September 22, 2010

Inbox — Sept. 22, 2010

Letters to the Editor

Corrections
A review in last week’s LEO should have listed Veneer as Jose Gonzalez’s platinum-selling album. Also, the story “Left in the dark” should have indicated the Kentucky Public Service Commission has at this point only held a hearing regarding the sale of LG&E; a decision will be made by the end of the month. LEO regrets the errors.

Local Mouthpiece
Responding to Cary Stemle’s article on Joe Arpaio (LEO Weekly, Aug. 25): I live in a small town not far from Corydon, Ind., where Sheriff Arpaio recently appeared as a fundraising speaker for local Republicans. I shuddered with dismay when I realized this man, who has repeatedly violated civil rights in the name of justice, was being asked to be a mouthpiece for local politicians. Arpaio’s track record in Arizona is shameful and disgraceful, unless you happen to be the kind of citizen who is OK with other people’s rights being violated — especially if those people do not look like you or sound like you. To Stemle’s point about the claim that Tyson does not hire many Hispanic workers being suspect: You can verify this lie by spending any amount of time in the local Wal-Mart. There are a surprising number of people of color shopping there for a county that claims to have only 675 Hispanics. And, several years ago, this Wal-Mart significantly beefed up its selection of ethnic cuisine. I truly doubt the profit-driven Wal-Mart would have done that for a population of 675 souls.
Cathy Keibler, Milltown, Ind.

Manning Stimulation
I feel compelled to write and say that as a longtime LEO reader, I have found most of the articles of late to be either mundane or whiny. Some of the space reserved in LEO seems to be given to people needing an outlet to complain about their specific life condition, of which I find little interest. Thank you, Joe Manning, for writing columns that are both mentally stimulating and entertaining.
David Goud, Highlands

Asheville On My Mind
Attn: Sara Havens: After reading your Bar Belle about Asheville, N.C., I thought, “What a great getaway” (LEO Weekly, Aug. 4). The following week, I was having dinner with my daughter and a fellow beer snob, and I mentioned your article, and she had the same idea about going over Labor Day weekend. We planned our trip and left on Friday afternoon. Your article didn’t do that little town justice.

I was completely enthralled with the whole scene. Places we visited were The Thirsty Monk (several visits), the Wild Wing Café (to watch the Louisville/Kentucky game), Bruisin Ale’s beer store, Barley’s Taproom, Asheville Pizza Company, the Wedge Brewing Co. and The Bier Garden, plus some little shopping stops.

The beers were fantastic, the food was good and the locals were more than friendly. If I didn’t have ties here, I would consider the move if I could transfer with my job. Thanks for the article and suggestion.
Tim Burnash, Okolona

Dirty Deeds
I just happened to catch an Inbox letter from a reader in the Highlands who took offense to being mistaken for a Christian for his good deed (LEO Weekly, Sept. 1). He went on to conclude that as evolved humans, we are capable of practicing good deeds by ourselves. As evolved humans, we also are capable of practicing the most depraved acts of evil. I read of these acts every day. I would not be offended by being mistaken for a Christian. I also would not be so proud as to think that thanks to my own evolvedness (I know, I created that word), I will be full of compassion, doing good deeds like Mother Teresa.

His question was, “Is a good deed worthy of any admiration when it is done only because it is expected of us, or worse, because we think we will be rewarded for it in another life?” Ideally, it would be good if all good deeds were from a heart of love and compassion. The Bible and other holy books teach this. But we are not as evolved as we may like to be or, in the case of the writer, as evolved as he thinks he is. We are capable of both good and evil. And we are capable of good deeds out of compassion and love, but at other times we may do good deeds out of duty or because we are motivated to build good karma. The answer is if the deed was good, it is worthy of admiration, given the person leaves the motives to himself and does not broadcast them to others or write to LEO about the good deed and criticize others who are not so highly evolved.
Don Hensley, Lyndon

Zombie Cruisin’
I want to begin by saying that I am fully pro-zombie and pro-Zombie Walk. I think it’s great, creepy fun, and I think it should continue every year. Having said that, there’s a question that’s been nagging at me since the announcement that a portion of Bardstown Road would be closed off for the event this year: Why is it OK to shut down the heart of the Highlands for the Zombie Attack, which can and does involve some harassment and vandalism (like any major event, I suppose), yet folks are not allowed to cruise Broadway in the West End during Derby?
Jae Grady, Camp Taylor

Queen of O-Hate
This morning, the Queen of Right Wing “Pontification,” Mandy Connell, admitted on her blog while commenting on Dinesh D’Souza’s upcoming book on President Obama’s motivations that “Somehow, this makes me hate him less, if only because now I understand what motivates him, and it’s not pure evil, it’s just misguided.” This acknowledgment of hate of the president of the United States from a radio commentator, while refreshingly honest, should be understood in the context of her repeated demeaning of President Obama in her daily screed. She has the right to use the public airwaves to spew hate-driven screed. We, as a community that is evenly divided in support and opposition to the policies of the president, have a right to boycott her sponsors who pay for her “pontifications.” Perhaps WHAS Radio will hire a reasonable conservative driven by intellectual and moral beliefs rather than hatred. Let WHAS and her sponsors hear your disapproval.
Richard FitzGerald, Highlands

Stickers Suck
Now that Fancy Farm is behind us, the political season is off! I am already seeing political graffiti showing up on the streets. Vote for Me, Re-Elect Me, Save My City, 86 This, Tyler That … along with every asshole who litters the streets with their stamps, scribbles and wishes, plastered on Post Office address labels. If you want to do something positive for this city, do something to help eradicate this litter/graffiti and improve the quality of life in Louisville. Anytime a city location is depicted as a “slum” in a movie, what do you see? Answer: graffiti in the background. Political stickers are no more and no less than graffiti. They should be on bumpers, not street poles. Do not give these out to “eyesore” the world. I would like to see Louisville become a Zero Tolerance City for Graffiti. Why Louisville? Why not Louisville?

I’ll get off my soapbox now.
Mark Abrams, Highlands

Not-So-Free Speech
It appears that the letter writer of Aug. 25 just cannot relate to freedom of speech unless money is involved. That is how badly the politicians have twisted our perception of the First Amendment. Good news for them. Bad news for the rest of us.

We know the founders of our country had no idea that access to the most effective means of free speech would someday be restricted to those who can afford to buy ads. They assumed the speaking and listening would be done in public places. For example, the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates. Also, newspapers were pretty inexpensive to operate in those days. There were several in every town. So, participation in the process was fairly simple and easy.

Now, we have pay-to-play “free speech,” and it’s pricey. It’s ironic because airwaves are public property — like public parks and roads. That was why Congress enacted the equal time doctrine for broadcasters, which lasted 50 years. About 15 years ago, however, Congress decided to give these public properties to the media companies in exchange for nominal leases. So the airwaves are managed like private properties today. Why did Congress do this? Short answer: They thought it fit their political ideology.

The saddest part of the story is that we’ve forgotten what our founders wanted free speech to be. “As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights,” said James Madison. Too many of us cannot tell the difference between free speech and advertising.
Tom Louderback, Highlands