March 1, 2007

Erosia

LEO welcomes letters that are brief (250 words max) and thoughtful. Ad hominem attacks will be ignored, and we need your name and a daytime phone number. Send snail mail to EROSIA, 640 S. Fourth St., Louisville, Ky. 40202. Fax to 895-9779 or e-mail to leo@leoweekly.com. We may edit for length, grammar and clarity. King William I want to thank you, LEO, for having the audacity, or courage, or pugnaciousness, or whatever-the-heck-else it was that led you to publish Billy Reed (Feb. 14 issue). (I suppose it may have something to do with the fact that he’s had a brilliant career as a journalist.) He is the one voice of sanity I have consistently heard in the media regarding our latest travesty in the making — a.k.a. the arena. Billy Reed for Mayor. No, check that. Billy Reed for Governor. Aw, heck, Billy for King! Geoffrey Hobin What Now? Dear Leo and Billy Reed, Suppose that one is serious about wanting to prevent the arena disaster. What can one do? “The Arena Authority should be disbanded.” — Does one help to achieve that by (1) writing letters to the newspapers, (2) calling the local radio talk shows, (3) writing letters to state representatives, senators and Kentucky’s governor, (4) making one’s position known to Mayor Abramson at one of his face-to-face “Community Conversations” or (5) all of the above? There is a lot at stake, here. Has anyone created a Web site where those of us who don’t want this arena can identify ourselves and learn of others who don’t want it? Would Mr. Reed consider volunteering to serve as guest on the Joe Elliott (WHAS-AM) program to help build awareness of the points made in the Leo article? Phil Ardery Jr. Common Sense is Back Bravo to LEO for (mysteriously) returning the sharp writing, solid reporting and just plain common sense of Billy Reed to its pages. The powers that be may not be listening, but it’s important that Billy have this public platform from which to at least try to make himself heard over the increasingly far-fetched official line. Robert Lutz Arena on Central? Billy Reed’s very persuasive commentary on the coming disaster that is the downtown arena should be a call to action. Is LEO willing to help organize an effective effort to stop this disaster? The brain-dead Kentucky State Senate, under pressure from Churchill Downs, wants to amend the state Constitution to allow gambling casinos and “racinos” (a horse racing track with a casino). The reason for this is that Indiana is about to have a Bismarck-capable casino ship opposite our shores. If a racino is built adjacent to Churchill Downs, shouldn’t a new arena be built there along Central Avenue, too? The State Senate is fantasizing about casinos becoming a new revenue stream — instead of taxes. What are they smoking in Frankfort? Casinos increase the pain of addicted gamblers and lead to family dissolution. But if there is to be a casino in the future on Central Avenue, why have a downtown arena? The Louisville sports complex is clearly located along Central Avenue. David Eugene Blank Bridge to Confusion Stanley Collyer’s guest commentary, “The case for idealism and 8664” (LEO, Feb. 21), did little to support the 8664 proposal but rather just countered some of the statements Mayor Abramson stated in his Jan. 3 phone interview (with LEO). A third of his commentary was pointing out the obvious: Completing the I-265 beltline loop across the East End bridge into Indiana will reduce downtown traffic. This is already part of the Ohio River Bridges Project that was approved by the Federal Highway Administration in 2003, not the product of some idealistic progressive movement. 8664.org needs to stop being credited with inventing the bypass loop. Noisy truckers and other drivers not stopping in Louisville will choose to take the bypass without being forced. Collyer then calls the notion that removing the Waterfront Expressway will cause gridlock “pure speculation” — as if 8664 is supported by scientific studies and (pardon the pun) concrete facts? One cannot support speculation by calling the other side of the argument speculation. Then he goes on to speculate that exiting the highway, driving 20 blocks down Main or Market with traffic lights and ramping back on the interstate will be only an “additional 30 to 45 seconds” longer than taking the highway. In his next point, Collyer says that “people do not object to living on busy city boulevards.” Please show me that survey! The undeniable phenomenon of urban sprawl across the country makes it clear that the great majority of downtown workers prefer to take the interstate to their home in the suburbs rather than live in a downtown apartment. He then says that “they slow down traffic and bring life to a city.” But it only slows it down 30 to 45 seconds, right? You can’t make the argument that gridlock won’t happen and, at the same time, extol the virtue of slowing down traffic. Jacob Zimmer High IQ In your Feb. 21 issue, James Bevarly proposed a formula for determining your War IQ based on the number of days since the beginning of the invasion of Iraq that it took you to realize that the war was a bad idea. Since I knew on Sept. 11, 2001, that going to war with Iraq or Afghanistan or anyone else for the events of that day was going to be a bad idea, then based on Bevarly’s formula, I have a War IQ of 207 (and growing every day). From that day, and every day since then, I have told anyone and everyone that going to war was going to be, and is, and has been, a bad idea. Number of people I told: hundreds. Number of times I told them: dozens. Number of people who listened: zero. Ken Orr Iran Not So Far So, Sheriff Bush is now out there saying Iran is supplying small arms and munitions to Iraq. And recently some defense department officials (who refused to be quoted by name) held a press briefing that they refused to be photographed or otherwise recorded, to show off weapons used by Iraqis that are supposedly being supplied by Iran. It’s beginning to look a lot like pretext. I guess we also need to blow up France. Because, hey, they sold the Iraqis Mirage jets. Actually, Reagan supplied them with American weapons, but it’s too late for us to go after him. The funny thing is, Bush should have a pretty sound cause to blow up Iran because, hey, they’re building weapons of mass destruction that they’d happily use on us and our allies in the region. Oh, but wait, he already cried wolf on that in Iraq, so now he can’t use it on Iran. I guess instead of weapons of mass destruction, now it has to be munitions of micro destruction. That’s really a good thing because the Iranians have it so much more together than the Iraqis that if Bush can’t handle Mosul, he’d get his butt kicked in Tehran. Besides, I say great job, Iran, for identifying a growing weapons market. You’ve got the hang of Western capitalism already, and we haven’t even bombed you yet! Bryan Harris Fess Up Why should the American people believe anything President Bush says about a new plan for achieving victory in Iraq? He has absolutely zero credibility on the horrible mess he and his administration misled us into. It was a huge mistake for the United States to invade and occupy Iraq, a predominantly Muslim nation. Muslims resent our military presence on their soil. Other than to get rid of Saddam Hussein, I’m not sure what the real reason for our going there was. President Bush’s continuing false optimism and stubborn resolve is costing more and more American and Iraqi lives. Bush must deal with reality, put aside his ego and pride, and admit a military victory is not achievable. Escalating the violence in Iraq with a new “surge” of troops will only compound the problems we face there. During the last two years of a lame-duck presidency, President Bush should humbly admit his mistakes and begin to bring our brave troops home. Paul L. Whiteley Sr.