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 · Jonny Lang's Fight
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Jonny Lang's Fight

Kristi Kates - June 16th, 2014  

On the phone from one of the many stops on his current tour, blues-rock guitarist and singer-songwriter Jonny Lang sounds relaxed and confident, if a bit confused.

“Uh - well - I’m not exactly sure where we are,” he said with a laugh, when asked which town he was in.

It’s no wonder Lang’s schedule is blurring a bit. He’s been moving forward steadily since the release of his first real solo album, 1997’s Lie to Me, which cemented his status as heir apparent to the Stevie Ray Vaughan throne. His unusual voice - seasoned and gruff in spite of his youth - and his spectacular guitar solos got him plenty of acclaim.


Now he’s got a new album, Fight For My Soul, an expanded family (he’s got four little kids with wife Haylie, two who are twins), successful sobriety, and he’s in a better place than he’s ever been in before.

The title of Fight, he says, is a look back, indicating the “crazy seven or eight years” he went through a few years ago, before taking three years to write the album.

“I had kids, and suddenly I was in a tailspin in a lot of ways,” Lang said. “I didn’t realize what things like having children and being responsible for these little beings, would bring out of me - insecurities and such that I had never felt before.

So it was a fitting title, and it’s what the whole record is about.”


Lang actually has two favorite songs from the new album, one of which almost didn’t make the tracklisting at all - but it’s one of the most personal tunes on the set.

“I wrote ‘Seasons’ when I was at our house over the holidays,” Lang explained. “And I was remembering when I was little and my parents were splitting up, so there was a lot of juggling around. I’ve always had kind of a bad feeling around the holiday since then, so it’s about some of the things that can happen in a broken-era family.”

“Seasons,” he confirmed, wasn’t even going to be on the record.

“But I played it for Tommy (Sims, Lang’s producer and collaborator) and he said, ‘I’m sorry, but we’re doing it,’” Lang said. “So there it is.”


Lang’s second favorite from Fight shows off his storytelling side.

“”I’ll Always Be” is loosely written with the idea that it’s God talking to people, to the people that he loves,” Lang explained. “but it’s in the form of a great composer who’s in love with the dancer who’s danced for all of the music he’s written.”

It would be easy to conceptualize more than one music video for that one, Lang says, adding it’s one of the rare songs he’s written on piano.

“And I don’t do that often,” he said, “so I’m pretty proud of it.”

In live performance, however, his favorites change - Lang has enjoyed playing “We Are the Same” the most at his recent shows.

“It’s such a fun song to sing, and I like it because it’s really different musically from the rest of the set,” he said.


Speaking of live shows, Lang has plenty on his schedule. After a few more stateside dates (including a stop in Michigan) he’s headed to Europe for several weeks, and then back for more U.S. shows through the end of August.

But while the excitement of touring is still there for him, his goals on stage have changed.

Lang is often told stories by people he meets on the road, people who have heard his songs and found what he’s singing relates directly to their lives.

“That hit me so hard over the past few years. How this song or that song has really impacted people,” he said. “Even talking about it now gives me a sense of how important it is.”

“It’s so much more than ‘hey, let’s go out there on stage and rock out. It’s a real honor.”

Jonny Lang will be in concert at Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey on Friday, June 20 at 8 pm, doors at 7 pm. Tix $30/$40/$55 at odawaresort.com

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