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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Our sudden love affair with soccer

George Foster - June 28th, 2010
Admit it. Landon Donovan’s winning goal in this year’s World Cup game
against Algeria is the catalyst that finally showed you the light. You
have become the latest cynical soccer observer transformed into an
avid fan of the sport. Right?
Donovon’s historic score has blasted soccer past baseball and hockey
in popularity, a little closer to basketball and football in the
American consciousness.
How do I know this to be true? Actually, the acid test is in - I am a
recent convert myself. I have always followed soccer... if it is a
World Cup year and if the U.S. is playing – only a week or two every
four years at best.
After the Donovon goal, though, my life will never be the same. Soon,
I will be purchasing my own South African vuvuzela to help my family
awake each morning now that we have become accustomed to the horn’s
wailing beginning at 7:30 a.m. with the start of each game on TV.
Undoubtedly, spare time will now be devoted to watching hours of these
games while continually singing and waving my team colors between rare
goals. Kicking my old soccer ball around the yard (if the dogs
haven’t eaten it by now) will become a primary sports outlet,
replacing the therapeutic nine-iron shots at home and pitching from
the stretch with a phantom ball in the mirror.
I know, I know... lets not get carried away. So-called experts have
been predicting such a change in U.S. sporting preferences for
decades, only to see soccer evaporate from the radar until the next
World Cup revival.
The main reason this win should bring millions of our country’s sports
fans stampeding to soccer can be boiled down to one fact: the historic
game against Algeria had an All-American finish that we can all relate
to – similar to the hockey Miracle on Ice in the 1980 Olympics. The
winning goal was scored in the final seconds of the game, snatching
victory over Algeria from the jaws of defeat (or rather a tie).
Donovon’s goal allowed the U.S. to move on into the next round, rather
than leaving South Africa early with bitter disappointment.
If we don’t understand the passion expressed by the rest of the planet
for soccer, as Americans, we all know the feeling of “us against the
world.” Our players have felt the scorn from fans of the soccer-crazed
countries, laughing at our past futility in their favorite sport.
When two important U.S. goals were disallowed earlier in Cup games
because of dubious officiating calls, we had to suspect an
international conspiracy to keep the Yankees down. The world’s soccer
powers would be trembling if they thought U.S. success meant the same
resources devoted to football and basketball would now be allocated to
soccer.
Get used to it, mates, the USA has arrived. Against all odds
(including the referees stacked against us), we have moved on to the
second round.
There can be no question that more Americans are paying attention to
the World Cup than in previous years. Now that you and I are onboard
with soccer, lads, let’s get together sometime to discuss the merits
of Rolando vs. Messi over a cup of tea.

 
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