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Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Readers' Views


Despite critics, Bush did the right thing

TO THE EDITOR: Yes, the First Amendment is Freedom of Speech. Yes, Natalie Maines, Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, et. al are entitled to their opinions. What I don't understand is why their celebrity status gives them the right to have their opinion thrust into my face.

Does that status also make them experts on war and peace and politics? Perhaps you could explain to me why those who have the least to lose have the most to say on the subject.

Sing your songs, get up on stage and receive your award, or make your movies, but please save your breath for your pampered brethren who don't truly know what it means to sacrifice or to do their part for America. You don't speak for the majority of us - those who really have to work for a living, who realize what a threat there was and still is in the Middle East, and who are glad President Bush made a tough call to do what was in the best interest of our nation's security. That is, the well-being of the oppressed Iraqi people and the general safety of the world as a whole.

William Anthony, Cold Spring, Ky.

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First tax cut contributed to debt

In President Bush's tax speech on April 24, he said the deficit was due to the war and recession. What he didn't say is that he mislead us into a preemptive war with a false claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and that he planned to use them against his neighbors, and even us in the future. Bush is also strongly opposed to a true multilateral recovery program. As a result, we will have to provide the major source of funds ($220 billion and counting) for he nation building he promised. These are funds that could just as easily been used to support our own unmet social needs if there had been no war.

Bush is correct when he says the recession has been exacerbated by the heavy debt load. What he failed to tell you was that his first tax cut was a major contributor to the debt. Now he plans to get us out of the recession by creating more debt with a new tax cut (now $550 billion), which will disproportionately benefit those who need it the least. This is the pinnacle of voodoo economics.

Stephen Fairweather, Shaker Heights, Ohio

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Take care with young student-athletes

I write to comment on how 15 year-old kids are being ranked by national sports magazines, and how they make news by choosing the high school for which to play basketball.

Does anyone else find this insane? Our priorities are all out of whack.

I'm happy for a kid who's rightly recognized for being good at what he does. However this is not the NBA.

For every kid who makes it to the league, countless others are chewed up by the same sports combine that hyped them up in the first place. Seldom do we hear these stories, former prospects with little education and a dim future, now that their hoop dreams have been shot into the round file.

Hey, North College Hill: Why not make O.J. Mayo a National Merit Scholar before you make him an NBA prospect?

Doug Pennington, Clifton

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Bengals are making sound decisions

My congratulations to the Bengals.

We won't know until September whether their efforts have paid off, but one thing is clear, Marvin Lewis has run his team in a class manner, and Mike Brown has started to listen.

Joel Kling, Montgomery

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Keep downtown's skywalk system

I am very alarmed over the news accounts that a consultant retained to suggest improvements to the Fountain Square area has urged elimination of the downtown skywalk system. As a Cincinnati resident who works and shops downtown, I believe this is a bad idea that would harm downtown.

One of the major attractions of locating an office downtown is the skywalk system, which provides easy access to shops and restaurants in inclement weather. Many people, including myself, believe that the skywalk system increases safety through less pedestrian traffic accidents and no one has suffered injuries due to a slip and fall on ice in a skywalk.

The destruction of the existing skywalk system would do little to aid street level business, (and why should they be favored over skywalk accessible businesses?) because some offices and businesses that do not have to be downtown would move and others would not relocate.

Cincinnati would be far less attractive as a convention city without the skywalks that enable attendees to move safely and easily, no matter what the weather is, between hotels and stores. The skywalk link to the convention center should be restored immediately.

I believe that improvement in the downtown's business environment can occur through increased parking, greater police presence to enhance safety an expansion of the skywalk system to the convention center and other downtown destinations.

Stephen D. Strauss, Downtown

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Green Township does not need development

This is in response to "Development battle reaches Green Township - Residents, builders at odds over growth" (April 22). At odds. What an understatement. We are furious. Adam Goetzzman said, "It isn't overly glamorous, bit it reflects west-side values." I don't know what West-sider he has spoken with, but I have not talked with one in Green Township resident who is in favor of the rape of our neighborhood. Only the developers who will make a lot of money from this desecration of the land are in favor of it.

Green Township needs more shopping like it needs a hole in the head. There is an overabundance of fast-food restaurants, department stores, specialty shops, hardware stores, etc. already within three to five miles of most residents. Do the township Trustees have no responsibility to the businesses that are already in the neighborhood? What will they do about the vacancies that exist now, and those businesses that will be forced out?

The present Trustees will have to answer the voters, but by that time our trees and green spaces will be gone, and in their places will be a lot of concrete. I don't believe that these are the values that the West-siders will be proud of.

Aileen Ettensohn, Green Township

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Flower show was frustrating to patron

With all the publicity I've been reading in the Enquirer about this year's Cincinnati Flower Show, I thought I'd attend this show after several years of not attending. Here are some comments from a different perspective than what you have reported: This show was more of an arts and crafts show than anything else - in fact, some of the vendor booths contained merchandise which more rightfully belonged in a flea market and many vendor booths certainly had no connection at all to a flower show (hot tubs, Jacuzzi's, etc.).

And why in heavens name have a display of dead animal skins at a flower show? Although I'm not an animal rightist, it seems that such a display is inappropriate in an event intended to celebrate nature's beauty. Finally, the parking situation (at least on Sunday afternoon) was utter chaos. Literally thousands of cars trying to exit the Coney Parking lots were tied up more than two hours because only one exit lane was open. I phoned both Coney Island Administration and the Cincinnati Police - to no avail - neither would take any responsibility for the tie-up. Had someone needed to leave in an emergency they could have died. I, for one, have attended my last Cincinnati Flower show.

Thomas M. Vaughn, Anderson Township

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Cowards win if Chicks are silenced

The Dixie Chicks are true American patriots. Why? Because they have the guts to stand up for what they believe. For this they are shouted down by those who don't respect this right. They are three self-made women who had the guts to stand up to the Nashville establishment, refusing to continue in a grossly unfair contract and speaking their minds. It is their candor, creativity and courage that offends the herd.

When the last "Dixie Chick" is silenced, the cowards will have won.

Maurice Peck, Madeira

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Pitts seems to confuse, meaning of 'bigot'

In Sunday's Forum section, Columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr. excoriates Senator Rick Santorum, calling him a bigot, and worse, for his comments recently in which he said he has "problems with homosexual acts," but not with homosexuals ("Bigotry is not accidental," April 27).

Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary defines a bigot as thus: One obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his own church, party, belief or opinion. How many people mistakenly think a "bigot" is simply someone who doesn't like homosexuals or thinks homosexual behavior is inappropriate, or doesn't like blacks, Asians, Catholics, Hispanics, Jews or other specific groups?

Surprised? Were you one of those?

Regarding homosexual acts, which the Enquirer would not permit me to graphically describe here, Santorum has a quite rational and fairly commonly shared opinion. He believes they are disordered and abnormal. Pitts apparently has a different opinion, and is not only obstinate, but more intolerant of other opinions than Sen. Santorum seems to be. Science has not been able to conclusively determine what causes homosexual orientation, and people disagree on the appropriateness or deviancy of homosexual acts.

Both men are "devoted" to their "belief or opinion." Why is only one of them a bigot? Think about it.

Bill Banchy, Anderson Township

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Hazardous Materials Day planned well

Saturday was Hazardous Materials Disposal Day. We loaded the car with various hazardous materials (paints and insecticides) and drove to the Bayer Company on River Road. Expecting a large crowd and a long wait, we each took a book to read. Wow, were we surprised.

Not that there were not a lot of people. Indeed, there were plenty of people dropping off various materials, but the line was moving at a good pace.

Whoever planned the operation did an excellent job. Also, there were many volunteers directing the flow of the cars and removing the materials from the cars and sorting them to the various categories and putting the items in their proper disposal containers.

Congratulations to the planners and the volunteers for an excellent job and service to the community. And thanks to the Bayer Company.

Shirley and Jim Mc Devitt, Westwood

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Can conservatives be compassionate?

On April 19 ("Bush's budget plan far from compassionate"), the writer questions the use of the word "compassionate," (a word frequently used in conjunction with the word "conservative") when referring to Bush's budget. The writer refers to the many proposals the president has made, which include: Continuing to keep 35 million people from getting decent medical care; doing very little to alleviate the burden the poor must shoulder when they have to get medical prescriptions filled; limiting the help those living on the lower end of our society will get for medical care and affordable housing. These certainly do not suggest compassionate philosophies. I, for one, have to agree with her.

The comments, however, caused me to wonder about the two words - compassionate and conservative - which then led me to wonder how they are defined in the dictionary. (In my case it is Random House's Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 1991 edition). The definitions are interesting.

Compassionate: One who has a deep feeling of sympathy ... for someone struck with misfortune ... and a desire to alleviate the suffering.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions ... limit change.

It was quickly obvious that the two words are contradictions. One who doesn't want change, a conservative, is certainly not going to alleviate suffering or compassion. To alleviate suffering one must seek change. It is mandatory.

The two words together create an oxymoron.

Certainly, Holtkamp is correct when she questions the use of the word compassionate to describe Bush's budget, but to me, the term compassionate conservativemakes no sense at all.

Dan Kanoza, Colerain




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