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..

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Triple Shot

Rick Coates - November 22nd, 2010
Triple Shot: Jackyl, hip-hop pioneer DMC & Uncle Kracker roll out the rock
By Rick Coates
Jackyl is arguably the hardest working band in rock and roll. They hold two Guinness Book of World Records, one for playing 100 concerts in 50 days and another for performing 21 concerts in a 24-hour period. The band is most infamous for their chainsaw wielding frontman Jesse James Dupree.
The band makes no apologies for their controversial shows, because as Dupree says: “That ain’t the rock and roll way, you don’t apologize.”
The band will make their way to the Ground Zero Nightclub on Friday as they kick off their new tour. Joining them will be Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member DMC of Run DMC fame.

Jackyl made news headlines earlier this year with the release of their new single “Just Like A Negro.” Dupree and DMC (who is African American) both agreed that some people jumped to conclusions including DMC.
“When I first heard the title I was like, ‘whoa, what is this abo’ut? And then you look and see that the band is a bunch of white guys with southern accents and you really start to wonder,” said DMC.
“But when you listen to the lyrics you realize this is a very powerful song with deep meaning. This is the type of song that breaks down barriers.”
The idea for the song came as a result of a side project that Jesse James Dupree was working on.
“‘Just Like A Negro’ evolved for us over several years. The song was originally done by this awesome band, Mothers Finest, one of the founders of the funk rock movement. Well, I started a side project with these three black guys and some of the Jackyl guys heard us do this song and thought we should do it,” said Dupree. “Well we did, starting about six years ago and the fans loved it. Now in order for me to sing this song I had to adapt it to me. Well then DMC jumped on board and we adapted the song for him to be a part of it, so this song has had four lives.”
So why all the controversy?
“Well, look, I have a very simple message to anyone who wants to pass a quick judgement or short change it for what it naturally is -- they can kiss my ass,” said Dupree.

Dupree met DMC by chance.
“He was using my studio and my son came and got me and said, ‘Dad, DMC is in the studio -- you have got to meet him.’ So I did and we hit it off and exchanged phone numbers,” said Dupree. “When he heard ‘Just Like A Negro’ he asked to perform on the video and one thing led to another and he is out touring with us. He performs all sorts of songs with us -- ‘It’s Tricky,’ ‘Walk This Way,’ and lots of our songs. He’s like another member of Jackyl.”
DMC is having the time of his life touring with Jackyl.
“Jesse is one of the best vocalists I have ever heard,” said DMC. “Equally impressive is that Jackyl is one talented bunch of musicians. We are having a lot of fun.”
As for any further controversy over the song with DMC’s endorsement, the band is not concerned; but then they are never really concerned what people think about their music. When Kmart announced 12 years ago that they would not sell Jackyl’s CD because of some of the songs, the group staged an impromptu concert in a Kmart parking lot.
“Listen, I am not Bono and Jackyl doesn’t aspire to be U2. I will leave saving the world to those guys. They are a great band and I respect them,” said Dupree. “But look, when they interviewed the kids back in the ’50’s about what they liked about rock and roll not one of them said it was going to save the world and bring about world peace. What they liked about the music was it made them crazy; it got the glands pumping and got them to move into the oversized backseats of the cars back then.”

Okay, so what is Jackyl’s philosophy on making rock and roll?
“Jackyl is built on the fundamentals of rock and roll which is guitar, bass, drums, attitude and a kick drum that will stimulate your glands. Now if you are into a band that has a song that is going to save the world or a band that has a pan flute in it, that is great,” said Dupree. “But do not diminish or short change my brand of rock and roll and anybody that wants to be judgmental about what we do or who we are are the same people who won’t admit that they masturbate and they can kiss my ass.”
Besides keeping busy touring, Jackyl is a part of the reality show, “Full Throttle” about running the world’s largest biker bar located at Sturgis in North Dakota. They are out touring in support of their new album “When Dynamite & Moonshine Collide,” featuring “Just Like A Negro,” and “My Moonshine Kicks Your Cocaine’s Ass.”
Dupree and his band mates kick their tour off on Thanksgiving Day in Louisville and say they can’t wait to get to Michigan.
“We love Michigan -- it is our second home,” said Dupree. “The answer to the question you haven’t asked yet is yes. Yes I have the chainsaw packed and we are ready to rock the asses off Northern Michigan.”

Jackyl with DMC performs Friday November 26 at Ground Zero Night Club in TC. They will perform several Run DMC hits along with Jackyl’s hits “Down On Me” and their signature “Lumberjack Song.” For tickets go to www.groundzeroonline.com or call the box office at 231-932-1930.

Uncle Kracker Too

By Rick Coates

Uncle Kräcker is taking a break from his tour to have Thanksgiving at home with his family in Michigan, but playing Traverse City is also part of that weekend tradition. He will perform Saturday, November 27 at Ground Zero Nightclub. “I guess it is a tradition, isn’t it?” said Kracker. “I love Northern Michigan. I have a place up north and we shot the ‘Smile’ video in Hale. This show in Traverse City is something I always look forward to.”
Kracker is winding down his tour in 2011, after which he will join the NFL -- sort of.
“I have this really cool tour next spring and summer with Kenny Chesney and the Zac Brown Band,” said Kracker. “We are doing a stadium tour playing all of these NFL stadiums, including Cowboys Stadium, Lambeau Field, and I finish the tour with them in August at Ford Field.”
Past Traverse City Kracker shows have sold out quickly as his popularity grows in the country and adult contemporary markets. There is no telling how much longer Uncle Kracker will play small intimate venues. Ty Stone and John Smiddy & The Randy Vandals will open. For tickets and additional information go to www.groundzeroonline.com or call 231-932-1930.
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