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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Random Thoughts

George Foster - June 10th, 2004
Can the Pistons beat the mighty Lakers?
Goliath‘s laughs raining down on David. The irresistible force versus the immovable object. Beauty and the Beast. Almost any image you can dream up of two diametrically opposed antagonists applies to the Los Angeles Lakers and the Detroit Pistons.
Very few experts are giving the Pistons a chance to win their championship series with the Lakers. Detroit is a 5-1 underdog to the mighty Lakers... and why not? Los Angeles has a star-studded lineup of four future hall-of-famers, including the two greatest players in the game today - Shaq O‘Neil and Kobe Bryant.
To make matters worse for the Pistons, Los Angeles has the most successful coach in history - Phil Jackson. Coach Jackson has won nine NBA championships and is not lacking incentive for a tenth - it would an NBA coaching record. Jackson has never lost a series in the NBA finals.
By contrast, the hard-working and gritty Pistons have zero super-stars, nada. As pointed out in Sports Illustrated last week, a miracle Detroit triumph over Los Angeles would be the first time in at least 25 years that a team won the NBA championship without a dominating player.
What the Pistons do well is play ugly. A suffocating, scoreboard-deflating defense is their M.O. Grueling, rugby-style slugfests are their only hope to keep the games close for Rip Hamilton or Chauncey Billips to prevail at crunch time.
Most experts dismissed the Pistons chances to beat Los Angeles the moment they eliminated Indiana. At 7‘1“, 350 lbs Lakers center O‘Neil is superman. No two other opposing players can stop him. Detroit will alternate several 7-footers, fouling the big guy while forcing him to face his kryptonite - free throw shooting. Pistons benchwarmer, 18 year-old Darko Milicic, may even get playing time just to join in the hack-a-Shaq party.
Unfairly, in addition to Superman, the Lakers also employ superhero Batman. Kobe Bryant is near Michael Jordan in how he seemingly flies around the court, playing a step ahead of everyone else. Bryant is fearless, an incredible athlete, and usually scores at will when the game is on the line.
On the other hand, Detroit‘s Ben Wallace typifies the Pistons team. He may have wild hair (braids, dreads or the mega-fro change day to day) but his playing style is strictly blue-collar. Wallace was undrafted by the NBA after a quiet college career at Virginia Union - where? After bouncing around with several NBA teams, the Pistons forward is now their best player.
How pathetic on the surface - Detroit‘s top performer makes less than 50% of his free throws and averages less than 10 points per game (O‘Neil and Bryant both average over 20 points). Of course, Wallace makes up for his shortcomings by guarding opponents, blocking shots and rebounding ferociously. In fact the entire Pistons team has been molded by coach Larry Brown into the best defense in the NBA.
Watch actor Jack Nicholson and the numerous starlets that litter the Lakers sideline grimace in pain when these games slow down to a grinding halt. When the court turns into virtual trench warfare, we will see how tough the celebrity Lakers are while the relentless Pistons pound away at their glitzy image.
Maybe justice does prevail because David will defeat Goliath - once more. The Detroit Pistons will shock the world as they beat the heavily- favored Lakers in five games. I can feel it in my bones - the series will be WLWWW.
In fact, in the spirit of Joe Namath, Douglas McArthur ,and Rasheed Wallace, I guarantee it.

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