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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Random Thoughts

George Foster - April 15th, 2004
Pray For Our Troops
Have you ever noticed how John Kerry and other Americans who oppose the U.S. occupation of Iraq often begin discussions, “I support our troops, but...“
Who are they trying to kid? It is impossible to disagree with a military mission and still be an advocate of its soldiers - you can‘t have it both ways. Peaceniks preface most anti-Bush tirades with support of our military personnel because they are afraid of being perceived as unpatriotic.
On the other hand, many advocates of the Iraqi invasion turn to monotonous platitudes supporting the U.S. military when asked to justify American‘s presence there. Let us be clear: support for our troops can accompany a military mission, but doesn‘t rationalize war.
Also, disagreeing with our government‘s policies isn‘t an unpatriotic act. On the contrary, it may be the ultimate patriotic act. It means that you give a damn. Citizens of this country who don‘t care enough to vote in our government‘s elections are the unpatriotic ones.
From my vantage most of the talk supporting our troops is blather. Reflecting the lack of concern for individual Americans at war, Brit Hume of Fox News was quoted as saying something to the effect that the average of 1.6 U.S. deaths each day in Iraq is nothing compared to the violence in American cities. Our soldiers who put their lives on the line each day must feel insignificant when our political experts begin downplaying their deaths. How much do you want to bet that Brit Hume doesn‘t have any relatives serving on the front lines of Fallujah?
Our military personnel are the forgotten ones. All we hear day after day are lectures from Condi Rice, Ted Kennedy, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Clark, and other politicians who SEND our sons and daughters into battle.
What do the troops, themselves, think of their presence in Iraq? Information received second and third hand from the relatives and friends indicates that most soldiers are neither gung-ho nor disillusioned, but are committed to doing their jobs under extremely difficult circumstances in a foreign climate and culture. As they put their lives on the line more and more each day, there can be no questioning the heroic efforts of our soldiers.
The relative anonymity of the U.S. soldier may be changing, soon. The escalation of violence in Iraq this week has suddenly made clear just how dangerous this mission has become for our military personnel. Even Britt Hume might be concerned that1.6 body bags have increased to ten or twenty for the time being.
Our soldiers are making the ultimate sacrifice, but what can the rest of us do to resolve the conflicts in the Middle East? I found my answer written on a simple sign in a neighbor‘s front lawn, “Pray for our troops.“
Whatever you think of prayer, it is non-partisan. Republicans and Democrats pray. Anti-war types and hawks believe in prayer. Christians and Muslims pray.
For me, praying transcends merely “supporting.“ Prayer is desire and the more we pray for the same result; the sooner it will be realized. Whether in agreement or not with our government‘s policies, we can pray for the Bush administration to make wise decisions. We can pray that the Iraqi people will find peace and freedom. Prayer can be dedicated to end hunger and joblessness in the world.
Most of all, we can pray that our troops come home safely and soon.

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