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.
Zam is the Man
Many thanks to Rick Redding for keeping LEO readers up to date on the local media. I’ve been a big fan of WAVE-TV’s James Zambroski since he started as one of their “investigators.” Kudos also to the now-departed news director who saw past Zam’s age and TV inexperience.
We post-50s appreciate a little less makeup and a little more content in our local news. Zam gave us both. I wish him well in his new position.
Self-Restraint is Admirable
Dear Miss Bar Belle:
I read with pleasure your most recent comments regarding those of us who abstain from partaking in libations from New Year’s Day to the auspicious St. Patrick’s Day (LEO, Jan. 17). Apparently, there are many of us who do this, and I very well may be the leader of this incomprehensible cult (as I have been doing thus for seven years). I think you miss the point on why we do it. Simply put, this occasional self-restraint exercise builds character. However, you raise some interesting points of view. What do we do on Friday nights? Well, for one, we mostly have to write to crazy newspaper columnists and explain ourselves.
As for the issue of tolerance, I will offer this proposal. Meet me at Molly Malone’s on Saturday during the Highlands St. Paddy’s parade, where we can examine the subject of tolerance more closely (unless you are one of these crazy nuts who enjoys flinging beads at people), and then perhaps I will show you some other things we do on Friday nights. P.S.: In the interim, should you need a designated driver, I would be happy to oblige.
Joe Kearn, The Pope of St. Paddy
Bridges are physical structures that can create powerful social and cultural metaphors. Whether it is a towering architectural span or a simple gesture of two hands held together in a clasp of friendship, a bridge is the metaphor for crossing boundaries and moving forward, a metaphor of peaceful negotiations and connectivity that holds a promise of the future.
As a community, we have the opportunity to literally recognize such a metaphor by naming the Louisville East End Bridge after an American who dedicated his life to bridging the gap between injustice and righteousness, intolerance and acceptance, and the promises of a nation and its people. Naming our community’s new bridge after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would signal to the world that Louisville distinguishes not only the contributions of a great American, but that we understand that our destinies are tied together as we cross the bridge to a brighter future for all.
I feel as though there is no oversight with our monopoly, the cable company. Insidiously they are forcing the consumer to purchase additional, unnecessary services and hardware, preventing access to products currently purchased.
Let me give you my specific example. I purchased the HBO package, and I have four TVs. I can only receive HBO on one TV. I am told that channels 17 and 18 are no longer being offered as HBO to new customers. You must get the box for each TV. This seems preposterous if not illegal.
I cannot help but think that this gradual turnover is specifically designed to fly under the public’s radar. If all consumers were simultaneously robbed this way, oh, what an uproar.
It seems as though this problem should be the responsibility of the government, which limited our access to free trade in the first place. The Metro government should be responsible for monitoring the monopoly they created.
Possibly the fourth hand of the government could investigate and expose, as historically, this is what kept papers in business.
Give Ordinance a Chance
No Bar Belle this week, so I’ll rant about something else: the dog ordinance and its opponents (including the unaffected Lynne Foster of New Albany, who seems to believe that horses will be next, no doubt in response to all the dangerous equines running around loose mauling small children). While I am a dog lover and owner myself, and while the ordinance could stand some editing, let’s face it: There are dangerous dogs running around loose mauling small children, and something needs to be done about it. Let’s see if the ordinance has its intended positive effect before condemning it.
(An open letter to Mayor Jerry, since he is not accepting e-mails on this subject.)
Dear Mayor Jerry,
Thanks for the slap in the face to all of us law-abiding dog owners. This bill that you signed does nothing to protect the public from any dangerous dog. I do have an idea for a bill to protect all the citizens of our great city. I call it the Dangerous Politician Bill. Let’s start by making it a mandatory requirement that all politicians be fixed — we can’t have any unwanted ones running loose in our fair city. Let’s require all their medical records to be made public. Let’s require them to be muzzled in public and be on a 4-foot leash; an unmuzzled politician might promise something they can’t deliver. If they get two complaints, they get fired immediately and can’t hold office for five years. Let’s charge them $250 a year for a dangerous thinking license, and carry $1 million worth of dumb-thinking liability insurance — maybe they might think before dreaming up stupid legislation. Finally, let’s confine them behind 6-foot high fences, but no more than two per half acre, because in a pack, they are just dangerous. Now there is a law that will protect all of us.
The primary responsibility of Metro Animal Control has to be public safety. Period. Ensuring the humane treatment of animals within its jurisdiction is next. The “right” of somebody to keep an intact dog on a six-foot chain 24/7 in order to protect the owner’s “stuff” is not included. Having volunteered at our local animal shelter for many years and having seen the continuous parade of neglected, abused, exploited and abandoned dogs and cats, I admit there is not much room left in my bleeding heart for: 1) pet owners who refuse to understand the problem of pet overpopulation and will not alter their animals, despite available, inexpensive spay/neuter programs; 2) pet owners who allow their animals off their property unattended; 3) pet owners who “can’t afford” the cost of a license and the required vaccinations, but assume they can afford to have a pet anyway; and, at the other extreme, 4) owners/breeders/show hobbyists of “designer” dogs whose Kennel Club mentality renders them incapable of understanding what an ordinary mutt’s life is like — people like Ms. McGowan of Newton, Mass., whose ignorance of the good work the Humane Society of the United States does not only on behalf of helpless animals, but also on environmental protections and other global issues. Have your shows and your ribbons, but at least have some acquaintance with, and sensitivity to, the real world!
Strength With Love
Growing up as the son of a Baptist minister, I was taught at an early age that “God is love.” I am much older now, but still believe that God is love. No matter what one calls God — Jehovah, Allah or just God — one Creator, in love, made us all and the planet we inhabit.
To many, love is weak, wimpy, naive. But in reality, its strength is the missing ingredient in the world’s so-called pursuit of lasting peace. We, citizens of the world, are fooling ourselves if we believe we can love God and hate other people. Fear, hate, greed and pride lead to killing and war. God does not need or want anyone to kill in God’s name. What are the real reasons suicide bombers kill themselves and other people they don’t even know?
The clergy of every world religion should be preaching the good news of God’s love — the tie that binds all humankind. It is unloving pride that motivates people to think their religion, culture or race is superior to anyone else’s. Our differences cannot be resolved militarily. It behooves the world’s religious leaders to speak out and demonstrate God’s love by example. A hungry, dying world is crying out to be fed. Love is strength, it endures and never fails.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr.