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 · Lewis Black
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Lewis Black

Kristi Kates - February 14th, 2011
Lewis Black’s Black Comedy
By Kristi Kates
He counts among his fans George Carlin and the recently-retired Larry King. His stature onstage is that of beckoning aggression - even as you might be a little taken aback by his in-your-face performance style, you can’t help but admire his steadfast determination to state his opinions on, well, pretty much anything and everything.
And he’s perhaps one of the best known stand up comedians performing today, venting in a comedic - and loud - fashion about everything from business to politics to pop culture.
As Lewis Black’s press release explains, “Lewis yells so his audiences don’t have to.”

Born in Washington D.C. (perhaps the catalyst for such comedic statements of Black’s such as “Republicans are a party with bad ideas, and Democrats are a party with no ideas”) and raised in Maryland, Black’s disgruntled personality surfaced early on. A colicky child who was easily irritated, he found an outlet in his early teens through the theater; he saw his first play at the age of 12, and decided to pursue a career in drama, acquiring degrees from the University of North Carolina and Yale Drama School. While at UNC, he first ventured into standup comedy performing, and found yet another productive venue for his skills... and his ongoing need to complain.
From North Carolina, it was on to New York City, where Black became a playwright-in-residence, overseeing over a thousand plays that took place on the stage of the West Bank Cafe’s Theater, including those by West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin and American Beauty writer Alan Ball in addition to his own plays.
But comedy kept calling.

By the late ‘80s, Black had left the theater scene for the most part, and had decided to pursue stand up comedy full-time. By the mid-’90s, his friend, Lizz Winstead, called upon Black to create a weekly segment for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. The segment was right up Black’s alley, as it was basically three minutes of him ranting and raving about whatever was currently annoying him - and it became one of the most popular segments on the show.
Connections are everything in the entertainment business - and with Black’s segment on The Daily Show a success, it wasn’t long before he was offered his own Comedy Central specials and series - by 2001, he’d won Best Male Stand Up at the American Comedy Awards, and had snagged a record deal with Stand Up Records, which released his first CD in 2000. Six more CDs would follow, as would specials on HBO, a spot in the acclaimed Comic Relief special, appearances on Larry King, Conan O’Brian, David Letterman, and Keith Olbermann, and a busy touring schedule.
Whew. Lewis Black had definitely arrived.

With all of that going on, you’d think Black wouldn’t have time for much else. but he keeps writing, and has dabbled in acting, as well, taking on roles alongside Robin Williams in Man of the Year and in the comedy film Accepted, among others.
And he’s balancing out his curmudgeonliness with his dedication to a number of charity organizations, including the 52nd Street Project, the Ron Black Memorial Scholarship Fund, fundraising for the Rusty Magee Clinic, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; he supports our military personnel (having become involved with the USO to tour the Middle East with Robin Williams), and is committed to ending gun violence. Returning full circle to UNC, he’s developing the school’s Carolina Comedy Festival to provide workshops and lectures for beginning writers, performers, and comics, giving back to one of the schools that helped him get his own start.
How he does all of this while still performing over 200 nights a year across the world remains a mystery. But Northern Michigan residents will get a chance to see this multi-faceted performer in his comedy role with his upcoming show at the Traverse City Opera House, where the show will contain “adult language and humor” - and plenty of Black’s trademark views of the world.

Comedian Lewis Black will be bringing his comedy tour to the City Opera House in Traverse City on February 18 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets $55/$40. For tix and more info, visit www.cityoperahouse.org, or telephone 231-941-8082.

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