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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A love letter

Robert Downes - February 11th, 2008
Dear Northern Michigan Men,
Many of you will be in ladies‘ underwear this week.
Not literally, of course, but browsing the lingerie department in stores around the region for that ‘special something’ for Valentine’s Day.
I remember a packed Men’s Night at a lingerie shop a year ago. Grown men were elbowing each other out of the way, debating the pros & cons of silky bustiers, thongs, teddies and lacy bra & panty combinations. And frankly, they were having a blast.
The chatter in the store was along the lines of: “Do you think she’ll look better in the polka dot combo or red satin? What about something sheer and silky in chartreuse? Hmmm...”
For men, the fun of shopping for lingerie is imagining how our lady will look in the fur-trimmed negligee with the pom-pom ball tassels that we picked out all by ourselves. Or the thrill that will light up her eyes when she tries on that scratchy nylon saloon girl’s outfit that was popular on “Gunsmoke” 50 years ago.
Ahem. That’s why some of us have learned to ‘keep it simple, stupid’ when shopping for sweet nothings. Something sensual but semi-tasteful, and always keep the receipt in case that lace fantasy is too tight, too big, or not her color, and inspires more thoughts of the return counter than romance.
And back it up with a box of chocolates or a red rose, just in case.

Your Valentine Pal -- Bob

Dear Britney,
Haven‘t heard from you since, oh, last week. You never write, you never call...
But I‘m worried that you‘re going the way of Kurt Cobain with your drama queen antics, so here‘s the advice I would have given him before he stuck that shotgun in his mouth:
Get out of town, babe. Drive up to Dawson in Alaska, find a bunch of locals who don‘t have a clue as to who you are, and spend four months rafting 2,000 miles down the Yukon River this summer.
The Great Outdoors -- best rehab center in the world. Mosquito bites, near-death experiences, bears, sittin‘ by the campfire at night -- it‘s just what you need, blackout girl. And when you get back, you can reinvent yourself as a country star with a coonskin cap and buckskin bikini.

Hugs & Kisses -- Bob

Dear TC Commission,
There’s a new bar in Traverse City which has a no-smoking policy. Recently, I stopped in and found a good crowd there, enjoying the new brews and the clean air.
Just down the street there’s another new bar which allows smoking on its premises. It too had a full house, with many patrons who are grateful that they can still have a cigarette with their beer.
Two choices -- smoking & non-smoking -- within a couple of blocks of each other. What a concept.
Hmm, now do we need the Traverse City Commission to tell us what we can or cannot do through the creation of a new ordinance to ban smoking from bars and restaurants?
Or, are we capable of making that decision for ourselves?
Although I‘m not a smoker, I‘d still prefer to make my own choices, thank you. It‘s called “freedom.“

Love Ya -- Bob

Dear Detroit,
Yeah, times are tough in Michigan‘s biggest city and you‘re bringin‘ us down with you, literally.
But you‘ve been hit with a recession bordering on a depression every 10 years ever since I was a kid, way back before Howdy Doody was on the air.
Each time, you vow to diversify your economy when the tough times are over. Then, somehow you pull your rear-end out of the fire and forget your promise.
So don‘t worry. Some Chinese automaker will come along, buy up your auto companies and save the day. And 10 years from now, you‘ll be wearing the same pair of shoes, wondering how it all went wrong. Again.

Your Tough Love Admirer -- Bob

Dear John McCain,
Get back to the straight talk and stop listening to critics who claim you‘re not “conservative“ enough for their brand of bile.
To refresh your memory, Americans are sick of the path that conservatives in your party have led us down over the past eight years. That‘s why we threw them out of office in the last election.
We‘re tired of war, tired of hearing that torture and waterboarding are okay, tired of military spending at the expense of health care and education. Tired of no action on global warming and America‘s bad reputation around the world. This is where conservatives have led us and it‘s why America is saying “enough.“
The “C“ word people are clamoring for is “change,“ not more ideas that are as dead as Ronald Reagan.
People like the independent, open-minded John McCain, not the guy who rolls over for talk radio fruitcakes.

With Warm Regards -- Bob

Dear Barack Obama,
Congratulations on not sweeping the Super Tuesday primaries. If you had won it all, you‘d be stuck spending the next eight months pretending to be the second coming of John F. Kennedy. Eventually, people would find out that you‘re a human being instead of a myth and they‘d feel betrayed. In the long run, you‘re better off being a flesh & blood candidate than a fantasy from the ‘60s.
P.S. Love that ‘Obama Girl‘ clip on YouTube. She‘s going to win it for you.

Your Valentine Buddy -- Bob

 
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