Wake up and Smell the Crime

In your recent article about the Hamilton County jail proposal ("The Politics of the Jail," issue of Aug. 2), reporter Kevin Osborne emphasized that violent criminals haven't been released early, bu

Aug 9, 2006 at 2:06 pm

In your recent article about the Hamilton County jail proposal ("The Politics of the Jail," issue of Aug. 2), reporter Kevin Osborne emphasized that violent criminals haven't been released early, but lesser offenders were. As if to say we really don't need extra jail space.

What isn't being realized is that most of the murders in Cincinnati are happening in the context of the drug and prostitution business. Those businesses thrive in Over-the-Rhine unimpeded because of the lack of jail space.

Murders are happening on those same street corners where lawlessness rules. Wake up, people!

— Bob Clarke, Director The Lord's Gym Over-the-Rhine

See Israel for What It Really Is
If I were Dan LaBotz ("On the Wrong Side in the Middle East," issue of July 26) and happened to read Pat Curran's retort in Letters to the Editor ("Conquest? What Conquest?," issue of Aug. 2), I might feel a lot like the penguin in Tom Tomorrow's strip in that same Aug. 2 issue.

Articles not in defense of Israel are uncommon in the U.S. mainstream media, and I think it's very much to CityBeat's credit that you printed LaBotz's. The knee-jerk retort condemning it was inevitable.

We in the U.S. are programmed to view Israel as a victim threatened by a vast Arab population that wants to drive it into the sea. This is partly accomplished by copious reporting of attacks on Israel but little or no reporting of Israel's mischief that provokes the attacks.

For example, since Israel withdrew its occupation forces from southern Lebanon in 2000, it has violated the UN-monitored "blue line" almost daily, according to UN reports; it has assassinated its enemies in the streets of Lebanon; it continues to occupy Lebanon's Shebaa Farms area; and it refuses to hand over maps of minefields in southern Lebanon that still kill and cripple civilians six years after the war ended.

Israel is no underdog, anyway. It is a regional superpower, thanks mainly to U.S. funding.

The history of the conflict really isn't that complicated when the propaganda is stripped away. Israel was created as a homeland for the beleaguered Jewish survivors of World War II. But the people who called the land home at the time had to give it up for the new owners. They weren't pleased and haven't gotten over it.

For nearly 60 years they and their descendants, now numbering close to 5 million, have not been allowed the right to return home. In effect, they were forced to pay with their homes for European pogroms and the Holocaust.

Moreover, since then, Israel has been trying to expand beyond its legitimate borders — perhaps with good reason, but that's not the point — and treating brutally anyone who stands in its way. Hezbollah (also Hamas) came into being to defend against Israeli aggression.

If the U.S. media objectively reported events in the Middle East in their true context, I daresay the tide of public opinion here would shift and a real peace process could begin.

But as long as we're programmed to condemn only the crimes against Israel and to ignore (or are kept ignorant of) crimes by Israel, the U.S. taxpayer-funded expansionism will continue and so will the strife.

— Jim Byrnes, Hyde Park

UC Chooses to Treat Part-Time Faculty Poorly
Let me make one small point regarding the language used in Kevin Osborne's article "UC Union Plans Boycott" (issue of July 19): "UC isn't legally required to recognize the adjunct faculty's union. Although Ohio law provides collective bargaining rights to full-time faculty, it specifically excludes part-time faculty from the provision."

The first sentence is true. The second sentence can be misleading.

The grammar of the second sentence might suggest that Ohio law excludes the option of UC recognizing collective bargaining rights of part-time faculty members. But that's not what the Ohio Revised Code says. See in particular Chapter 4117, "Public Employees' Collective Bargaining," especially section 4117.01 (C) (14) available at http://onlinedocs. andersonpublishing.com.

Section C-14 excludes "Part-time faculty members of an institution of higher education" from the definition of "Public employee." C-14 doesn't say anything about what UC might or might not do under the law concerning collective bargaining rights of part-time or adjunct faculty.

It's left entirely up to the University of Cincinnati how it treats the rights claims of adjunct faculty. And it puts responsibility for such treatment squarely on the shoulders of the university — the university can't say that the law won't allow recognition of collective bargaining rights for part-time faculty.

Once this point is made, I think it becomes easier for any citizen to inquire of the university how it has chosen to deal with part-time faculty claims of collective bargaining rights.

This is an especially important matter, because part-timers and graduate students account, per Osborne's figures, for so much of the instruction at the University of Cincinnati.

— Charles Seibert Associate Professor of Philosophy University of Cincinnati