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Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006 02:45 am

Letters to the editor

In and around Springfield

We welcome letters, but please include your full name, address, and daytime telephone number. We edit all letters for libel, length, and clarity. Send letters to Letters, Illinois Times, P.O. Box 5256, Springfield, IL 62705; fax 217-753-3958; e-mail editor@illinoistimes.com.
THE BUSH AGENDA ON IRAQ A reply to Keith Housewright’s criticisms of Roland Klose [“Letters,” Dec. 29]: When President Bill Clinton handed over the reins of office to George W. Bush, he passed on five world situations that Bush should watch closely. In descending order, they were al Qaeda, the Palestinians, Pakistan and India, North Korea, and last, Saddam Hussein. The sanctions against Iraq appeared to have effectively neutralized any aggressive ambitions Hussein harbored, which was why he was last on the list. Clinton’s message was to keep the Iraqis hamstrung. Several sources cite Bush’s response to this list as a reversal, that he put Hussein on the top of the list and al Qaeda at the bottom. For whatever reasons, George W. Bush appears to have entered office with an agenda that included “getting” Hussein. A close look at Bush’s response to 9/11 appears to confirm this. The official prewar chant was focused on a supposed link between 9/11 and Iraq. When this link was discovered to be too tenuous for the general public to swallow, “weapons of mass destruction” became the buzz words. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Perle, and many others holding the reins of government worked diligently for almost two years after 9/11 to incite war with Iraq — and succeeded. This mandate, agenda, and/or campaign is well documented and well understood by Republican and Democratic politicians alike; unfortunately, the public is still fairly in the dark. That’s why this format, reasonable discussion through the editorial pages, is important. When the public begins to understand the policies behind the politics, true democracy can then emerge. V. Kay Cheney Springfield

A REASON TO CELEBRATE Thanks, Martha [Martha Miller, “The examined life,” Jan. 5]. Having grown up in a small community 7 miles from Decatur, [I thought that] it was nice to read something in Illinois Times that wasn’t looking down its nose at my old stomping ground, though I waited 20 years to read it. Springfield isn’t quite the sophisticated city it pretends to be, with racist attitudes leading the pack more than homophobia. I’ve always thought it a little pretentious for a city that produces nothing but the sound of shuffling papers to badmouth a city that produces real things. After all, if the Emerald City is truly all that superior, less effort would be needed to constantly point that out. Dime-store psychology, perhaps, but after hearing Decatur belittled all these years by pretentious “Springfieldites,” allow me this small moment of celebration. After all, it may be another 20 years. Les Blain Springfield

PERFECT: IT THERE, AVON HERE Please convey my thanks to Martha Miller for her kind comments about my Avon Theatre in the latest edition. While it is most unfortunate that Springfield does not have an independent movie theater like the Avon, we in Decatur decry the lack of investigative, nonflinching local news coverage Illinois Times is so expert at! In a more perfect world, an independent theater like the Avon would open in Springfield or a newspaper like Illinois Times would open in Decatur! Skip Huston Owner, Huston’s Avon Theatre Decatur

NOT A FAN OF FEATURED DOCTOR I was disappointed when I read that Dr. Glennon Paul was not taken out of business [Bruce Rushton, “Playing for keeps,” Jan. 5]. I feel that his services to me 10 years ago merited no pay because, under his care, I became the sickest I had ever been with asthma and I became ill with the flu after he had given me an $18 flu shot. My respiratory ailments improved when I divorced him as my doctor and self-medicated with over-the-counter or alternative medicines. Paul was aware that, at the time, I did not have a job with insurance or with a high salary, yet he took me to the credit bureau for the last $50 of my bill with him and refused a payment plan from my financial advisor because, as he stated, “It would not even pay the interest.” Needless to say, I would not recommend him to anybody. Debbie Quick Springfield

QUESTIONS GUILT OF SLOVERS I have always been an admirer of the American way of life, but I have just watched a documentary on the murder of Karyn Slover and have now read various articles about it in your publication [see Dusty Rhodes, “Karyn’s killers?” Oct. 6]. I live in Glasgow, which sadly has quite a record for horrible, violent murders of the kind met by poor Karyn. In this country, the perpetrators of this level of evil are nearly always acting under the influence of drugs or alcohol and have a history of violent or psychotic behavior. Usually they have had a disturbed emotional upbringing or are callous hardened criminals often with similar baggage. The idea that the Slovers have acted in unison to carry out this ghastly crime simply beggars belief. Since it seems that ordinary citizens of your once fair land seem happy to accept that they have, I am now extremely glad I don’t live in your country. It would seem that your otherwise law-abiding citizens were able to organize themselves into groups to commit murderous, inhumane, psychotic acts whilst fastidiously removing all tangible traces of have done so. And they did this, apparently, because of their great love of a little boy whom they would have had to raise whilst looking him in the eye with the knowledge of their crime on their conscience — a little boy who has suffered even more trauma by being removed from his “new” mother whose only crime seems to be sharing the bloodline of the supposed perpetrators. Now he’s been forced to live with, according to one of your articles, his fourth choice in life. What happened to his human rights? Hang your heads in shame, America — a blind man in a coal cellar could see this just doesn’t add up. All decent Americans should take the time out to look at all the available evidence and if they’re satisfied justice has been done, then fine, they can sleep soundly in their beds. If not, then the real perpetrators are still at large, three innocent people have lost their liberty for the rest of their lives, a little boy has been unnecessarily traumatized for a second time, and the memory of Karyn Slover is besmirched forever. Alex Burke Glasgow, Scotland

ORDER VIOLATES RELIGIOUS FREEDOM Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich issued an executive order this summer forcing all pharmacists in his state to prescribe the morning-after pill without delay [see Joan Villa, “Right of refusal,” June 16, 2005]. Pro-life pharmacists have been opting out under the state’s conscience clause because the drug sometimes causes an abortion. Frank Manion with the American Center for Law and Justice says the order is making several pharmacists pay a heavy price. The ACLJ is representing three pharmacists who would like to see the executive order overturned. Manion says the religious rights of pharmacists are at stake. It used to be that they would not have to provide the pill but refer them to a person who would. This is how it should be. Religious freedom is too precious to hurt. Joseph Grigoletti Springfield

OPPOSES GAY RIGHTS LAW With the arrival of 2006, Illinois’ new law adding “sexual orientation” to the state’s human-rights code takes effect [see Todd Spivak, “Making history,” Jan. 13]. While most media pundits laud its enactment, they ignore the implications of basing civil rights on changeable, wrong, and unhealthy sexual behavior. Illinois’ new law will be a boon for homosexual activist lawyers. Across the country, “gay” advocates place their “orientation” above the freedom of conscience of others who disagree with homosexuality. Homosexual lobbyists cry tolerance, but they really don’t respect peoples’ religious beliefs. If they did, would they demonize opponents of “gay marriage” as “rank bigots,” to quote the top homosexual activist in our state? But it’s not just about normalizing homosexuality. Illinois now becomes one of just seven states that provide special legal “rights” based on “transgendered” behavior. Thus the law will also be used to force businesses and even religious-based groups to accommodate extreme gender confusion — for example, a male maitre d’ at a restaurant who informs his employer that henceforth he will be coming to work dressed as a woman. We need to repeal this bad law or at least start amending it. Peter J. LaBarbera Executive director Illinois Family Institute Glen Ellyn
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