December 28, 2011

Inbox — Dec. 28, 2011

Letters to the Editor

Forgotten Goals
I agree with most of the points Rich Mills makes in his “To the Occupiers” letter in the Dec. 14 LEO, but one point just begs for a rebuttal. “Rich people don’t get that way by stealing money from the 99 percent,” he wrote.

Um, Rich, that’s exactly how many of the wealthy on Wall Street got that way: flat-out theft from the rest of us. It’s unconscionable that the principals of Goldman-Sachs and their brothers-and-sisters-in-crime aren’t serving long jail terms for their thefts and the resulting ruination — Bernie Madoff to the contrary, of course.

Calling attention to that, and demanding justice for the crimes perpetrated by the “Masters of the Universe,” was the original purpose of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Too bad that very worthy goal has all but been forgotten as OWS participants’ hazy and disparate objectives and ridiculous anti-corporate rants doom the movement to irrelevancy.
Steve Weingarten, Jeffersontown

Respect the Rand
Reading your Loserville Awards segment on Rand Paul (LEO Weekly, Dec. 14), I was reminded of Rudyard Kipling’s famous words: “If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
 / Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools.”

I would encourage fair-minded readers to research for themselves the larger context and ideas behind Paul’s statements, which your piece did not report accurately. I understand that the “progressive” editors of LEO find folks like Paul to be repugnant, but perhaps that should not prevent LEO from treating other people’s ideas with a little more journalistic integrity.
Rich Mills, Shawnee

Keep Alive the Death
After reading the letter on the death penalty (LEO Weekly, Dec. 14), I was saddened and disappointed that the writer chose to refer to the lawful killing of Troy Davis as a “murder.” The death penalty is not a murder; it is a legal killing. A murder and an execution are not equivalent. Regardless of the alleged innocence of Davis, I would never advocate “throwing out the baby with the bath water” by eliminating the death penalty.

Timothy McVeigh murdered 168 people, injured more than 680 people, destroyed/damaged over 320 buildings and over 85 cars in a 16-block radius. It was the most destructive act of terrorism on U.S. soil until Sept. 11. McVeigh was executed six years and two months later by lethal injection. One could even say he was “killed in vein.” This relatively short gap of time between mass murder and execution is humane to society and the criminal himself. Many more executions should proceed at this pace, given there are no questions as to guilt.

There are just such heinous crimes that cross a line that they require the ultimate penalty. And the death penalty should never be taken off the table as a deserved punishment. At times, murderers do escape, get released and/or arrange for new murders and other crimes from their cells. And this is why I am a strong proponent of it.
Robert Veith, Brandenburg, Ky.

No Homes
The 2010 Census showed that there are more than 28,000 unoccupied apartments and houses in Jefferson County, and a recent survey found 7,268 abandoned or vacant properties. Yet more than 9,100 people used services for the homeless in the Metro last year, and any-given-night censuses of the homeless have consistently found more than 2,000 of them, even in the dangerous cold of winter. What’s wrong with this picture?!
Ike Thacker, Highlands