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June 6, 2006

Erosia: Letters to the Editor

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.CorrectionA dining review of Nio’s at 917 (LEO, May 31) misspelled the name of artisan Martin Alan Hirsch.One More SaySince two people took the time to respond to my Erosia letter printed in the May 24 LEO, I feel some desire to reply.First, Mickey Eversole starts off with a typical Clintonian methodology of attacking the messenger by pointing out that I am a Hoosier. I guess Mickey hasn’t seen the facts showing that Indiana consistently tops Kentucky in terms of education, but that’s an issue for another day.Speaking of education, that happens to be one of the causes Anne Northup champions, as shown in her support of the Kentucky Education Reform Act (which still didn’t bring Kentucky up to the level of Indiana) and also the No Child Left Behind Act. In addition to that, her caring spirit is shown in her commitments to literacy and adoption, two issues I support myself. And Anne serves on the House Appropriations Committee, which has helped secure the money for the Ohio River bridges. Now, I don’t know if either of those bridges will be built in my lifetime, but I appreciate the fact that she is fighting for them. And finally, Mickey should do some research on Benjamin Franklin. He did slightly more in his life than “just write a column.” For starters, he helped form this nation.As for the second writer, Ruthanne Wolfe, she should understand that class warfare is when you pit different classes against one another. That is what Gore and Edwards attempted to do with their rhetoric. Reagan and the current President Bush took a different tactic. In their tax-cut plans, they advocated tax cuts for taxpayers. That is pretty plain and simple to me. I’m still baffled by how liberals can’t understand why we do not give more tax cuts to people who don’t pay taxes in the first place.Despite what many people believe, this is a country that offers equal opportunity — but that does not mean it offers equality. There are definitely inequities that exist, but they are not due to Reagan or Bush. As presidents, they allowed us to keep more of our own money and then left us to decide what to do with it. Gore and Edwards simply want to be 21st-century Robin Hoods who would rob from the rich in order to give to the poor. Given those two scenarios, who is really guilty of class warfare?(And for the record, I am by no means rich today, but I live a comfortable life. That is despite the fact that I grew up in a poor to middle-class household. I have created my own successes in life rather than relying on the government to do it for me.)Rick RobbinsBad Boy GunsDear Stephen George:Your rant about the Concealed Deadly Weapons License (May 24 LEO) would be much more effective if you would tell the people who don’t know how many of the 12 killings were committed by someone with a concealed weapon. By that I mean legally carried. People who took the time and expense to get the training and get the check run by the Kentucky State Police that anyone must pass to be licensed. Restricting this right for law-abiding people will not have any effect on the bad boys. It is already wrong to kill someone. They don’t care, so what good is it to tell them we are going to stop the good boys and girls from having the chance to stop the bad ones?I don’t know, but maybe if anyone caught with an illegally carried gun got five years, no time off for good behavior. Use a gun in a crime, you get 10 years on top of whatever else you get. No dropping of charges on the gun. This may stop some of the killing. Go after the guns the bad boys have — not the rest of us!Dan KleinNo Gun ControlMr. George,All the gun laws in the world will not stop criminals from using guns. That’s the problem, the criminal breaking the law, not the gun. Gun-control laws only affect law-abiding citizens from exercising their right to protect themselves at the hands of a criminal. It has been statistically proven time and again that when concealed carry goes into effect, gun crime goes way down. Kentucky is one of the best states in which to live because we are not made easy victims for criminals who don’t care that they are breaking the law by using a gun in their crime. Hitler succeeded in total gun control over his citizenry, and we can all see how well that worked out for individual freedoms.Guns are, indeed, a problem in the hands of criminals, but taking them away from the majority of us to use in defense is the exact opposite of common sense. Ask yourself this, are you anti-guns or anti-crime? Because owning a gun doesn’t make one a criminal any more than having a vagina makes one a prostitute.J. FarrellBig ClimbKudos to Ross Gordon and LEO for an honest and balanced look at climbing in the gorge (May 24 issue), but I was disappointed that Ross’ photography was presented in such a small format. Something to consider: that the images be linked to larger versions?Russ Jackson, local sport climberHeroic HorsesAttn: Bill Doolittle:I enjoyed your recent article about Barbaro (May 24 LEO), as it brought back some names from the distant past that are seldom remembered. Hoist the Flag looked like the next big thing; in the one race I saw him run on television, he was astonishing and just as impressive as Barbaro. Ah, yes, Graustark ... he was my first “favorite” horse and may have been the greatest of them all, although he would have been hard pressed to have been better than Buckpasser and Dr. Fager. The fact that those two, who remained brilliant through their 4-year-old season, both skipped the grueling Triple Crown series may be a lesson here. I had never known why Graustark never ran after his Blue Grass defeat. If you recall, he was leading by at least 15 lengths coming into the stretch but was caught at the wire by Abe’s Hope. I wonder if he injured his leg in this race or perhaps later in a workout. For that matter, I never knew why Majestic Prince (the original regal chestnut four years prior to you-know-who) never continued running after his failed Belmont.While Barbaro’s injury, like Ruffian and Go for Wand before him, may have been simply a tragic misstep, what really concerns me about the sport is that absolutely none of the premier Triple Crown performers of recent years — Fusaichi Pegasus, Point Given, Smarty Jones and Afleet Alex (a very fortunate horse indeed; had he gone down in last year’s Preakness, he wouldn’t have survived) — have even made it to their fall seasons, much less their four-year-old year. While serious changes need to be made, I don’t see that happening for financial reasons.Chris WoodsWe’re the GovernmentIn the May 24 LEO, Mark Nickolas complained, “It’s a sad day, indeed, when elections in Kentucky will hinge not on which party has the better platform but which is less inept.” We’ve heard this before.Whose fault is it? Let’s be honest. It’s our own doggone fault. We’ve allowed big money to take over the political parties. Nowadays, they’re just money-laundering outfits for the big spenders who are buying control of our government. We need to take the money out and put the people back in. Let’s do whatever it takes to straighten this out.We let this happen back when bought into the lame idea that government is an evil empire and began electing politicians who push trickle-down economics and the privatization of Social Security. We’ve totally forgotten our high school civics. Our government is as good as we are; or as bad as we are. It’s up to us. That’s why we have elections.President Theodore Roosevelt said it best in 1912. “The government is us! We are the government, you and I.”Tom LouderbackNot a Creator PleaserLike his dad, President George W. Bush doesn’t have a clue as to how regular people strive to survive. Bush’s blindness calls to mind a little ditty I heard several years ago: “Peek-a-boo, I can’t see you; I’ve got my head in the sand. Boook-a-pee, you can’t see me; isn’t life just grand?”Yes, life is wonderful and the economy is booming for the rich, to whom Bush administration policies have catered. The income gap between rich and poor has reached record heights during Bush’s tenure in the Oval Office. He must get his head out of the sand, acknowledge the income disparity problem and change course so that the invisible millions he has left behind don’t fall even further behind.No matter what, the rich are always going to have much more than enough. The best presidents are those whose policies are geared to meet the needs of the majority middle class and poor. Putting the last first is morally and spiritually sound and especially pleases the Creator of us all.Paul L. Whiteley Sr.