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 · The 2010 top men of rock
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The 2010 top men of rock

Kristi Kates - August 23rd, 2010
The 2010 Top 10 Men of Rock
By Kristi Kates
Some of the men making the biggest steps in the rock world this year were U.S. radio favorites, while others were conquering the market overseas. Some were making giant steps well under the radar (but just you wait...), while others were maintaining their already-established status among the world’s biggest bands. Still others were striking out into unknown territory in order to achieve new accomplishments - while the rest were keeping it simple and maximizing what they already do best.
And it’s the perfect balance of all of the above that helps us select who will be this year’s Top Ten Men of Rock.

After a 12-year break, Chris Cornell has reconvened with his Soundgarden bandmates to bring the band back into action, an event that many fans thought would never happen. While Soundgarden were on hiatus, Cornell, ever the dedicated performer, songwriter, and multi-tasker, achieved plenty of accomplishments of his own; not only did he complete two of his own solo albums (Euphoria Morning and Scream) as well as extensive work with his Audioslave side band project, but he also revamped an old ‘70s bar in Paris, and is now the proud (and rockin’) owner of Black Calavados, his black-velvet/stainless-steel themed restaurant. And Soundgarden’s return performance at Chicago’s Lollapalooza fest this year was just like old times, with Cornell’s voice as powerful as ever.

The serious-faced lead singer of Spoon is a man of many bands and projects, including solo work (as “Drake Tungsten”) - but it’s for Spoon that he writes most of his best songs. Yet another standout performer at this year’s Lollapalooza, Daniel’s band put forth a solid, compelling set, with the singer himself decked out in a white T-shirt and white pants against the summer Lolla heat. As a record producer, Daniel is becoming more and more in demand; he’s produced and/or mixed albums and/or songs for the likes of Bright Eyes, Interpol, and most recently the White Rabbits’ album It’s Frightening. He’s dabbling in computer games, too, and has done work for the computer game company Origin Systems. The diversity of his career, though, remains firmly focused on musical pursuits; and that’s just how he likes it.

8. JAY-Z
Shawn Corey Carter - aka rapper Jay-Z - is one heck of an overachiever, albeit a quiet one. While his stage presence is commanding, the rest of his life is kept quietly busy, between his relationship with Beyonce to his various entrepreneurships, which include clothing lines and an NBA team (we kid you not.) Musically, of course, his accomplishments are also many - he was ranked the 10th best overall artist of the 2000–2009 decade by Billboard, and has sold over 40 million albums worldwide and racked up 10 Grammy Awards. Most recently, Jay-Z released the track “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)” with U2’s Bono and The Edge plus Rihanna, which was performed at the Hope for Haiti Now telethon, and he’ll publish a book of his memoirs, titled Decoded, this November.

Flowers makes a repeat appearance on our list this year, having amped up his musical persona even more in 2010. In addition to, of course, being the first necessary component of his band The Killers’ hit album, Day & Age (and being repeatedly named “Most Stylish” and “Best-Dressed” man in rock), Flowers also stepped out as a solo artist for the first time this year. His debut solo set, Flamingo, was released on Flowers’ birthday, June 21, accompanied by the single “Crossfire,” which showcases his distinctive vocals. The songs, very Killers-like for the most part, also showcase Flowers’ strong songwriting skills, and bestows a different kind of attention (other than gambling) on Flowers’ hometown of Las Vegas, for which the album is named (specifically after Flamingo Road), and from which he has achieved perhaps the only exportation of a successful indie-rock band.

Singer-songwriter Leming appeared on the seventh season of American Idol in 2008, playing piano as part of his audition and performing his own surprisingly good songs in addition to hip, left-field covers. But he’s not your typical Idol-er, so don’t stop reading just yet. Idol ended up being the wrong venue for Leming - he was booted just before the semifinals - but all for the good, actually, as the show’s cheese factor was far too high for the sincere, sensitive musician. Idol did, however, get him noticed, which was exactly what he needed; now signed to Warner Bros. Records, Leming’s full-length album, Come On, Kid, features his smart, well-written Brit-rock influenced songs and is set to drop this September - while many of his Idol co-auditioners are probably still languishing as waiters in corny L.A. theme restaurants. You go, kid.

Not much has to be said about Wilson’s legendary status as one of the most influential songwriters and musicians of our time. But something that does have to be pointed out about Wilson is that he somehow manages to keep his musical projects fresh, current, and innovative, even though he’s been crafting music since somewhere around 1958. Wilson’s latest endeavor, the ambitious “re-imagining” of an album’s worth of covers of classic Gershwin songs (plus two piano pieces left unfinished when Gershwin passed away), is a lush, respectful, creative take on Gershwin’s masterful works, and lines up right alongside Wilson’s other albums as groundbreakers. Let’s hope he keeps making music until 2058.

The Strokes frontman turned solo artist is returning to the band, which is now in the studio working on a brand new Strokes album that’s slated for release in 2011. Casablanca’s achievements this year have primarily been of the stealthy sort - in June, The Strokes played a secret show in London, and much speculation has surrounded that aforementioned album. But Casablancas remains the band’s principal songwriter, and in fact also released his own solo album while The Strokes were on hiatus (which they’ve been on since 2006). More publicly, he and his bandmates bombarded the crowd with an impressively deft and catchy set at their Lollapalooza headlining spot this year, easily rivaling flashy cross-field Friday night co-headliner Lady Gaga to impress even the most jaded indie-rock fan on the Lollapalooza grounds.

Recently voted the 4th Greatest Frontman of All Time in a national Q Magazine poll, Albarn, frontman of Blur and defacto leader of animated popsters Gorillaz, has a way of not only showcasing his substantial songwriter and singing skills, but also enlisting the help of a remarkably varied lineup of fellow musicians to help bring Gorillaz to life. The latest Blur single, “Fool’s Day,” sold out its UK pressing, and Albarn’s latest Gorillaz album, Plastic Beach, includes appearances by Gruff Rhys, Mos Def, Lou Reed, Mick Jones, and Paul Simonon (The Clash), among others, and fields the topics of both consumerism and ecology in its tracklisting of uber-catchy songs.

English guitarist Johnny Marr, best known for his long-time work as guitarist for The Smiths, where he wrote dozens of songs with Morrissey in the ‘80s, just won’t quit. And that’s a good thing. Marr’s floated from The Smiths to co-writing and session work with everyone from The Pretenders to Talking Heads, Beck, and Oasis, worked at length with The The and Modest Mouse, and a couple of years ago actually joined The Cribs after briefly touring with them; The Cribs should be so lucky (and they are) as evidenced by their live dates with Marr in tow this summer. Most recently, Marr utilized a 12-string guitar to craft the character theme for Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in the hit film Inception - so you can thank him both for all that rawk onstage with The Cribs, and for all that suspense whenever DiCaprio’s character, Dom Cobb, hits the screen.

Frontman for the band that Rolling Stone named one of eight “Artists of the Decade” in 2009, Bono Vox - aka Paul Hewson - is literally the Energizer Rocker. He just keeps going and going, in spite of whatever gets thrown his band’s way - and he helps keep that very band on the top of the alterna-arena-rock heap. Currently promoting U2’s latest album, No Line on the Horizon, Bono got temporarily thrown off course by a back injury that caused the band to cancel several of their big-time summer concert dates - but he’s healed now and is back in force, rescheduling those U2 concert dates and spending his spare time (the man has spare time?) co-writing music for the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark with bandmate, The Edge. The Nobel Peace Prize nominee and honorary knight also continues his expansive roster of charity efforts, from the socially-conscious fashion line (EDUN) he runs with his wife, to his humanitarian work for Product Red and various African charities. Now this is a man who’s using his rockstar status for the greater good.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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