Your article on the pending statewide ban on abortions ("Brinkman Vs. Roe," issue of May 11-17) absolutely frightens me to death. Every year I hear more and more about how legislation is going to decide who gives birth and who doesn't. They use terms like "pro-abortion" to describe those who agree to right of choice, and every year I feel more and more threatened by this.
I don't understand how creating the new "back alley abortions" is going to be positive. Does anyone remember what women did before abortions were a choice? They were still having them! But they weren't safe, regulated or legal.
It frightens me that if my protections fail I will have to endure a preganacy that I would not want, need or enjoy. That's simply not good for anyone.
Why can't these politicians remember that?
Instead of teaching safe sex, they want to tell every 15-year-old boy to just ignore his hormones? Oh, that's brilliant.
Anyhow, I'm staunchy pro-choice and so is my best friend, and she's getting ready to have her first child — a little boy whom she will love, whom she wants and whom she won't regret ever. Pro-choice doesn't mean pro-abortion. I wish politicians would remember that.
— Sarah Nichols, Downtown
Chavez Isn't a Hero
I find it ironic, if not surprising, to see that a newspaper like CityBeat dedicated mostly to the arts in Cincinnati would publish such an ignorant piece like "Seeing Red" (issue of May 11-17). As a native Venezuelan currently studying here in Cincinnati, I can say that pretty much the whole notion of President Hugo Chavez and his "Circulos Bolivarianos" has been completely misunderstood. This is perhaps because of the ridiculous characters interviewed for this article.
By no means am I targeting the author of the piece, Chris Charlson, and being hard on her, but I am targeting all of those who think that what the two people interviewed said had any relevance or any coherence whatsoever. I could easily sit down in front of Charlson and clearly explain the real situation in Venezuela. In fact, I'm willing to do so — it will be an honor.
It's difficult to start explaining everything, but the easiest way to put it is that Chavez is a Communist dictator and the fools interviewed are nothing more than his right-hand assassins. Our freedom of speech, nationality and human rights are quickly evaporating due to a corrupt idea of power.
I find it ironic that these two men actually came to the U.S. to express their ideas to a newspaper. Why don't you ask them about the new law that was passed by Chavez's government called "Social Responsability Law?" It gives the government control of the media in the country, especially newspapers.
Anyone interested in the situation in Venezuela should listen to a Sunday broadcast of Chavez's program called Hello, President. You'll see that out of all the things he says he mostly expresses his deep hatred toward the U.S. and President Bush. Again, ironically, we have these two brain-washed individuals whom you interviewed who hate the U.S. but who comfortably live here without living the harsh reality that my family wakes up to every day back home. That's where government officials own millions of dollars worth of real estate in the U.S. and take weekend getaways to shop in the U.S. Where did this hatred go?
You see, Chavez is a dictator known to spend thousands of dollars on suits, expensive champagne, wine, parties, etc., while the children of his country are starving and the exodus out of the country rises every day. My sister is living example of this, just like in Cuba.
Let's not forget about the obvious fraud that was commited in the past referendum. The opposition won, and there's evidence to prove so. The Organization of American States supported Chavez's so-called victory, just because the president's brother was once kidnapped by the Colombian Revolutionary Forces, whom Chavez has a direct link to. They owed him one.
Why don't you go back to these individuals and ask them again of the Bolivarian Circle gangs that go around the city threatening everyone and camping out in front of TV stations that don't support Chavez? Why don't you go to Caracas and with your own eyes see the decline of life quality? Why don't you go to Venezuela and ask anyone about the real mission of the Bolivarian Circles? Why don't you go to Venezula and see, hear, taste and feel the reality instead of interviewing two pathetic ignorant fools who are just part of the million-dollar industry Chavez has to paint a nice picture of his government?
What I have said is just a mere fraction of what really happens. I'm going to mail this article to Venezuelan reporters for them to see that the evil roots of the Chavez hipocracy are expanding. Let's not forget that Communism failed, and someday this one will fail, too.
— Leonardo Robleto, Clifton
Courts Uphold the Constitution
The Rev. Pat Robertson seems to think that federal judges are more dangerous than "a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings." Not only have Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay refused to reject Robertson's statements, but DeLay has said, "Judges need to be intimidated" and "We're going to go after them in a big way."
The primary role of a judge is to determine whether a law adheres to the Constitution. A judge can't pass new laws; his or her primary power is to prevent Congress from passing an unconstitutional law.
Sen. Tom Coburn's chief of staff has said if a judge prevents Congress from having its way, "then the judge's term has simply come to an end." James Dobson, head of Focus on the Family, remarked, "The Congress can simply disenfranchise a court. ... All they have to do is say the 9th Circuit doesn't exist anymore, and it's gone."
The judicial branch was created to limit the power of Congress to interfere with the constitutional rights of Americans. If a judge can be eliminated for doing so, then Congress is placing itself above the law.
Tell your senators and representatives you oppose the intimidating, threatening and demonizing of the individuals appointed to uphold the law.
— Richard C. Reifsnyder, Anderson Twp.