Inbox – May 13, 2015

Mourning loss of Jim Welp

LEO and Louisville likely will never see a more eccentric, gifted and entertaining observer than Jim Welp. One day soon a giant sinkhole the size of St. Matthews will open up in the space that was filled by his column. The man was (and I’m sure still is) brilliant, hilarious to a level worthy of national syndication. A Dave Berry in our midst. I already mourn the loss of his LEO column and do not envy the job of trying to truck in enough rip rap to fill the hole.

Dan Barbercheck, Red7e President

Trinity drug testing

Don’t send your kid to Trinity! Drug testing is unconstitutional and amazingly counter-productive. The American Academy of Pediatrics is against student drug testing. They list numerous reasons, but the most important is the drug test creates a bias to use more dangerous drugs. Overdose fatalities have increased sixfold since the widespread adoption of drug testing in the 1990s!

A recent study out of Washington State found that one-third of our military personnel use illicit drugs and 38 percent of them use synthetic marijuana. Synthetic marijuana is their drug of choice because it doesn’t show up on the drug test. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a poor person, a student, a pilot or the average employee, drug testing creates a bias towards more dangerous drugs. Incentivizing the use of more dangerous drugs is bad policy, period.

Tom Rector Jr., Prospect

Why Liberals really fear Republicans

On April 22, there appeared in the LEO a letter entitled “Who Liberals Fear Most,” citing Ted Cruz as an example. But the letter misses the point. It isn’t Republican candidates liberals fear but a Republican Party which has convinced itself that America is in decline and that her only hope of salvation lies in self-destruction.

We fear a Republican Party which has allowed itself to come under the sway of Rupert Murdock, an Australian whose international propaganda machine has consistently done its utmost over many years to undermine democracy and sew discontent in every country it’s been allowed to infiltrate.

We fear a Republican Party that is rapidly becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, a privately owned corporation which, but for the wealth and influence of its owners, might easily be classified as an ongoing criminal enterprise based on its admitted long-term, large scale theft of oil from public and Indian lands between 1970 and 1999 (for which we have never been fully reimbursed). Koch Industries and its subsidiaries are also among the top ten sources of both air and water pollution in the country, having been convicted on numerous counts, the latest in 2012. Their callous theft of the property of the American people, their contempt for environmental law and their determination to cripple government at any cost threatens us all.

We fear the cult of self in which many Republican party leaders have become invested. We see neither conservatism nor patriotism in the Tea Party, only conceit and hubris. And while every single politician on the right proclaims, “Not I!” when accused of racism, sexism or homophobia, not to mention religious, social and economic elitism, few in Republican leadership repudiate those who “independently” express such sentiments on their behalf.

America needs a strong and vibrant Republican Party just as much as it needs a strong and vibrant Democratic Party. While the Democratic Party has its own problems, we fear that, in its present incarnation, the Republican Party has made itself the sick old man of American politics, as deserving of extinction as were the Whigs.

Mark L. Humphrey, 40299