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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Thursday, January 30, 2003

End Affirmative Action Now

Random Thoughts George Foster “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.“ - Martin Luther King

It is time to end racial intolerance and preferences. Just ask conservatives Walter Williams and Armstrong Williams. Each of these respective commentators feels that affirmative action policies emphasize that minorities are victims above and beyond anything else. They believe the time has come when white, black, Hispanic... all American citizens must rise or fall based on their own merits in this country. Walter Williams and Armstrong Williams happen to be African-Americans.
Thursday, January 16, 2003

Women‘s Ski Tour: for Women, only?

Random Thoughts George Foster Let‘s face it, the most hyped event in all of sports - the Super Bowl - is about as inspiring as watching an accountant balancing his books each month. Each year, one team clobbers the other in a game so one-sided the winner is rarely in doubt. I finally got fed up and began my Super Bowl boycott after Dallas thumped Buffalo 52-17 in 1993.
Thursday, January 9, 2003

Whatever Happened to the Men‘s Movement?

Random Thoughts George Foster Remember the Men‘s Movement? Probably not -- it got lost somewhere in the shuffle between Y2K and 9/11. But the Men‘s Movement was big 10 years ago, as fathers vowed to get back in touch with their sons and forge a “new masculinity“ that would be more in touch with modern times.
Thursday, December 26, 2002

The Fearless Forecast for 2003

Random Thoughts George Foster You may think it‘s insane to even attempt predictions for next year in such turbulent times. However, the following conclusions come from a tested, reliable source - the feeling in my bones. Best wishes for 2003.
Thursday, December 12, 2002

The Return of Dr. Kissinger

Random Thoughts George Foster You must be joking, not Henry Kissinger. Please... anyone but the doctor of death. Oliver North, Bill Clinton, or Osama bin Laden would be more independent. Give us Pierre Salinger or Kim Basinger - but not Kissinger.
The families of 9/11 victims are reportedly very upset with Kissinger‘s selection as the chairman of a new commission overseeing a 9/11 investigation. Can you blame them? At 79, Kissinger has spent decades as a player in the federal institutions he would be investigating.
Friday, November 29, 2002

Things to be Grateful for on this Thanksgiving

Random Thoughts George Foster Saddam Hussein. Yes, we should be grateful for the Iraqi dictator. Though he has never attacked us, our obsession with Hussein has blinded us to the faltering economy, our failed Israel/Palestinian policies, spiraling budget deficits, Enron and other corporate scandals, the depressed stock market, and the suspension of many Constitutional rights in the name of security. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.
Thursday, November 7, 2002

U of M Basketball Deserves the Death Penalty

Random Thoughts George Foster Sometimes a crime is so heinous, with such severe violations of civilized behavior, that the maximum sentence possible is the only just punishment. So, congratulations to the University of Michigan basketball program. The level of cheating committed in Ann Arbor over the last decade or so may be the worst in the history of the NCAA. If even half of the allegations charged are true, you are an embarrassment to the state of Michigan and have delivered a crushing blow to the integrity of college sports everywhere.
Thursday, October 24, 2002

The Drug Testing Debate in Petoskey

Random Thoughts George Foster Is drug testing the best way to deter substance abuse by our youth? Community forums discussing this issue were triggered recently when a Petoskey school board member suggested drug testing for schools. The reason: to help prevent students from becoming problem drug users.
Drug abuse has obviously been difficult to resolve nationwide, let alone in Petoskey. So, it shouldn‘t be surprising there was no consensus in favor or against testing among those attending the Petoskey meetings. I have always believed emphasis of personal responsibility for one‘s own actions is the best policy attacking drug abuse. Tough drug laws, TV ad campaigns, and presidential proclamations have all failed to make a dent into the problem.
Thursday, October 10, 2002

Invading Iraq doesn‘t Add up

Random Thoughts George Foster I keep hoping George W. Bush has top-secret, sensational information relating to Iraq that has not been revealed to us. Otherwise, invading Iraq at this time is a crazy idea, bordering on insanity.
I know, I know... it was impressive how political leaders, Republican and Democrat, liberal and conservative, lined up behind Bush last week. These congressmen and women were prepared to vote the president authority to attack Iraq whenever and however the commander-in-chief sees fit. The polls also show that most Americans are now convinced that forcing a regime change in Iraq should be the top priority for the Bush administration. Do they all know Bush‘s big secret, too?
Thursday, September 26, 2002

Darren McCarty‘s Dream World

Random Thoughts George Foster Darren McCarty is the first to admit it: he is living a dream.
McCarty is arguably the most popular player on the Detroit Red Wings team. Though not statistically near the production of Steve Yzerman or Sergei Fedorov, McCarty is beloved for his toughness, clutch performances against the hated Colorado Avalanche, and enthusiasm he brings to each game. Darren McCarty could perform as a synchronized swimmer and sell-out any place in Michigan.
When Streeter‘s Ground Zero nightclub promoted his band Grinder for a gig on Friday, September 13th, a packed house was guaranteed. I doubt ten of the people attending had ever heard McCarty sing or even cared if he could carry a tune. Since long-time Red Wings captain Yzerman is out until 2003 with an injury, Darren McCarty is the people‘s choice. Whether it is riding his Harley, raising his arms deliriously after scoring a goal, working for his cancer foundation, or bouncing around on stage to the backdrop of head-banging rock music, McCarty has a passion for life that is infectious.
Thursday, September 12, 2002

What will I Do on 9/11?

Random Thoughts George Foster 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.
Thursday, August 29, 2002

Why We Need a Baseball Strike

Random Thoughts George Foster As baseball‘s deadline of August 30th looms ahead, the players and owners should be more than a little uneasy. No one really feels sorry for 750 millionaires fighting over how to distribute their loot with 30 billionaires. Besides, these conceited punks are ruining the greatest game ever invented by men to perpetuate childhood.
Would Ty Cobb comprehend striking .220 hitters making over $10,000 per game? Could former Commissioner Judge Landis be merciful to players arrested for punching their wives? Would Joe DiMaggio refuse to play in an All-Star game because not enough fans voted for him? Not for one second.
Thursday, August 22, 2002

Nablus: Life in a War-zone

Features George Foster Paul Larudee is a renegade piano tuner from the west coast who speaks at least four languages and seems to have trouble refusing any humanitarian project that comes along. In an email, I first learned Larudee had traveled to the West Bank of Israel in April. At that time, he was wounded slightly while standing next to a photographer who was in serious condition from a gunshot to the stomach by an Israeli soldier.
Not to be denied the full term of his vacation, Larudee returned to the West Bank around the 1st of August with other activists. A primary goal for him has been to protect a home that has been identified as a target for demolition by Israeli soldiers. Most of this Palestinian family has left after a son became a suicide-bomber in March. Two elderly grandparents remain in the home because the grandfather is disabled from a stroke. The following cell phone interview took place on August 8th.
Thursday, August 8, 2002

The State of Express Personals

Random Thoughts George Foster In recent years, the silence has been deafening.
Yet, when the Express first hit the streets of northern Michigan in 1991, there isn‘t any question which element of the paper caused the biggest buzz: our romance ads. At the moment of launching, Northern Express became the first publication that devoted a section to the personals.
We heard comments such as, “Those guys are running a dating service,“ or “Did you know people advertise for sex in that new publication?“ Of course, nothing could have been further from the truth. While similar papers in other states allow risquÈ photos to accompany ads and obvious prostitute solicitation in the listings, the Express has always had a policy of rejecting any ads that seek sex or anything too kinky.
Thursday, July 25, 2002

The Attack on Freedom of Religion

Random Thoughts George Foster I can still remember how much I looked forward to the Pledge of Allegiance in Mrs. Schultz‘s first grade class.
As soon as the last bell rang and the recording of attendance was completed, we all stood up like miniature soldiers with our hands over our hearts ready to do our duty as citizens of the greatest country in the world. The instant Mrs. Schultz turned her back on the class to face the flag and begin the reciting, though, all hell broke loose.
“I pledge allegiance to the flag...“ On cue, many of my classmates pulled out milk carton straws to pummel each other with spitballs that left nasty welts on our arms and faces. Being caught in the crossfire of these gooey little missiles could be fearsome. Sometimes a headshot could even smack a victim in the eye or draw blood. It was great fun.