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.

Lucid Moments

Thanks for Carl Brown’s Jan. 23 column on casinos for Kentucky. No doubt one of his more lucid moments. I agree that the issue is about making it easier for a small group of problem gamblers to lose their grocery money and not about revenue for the state. We already know how that will play out. Can you say LOTTERY?
As for Billy Reed, if the best argument he can make for his pro-casino position is that we drink and smoke, he needs to go back to work for The Curious-Journal.
Thanks also for the placement of the Caesars ad next to Brown’s rant. I’m glad to see you are still up for irony.
Charlie Baker, Louisville

Gamble Away
Regarding Carl Brown’s “Casinos are a bad bet for Kentucky” (LEO, Jan. 23): Brown’s argument against casino gambling seems to be held by a number of people in Kentucky. There would be some validity to the argument if Kentucky didn’t already have several forms of legal gambling. Whether it’s pari-mutuel wagering, lotto or bingo, those who are prone to addiction with gambling have had years to feed their addictions at their family’s expense. In all likelihood, casino gambling will not increase those addicted to gambling. Those who prefer casino gambling don’t have to travel far to plunk down their hard-earned bucks, but those bucks will in no way bring any benefit to the commonwealth.  
If you want laws that protect people from themselves, it has to be across the board, i.e. a complete ban of gambling in Kentucky. Of course, we tried a complete prohibition of alcohol and we see how well that worked out. Still, the commonwealth does have a responsibility to provide help for those who have problems with addiction in ALL its myriad forms, not just those subsidized by the state.
David Fitts, Lexington

Circus Cruelty
We’ve all seen the ads on TV about the Kosair Shrine Circus coming to Louisville Feb. 7-10. Kosair Charities supports the Shrine Circus, which does not operate its own circuses but hires one of several existing circuses.
The circuses hired by the Shriners have a deplorable record of cruelty to animals and serious violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. For this show, the Shriners have hired George Cardin, who is one of the worst in the business. He has multiple USDA fines for cruelty to his animals. Circus elephants spend their entire lives in chains and box cars traveling from location to location, so when one of them goes “berserk,” what it is trying to do is escape the cruelty of years of confinement and abuse by their handlers, who have been known to beat them if they do not perform properly. Circus animals are taught to do their tricks out of fear.
Although there are several “animal-free” circuses available for hire, which are growing in popularity and would provide a good turnout, our Shrine temple chooses to hire one with animal acts.
Both the Kosair and Shrine organizations do very good charitable work, however, I believe they could set an example for us all by not hiring circuses with animal acts, and I urge people to stay home as a protest against this type of animal cruelty.
Harold R. Wilson, Corydon, Ind.

Imagine That
I’m writing in response to the fictional “Imaginary Conversations” in the Jan. 16, LEO. Albeit not too far from what some local Dems believe to be true, the article mimics an imaginary conversation between Metro Councilman Doug Hawkins, R-25, and State Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville. The two men bump into one another in the grocery and bicker about whom of them deserves Clark’s seat in the upcoming November 2008 election.  
What the article failed to point out is that Mr. Clark did not send Dana Seum back to Indiana; the Democratic Executive Committee gets credit for that most democratic decision. Lest we forget, that ACTUAL candidate for that campaign was Virginia Woodward. Ms. Woodward and a team of supporters sent Ms. Seum back to Indiana, and NON-candidate Mr. Clark was all too happy to swoop in and take the seat.
As a former and long-time resident of that district, I can’t help but remember a slimy betrayal when Danny Seum ran as a Democrat only to switch parties AFTER winning the election and getting in with Fletcher’s cronies in Frankfort. How’s that working for you now, Danny?
In any case, thanks for the comedic relief, LEO. After all, it’s only January!
Cindy L. Happel, Louisville

Kickin’ It at JCC
As a season ticket holder to four local theaters, I must say that my wife and I attended a performance last evening that was, so far, the highlight of the year — the production of “La Cage Aux Folles” at the Jewish Community Center’s CenterStage. It was as nearly flawless as one could hope for. Starting with the musical direction of Justin Hornback and the introduction by Andy Epstein as “Georges,” I was amazed by the raw ability of the cast of 27, plus the musicians. The costuming, the staging and the directing were as fine as I have ever seen in a local production. The professionalism of Eddie D. Lewis as “Albin” set the tone for a true theatrical experience. Even his portrayal was no better than the singing, dancing and agility of the entire cast. There were no weak links. You would just have to see men 6-feet tall and 190 pounds dance, kick and do splits as can-can girls to believe it.
Robert S. Brown, Louisville