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 [email protected]. We may edit for length, grammar and clarity.

Yarmuth vs. Northup
Yes, I know it is the day after the election. I intended that. So who won? I don’t know! So why am I writing? Because now that either the outstanding John Yarmuth is headed to Washington, or the Bush-clone Northup is returning to office, this letter won’t be accused of trying to sway a vote. It is just my chance to say a few things in general.
First to Anne Northup: Your bold-faced lie about John Yarmuth not paying his restaurant employees’ minimum wage should have lost you every vote you may have earned by working hard for the city of Louisville. That was intended to convince ignorant people only. It does not take much of a mind to realize that instead, he was attempting to force those who did not pay above minimum wage to do so.
To Tom Raque (from LEO’s Election Issue, Oct. 25): You should be ashamed. First, only a Bush clone could try to sell the Clinton recession package. Why don’t you instead look at the deficit in 2000 and today? Why don’t you look at how the MIDDLE class has disappeared, and the number of jobs so many of our good people must hold down at minimum wage to survive. But when you said that Anne Northup is strong on moral values and John Yarmuth is a far-left wacko, out of touch with the mainstream, I had to laugh. Are you suggesting Anne is more moral than John? How well do you know them? I don’t think running a filthy campaign, where she blatantly lied, makes her that moral. And I am not aware of one single thing John Yarmuth ever did that could be called immoral. Oh, are you judging John on his support for gay rights? According to my Bible, loving your neighbor is quite moral. And what mainstream, Tom? The 65 percent who think we were wrong to go to Iraq? The majority of Americans who support stem cell research? How about the middle class/poverty mainstream? I would not be surprised by your calculations if John only got 5 percent of the vote. He is a WACKO out of the mainstream. Or maybe, Tom, he is simply out of your investment-banker-suit-and-tie, $9-martini-at-Fourth-Street-Live mainstream, because even though he has lots of money, he still cares about those less fortunate.
OK, the election is over, and I pray that Anne Northup is looking for work. But I KNOW that John Yarmuth will be doing good things somewhere, no matter what. And in two more years, we will have to do this all over again. And we should all be ashamed for allowing it to happen.
Richard Hodge

Grasping at Straws
I hate to burst Rick Redding’s bubble (LEO, Nov. 1), but The Courier-Journal’s editorial board does NOT diligently meet with every candidate, nor do they always have a basic grasp of what the issues are in a given area or, for that matter, even do their homework on the candidates. I’ve been a community and political activist for almost 30 years. I’ve dealt with the editorial board, including twice as a candidate. Everyone should chip in a send them dime so they can buy a clue!
Paul Hosse

Halfway Down
I was disappointed after reading your article regarding the candidates for mayor (LEO Election Issue, Oct. 25). While it may be true that Ed Springston stands little chance of unseating “Sir Jerry,” I am miffed at your refusal to offer Springston’s effort any semblance of significance. True, he may not have the political pedigree you acknowledge as being necessary, but his efforts as a blue-collar, working-class individual going “all in” to try and help our community is, in a way, heroic. There was nothing in the article’s words that left me with a feeling of hope that your average citizen can or should enter politics. And, if one would try, they would be shot down immediately by biased journalism toeing the political mainstream line.
As a musician, I am sure that writer Stephen George knows what it is like to be an outsider. And with this article, by completely dismissing Springston, an outsider in his own right, it appears to me that George and LEO have not only dismissed Springston, but the ideology and hope of outside political thinkers everywhere. Springston may not “have a prayer,” but as long as biased journalism continues, neither will anyone else outside of the two-party monopoly that has proven corrosive at best. Stephen George and LEO’s banishment of the independent Springston has, at least to me, left me with an uncomfortable feeling that this publication has finally and unfortunately acquiesced. Congratulations.
Adam Colvin

Agree to Disagree

Regarding Christopher M. Spellman’s diatribe (LEO’s Erosia, Oct. 25): While I might agree with him that Tom Louderback can be somewhat ubiquitous in his letter-writing, perhaps Spellman should not have returned to the fold of LEO readers. We were treated to a VERY lengthy paragraph in his letter that expounds in great generalities and with absolutely no substantiation, all his perceptions of the ills and errors of “progressives.” I doubt he excluded any soundbite, cliché or overwrought tortured phraseology in describing progressives in general and John Yarmuth in particular. Apparently Spellman does not think John Yarmuth should be the next Representative of District 3. That certainly is his prerogative. However, it would be refreshing if he would back up his assertions with some semblance of factual data, rather than just another tiresome litany of regressive distortions of reality.
Robert P. Frederick

Mojo a Joke?
I’ve never written a letter to the editor before, but I feel compelled to do so regarding the lack of “Southern hospitality” exhibited by what could and should be a great asset to the Louisville community. In particular, I’m speaking about Louisville Mojo, an online site supposedly dedicated to bringing Louisvillians together to exchange information, chat, hook up … whatever. From the moment I signed up, it was as if I was a complete outsider who was not welcome at all into what seemed like a high school “clique” — I was harassed constantly and people were allowed to post obscene photos of my head superimposed on graphically pornographic images, all without any consequence whatsoever.
This has happened to several of my friends who have joined and left after the same kind of treatment. It seems a shame that a Web site that purports to be some kind of representative for Louisville and its citizens turns out to be nothing more than a venue for hatred and pornography. If this site is indicative of the city of Louisville and its attitude toward newcomers, it certainly is not doing us any favors in the PR department. I hope there are other ways for newcomers to get their first impression of Derby City.
Michael Reese

A Weird Campaign
I never really jumped into the “Keep Louisville Weird” mania that began spreading across the city a couple of years ago, and I was unable to determine why until a couple of weeks ago.
If it was a legitimate attempt to maintain Louisville’s uniqueness, instead of just a marketing campaign, I’d be all for it. When you consider keeping Louisville weird, do you think about the Muhammad Ali Center? Do you consider the diverse political make-up of our citizenry or the simple politeness that can be found, sometimes, on our sidewalks, but that is noticeably absent in other cities our size? Or do you think of eating at certain restaurants or shopping at certain stores? I agree that supporting local business is an important way to help our city maintain its uniqueness, but it is certainly not the only way.
It seems that some local businesses have used the “KLW” campaign as their only means of attracting customers. They have sacrificed customer service and now use guilt to attract customers. I shop at Carmichael’s because they are local and they provide great customer service. I do not shop at some stores because the value of supporting local business doesn’t outweigh the lackluster customer service I’ve received there.
I support local business and I Keep Louisville Weird by supporting local arts and using my vote and my voice to support progressive goals. The two are not the same, and the attempt to make them seem so is a marketing campaign and nothing more.
Jonathan Smith