Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · So long, Limbo
. . . .

So long, Limbo

Robert Downes - May 24th, 2007
I was sorry to learn that the Catholic Church got rid of Limbo this spring, because I was planning to stop by there someday on my way to someplace better.
For you nonbelievers, Limbo was a place the Vatican invented hundreds of years ago as a sort of Lost in Space rest stop for folks too innocent to send to Hell, but not quite ready for Heaven.
Unbaptized babies went to Limbo. So did Eskimos, Hottentots and other nice pagan folks from out-of-the-way places who were denied the chance to hear about Jesus Christ by sheer geological barriers. Jews born before Jesus got in too.
Limbo was supposed to have been a pleasant enough place, but not quite the big enchilada that Heaven is cracked up to be.
But this spring, the bigwigs at the Vatican decided that it was all a bit silly and gave Limbo the boot.
So, where will the babies go who haven’t been dished with holy water? The Vatican’s International Theological Commission is cautiously optimistic that there’s hope they’ll got straight to Heaven, though no one knows for sure.
I’m worried. If Limbo is considered too goofy to exist, then what about Purgatory? Heaven? Hell? What will we do with people with unpaid parking tickets if we can’t send them to burn in excruciating pain for billions and trillions and jillions of countless years in the lake of fire dreamed up by the religious “scholars” of the Middle Ages?
Consider Limbo, please.
“The fate of unbaptized babies has confounded Catholic scholars for centuries,” writes Michelle Tsai in a column called “The Explainer.“ “According to church teachings, babies that haven’t been splashed with holy water bear the original sin, which makes them ineligible for joining God in heaven. At the same time, as innocent beings, they surely don’t deserve eternal torment. St. Augustine concluded in the fourth century that the babies must be punished in the fire of hell, but only with the “mildest condemnation” (like maybe only second-degree burns for the wee ones, perhaps). Eight centuries later, Thomas Aquinas thought infant souls wouldn’t go to heaven, but they wouldn’t suffer in the afterlife, either.”
So, presto, although there was nothing in the Bible to indicate its existence, theologians dreamed up Limbo, just like they recently dreamed it off the charts.
Bummer. I was hoping to sneak into Limbo someday to see those millions of babies and dumbfounded New Guinea tribesmen, Aborigines, Incans, Polynesians, ancient Jews and such. Space aliens? Who knows? Now I guess it will be straight on to Purgatory (a halfway house where you get roasted over the coals for a few weeks -- or years -- depending on how bad your shelf life is) and then on to the Pearly Gates.
I’m sure to get into Heaven because as a child, I sprinkled myself with some water, just in case my parents had forgotten to do the baptism thing.

Gas Attack
We‘re living in the last days of the dinosaurs. Everywhere you go in Northern Michigan you see creatures of monstrous proportions: Suburbans, Yukons, Hummers, Mountaineers, Ford 150 Triton V8 pickup trucks...
How can folks afford to keep these behemoths running? I shudder to think as the gas pump rises to stratospheric highs on my Subaru -- like nearly $40 for a tank of go-juice. Gosh, I‘m getting a nose bleed at the pump, stressing out about these prices. Surely it must be far beyond the $100 mark for the big boys straddling those colossal gas-suckers.
Yet last week, there was an article in the Associated Press stating that few Americans seem to be fazed by the fact that gasoline will soon be $4 per gallon. That‘s great news for Northern Michigan, which depends on tourists visiting from hundreds of miles away.
$5 here we come.
According to the AP, most Americans are so locked into their lengthy commutes that they have no choice but to keep paying through the nose. As a result, other industries, such as retail, are hurting because people are buying less to support their gas habit.
It makes you wonder: How was it possible that the price of gasoline dipped down to $1.99 per gallon just prior to the last election and then magically shot up again?
Could it be because we have an oil company executive sitting as president of the United States, with a cabinet full of other former oil company execs like Condoleezza Rice (who had an oil tanker named for her by Chevron) and war profiteers like Dick Cheney (whose stock in Halliburton has gone up 3,281% since the start of the oil war in Iraq)?
Does anyone really believe this bunk being pedalled in the news -- that the reason gas prices are so high is because the world‘s oil refineries simply can‘t produce enough of it to satisfy demand? That‘s just a story from the fox guarding the henhouse.
With no regulations in place to control them, oil companies are free to raise prices at will by dragging their feet on refining oil. It‘s a raw fact of manipulating supply and demand. It‘s just like ENRON created the fake electric power shortages that gouged California in the ‘90s.
When Exxon reports record profits of $9.28 billion, with a 50% jump in oil refinery profits, you‘ve got to know that they‘ve got friends in high places keeping their sweet deal going... and a whole nation of suckers willing to sit back and take it.
 
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