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June 5, 2007

Erosia

LEO welcomes letters that are brief (250 words max) and thoughtful. Ad hominem attacks will be ignored, and we need your name and a daytime phone number. Send snail mail to EROSIA, 640 S. Fourth St., Louisville, Ky. 40202. Fax to 895-9779 or e-mail to leo@leoweekly.com. We may edit for length, grammar and clarity.   Nowhere Man I enjoy Beatles’ tunes, but the long-ago song that tells us far more about our deeply troubling times is Paul Simon’s “American Tune.” As we watch “the Statue of Liberty sailing away to sea,” we better “wonder what’s gone wrong.” Why did Carol Trainer get arrested at the Abbey Road on the River festival for protesting Bush’s endless war? Why did Mayor Jerry Abramson sit passively nearby? Regardless of what “happened,” Abramson’s leadership was absent — he failed to act, failed to speak out, and he left the scene. Abramson’s deafening silence is a reminder of what’s gone wrong. Is his cherished “popularity” more important than taking a stand? Our local faking-it media got it wrong, too — they muted, distorted and minimized this story. What’s gone wrong with today’s spineless journalism — Democracy’s last safeguard? Meanwhile, our hopeless White House “leader” may literally wreck our country by 1/20/09. IMPEACH remains a four-letter word in our sheepish nation. This anniversary week of Robert Kennedy’s death, we need to reflect on this extraordinary leader who gave his life for our country, who “saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.” We need to rethink our passive participation in democracy. We need to take seriously both of Al Gore’s dire warnings: Global Warming and Our Dying Democracy. Thank you, Carol Trainer, for your civic courage in speaking out and for caring deeply about our country. Michael Gregoire, Louisville   Hold Your Peace I’m writing about the editorial approach to the review of the film “Improbable Collapse” (LEO, May 23). While an editorial disclaimer is understandable considering the controversial nature of the material in the film, the injection of three additional editorial comments into the text of the review was unlike anything I have ever seen. Those comments seem to have been designed to discredit the film and the reviewer (Paul Kopasz) before the reader had a chance to examine the arguments contained in the review. If the editor can’t make a sufficiently strong single disclaimer for this sort of article, then perhaps the review itself should have been spiked rather than resorting to this style of editorial naysaying. John Croxton, Louisville Unnecessary Ed Gosh! Am I ever sick and tired of these conspiracy theories regarding 9/11! I fail to see how there could possibly be a conspiracy behind the fact that the first three steel-framed buildings in the history of mankind to collapse as a result of fire happened all in the same day, at the same place, at the same speed, all three diving symmetrically into their own footprint. It’s a wacky world! I was just so glad to have “Ed” hold my hand through those confusing facts in Paul Kopasz’s review of “Improbable Collapse.” His reassuring comments in parentheses (a parody of “Humorless Conservative Guy” from This Modern World? —DH) were right there by my side. Truth Eagle Ed knows the LEO readership better than anyone and will swoop down and rescue us from uncertainty at every turn. I really have no idea why more and more folks are turning to community-driven online media formats. How do they get by without an “Ed”? Darrell Hayward, Louisville   Laissez-Faire Editing I was happy to see LEO run a review of the 9/11 documentary “Improbable Collapse,” but I was disappointed in the annoying and unnecessary way that the editor kept butting in throughout the article. The disclaimer at the beginning was more than sufficient, and the editor’s intrusions served only to insult both writer and reader. A more hands-off approach to editing in the future would be appreciated. Markel Tumlin, San Diego, Calif.   Fair Share Reading Jim Waters’ May 16 column, I saw that he repeated the expression “right to work” five or six times but then described it incorrectly. About halfway into the column, he writes, “Right-to-work laws simply protect employees from being forced to join unions or pay dues.” I’m certainly not a labor relations attorney. However, it’s my understanding that employees of union workplaces in Kentucky are not required to join unions or pay union dues. What they are required to do is pay a “fair share fee,” which is less than the union dues. Its purpose is to help cover the costs of administering the collective bargaining agreement. Since all employees receive the raises and benefits negotiated under the agreement, it’s reasoned that all should pay something to maintain it. If I understand the right-to-work concept correctly, the objective of these laws is to excuse employees from paying the fair share fee. Tom Louderback, Louisville   Strength in Numbers As an Army Reserve veteran, I take great offense to Mike Perlin’s comments (LEO, Erosia, May 16) that the money “squandered” on the Thunder Over Louisville air show is money “that won’t be spent in training and educating our children so they won’t have the military as their only job option.” Like millions of current and former soldiers, I can tell you that serving in the military was certainly not my ONLY option, but rather it was my BEST option.  I freely admit that part of my reason for enlisting in the military was to obtain money to continue my education. Of course, I could have funded my education by taking out student loans and leaving myself deep in debt by the time I graduated. I could have partially funded it through the use of Pell Grants and other handouts from our federal and state governments, which I would have easily qualified for. However, I decided that I would prefer to actually EARN my way through college while simultaneously giving something back to my country, including potentially my life. Perlin’s comments mirror the idiotic ones made by John Kerry when he tried to say that if you don’t do well in college, then you’ll wind up in the military, as if the military were some sort of second-tier institution for college drop-outs. For all of those who like to complain about military shows, you should remember that our nation is the world’s greatest political power, the world’s greatest economic power and, yes, the world’s greatest humanitarian power, because it is also the world’s greatest military power. And that is why we celebrate the strength of our military. Rick Robbins, Sellersburg