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.

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · The Flutter of Wings
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The Flutter of Wings

Robert Downes - July 12th, 2007
You have to wonder if it was Detective Tom Heller’s guardian angel who put his finger in the barrel of the shotgun that misfired outside of a court in Montmorency County a couple of weeks ago.
Heller had a .20 gauge shotgun fired at his chest at point-blank range, and it failed to go off.
Don’t know if anyone heard the flutter of wings when the gun failed to fire, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
The Grand Traverse County detective was chasing Robert Becker, who had just been convicted of first-degree criminal sexual charges for molesting a 14-year-old boy. Upon hearing the jury’s verdict, Becker bolted from the courthouse and ran to his car with Heller and a sheriff’s deputy on his heels. Becker pulled a loaded shotgun from his car and fired at the detective, who wasn’t wearing his bullet-proof vest.
It’s easy to snicker at the idea of a guardian angel, but this case sure offers some food for thought. Many religions believe in some sort of protective angel, hovering around in the background like Invisible Woman Sue Storm of the Fantastic Four, ready to warn you away from the tainted chicken salad or the car flying through a red light.
Guardian angels are said to be especially attentive to children, keeping them from falling backwards down the steps and such. And some religions believe that the ghosts of ancestors step in from time to time to lend a protective hand. Or, as noted in the Encyclopedia Brittanica: “other spiritual beings that have been placated by sacrifices or other rituals, assist man in achieving a proper rapport with God...”
Of course, you only have to look in the weekly “News of the Weird” column in the Express to note that a lot of guardian angels must be sleeping on the job, if they really do exist. But in Det. Heller’s case, there is reason to believe that his supernatural sidekick deserves a departmental citation.

THE CATWALK
Have you noticed? It’s getting harder to tell the tourists from the locals in the downtowns of Northern Michigan.
You used to be able to tell tourists at a glance by the duds they wore. Pastel shorts, pastel golf shirts and brand new sneakers gleaming in the sun.
But styles change, and today’s tourists don’t seem to be wearing all of that pastel stuff on the catwalks downtown. They’re blending in more -- not as scruffy as us locals, but to their credit, they’re gettin’ there.
There are still telltale signs: if you see a family walking slowly down the sidewalk, licking ice cream cones and gazing awestruck into the store windows with the kids orbiting like electrons around the nucleus of their parents, they’re probably tourists.
Be sure to give them a big old friendly welcome and some of our famous northern hospitality.

CHERRY BOAT JAM?
No doubt, some smart guy or gal at the National Cherry Festival or the TC city government has already thought of this, but you’d think there would be a heck of a traffic jam out on West Bay now that the festival’s stage has been redirected to face the water.
One can only imagine there will be more boats on the bay for The Romantics, Kenny Olson, Kellie Pickler, et. al. than gondolas on the Grand Canal of Venice during a Pink Floyd concert.
Good thing we don’t have any manatees on the bay, because with all of those blasted boaters out there, the waters are likely to get pretty frothy. You might want to save that moonlight swim for another night...

BETTER THAN THE
FUNNY PAPERS
Paris Hilton must be PO’d. She’s done more time than Scooter Libby, and he’s a four-time felon for lying under oath about betraying the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame.
While America had visions of hot dogs and beer dancing in its collective head in anticipation of the Fourth of July, President Bush handed his homey a “Get Out of Jail Free” card to escape a 30-month sentence.
This, even though Libby was declared guilty of four out of five felonies by a unanimous federal jury. Is that how it works for you and me if we’re in the same shoes?
This, from the former Governor of Texas, who refused to pardon any of the 152 prisoners on death row during his watch -- more than any other governor in recent history. One report claims that Bush did little in the way of reviewing the execution cases -- his legal counsel at the time, one Alberto Gonzales -- would drop off a report the same day as the killing and Gov. Bush would sign off on it. One can only imagine the kind of clemency report Gonzo Gonzales would come up with now that we know what a genius he is as head of the Justice Department.
Somehow, all of those folks got lethal injections, but our president had it in his heart to give Scoot a break. Nice guy. If you follow any of the political talk shows or the newspaper commentary, you already know the reason why: 30 months is a long time for a Bush/Cheney crony to stew in prison... he might cough up a book with something very embarrassing -- probably even criminal -- to say about his former bosses.
Paris, do something! No one else will.
 
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