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...

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Abolish the Olympics
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Abolish the Olympics

George Foster - August 26th, 2004
Even as we celebrate the return of the Olympics to Greece, the games have problems. Big problems.
Don’t get me wrong, I love sports and believe there is some value in the Olympic games. However, it is clear that the disadvantages of the games far outweigh the advantages. After Greece, let us mercifully put the games to rest - forever.
First of all, World Championships already exist in gymnastics, track, swimming, and many other sports. The World Cup in soccer and Tour De France in cycling are more prestigious than the Olympics. Do we really need the Olympics tossed in the mix to determine the best athletes in the world?
Disturbingly, more and more, the Olympic Games have become a showcase for political causes. It begins with the shameful system of bribing officials leading up to choosing each host country. Politics dictate the nations that are allowed to participate in the Olympics. Worst of all, political considerations corrupt the judging of individual events each year.
The early 1980s were symbolic of how the Olympics have been twisted to serve the agenda of politicians. In 1980 Jimmy Carter refused to allow the U.S. team to participate in Moscow because of the Afghanistan War. For revenge, the Soviet Union boycotted the Los Angeles Olympiad in 1984. Does anyone think this is what the founders of the Olympic movement had in mind when they launched the games to encourage harmony among the world’s states?
The biggest problem in the modern era of Olympic Games is the threat of violence. Originally, the games were held to promote peaceful competition to offset the frequent wars and brutal violence that swept ancient Greece.
Due to over-hyped celebrity athletes, heated nationalism, and undue emphasis on winning medals, there are all too many examples of how the modern games attract and indirectly encourage violence. Sadly, we now expect trouble.
It didn’t take long for the modern Olympics to draw blood. Greece was awarded the games after the resumption of the Olympics in 1896. As a result of increased Greek patriotism from the games, war broke out between Greece and Turkey the following year.
In 1968, Mexican police shot and killed 260 students demonstrating against holding the games in Mexico City. Eleven Israeli athletes, one policeman, and five terrorists died in 1972 during an attack on the Munich games. In 1996, the Atlanta games suffered a terrorist bomb explosion that killed one and injured scores of attendees.
Note that all of this violence occurred before September 11, 2001. The fear of terrorist acts seemed relatively mild then compared to the growing threats we now face from al-Qaeda and like-minded groups. The Olympics are a natural target for terrorists.
As the overall cost of hosting the games skyrockets into the multi-billions of dollars, security in Greece passed the unprecedented billion-dollar expense threshold months ago. Also due in part to terrorist threats, attendance is way down in Greece. Officials expect only 3 million tickets to be sold in Athens, roughly half of what was sold 4 years ago in Sydney.
There isn’t time here to go into other problems such as rampant commercialism and illegal drug use by athletes, but suffice it to say the Olympics are not the panacea for good sportsmanship and healthy lifestyles that we would hope.
As a result, since they originated in Greece in 776 B.C., it is fitting the Olympics end there in 2004 A.D.

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