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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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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