Kudos to Lew Moores for his fittingly glowing article of Ohio "governor-elect" Ken Blackwell ("Finding Ken Blackwell," issue of Aug. 16). Reading it only underscores my disdain for the vilified monster. As "lovers of freedom" — I borrowed that one from GW and all of his cronies — we need to band together and defeat Blackwell in November.
Don't rest now, my friends. We cannot accept the risk of such a conservative beast controlling the highest office in Ohio.
Get out there and work for the Ted Strickland campaign and other truly "freedom-loving" Democrats before it's too late. At the very least, send an email, post a flyer and engage friends in conversation to educate them about Blackwell.
Make it easy on yourself and throw in a few quotes from his new book, which Moores discusses at length in the article. There's plenty of ammunition in that diatribe to make even conservatives' stomachs churn.
— David White, Over-the-Rhine
Support Main Street Bars and Clubs
Regarding Daniele Pfarr's article "Jammed on Main" (issue of Aug. 16), as a longtime working Cincinnati musician I find the current proliferation of bar closings in the Main Street district to be a disturbing trend to be sure.
I'm not sure if that area will ever truly recover from the 2001 riots.
That said, I'm personally hoping that the reports of Main Street's demise are premature, or at least exaggerated.
I play The Lab (1126 Main St.) one Tuesday a month — my next date is Aug. 29 — and more often than not we have a great turnout, especially for a Tuesday. The people there are wonderful. I also participate in the Rivertown Music Club's "Final Friday" happy hour at the Courtyard Cafe whenever my schedule permits — a great turnout more often than not, too.
I tend to agree with Brad Schnittger of The Sundresses that this downturn in bar business might be a case of "the thinning out of the herd" and that the clubs that are persistent and creative enough will still stay afloat. From a personal standpoint, as well as for the good of this city's music scene in general, I'm banking on it!
— Bob Cushing, Delhi
Killing the Death Penalty
I just wanted to send an email to congratulate Margo Pierce on her cover story, "Making a Killing" (issue of July 12). In particular I have to say it's very refreshing to read about family members of those condemned to death in the U.S.
I know Brett Hartmann and his family personally, as I had the opportunity to travel to the U.S. from Australia in March this year to meet with them. I know it has become very important for Brett and his family to speak out with regard to his case, given they've been told by legal representatives to keep quiet. Given Brett's case as a whole, it's certainly well past the time to become vocal to what avenues become available. After all, it's a human life that is at stake.
Coming from a total abolitionist country, it's very difficult for me to comprehend that the U.S., which tends to be outspoken about the human rights abuses of other nations, still continues to practice such a barbaric act of executing its own citizens. Sadly, it seems this is all due to the intense political practices of the U.S., and highly organized groups (i.e., victims groups) are able to make or break a political career.
So the Brett Hartmanns of this world who become involved in the justice system battle to be heard after an injustice has been done. Having the information that I have been privy to regarding Brett's case, I believe that at the very least there's a reasonable doubt as to his guilt.
— Debbie Gavin, Melbourne, Australia
Fight the GOP's Fear Factors
Some Republican pundits and politicians are luxuriating after the recent Sen. Joe Lieberman defeat and the airline plot foiled by British intelligence. Looking toward the midterm elections, they're painting Democrats as soft on terror, myopic doves and left-wing extremists. Their lone tool is instilling fear in voters, convincing them that their party can best fight the "war on terror" and protect our national security.
Democrats who voted for Ned Lamont in the Connecticut primary were labeled by Dick Cheney as "subverting national security and giving comfort to 'al-Qaida types.' " Following the breakup of the airplane plot, President Bush reminded us that "we've taken a lot of measures to protect the American people. But obviously we still aren't completely safe." To Bush, that means continuing the war in Iraq and threatening Iran and Syria by our military might.
The Republican White House and Congress deny that tools other than war can prevent acts of terrorism. But the British foiled the airplane plot without firing a shot! Intelligence expertise and good old-fashioned diplomacy can go a long way. Americans now realize that the military option is not working in the Middle East; 60 percent oppose the Iraq War, and just as many oppose extending the war to Iran and Syria.
Cheney has accused war opponents of not having the stomach to fight the "war on terror." Many Americans don't have the stomach because this administration has violated the Geneva Conventions and is fighting a war that never should have taken place.
No doubt Democrats and Republicans will be making lots of accusations against each other as we approach the midterm elections. Perhaps the only recourse that anti-war party supporters on both sides of the aisle have is to elect at least one house of Congress with a Democratic majority to curb the excesses of the Bush administration.
— Ruth Bamberger, Ludlow, Ky.