I agreed with you up until the contraction rule. That's a load of shit (see! I just used one). I use contractions all the time and never, have I ever, had a higher education professor or an editor say anything to me otherwise. The message is the message and if you get it across, you can't (there's another one. And another one!) worry about little things like rules.
But, yeah. I didn't read your piece, original poster. Try posting it in the news. It's (fuck. another contraction!) an opinion piece and perfect for the NS New system. Keep writing!