copyright Bill Widener 2000

Free speech, free press

I wanted to write and congratulate you for writing and printing your editorial this week [Horse's Mouth, Oct 11] in support of questioning free speech, even if that speech is not in favor of the current, supposedly "unified" American government. As a BA-holding history major myself, I applaud the efforts of persons like yourself who are willing to look beyond the politicized flag waving and remember that our democracy is based on the willingness of citizens to challenge their government and hold their leaders responsible for their actions.

I fail to see how persons who questioned the competence of federal leaders before September 11th can truly believe that these officials have suddenly gained wisdom and experience due to these tragic events. Frankly, I become more worried when I see that politicians whose views I did not support in August have suddenly come into far-reaching power that enables them, in the name of the war on terrorism, to violate the constitutional rights of American citizens and trounce on the freedoms of other nations to disagree peacefully with our views, especially when they assure me that many of the actions they take will be done covertly. How do we know these actions really are in the best interests of the American people if they are kept from us?

I understand the need for secrecy in times of war, but a balance must be found between protecting our national security and the lives of our soldiers, and giving the American people enough information about government activity so that when we speak in protest or support, our voices will be informed. We must continue to support our government by refusing to allow it to operate unchecked. Otherwise, we may find ourselves in a similar position to the Afghan people, with little opportunity to decide our own fate.

Thank you for supporting free discourse and free press.


Virginia W. Lacefield

I was puzzled by a recent letter writer's condemnation of the sponsors of Bill Maher's television show. [Letters, Oct 11].

Since when does "censorship" mean disagreeing with someone else's opinions? Since when does "free speech" require a subsidy with someone else's money? Since when is "blackmail" defined as not giving your money to someone you disagree with?

Last I heard, Bill Maher remains as free as anyone else to express his opinions to anyone he wants in any way he wants. It's just that now he may have to do it with his own money - like the rest of his fellow Americans (or is he Canadian).

If you want to burn an American flag, knock yourself out. Just don't expect me to go buy it for you.

Greg Doyle

Art's Sake

We have refrained from spreading the word about the beauty of visual art during the past few weeks out of respect for people in the world that are victimized by the actions of others who use their power without regard for human life.

Yet, now it is important that we step forward and remind each other about our common points. Each of us, regardless of background, is impacted in a positive way during our lifetime by the creative efforts of others. Music, writings, performing and visual arts have existed in every society since recorded history without regard for man made borders.

Creative efforts can and do alter perspectives, enhance empathy and remind us of the beauty in the world. This has been true for even the most villainous souls. We can opt to ignore this or do something about it.

Maybe it is naive to presume that the arts can play a positive role in the peace each of us seek but we don't think that should prevent us from spreading the word.

Please visit a virtual or brick and mortar museum, gallery, theatre, library, music hall or other cultural center today and encourage a friend or loved one to join you.


Mark J. Karstedt

Listen Up

Dear Editor,

When the U.S. mourns the six thousand Iraqi and Yugoslavian civilians that we killed with our bombs, when we can grasp even a single night of the terror we caused to the people of Baghdad, or even imagine who the shells from our departing battleships killed as they were lobbed into the Moslem sector of Beirut after our Marines were killed, when we can mourn the hundreds of Panamanians we killed during the news blackout in our invasion of Panama in Operation Just Cause, when we can feel for the almost 500 Palestinians killed since Bush took office, or the 400,000 refugees Israel created by invading Lebanon, when we can think of Qaddafi's little stepdaughter killed by American warplanes, only then will the people of the United States begin to get the whole picture, and September 11 will no longer be just another ugly piece to the puzzle of terror where because of the Bushes, Chaneys, Rumsfields, Clintons, and our own Congressional leadership, we are just as guilty as the Bin Ladens of the world.


Richard Krause

Meow Meow

Nothing makes me think of UK homecoming like a wildcat pirate with a patch over his eye. Don't get me wrong: I'm sure that any opposing team would feel quite threatened by this, but who thinks of this CAT-crap? Is it the SGA or Panhellenic that decide the theme of homecoming?

I apologize if I offend anyone, although I think I speak for many students and cat fans when I say this years theme was CAT-stupid.

What is it with everything having to have the word CAT somewhere in the theme? "CATribbean"- listen to how it just flows of the tongue. If people have to pronounce it to themselves three or four times before the idea becomes apparent, then the idea CAT-sucks. A CAT-astic idea would have been CATmania after horse mania.

Wait, that's already been done. Or even better replace the "C" and put a "K" to emphasize Kentucky.

Themes are probably very hard to come up with, but come on, where's the creativity? I'm not trying to be a CAT-alyst, okay maybe I am. I just expect more from such a large, diverse university. Check your CAT-heters production teams, because your work is becoming piss-poor.

Regardless, it's hard to get excited about the homecoming of a losing team. Maybe if we had a half way decent CAT-terback, and some players who didn't need to be paid CAT cash to play like CAT-shit then I wouldn't be so bitter.

V. Massie

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