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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Best of the Olympics

George Foster - February 15th, 2010
Best of the Olympics
As the 2010 Winter Olympiad begins in Vancouver, I’m praying for the spirit of brotherhood, good sportsmanship and medal-winning performances by all participants – as long as they are Americans. As a person who isn’t crazy about war and constant flag-waving, my rabid patriotism rears its head during any Olympics competition.
In reverse order, the following are the most memorable moments by U.S. athletes in the Winter Olympics history - ever.
(5) Eddie Eagen – bobsledding. After winning as a bobsledder for the U.S. in 1932, Eagen is still the only athlete in history to have won a gold medal in both the Winter and Summer Olympics. He had also won the gold in boxing, of all things, in the 1920 Summer Games.
(4) Bill Koch – cross-country skiing. Koch’s silver medal in the 1972 Games is actually more memorable now than it was then because most Americans hadn’t even heard of cross-country skiing. I know Koch inspired me to see if skiing was actually possible while propelling one’s self - I loved it immediately.
Koch eventually invented the skate-skiing method that has become its own Olympic event and the favored cross-country ski technique by most racers. And, oh yes, almost 40 years later Bill Koch is still the only American male to ever win an Olympic medal in cross-country skiing.
(3) Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan – figure-skating. The biggest scandal in Winter Olympics history unfolded after Tonya Harding’s boyfriend had Nancy Kerrigan’s knee clubbed before the 1994 Games. Kerrigan recovered and won the silver medal. Harding’s big moment was just before the long-program. After her skate laces broke, her crying appeal to the judges to start her routine over is the only memory of Harding’s performances we will ever carry.
(2) Dan Jansen – speed-skating. His story is so inspirational; Hollywood couldn’t have dreamed it up. On the day of his speed-skating event in the 1988 Olympics, Jansen’s sister Jane tragically passed away. Knowing Jane would have wanted it, Jansen skated anyway, but fell and finished last during the race. Four years later and a favorite to win in that competition, Jansen bombed again and finished out of medal contention. The next Olympics (his third) was Jansen’s last chance for a medal. In his best event of two he entered, he fell again finishing last, seemingly doomed to finish his career with a reputation for failing under pressure. A decided underdog in the 1,000-meter race, when Jansen won the gold medal and broke the world record, his wife almost passed out and even his rivals applauded him.
In film footage from 1994, the little girl that you see Dan Jansen holding while celebrating his gold medal victory is his baby daughter Jane.
(1) U.S. Hockey Team of 1980. It’s hard to believe we are celebrating the 30th anniversary. Known today as simply the Miracle on Ice, our hockey team’s stunning victory over the Soviet squad still ranks as the greatest moment in American sports history, Olympics and otherwise. This was the Cold War era when Eastern Bloc Olympians were virtual professionals with decades of experience playing together and the USSR hockey team was considered the best in the world. The American team was made up of mostly youngsters picked months before the Games from various colleges. Not surprisingly, in an exhibition hockey game before the Olympics, the USSR slaughtered the Americans 10-3.
You had to be there. When our boys beat the mighty Ruskies 4-3 and went on to win the gold, we hugged, we cried, we partied, and proved the American way to be superior to the Commies.








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