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March 18, 2008

Xtra :Five years of hell — and counting — in Iraq

Somehow we’re already here: March 19 marks the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Every American media outlet worth its salt will be covering it, so you can make your own judgments about whether invading a foreign country for changing reasons — most of which were either unfounded or lies — is any way to exist in the world. In Louisville, show up outside the federal courthouse at Sixth and Jefferson streets between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday for the local portion of a nationwide protest of the continued American occupation of Iraq. The Louisville Peace Action Community is sponsor. And in next week’s LEO, read a fascinating piece written from inside the San Francisco peace movement, the country’s largest. The article examines the ways history has shown that the peace movement was right to oppose the war from the start, as well as how a democracy can suddenly turn dysfunctional when its leaders ignore the majority. —Stephen GeorgeCity urges Louisvillians to conserveIs it cheesy to unveil an initiative called “Go Green Louisville” on St. Patrick’s Day? Unavoidably. But Metro government pulled the lever anyway, launching an effort aimed at reducing its environmental footprint and, you know, saving the money that comes with that. Over the next two years, the city will reduce energy use in government buildings by 10 percent, in part by replacing more than 1,000 incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents, which are a little more enviro-friendly. They’re also buying more hybrids — they have 17 now, 15-20 on order — and continuing to downscale the city fleet, no longer buying mammoth things like Ford Excursions. Metro is also committing to increasing recycling by 10 percent in two years, mostly by making it available at major public events. The Kentucky Derby Festival, for instance, will be recycling this year. More importantly, the city asks that you pick five ways to save energy, protect water, foster cleaner air, preserve land and reuse and recycle in your everyday life. Sure, we haven’t heard the word “conserve” from government since it was Jimmy Carter’s. But really, it’s not hard. Go to www.louisvilleky.gov/gogreen for more. —SG