Inbox — April 6, 2011

Letters to the Editor

News of the Normal
Given the content of last week’s Fake Issue, I believe Chuck Shepherd’s column should have been titled “News of the Pretty Darned Normal.”
Charlie Bensinger, Highlands

Come Together
In response to the “Write on” article in the March 23 LEO Weekly that touched upon Louisville’s literary scene, while it’s true and unfortunate that local public awareness and support may not be equal to the amount of talent here, there are efforts being made on several fronts to create a balance. Collaboration between writers, musicians and visual artists can be a key to promoting one another’s art form, gaining some amount of much-needed exposure with an audience that was formerly unaware of an artist’s work. Crescent Hill Radio, 1650-AM, is one such outlet that serves to promote a sense of community, airing a variety of shows that spotlight the local and regional talent of musicians, comedians, storytellers and writers.

“From the Inkwell,” part of Crescent Hill Radio, is a literary radio show created to help put the spotlight on the region’s writers, publishers, bookstore owners and educators. The Rudyard Kipling is a long-established venue that hosts literary and music events of a variety of styles and collaborations between writers and musicians. There are many writers, writers’ groups and publications here in Louisville — some having been formed decades ago, while others just recently. Wouldn’t it be quite something to see what we could all do working together, what a huge pot of stone soup we could make to share with everyone?
Sheri L. Wright, Crescent Hill

Muzzling Speech
I have to say I was appalled upon reading Joe Manning’s scatological diatribe in favor of castrating free speech (LEO Weekly, March 23). While I share Manning’s views of the Wall Street banker class and wish to see those people at the top taxed and regulated into penury, I fail to see the leap he makes to muzzling such groups as the Sierra Club.

I have a simple question for Manning: Are you willing to show up on the doorsteps of the Sierra Club, Kentucky Right to Life, NARAL, and the hundreds of other groups disenfranchised before Citizens United, and tell them they should not have the right to solicit donations to publicly advocate for a candidate of their choice?

Because that’s what it comes down to. The First Amendment enshrines the right to assemble as well as the right to speak, yet many liberals have great problems assimilating this assembly clause. Why is it so important, this right to assemble? Because it is often only by pooling resources and making lots of small donations (think: Obama’s campaign) that a vast swath of people can make their voices heard in this loud media environment.

Many of us do not have the luxury of our own LEO column in which to fret about taking away the speech rights of others while posing as a trust-buster in so doing. Manning should realize he has a special moral duty (especially in a newspaper, for god’s sake) to protect the speech rights he enjoys, rather than to seek their curtailment just because evil people also gain the right to speak.

You can’t ban Halliburton or the KKK from speaking without banning the Sierra Club, and I’d rather live in a country that was free than in the autocracy Manning envisions.
John Linton, Germantown