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 · What will I Do on 9/11?
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What will I Do on 9/11?

George Foster - September 12th, 2002
I don‘t remember who told me but the shocking news left me in a daze.
A year ago I heard about the terrorist attack as I stood in the Isle Royale ranger station. I had just hiked 10 miles that morning through some of the most beautiful wilderness in North America simultaneously while planes were ramming into skyscrapers. Without the benefit of live TV or radio coverage for most of that fateful day, images I had of the suicide attacks seemed like a horrific nightmare or surely someone‘s idea of a bad joke.
Sitting on the shore of Lake Superior for hour upon hour, I could only hope my grounded puddle-jumper would materialize after the FAA came to their senses and realized there were no terrorists on Isle Royale. Only a few hikers remained on the island and we all were anxious to return home in order to learn more details of the attack. Being cut off from mass communications at a time like this was nerve-wracking but turned out to be blessing in disguise. I was alone with my own thoughts: who could commit such an evil act? Was this the blow that would trigger World War III? I remember praying for the world.
Of course, one year later, the images of smoldering buildings, planes slicing into the World Trade Center, and people running for their lives have been played over and over by the media. The disturbing scenes have become etched in our collective memory forever. If I am forced to listen to Rudy Giuliani drone on one more time about how courageous New Yorkers are (of course, he is right), I will scream.
The one-year anniversary of the most infamous terrorist act in history falls this week. Some will stay glued to the tube, crying, as they watch those buildings collapse for the umpteenth time. Other enraged Americans will discuss bloody revenge against al-Qaeda, Iraq, and whoever seems remotely responsible. Some will shrink with fear from flying commercial flights, entering skyscrapers, or even leaving their home.
As for me - I can‘t imagine watching TV on that day. What can be said or reported by the media that is new? Who could they interview that we haven‘t heard recently? Only Osama bin Laden, himself.
Everyone will handle the anniversary in his or her own way. My inclination is to go back to my isolated island and focus on the beauty in this world. Somehow that, too, seems cowardly - running away while our nation is struggling to come to grips with an invisible enemy.
Remember how tolerant of others and how unified we all felt in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy? George W. Bush had a 110% approval rating. Americans traveled from thousands of miles away to volunteer at ground zero. Democrats held hands with Republicans. Firefighters were finally recognized as the heroes they always have been. Even Fidel Castro condemned the terrorist attacks against America.
The War on Terrorism declared by our government will take many years and work on several different levels. For me, September 11th is a reminder that my energy is best spent working to remove hostility in my own small world rather than focusing on rounding up enemies.
What better way to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11 than to tell your significant other that he or she is loved? Call a friend or family member with whom you have not spoken in a while and say that you care. Perform a random act of kindness for someone in need. Kiss your children. Pet your dog or cat vigorously. Give yourself a big pat on the back.
We will never forget the horror of September 11th, but these are also times that we could learn to love more and hate less.

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