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November 10, 2010

Inbox — Nov. 10, 2010

Letters to the Editor

Yarmuth Worship
Hours after the Nov. 2 elections, I feel compelled to make two very important points:

1) I absolutely, irrevocably do not and will never have heroes.

2) John Yarmuth is my hero.

If the Democratic Party needs an ideal model to rely on to regain its footing and its House majority, our guy is it. John put the next generation over the next election in risking his career to vote for bills he sincerely believed would solve the health care crisis and create green jobs — down the road, not in 18 months. Then, of all things, a solid majority of the voters of the Third District also qualified as heroes by voting for him, showing the patience and farsightedness that eluded the overall electorate, who demanded the Obama administration solve its inherited mess immediately, or else.

Indeed, John’s courage and steadfastness were worthy of being rewarded. I even forgive him for passing me over for a position with LEO after he interviewed me in 1995 (a decision that showed even he can err).

Of course on Tuesday, many others in the party, including, sadly, Baron Hill in Southern Indiana where I grew up, saw their good deeds punished. I know things are tough — I was recently on food stamps briefly because of lack of work — but can’t the electorate grow beyond instant gratification?
George Morrison, Original Highlands

Heiner Worship
In the Oct. 27 LEO Weekly, Phillip M. Bailey wrote that Hal Heiner is better qualified to be mayor than Greg Fischer on account of his service on the Metro Council. We heard that several times during the campaign from Heiner’s supporters, and many of us just took it with a grain of salt. Not Bailey. Apparently, he took it seriously. Bailey appears to actually believe that incumbents are better qualified than insightful challengers from other fields. This might make sense if the qualifications for mayor were something like the professional requirements of physicians, nurses, engineers, architects, attorneys and CPAs. But, this particular job is not much like that. It’s about leadership, stupid!
Tom Louderback, Highlands

Felons Are People, Too
I left work to go grab a coffee and my weekly copy of LEO. After I flipped through the Oct. 27 pages to the zeitgeist radar What A Week, I was taken aback by the phrasing Jonathan Meador used in describing why Community Builders lost the contract managing Park DuValle. I strongly disagree with how he singled out the employment of felons as a valid reason for the contract being terminated.

Highlighting this “infraction” reflects the negative sentiment our society holds toward people who have made poor decisions in the past. It affirms that hiring a felon is a bad thing. The stigma Meador is perpetuating makes finding a job or housing increasingly difficult for a former felon and thus near impossible to provide for themselves and their family. Just because a person is a felon does not make them a bad person.

We hold felons in a Catch-22. We expect them to become productive members, but we don’t give them the employment opportunities to become that productive member. In some cases, their parole and probation are contingent on finding employment. Few places are willing to hire a felon in this city. We need to start treating former felons as people and not second-class citizens.

I am neither condemning nor defending Community Builders. I am only denouncing the singled-out population of more than 150,000 Kentuckians who are former felons. They have been disregarded and disenfranchised enough and don’t need to be put down again in the name of comedic jest.

Frankly, I am surprised and disappointed in Meador’s comments.
George Eklund, Meriwether

Sanity in Insanity
This past weekend, two friends and I drove through Friday night to participate in the Rally for Sanity hosted by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. It was amazing to say the least, but to be perfectly honest, there were so many people that I could barely hear or see the activities on stage. We met with some friends at a bar before heading to a rally and found that most of the people there had already been and came back to the bar because they could not hear a thing. Also, so many people were trying to get on the Metro that most people had to wait 45 minutes just to get a ticket. To actually get on the Metro, we had to take it in the opposite direction to its end so we could find a space going the other direction. Within one stop (two altogether), the car was full, creating a scene each time we stopped. The operator would say, “You will not get on this train. The doors are closing, and this train is moving.”

Even with these issues, there was a clear message in the masses. To have too many people supporting sanity in our politics is a problem I like. This was a direct response to the insanity of the tea party/FOX News/Glenn Beck ridiculousness that is leaning on ignorance and fear to motivate a minority to twist our government into one of intolerance
and obstruction.
Mason Roberts, Highlands

Paul Overhaul
Our newly elected anti-government Sen. Rand Paul believes our country can solve its economic problems by allowing the business sector free rein to do as it pleases, free of government interference or regulation. Does Paul really believe business will govern itself to always do what’s right or just?

We the people are the government, and government is not the villain Paul makes it out to be. His scales of justice are overwhelmingly tilted in favor of the wealthy, who will own him. Kentucky and America now have another “just say no” senator who represents rich special interests at the expense of a middle-class and poor majority.

Business creates lots of jobs, and for that we can be thankful, but businesses cannot operate without those workers they employ and won’t last long if buyers aren’t there to consume their goods and services. Businesses need workers and consumers just as much as workers need a job.

American corporations sent millions of manufacturing jobs overseas. Our high unemployment rate would be much lower if the jobs were still here. Allowing jobs to be outsourced hurts America. Paul’s laissez-faire philosophy, which promotes greed and selfishness, is bad policy and inconsistent with the “In God We Trust” that graces our currency.

What could unite America is everyone working for the common good — government, business, churches, schools. I voted for Jack Conway because I believed his scales of justice were much more evenly balanced than Rand Paul’s. Senator-elect Paul ran against President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid; now the pressure is on Paul and the Republican Party to create jobs and rescue a broken economy Republicans helped create
Paul L. Whiteley Sr., St. Matthews

High Gas Prices
The problem of high gas prices in Louisville continues unimpeded. Wasn’t it just a year or so ago when local media and a collection of politicians were all proclaiming that they were going to do “a thorough investigation”? They all postured that they would “get to the bottom of this and correct this injustice.”

Recently we drove to Lexington where we were shocked to find gasoline selling for 21 cents a gallon cheaper than Louisville. A few days after that, we were in Southern Indiana and found gas selling at 15 cents a gallon cheaper than Louisville.

Has everyone forgotten and given up? What did these “investigations” turn up? Why are Louisvillians still being gouged by the oil companies and local dealers? Does anyone know? Does anyone care?
Irvin Goldstein, Hikes Point

"It’s about leadership, stupid!"

By curtis morrison
Tom. As your candidate won the election, I'm not going to debate his qualifications or lack thereof after the fact. However, I do want to lecture you on leadership. You just called one of the city's most talented and passionate journalists "stupid" for writing what you simply didn't want to read. That is not the way to bring people together, or build bridges, or endear gentle readers to your mayor elect. It is, however, probably the most efficient way for you to further isolate and enrage Fischer's critics, ensuring he only has one term. In fact, you've already inspired me to google "how to impeach a Kentucky mayor", which unfortunately looks unprecedented, so I will need help. Hopefully, I'm not the only reader that you inspired through your mad leadership skills.