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 - July 31st, 2003
The Continuing Rape of Kobe Bryant‘s accuser
We know Kobe.
Arguably the best basketball player on earth at 24 years of age, Bryant skipped college to advance directly from high school to NBA stardom with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996. His intelligence, good looks, electric smile, and penchant for winning championships have transformed him into Michael Jordan‘s heir-apparent. The media will be on top of his trial like Dennis Rodman in pursuit of a loose basketball.
Though Kobe Bryant is a household name, who is the accuser? Ms. X is a 19-year old hotel worker and former cheerleader from Eagle, Colorado - that is about all we know. Or at least that is about all the press has revealed to us, so far.
Bryant‘s high-priced attorneys are expected to peel back every inch of the accuser‘s past. The assault on her character will probably make an actual rape seem like a picnic by comparison. The unnamed Ms. X can expect the public to hang on every nuance of every relationship, real or imagined, that she has experienced in her young life. The dirty laundry aired will easily fill the void existing since the days we were whipping Monica and Bill mercilessly on a regular basis.
Before the jury‘s decision, we will know Ms. X very well: every weakness in character, all of her mistakes, and certainly every misstep with a man that she has made in her short life. Everything ... except her name.
It is with some sheepishness that I admit to being unable to resist following this case, myself. After reading about how Ms. X‘s name and photos had been revealed on the internet, I found myself curious about where computer users had been able to learn her identity. I thought I would satisfy my morbid curiosity about her identity by doing a quick search on the internet.
I began by highlighting Kobe Bryant - which netted only 287,000 results from which to choose. Narrowing my scope resulted in a mere 4000 sites. I knew that mainstream media wouldn‘t have the answers to Ms. X‘s identity, so I began reviewing only internet addresses that weren‘t familiar. My journey took me on uncomfortable, disjointed ride through disguised porn sites, bizarre news addresses, and personal web sites. One person‘s message told of a 15 minute search to find the accuser‘s name but I had been in cyber space for 45 minutes in pursuit of Ms. X and had nothing to show for it.
I was now thoroughly disgusted with myself. Upset that my search was taking so long and appalled that I was now an official lowlife who spend an inordinate amount of time looking for sensationalism online.
Suddenly, I found her. A one-page web site appeared on my computer including Ms. X‘s full name, address, phone number, email address, and even two harmless photos. She looks so young and innocent - a kid, really.
It dawned on me that I was one of millions who has searched for her identity in recent days. I was also one of many who have violated her privacy. Finding Ms. X only sickened me.
There can be no real winners in the upcoming Kobe Bryant trial. There are only losers and I already feel like one of them.

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