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January 8, 2008

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.CorrectionLast week’s “Ballz” referred to the Patriots-Giants NFL game as being in the future, when in fact, by the time the issue hit stands, it was in the past. LEO regrets challenging the space-time continuum.Ignored Insistence Thank you for the article from Project Censored on the stories that the U.S. news media missed (LEO, Jan. 9). As I was reading it, an NPR news story about the latest Israeli incursion into Gaza interrupted my concentration. It reminded me of the news story that has been “ignored, misreported or poorly covered” for at least 40 years. The story of the human rights violations, the corporate punishment, the growth of illegal settlements and the strangling of the Palestinian economy, etc., etc., etc., is rarely told in the United States in an unbiased, equal and fair way. A reminder for me, and I hope for you, that the United States is the key to peace in Israel-Palestine. If our government and citizens would have the will to insist on it!Polly Johnson, LouisvilleNot R PlaceRest assured, Mr. Bride, that whether the smoking ban is reinstated or not, you will not see this non-smoker in any one of your facilities (R Place Pub or Joe’s Older Than Dirt). Hopefully, other non-smokers will exercise their right to enjoy a meal or a drink without being exposed to second-hand smoke, or arrive leaving your facility smelling like a cigarette factory. So enjoy your victory, however short or long it may be, just be rest assured that I will never visit either one of your bars.Walter Melnyk, LouisvilleYummy LEO StewYou have been hoisted by your own petard. There, I’ve said it.When I read “Hamlet” in high school, it had to be explained to me what Shakespeare meant when he had the Danish prince use the above phrase. I’ve encountered it only a dozen or so other times in my life. Your punishment at the hands of Louisville’s Metro Human Relations Commission (LEO, Dec. 19) now has allowed me to use that phrase myself. Thank you so much.The MHRC is exactly the kind of intrusive, do-good, be-fair-to-all, politically-correct, don’t-offend-anybody, don’t-be-contrary outfit you liberals champion. Now you have been bitten by it.Sure, it’s outrageous. If you had any real principles — or courage — you would have defied it. But you didn’t, leaving only an oh-so-juicy irony to be enjoyed.I read in your article of all the types of discrimination this outfit prohibits: age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, familial status, gender equity and sexual orientation. I can’t see where gender equity fits in there, but our forefathers believed in “discriminating” on most of the other topics. Hurray for them. So did the Greeks, Romans and British, to name a few who got ahead. We would not be where we are now were it not for their belief that they were superior. (I do wish to emphasize that discrimination on disability or sex is not acceptable to me. The first instance needn’t be explained. The course of Western civilization has mandated the second, and I accept it. Women are entitled to everything; we just never should have allowed them to drive.)I believe the world was a better place when it was OK to think poorly of people because of many of the above categories, but to judge each by the way he/she acts toward you. To disapprove, but to tolerate. You liberals can’t handle that; it’s not OK to disapprove. When you take that away, you make it more difficult to tolerate.Anyhow, now you’ve been hoisted by your own petard. Permit me to laugh out loud while you stew in your own pot for a while.Rick Cushing, New AlbanyFinding AnswersThe story “When God’s got no answer” (LEO, Dec. 26) is interesting. I doubt if Edwin Kagin’s efforts will result in better understanding/sympathy for his fellow atheists, who are the most distrusted and disliked minority group in the country.I’m much older than Kagin and didn’t leave deep questions of universal origins, natural history, the development of life and the explanation of natural phenomena to religious speculation. I trusted science and myself to provide answers. I’ve had a happy life and found this wonderful country, and the grand woman I’ve been married to for 60 years, has been more than enough for me.I consider myself post-theological rather than an atheist.Bob Moore, LouisvilleSpotlight on AfricaI can’t help but add some thoughts to your humor about celebrities adopting third-world children (LEO, Dec. 19). I really enjoy your offbeat approach — but am troubled by this one. My own take on this was similar to yours at first — for whatever reason — that these celebs were taking advantage of this for publicity, right? Is this your point of view? Or am I missing it, which happens?After some thought, and looking at what is happening lately, I am taking a more open-minded approach to this. I notice that there is a really strong focus on Africa lately — coincidence? In fact, I mused to myself recently that we have finally discovered the continent of Africa.Clearly the governments and agencies of our world have gotten only a smattering of “good” done in the past thousand years (or so) to help this continent with its perennial problems. However, now that a few celebrities have done these things, I see young friends of mine volunteering to move to Africa to work in charities, etc. The good intentions of some are becoming reality from a few acts of these celebrities. Can’t decide who to fault for this conflict in my mind — the celebs for their actions or us for not realizing that they may be doing more good than a thousand years of governments and international agencies. Perplexing, huh?I’ve been exposed lately to some of our Louisville Asian refugees who have spent more than 15 years in a Thai refugee camp after having been pushed out of what was Burma. It has given me a serious appreciation for displaced and “lost” peoples on our globe. If a few celebs can make this change, I am all for it.Roger Dutschke, LouisvilleEditor’s note: The humor referenced in this letter appeared in an advertisement in LEO’s Derby Issue in early May. LEO occasionally helps clients conceive and design ads, but the newspaper had no role in creating this particular ad, which came in ready to print. In our Dec. 19 issue, LEO wrote a story about the fall-out from the ad (http://leoweekly.com/?q=issue/frontpage/6010).