Inbox — Jan. 25, 2012

Letters to the editor

Eliminating Threats

It is interesting that death penalty opponents think the primary reason for supporting it is what Thomas Clay Jr., in his Jan. 11 letter to LEO, called a “lust for revenge.” This letter appeared in the same LEO that featured a long article on the horrors of child abuse. One of those horrors is that when abusers are caught and sentenced to jail time, they will eventually get out and are quite likely to engage in their heinous behavior again. It seems to me that the primary reason for the death penalty is to eliminate the ongoing threat these criminals pose to everyone else.

I believe the death penalty should be considered carefully, that it should not be an act of revenge or even of justice per se. The opponents of the death penalty do us all a favor when they remind us of the horrible fact that innocent people are sometimes executed. However, it is not good enough in all cases to “lock them up for life,” because sometimes they commit their crimes again in prison, and sometimes they are released. I believe there are some people who have demonstrated by their actions that they are too dangerous to the rest of us to be allowed to live.

Rich Mills, Shawnee

Moved By Music

This is a note of condolence for those unfortunates who attended the performance of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra last Thursday night. There, over the course of two hours, our hearts were broken. This tragedy began when Pinchas Zukerman conducted the orchestra in the overture from “The Magic Flute” by Mozart, during which each crystal note shone with the clarity and brightness of a jewel. Then, while he conducted and soloed during Bruch’s “Violin Concerto No. 1,” the beauty became so devastating it hurt. If there was a dry eye in Whitney Hall, it sure as hell wasn’t mine. The orchestra’s final triumph came during Brahm’s “Symphony No. 4,” a piece that had never impressed me in the past. Thanks to some strange alchemy, the music became sublime — unlike anything I had ever heard. In response to a thunderous standing ovation, Zukerman finished off any doubters with Elgar’s “Enigma Variations.”

During that performance, I and thousands of others lost our innocence. Now we know what real music sounds like.

John Gamel, St. Matthews

Occupy America

I’m sitting here on this winter’s morning overlooking my acre of paradise. Yep, I got one of those big houses in the country and work for one of those corporations. As I read another diatribe against our democracy and the wealthy, I again feel my head slowly moving from side to side. The thoughts roll in, and I’m motivated to respond.

Occupiers: There are millions of Americans who are grateful that there are corporations and extremely wealthy people who created and maintain them, for without the opportunities of prosperity they afford, we would have nothing. It does trickle down, you just have to work hard and cut your piece of the pie. People haven’t changed. Money has always been power. This drives all people, some more than others. Through history, through all societies and political systems, the equivalent of corporations and Wall Street elite existed. The wonderful thing about American democracy is that it trickles down the most. It is far from perfect, but ask the millions of immigrants in this country. Why aren’t there any foreigners in those tents?

Work is the operative word here. The immigrants come over here with little and, in less than half a generation, are firmly ensconced in the middle class or higher. Their fresh blood and competition makes America stronger. They came over here because America is a free open competition of opportunity. They will tell you that compared to their country, it was easy. As I look back at myself, it wasn’t so tough. Sure, we all put ourselves through school working nights and weekends, but it was just a few years. Yes, we had to move around the country stepping up the economic ladder, leaving friends and family behind, but that was small sacrifice. Democracy means competition and competition means work. People all around you have made it and are still making it. Recession means you just have to work harder. Get out of those tents.

Bart Bertetto, Crestwood