LEO welcomes letters that are brief (250 words max) and thoughtful. Ad hominem attacks will be ignored, and we need your name and a daytime phone number. Send snail mail to EROSIA, 640 S. Fourth St., Louisville, Ky. 40202. Fax to 895-9779 or e-mail to [email protected] We may edit for length, grammar and clarity.

Children for the Library

I am an intern with Kids Voting Metro Louisville, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping youth become engaged, educated voters. The results of the kids’ election held on Tuesday revealed an interesting fact: The kids would have passed the library referendum by a landslide. The youth voted for the expansion of the library by an overwhelming margin, while adults defeated it soundly. Why the discrepancy? I believe it’s because kids have a more pure, emotional response to the referendum. When they are asked whether they support the expansion of libraries, their immediate reaction is most probably “yes.” But they do not consider where the money is coming from. I understand that adults are concerned about how their money is spent, and there may be other ways to fund the expansion, but why refuse to contribute to an institution that is such an integral part of the community? Libraries obviously benefit children, and they know it because they voted to increase the resources available to them in their local libraries. Perhaps we should take a step back, think like a member of a community instead of a taxpayer, and listen to our children.
Angie Cahill, Louisville

Skater Paint

The obvious solution to the city spending more than $8,000 on its useless battle against graffiti is to make the skate park a legal graffiti zone. Can you think of a better place for the controversial art form? The majority of the skaters like the paint jobs or think nothing of them. Some even prefer the paintings over the sterile, somewhat cleaned-off, blank concrete.
Give the artists a home, a canvas to paint. Graffiti is part of the skating culture. Who is it hurting? Right now it’s hurting the taxpayers.
Scott Scarboro, Louisville

Homeward Bound?

Bush and McConnell say the war in Iraq is getting better. The Pentagon just reported the deaths of five more soldiers, making the 2007 death total the worst in the war.
The only way to really make the Iraq War better is to bring our troops home. But the president, Congress and the American people do not care enough to end the war and bring them home.
Harold Trainer, Prospect, Ky.

“We do not torture,” our president declares, and he would not lie to the American people. For those who doubt our leader’s words, I suggest we have a national “We Do Not Torture” day. Administration officials, talk-radio pundits and other experts could sponsor demonstrations of the non-torture techniques we have devised to elicit information we need from the terrorists or others we suspect as suspicious. The actual techniques do not permanently injure or produce significant pain, so I would invite teams Bush/Cheney, Rumsfeld/Gonzales and Limbaugh/Hannity to show the country and the world how truly harmless our interrogation methods are.
Family participation is encouraged because we need to teach our children that slapping, starving, stripping, freezing, stress positioning, no sleeping and then nearly drowning someone is OK. Dogs, electric shock, whips and chains are optional depending on sensitivities.
Cruel, inhumane and degrading, you say? We can justify torture since they are aliens and our Constitution and the Geneva Conventions are open to interpretation. We brag that our nation’s values and laws are founded on Christian principles. 9/11 is no excuse to revert to the depravity of the Christian Inquisitions. I think we should ask ourselves, “Who would Jesus torture?”
Joseph Wohlleb, Louisville

Wrong Way War
As a Gulf War combat veteran, I initially supported the invasion of Iraq. I felt it was my duty to support our soldiers, and I believed that our government would not send them into battle without just cause. As the justifications for the war were proven to be no more than neoconservative fever dreams, I began to regret my unquestioning faith in this administration. As the names of the dead and wounded became background noise to partisan bickering, I realized that the troops had become hostages to a failed strategy. Unlike this administration, I came to the conclusion that I had been wrong. Unlike our elected representatives, who continue to vote to escalate this reckless, endless war, I concluded that this administration is out of touch with the will of the people. As a veteran and a citizen, I respectfully call on my elected representative, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, to immediately support an initiative to redeploy the troops out of harm’s way and bring them home safely. We are headed the wrong way down a dangerous road, and history will judge if we missed the only opportunity to turn around.
Brian Smith, Louisville

Speaking Out
I was moved by the Buddhist monks’ peaceful protest of the brutal military rule in Myanmar (formerly Burma). The monks and nuns and thousands of civilians marched for democracy in the streets of Rangoon fully aware of the risks: They may be beaten or killed. Then I reflected on how fear prevents me from speaking out against injustice in my country, state or city. What am I willing to risk when I am opposed to policies and practices I find unjust? I confess that I stop short of putting my family in harm’s way. Where do you stop?
Amy B. Shir, Louisville

Haves and Have-Nots
America would be a much better nation and more unified today if the pie of prosperity were shared equitably. Greed, selfishness and a “survival of the fittest” mentality are barriers to distributing the wealth of the richest nation in history.
The Democratic Party is much better than the Republican Party in promoting shared prosperity. If the gap between haves and have-nots continues to increase significantly, difficult times loom ahead for our divided country. Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards is the only candidate of either party who tells the truth about America being two separate nations — of haves and have-nots.
The burden of bringing economic equity to our fair land rests on the haves who drive the economic engine. Our country is only as good as our weakest link. Working for the common good must be the goal we strive to reach. Caring and sharing bring positive results.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr., Louisville