile and really felt I was done for good. But eventually I came back and these guys in this band have really inspired me and I have people tell me I am playing better now then I ever did in the past. I have that same feeling I did back when I started this band, so it feels like the first time again. So this has been a good thing for me personally, professionally and for the legacy of Foreigner.

NE: Speaking of the legacy of Foreigner, you are on that list of bands not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that many believe should be in. Your thoughts?
Jones: I think a lot of us are confused over the criteria to get in. Look, I have no problem with Madonna being in, but there are a lot of rock bands -- again, emphasis on rock -- that are not in.
My sense is that there is a small club of decision makers who want to seem cool with who they select to get in. I am not sure that those making the selection have a very good handle on the last 35 years of rock music. There seems to be a lot of bands that had a major impact on rock music not in.
I do not know if we will get in or not; it would be a nice honor and certainly Lou Graham, myself and others from the original band would go and perform.

NE: One example of your impact is that a new generation of music fans has gravitated to your music.
Jones: Exactly, it is great to see all these young people at our concerts. They have the music of their generation, but so many of them are still gravitating to classic rock bands. I attribute that to their parents. I think a lot of these kids grew up listening as babies and young kids to what their parents had on the radio. It is weird when I am on stage and look out into the audience and I start asking myself what year is it? Its like deja vu; you think it is 1980 all over again.

NE: You mentioned “demons” in the ’90s caused you to leave it all behind. What inspired you to reform Foreigner?
Jones: Well, it was not a good period for me. I was not in great shape and I decided to clean up my act. When I did get cleaned up I started thinking about the fact that I left a bad taste with Foreigner in my mouth. I realized that Foreigner was my life’s work and I didn’t want the legacy of the band to go out on a sour note, so I decided to rebuild the whole image of Foreigner. This has brought me so much happiness; it is the best decision I have ever made.

NE: You have made music all your life and Foreigner has been big about supporting music programs at schools.
Jones: Yes we try to help out where we can. For the Interlochen show we have partnered up with radio station WKLT to select a high school choir from the area to join us on stage to sing ‘I Want To Know What Love Is.’ They had the contest and Petoskey won, so in addition to joining us on stage we will give their music program $1,000. It is part of the VH-1 Save The Music program

NE: Well, you certainly are not going to wait 14 years to release another CD. What do see for the future of Foreigner?
Jones: We are tossing around a few ideas. One thing we have found is this group sounds great acoustically. We have done some unplugged stuff for TV, so we are considering releasing a greatest hits done acoustically. This group feels comfortable with each other, they have embraced the Foreigner spirit, so I feel good about us being able to offer new music soon.

Foreigner will perform Thursday at Kresge Auditorium on the campus of the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Kelly Hansen, the former lead singer of Hurricane, has replaced Lou Graham who now has a solo career. Hansen’s powerful vocals have won over Foreigner fans since joining the group in 2004. For additional information on Foreigner go to foreigneronline.com and to purchase tickets go to www.interlochen.org or call the box office 231-276-7800

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