Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Quarterbacks & Lottery Winners

George Foster - December 23rd, 2004
Am I the only one in the good state of Michigan not crucifying Detroit Lion quarterback Joey Harrington?
Because of a wind-blown game that provided the worst conditions for passing the football in 40 years, most Lions’ fans have given up on him. Did anyone notice that Brett Favre looked bad for most of that game in Green Bay? The Packer quarterback did somehow complete enough passes to barely squeak by the Lions, but he is also the best quarterback in football history.
Sure... Harrington has not performed well in recent weeks, but giving up on him now is comparable to bone-head moves in the past when the Lions traded Earl Morrall, John Henry Johnson, Pat Studstill, and Tom Tracy.
If you are too young to remember the incompetence of the Lions’ past, you might recall some cases in recent years. Chad Pennington of the New York Jets threw only 25 passes in his first two seasons, then finally put it together in his third to become one of the best in the NFL. Troy Aikman was inconsistent until his fourth season with the Cowboys, and later matured into a hall-of-famer.
Those of you who are criticizing the Lions’ quarterback either don’t know a thing about football or are looking for a scapegoat for the Lions’ failures. Harrington has all of the physical tools needed, is still only 25 years old, and only lacks the confidence to be a good quarterback in the NFL. Of course, it would help if he had receivers who didn’t suffer from butter-fingers-itis, an offensive line that wasn’t porous as a sieve, and coaches who provided imaginative play-calling.
Joey Harrington is a young guy on an improving team who is close to being a good player. I guarantee he will realize some of his potential in the last three games this season (we go to press before the Minnesota game) and go on to improve next year as the Lions continue to rebuild. If not and the Lions get rid of him, Harrington will be back on another team to haunt the Lions for years.

You may remember him – the tall man in the black cowboy hat surrounded by his loving family. Two years later, after winning the largest undivided lottery jackpot ($315 million) in history, Jack Whitaker‘s life is in shambles. In addition to thefts at his house and business, his car was stolen. A friend of his granddaughter was found dead at one of the robberies. Last week the same granddaughter came up missing.
Also since winning the lottery, Jack Whitaker has been arrested twice for drunken driving and ordered to undergo rehab. Last week he was charged with attacking a nightclub manager and is the subject of two lawsuits for fracases at a racetrack and bar. Think again if you believe greenbacks are the answer to your problems. Whitaker’s wife wishes she had torn up the ticket after winning the jackpot.
The disasters that the lotteries’ big winners often suffer are a poignant reminder that money doesn’t guarantee happiness. In a way, Americans are all lottery winners. We live in the freest and wealthiest country on earth in the most advanced era in human history. Those of us, living in the most humble of circumstances in the United States, have a more comfortable and healthy lifestyle than kings and queens of a hundred years ago.
Over these holidays Joey Harrington and Jack Whitaker can take solace in the fact that they continue to be winners. Not because they are rich - they are winners because they live in the greatest nation ever created on earth.

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