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May 27, 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.

Turning
The Page

Today
we are turning a new page. We are now under the ownership of
SouthComm and the leadership of its CEO, Chris Ferrell.

I
would like to take this opportunity to thank the people in Erie,
Penn., for the support and encouragement they gave me over the past
five years. The challenges and rewards have been many, and I feel
privileged to have worked for such a fine group of people. Erie —
our shorthand for the Times Publishing Co. — decided to sell LEO
because they were facing an overhaul of the presses they use to
produce their daily newspaper, which will cost millions of dollars.
They have decided to concentrate their resources on their core
product.

Before
coming to LEO, I had worked in a more corporate environment. There
was a certain protocol and political correctness that was expected. I
found the alternative newspaper world to be very different. At first
it was a little unsettling, but I have come to appreciate the candor
and honesty of the culture. The elephant doesn’t get to stay in the
middle of the room for very long before he is called out. I would
like to address the elephant in the room now. There were people on
our staff last week who were not offered employment with SouthComm. I
would like to personally thank each of them for their contributions
and accomplishments, which were many during their time at LEO. To
Cary Stemle, Michael Steiger, Kelly Gream and Mark Bacon, I wish you
the very best both personally and professionally. You will be missed.

I
am optimistic about the days ahead. Chris Ferrell brings with him a
new energy and enthusiasm. He worked as the publisher of the
Nashville Scene, our sister alt-weekly, and has an understanding and
appreciation for alternative newspapers. He is building a diverse
portfolio of publications in the Southeast and, if the first few days
of new ownership are any indication, there are exciting days ahead
for us. We were already working on a redesign to update our look, but
we are not going to change the DNA of the paper. We want to build on
what we have, make it bigger and better. We will continue to give you
great journalism, information and opinions about the community,
politics, arts and culture that you won’t find anywhere else —
and, as always, a little attitude.

P.S.
Holiday week + paper sale = 40 pages.

Pam
Brooks, LEO publisher

Correction
In
last week’s Summer Fun Guide, LEO unintentionally omitted four
farmers markets from our listings. They are listed below. LEO regrets
the omissions.

• Victory
Park Farmers Market
— 22nd & Kentucky; Sat. noon-4 p.m. starting June 7-Oct. 25.
Accepts EBT/food stamps and FMNP vouchers. Urban Fresh is the vendor.

• Russell
Neighborhood Farmers Market
— Russell Community Garden, 22nd & Cedar; Fri. 3-6:30 p.m.,
June 6-Oct. 24. Accepts EBT/food stamps and FMNP vouchers. Urban
Fresh is the vendor.

• Urban
Fresh Market at Spalding University
— Kutz Green, South Fourth Street between York & Breckinridge;
Mon. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., June 2-Oct. 27. Accepts EBT/food stamps and FMNP
vouchers. Urban Fresh is the vendor.

• Smoketown/Shelby
Park Farmers Market
— Meyzeek MS, Preston & Breckinridge; traditional farmers
market, Sat. 9 a.m.-noon, June 7-Oct. 25. Accepts EBT/food stamps,
FMNP vouchers and WIC coupons.

Meet
in the Middle
Your
endorsement of Barack Obama confidently declares that you are “not
scared” by speculation that white middle-class voters might not
support him in sufficient numbers. I’m not too worried about that
either. My hunch is that Colin Powell’s immense popularity in
public opinion is a good indication that the United States is finally
ready to elect a president who is African American.

But,
I’m worried that Obama might have another electability problem that
Powell would not have. Might Obama be just a bit too liberal?

I
think of myself as liberal, too, but I never forget that we live in a
pretty darn conservative country. This means that liberal-minded
candidates have to compromise and give concessions we don’t much
like in order to win high public office. It’s a cold hard fact of
political life. The Clintons understood this very well, for good and
for bad.

Some
folks figure that Obama will convert our country to liberalism. I
wish that were true, but I just don’t believe it’s a realistic
expectation. Obama will either compromise or lose.

Tom
Louderback, Louisville

Divide
and Conquer
Why
was it that when George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Al
Gore and John Kerry all lost the rural vote and income bracket under
$60,000 in Kentucky, it was because these candidates where out of
touch with rural Kentuckians? Now that Barack Obama loses the same
rural vote, Kentucky is labeled uneducated and racist. Could it be
that Obama is simply out of touch with rural Kentuckians the same way
that McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore and Kerry were? Could it be
that Clinton, her husband and daughter all campaigned harder in
Kentucky for votes, and Obama made only one visit to Louisville? Many
times if you fail to ask people for their vote, you will not get it.
Kentucky is much more than Louisville.

Barack
Obama is a good candidate. Hillary Clinton is a good candidate.
People have had two good choices. But to continue to break this
country into bits and pieces as the media has done is unacceptable.
The cartoon in The Courier-Journal last week that implied Kentucky is
racist was irresponsible. Clinton supporters are no more racist than
Obama supporters. Saying they are is just a joke.

The
media in this country has a responsibility to the public to be fair
and honest. Labeling entire groups of people as racist is
irresponsible. I hope the divide-and-conquer mentality stops soon.

Gregg
Wagner, Louisville

Melts
in Your Mouth
Well,
LEO, what’s on my mind — and it can be warned there is no easy
way of stating this — is the packaging of a certain snack item
purchased in a pre-work haste this afternoon. This item was a
5.30-oz. package of peanut M&M’s, which I purchased along with
a bottle of spring water and several packs of sugar-free gum from a
gas station employee (beady, glazed eyes, sparse goatee, sad grin).
It wasn’t until I had arrived at my place of employment that I had
realized that on the yellow package of M&M’s was an
anthropomorphic representation of each color of M&M, except the
dark brown M&M, which is also the ostensibly rarest of the
colored candies.

Could
this be racism or simple oversight? The answer to this is unclear,
but one thing has been established: Not only is there just one of the
five humanoid M&M’s that is female, but there is only one that
was omitted — the minority.

Joe
Strother, Louisville

A
War By Any Other
Name
In
my frequent visits to the well-run VA Medical Center, I encounter
some of the more than 24,000 maimed vets who served in Iraq. Today,
after talking with a young man who has a prosthetic leg, I recalled
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s aphorism, “You go to war with
the army you have.”

Perhaps
he should have added, “You come back from war with the body you
have.” Should I be ashamed in sharing this thought because it
implies he spoke in unpitying sympathy? After all, like the rest of
us, he has the ability to fool himself into believing the world is a
certain way.

An
official document from the VA informs me, “The records reflect that
you are a veteran of the World War II Era, Korean Conflict Era,
Vietnam Era and Peacetime.” While sweeping mines during the “Korean
Conflict Era,” I gave no thought to it not being called a war. I
believe five minesweepers were sunk during what I now call the Korean
War.

Despite
what we were told, Iraq was not an immediate threat to the United
States when we invaded. The administration has been successful in
having media refer to it as the Iraq War. This is utter madness. It
was an invasion (storming) of another country.

Will
it matter to the young amputee, and others, how history refers to it?

Bob
Moore, Louisville