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Thursday, Aug. 18, 2005 05:59 pm

Letters to the editor

In and around Springfield

Letters policy
We welcome letters, but please include your full name, address and a daytime telephone number. We edit all letters for libel, length and clarity.

Send letters to: Letters, Illinois Times. P.O. Box 5256. Springfield, Illinois 62705. Fax: (217) 753-3958. E-mail: editor@illinoistimes.com


This is response to an article written by Dusty Rhodes about downtown and the “zombies” on Sunday mornings [“Sunday morning coming down,” July 7]. I live and work downtown, and I see what is going on. Business, for the most part, has increased because of the success of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Some businesses have extended their hours to accommodate the visitors — this is what happens when businesses “work together as a team.”

I also know what it’s like to work downtown on Sundays and have customers come in and say, “Is this all there is?” They see shops and restaurants of interest to them but can’t do business with them because they’re closed. What a shame! Our business is open between 12: 30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to accommodate those employees who wish to attend church services. Even if businesses were to be open just for the afternoon hours, it could be profitable. Restaurants could be open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and offer a limited menu so as not to have any waste.

I would really love to be able to tell people when they come in, “Yes, there is more to downtown.” I would rather direct them to an establishment downtown than to other places outside the downtown area. We should all try and keep businesses downtown as much as possible.

I’m not complaining but offering suggestions on how to revitalize the down town area. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “I say try. If we never try, we shall never succeed!”

Shirley Fitzgerald


Who knew when we sat in our living rooms, watching the television show Dallas in the ’70s, that we would be living it 30 years later? That rascal J.R. Ewing now occupies the White House after lying to us and snookering the religious right twice.

The attacks on American merely gave George W. Bush and Dick Cheney the opportunity to do what was planned long before they ever took office — invade Iraq. Because this Middle East mess is about oil, especially for China, the fear of terrorist attacks will always be used as an excuse for attacking someone or taking away more of our rights. Is the threat of a terrorist attack real — of course it is, and we’re going to be living with it the rest of our live and some of us will die because of it.

Rest assured, Osama bin Ladin is of much more value to this administration on the run than he ever will be if caught. One thing that has held true in my lifetime: When American elect oil people to the White House, they always brings us war!

David Magee


The world waited anxiously, then rejoiced when seven sailors were brought up from the ocean and also when seven astronauts returned from space safely. Now, if we could just get our troops back from Iraq!

Lola L. Lucas


Nearly 2,000 Americans killed in Iraq [and] George W. Bush is still a liar.

Steve Denton
Leland Grove


To my daughter’s generation: Sometimes I feel that I must be the last woman alive who participated in fighting to have abortions made legal so women could have them performed by doctors instead of the butchers who were performing them. It is hard for my daughter’s generation to realize that abortion did not come into being with the court ruling in Roe v. Wade. I am appalled when I hear or read that women are arguing about whether it is a baby or a fetus, when life begins, or whether someone is pro-choice or pro-life when that was never the issue.

Today, there are some women naïve enough to believe that if Roe v. Wade is struck down, there will not be any more abortions. I hate the phrase “choice.” In the “old days,” women, especially poor women faced with an unwanted pregnancy, really had choices — and no choice was good.

The real choices began once the woman, having evaluated the options available to her, decided to have an abortion. She could cause the abortion herself by one of three methods — throw herself down a flight of stairs, precipitating an abortion; take some medication that caused severe cramping, thereby triggering an abortion; or inserting a metal coat hanger into her uterus.

The last one always worked, and many of these women ended up in the hospital with a perforated uterus. Cook County Hospital in Chicago had an entire ward devoted to complications from self-help abortions. The other choice was to find an abortionist (who was never a doctor) who performed the abortion in her home on the kitchen table or basement floor without any medication for pain, a towel in the woman’s mouth to mask her screams, questionable sanitary conditions, and for a fee. There existed a cottage industry, one that is springing up again in states where access to abortion has been severely curtailed. The last choice was “where the politicians took the girlfriends,” as my mother’s generation referred to them. This was available to those who could afford to pay for an abortion by a doctor in a sterile setting. These were actual clinics staffed by a doctor who paid the police on a daily basis to keep the office open.

My guess is that if Roe is struck down, doctors won’t be arrested under the old rule because doctors won’t be performing the abortions — they have too much to lose. The cottage industry will take over. The exception will be to have one doctor available so the politicians will have a place to take their girlfriends.

Annamarie Elger


U.S. Rep. Barney Frank has called for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush. In light of this, it is interesting to note some of the hallmarks of the Bush presidency: (1) Waging an illegal war and lying to the American public about it, (2) trying to destroy the social safety net that protects the poor, the disabled, the sick, the elderly, and the middle classes, (3) trying to destroy the separation between church and state, a bedrock of the Constitution, (4) building a gulag archipelago of torture prisons throughout the world that deny basic rights and due process to detainees, and ignore the Geneva Conventions, (5) giving tax cuts to the rich, which, along with hundreds of billions of dollars for an illegal war, has recklessly put our country intro serious financial debt, and (6) fudging the figures on global warming.

Bush has used diversionary tactics to warn the public and the press away from focusing on officials in his administration, such as Karl Rove, who are under suspicion for committing acts of treason or, at the very least, committing perjury and the obstruction of justice. The first diversionary tactic was to vilify Joseph Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame. The second was to preempt the news with stories about his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

If any of this bothers you, contact your congressman. I already have.

Beni Kitching


After visiting the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum for the first time, I am moved to extend my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to everyone involved in its creation and operation.

I had very high expectations before our visit, yet my actual experience of the museum far exceeded even those great expectations. I found it to be much more than a visit: For me, it was a grand experience.

The museum’s chronological organization, multitude of actual quotes, amazing artifacts, and clearly and creatively presented information resulted in a sense of actually being right there with Lincoln from the time he was a small boy until the time of his death. During the walk-through “journeys,” I felt a depth of emotion unlike anything I’ve ever previously experienced. And while viewing the hologram shows, I forgot I wasn’t at a theme park!

Since experiencing the museum, I plan on revisiting the other Lincoln sites with different “eyes.”

No wonder this museum has broken the record for the most attendance of any presidential museum to date. For me, it was a monumental experience of Abraham Lincoln that I plan on repeating time and again.

Michelle Sullivan

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