Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Innocent until...
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Innocent until proven...

George Foster - August 24th, 2006
Recently, when John Karr was arrested and confessed to the killing of then six-year old JonBenet Ramsey, it was stunning news. This is a ten-year-old case that many thought would never be solved.
Well, hold on. This bizarre murder appears ready to take a few more wild turns before it is done. At this moment, there are few details of the accused man and circumstances. Some don’t believe the suspect was anywhere near Boulder on Christmas, 1996 - he might just like the attention.
No matter, there is a lesson here for all of us. In case you were in solitary confinement at the time of JonBenet’s murder, so many clues seemed to point to an inside job that the Boulder authorities initially focused on the parents as the likely killers. Once again, it becomes clear why we should all be presumed innocent, until proven guilty. Even a confessed killer, such as John Karr, could be innocent of that crime.
Slowly, John and Patsy Ramsey have come to be seen as innocent in the court of public opinion over the years. Losing their child to murder and being the prime suspects in an endless case with international attention - that is a burden impossible to even comprehend for most of us.
Recent history is full of high-profile cases of innocent people pre-judged to be guilty. Remember Richard Jewell, the wrongly accused security guard at the Atlanta Olympics. He got his 15 minutes of fame for being on the scene of the bombing, only to suddenly become the prime suspect. It was later determined that Eric Rudolph was the Atlanta murderer.
There was also the case the missing intern, Chandra Levy. It hardly seems possible that almost five years have elapsed since Gary Condit was continually followed by a feeding frenzy of national press - until September 11, 2001 diverted their attention. Since Levy’s body was later found near the spot of another woman’s remains, killed in a similar manner, the former congressman is no longer a suspect. Oops. Gary Condit may not be a model person, but he is no murderer.
In the same vein, no one should assume Floyd Landis juiced up to win the Tour de France cycling race this year. Since a French lab reported high levels of doping after his incredible Stage 17 victory in the race, Landis’ standing has plummeted from world hero to international infamy in a few short days.
Ironically, unlike many other top cyclists, Landis has a reputation as a clean performer, free of drugs. Put it this way, if Floyd Landis doped up on testosterone for that one stage of the race, he is the most incredibly stupid athlete of all time. To benefit from testosterone injections, it must be used over a period of time for its cumulative effect, not for one day’s stage of the race. Floyd Landis did not have any banned drugs show up on any other day of Tour testing, before or after the critical stage when he allegedly tested positive. Why would any contender for the title risk being caught cheating when it cannot benefit his performance? It makes no sense.
Further clouding the issue is the fact that the Tour was using a French laboratory recently threatened with suspension by a Summer Olympics official. Apparently this lab leaked Lance Armstrong’s 1999 Tour le France tests last year. Could it be that the French are still trying to get even with the U.S. for winning their sacred race every year in recent memory? Or for renaming French Fries?
Congratulations, Floyd Landis. Until proven otherwise, you are the winner of the 2006 Tour de France.

 
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