Inbox — Aug. 10, 2011

Letters to the Editor

One Part Tease
I’m tempted to say that your recent cover photo of a stripper wrapped in the official flag of Metro Louisville was unpatriotic (LEO Weekly, July 20). Yes, it is a form of free speech protected by our First Amendment, like burning the U.S. flag. What bothers me is that we appear to be taking our right to free speech for granted. We are eager to entertain each other with trash-talk and glitzy images, while we are too lazy to seriously discuss important public issues. Too often we forget that free speech is partly about our right to say something provocative whenever we feel like it, and partly about our responsibility to seek relevant info and say something constructive. The first part without the second breaks down to public apathy. The second part without the first breaks down to public intolerance.

We need to remember that free speech is not just for fun. That said, I think you covered both parts well. The accompanying article by Jonathan Meador made a solid contribution to the second part.
Tom Louderback, Highlands

Big Evil
I am curious about the logic of people who view large corporations as evil. In his July 6 letter, John Conaway says that Panera is a less evil corporation than Pier One because it has fewer employees. So what exactly makes a company good? Is it that it has few stores and a paucity of employees? Is Heine Brothers less evil than Starbucks because it has fewer stores or because its stores are in Louisville? Or is it because the owners live in Louisville? Could Heine Brothers have avoided evil altogether if it had only one store and refused to hire any employees?

I happen to know one of the owners of Heine Brothers a little bit. He seems like a nice fellow with nice kids. I know Heine Brothers markets itself as a local company, but if it were to grow into a global firm, would the owner and his kids morph into mutant sado-capitalists?

I think if you talk to most small-business owners, they would be interested in expanding throughout the world if it would be profitable for them to do so. Is such ambition bad? Should we consumers only support small, local businesses to a certain point, but after they have gotten to a certain size, withdraw our support because they will have become evil?
Rich Mills, Shawnee

Lost Pup Found
I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the people of Louisville for helping me find my lost dog, Star, last week. When we discovered our elderly, nearly blind dog was missing, we immediately began to ask for help from the community — and we were completely overwhelmed by the response. In addition to No Kill Louisville, local businesses in the Beechmont area, such as Sunergos and Triple Crown Cigars, allowed us to post fliers inside their buildings. (The manager at FedEx kindly helped us ease the cost of said fliers.) We received phone calls from concerned neighbors who thought they saw Star, and we watched on Facebook as others in the surrounding areas posted that they were out looking for her.

The Louisville Metro Police Department was eventually responsible for locating and catching our “puppy.” Officers Anne Rhodes and Shane Justis demonstrated the compassion and determination of the LMPD; Officer Rhodes in particular donated approximately 20 full hours of her free time to help us. We could not be more thankful to these officers and the Fourth Division.

Thursday evening, as I went around the neighborhood gathering the fliers and posters we distributed, I was again overwhelmed by the concern shown by the community. Everyone I spoke to was so excited: The woman I spoke to at the library nearly cried. I know that without the support and compassion of everyone in the Beechmont area, as well as other Louisvillians, we would not have been able to find Star.

This letter is much more than a recognition of the kindness of these individuals to help another. This is truly a testament to the force of a community that is willing to work together. Let us take this as a demonstration of our city’s ability to create a community conducive to the promotion and preservation of all animals, both lost and found.
Amanda Hobbs and the Denton family, South End