Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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In defense of Barry Bonds

George Foster - August 9th, 2007
ILast January, while visiting Atlanta, I made a special trip to the exact spot where Hank Aaron’s 715th home run landed in the spring of 1974. It is now the site of a parking lot in downtown Atlanta as the old stadium was torn down years ago. That, of course, was the home run that broke the previous record of 714 career home runs set by the immortal Babe Ruth in 1935, his last season.
I know, I know. Only a nutty baseball fan would spend a few moments standing on a slab of cement where hallowed sports history took place a generation ago.
Ironically, though, I admit to not being enamored with Aaron’s feat at the time it was taking place, over 30 years ago. You see - Babe Ruth was an icon. He dominated the game with his exploits (on and off the field) like nobody had done before. Many of us thought, “How dare Hank Aaron think he is in the same class with Babe Ruth.”
Well time has proven that Aaron is on Ruth’s level, and then some. Aaron was always a gentleman, never bringing any undue attention to himself. He certainly didn’t deserve the death threats and racial abuse he received as he approached Ruth’s record. Most importantly, as of today (8/2/07), no one has hit more homers in a career than Henry Aaron. Not Babe Ruth, not Lou Gehrig, not Willie Mays, and certainly not Barry Bonds.
How dare Barry Bonds think of breaking Hank Aaron’s record of 755 home runs. Hank Aaron is an icon, Barry Bonds is not in his class. Oops, where have I heard
that before?
Almost no one, outside of San Francisco-based fans, is rooting for Barry Bonds to break Aaron’s record. In fact, his quest for 756 homers is greeted by intense hostility in many ballparks. In Dodger Stadium, where security has been tight, derisive chants of “Bonds sucks” seem more enthusiastic than cheers for the home town Los Angeles team. His every move has been booed, from kneeling in the on-deck circle to warming up in the outfield. Everyone seems to be piling on.
Barry Bonds has as much chance of being embraced by fans while passing Aaron’s record as Hillary Clinton has of winning over Republicans - zero. Of course, it doesn’t help that Bonds is not a congenial guy in public and has been accused of using steroids to achieve his lofty hitting statistics.
Here are some reasons why Barry Bonds should be given some credit for breaking Aaron’s record:
Barry Bonds is a phenomenally talented athlete. He has been an All-Star caliber player in the Major Leagues for over 20 years with seven Most Valuable Player awards to show for it. Hitting a baseball is one of the most difficult skills to master in sports. If you are not good at it, no amount of drugs will help. Barry Bonds has been good at hitting a baseball longer than almost anyone.
If Bonds used steroids, he certainly wasn’t the only one. Some reports show more than 50% of Major League players used performance enhancing drugs before drug testing began in 2005. That is right, using steroids
was not officially
against the rules in professional baseball until 2005 and Bonds has never tested positive.
Barry Bonds says he hasn’t ever used steroids, others say he has. As Americans, we are all innocent until proven guilty. Sorry, that’s the way it is.
Come on, if Barry Bonds has broken laws or baseball rules, he should and will be punished accordingly. Also, I guarantee you that in 30 years the world will look at this moment in baseball history much differently than we do today.
In the meantime, let’s enjoy the drama of a great baseball player accomplishing something that will never be equaled… at least until Alex Rodriquez breaks the record for homers again in 2012.

 
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