Stairway to Nothing

Regarding the arguments made about the potential demolition of the Art Academy's Eden Park building in the recent article by Margo Pierce ("No Place Like Home," issue of May 18-24): 1. Cincinnati A

Regarding the arguments made about the potential demolition of the Art Academy's Eden Park building in the recent article by Margo Pierce ("No Place Like Home," issue of May 18-24):

1. Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM) Director Timothy Rub tries to justify the potential demolition of the Art Academy building by pointing out the bastardization of its original architecture. But everyone knows that in its current state it's more true to the original than the CAM could ever be. Look how many Frankensteinian alterations the museum has undergone! Does the shortsightedness of past CAM architects and administrators justify the continued effacement of history?

2. Art Academy President Greg Smith thinks he's placating Art Academy alumni by giving them their precious stair treads. But as he pointed out, it's the staircase itself that "has sentimental value for students and staff." It's so blasted ironic that something that figuratively and literally served as the vehicle for the escalation of growth for artists studying at the Art Academy — the staircase — is being torn apart for students to sit their butts on.

Stair treads are functional and meaningful only as such in a sequence that changes altitude (a staircase) and takes the user to a different level.

This is also dependent on motivation by individuals to exert energy in order to change levels.

So the inherent symbolism of Smith's gesture goes so much deeper than I think he realizes. Sadly, the stair treads that once accommodated student motivation will now accommodate their laziness.

— Jason Franz, East Walnut Hills

Impeach Bush on Iraq Memo
A coalition of veterans groups, peace groups and political activist groups are leading a campaign to urge that the U.S. Congress launch a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war. The campaign focuses on evidence that recently emerged in a British memo containing minutes of a secret July 2002 meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials.

John Bonifaz, a Boston attorney specializing in constitutional litigation, sent a memo to Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, urging him to introduce a Resolution of Inquiry directing the House Judiciary Committee to launch a formal investigation into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House to impeach President Bush.

Bonifaz's memo, available at www.AfterDowning Street.org, begins: "The recent release of the Downing Street Memo provides new and compelling evidence that the President of the United States has been actively engaged in a conspiracy to deceive and mislead the United States Congress and the American people about the basis for going to war against Iraq. If true, such conduct constitutes a High Crime under Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution."

In February and March 2003, Bonifaz served as lead counsel for a coalition of United States soldiers, parents of U.S. soldiers and members of Congress (led by Conyers and Rep. Dennis Kucinich) in a federal lawsuit challenging President Bush's authority to wage war against Iraq absent a congressional declaration of war or equivalent action. Bonifaz is the author of Warrior-King: The Case for Impeaching George W. Bush (NationBooks-NY, 2004, foreword by Conyers), which chronicles that case and its meaning for the United States Constitution.

The organizations forming the AfterDowningStreet.org coalition include Global Exchange, Gold Star Families for Peace, Democrats.com, Veterans for Peace, Code Pink, Progressive Democrats of America and Democracy Rising. These organizations will be urging their members to contact their representatives to urge support of a Resolution of Inquiry.

— Jeffrey Walker, Greenhills

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