Inbox — Nov. 20, 2013

Letters to the Editor

Is Louisville Open?
Shannon Westerman and the team at LVAA should be given significant recognition for organizing such a successful inaugural Louisville Open Studio Weekend earlier this month. The attendance and energy at the Cressman Center opening and at each of the individual studios spoke to how this venture not only succeeded in its own right but also was vastly preferred by all involved to the prior years’ art auctions. As the team holds its post-mortem on the event, thinking of next year’s venture, I’m clear the significant challenge will now be how to keep all the parties on the same page and equally enthusiastic and contributing.

The LVAA rightfully sees this as a venture to creatively raise charitable funds. The City of Louisville wants to build its brand as an arts destination to drive inward investment, and the artists want to have their work seen and, most importantly, sold. Given artists (read: small business owners) are the least capable of funding the event, they need to feel it is commercially viable vs. a weekend of free home tours. Ensuring this last group feels the event makes sense and the load is equally shared given the broad benefits (City of Louisville, where were you?) will be critical in making sure this project succeeds locally and regionally as it hopefully should and must.
Steve Ricketts, Crescent Hill

Tell it Straight
You’ve probably heard Alison Lundergan Grimes talking about the Golden Rule lately. She’s responding to Sen. McConnell’s call for a national law that would essentially require labor unions to work for free. Just take away their right to collect dues and put them out of business. You’ve got the idea.

In business law, the Golden Rule is known as “just compensation.” That’s Grimes’ point. Businesses, professionals and other service providers deserve just compensation for their work. You’d think that principle ought to apply to labor unions, as well. They negotiate and administer pay, benefits and rights for workers within the bargaining units they represent. All workers receive these services, whether or not they actually join the union.

Let’s consider an analogy. Outside of work, all of us receive water, electricity and natural gas. We pay for those things. No one would suggest that utility companies give away their products and services. No one would seriously suggest that any business work for free. That’s the real world.

The legislation McConnell wants is commonly known as “anti-union” law. McConnell and his political allies like to call it “right-to-work” law instead, to disguise its actual purpose. That’s a real old politician’s trick. Grimes is calling on McConnell to tell it straight.
Tom Louderback, Highlands

Paul’s Plagiarism
Finally, after a long, conspicuous stretch of total silence, Sen. Rand Paul charges forth with a plagiarism explanation. He blithely claims he “gave credit” in his speeches. (Whispers in the wind, maybe?) Students everywhere need to take note of how to squirm away from responsibility and truth-telling: Simply act indignant and righteously offended — and say anything. Paul pretends “borrowing” is adequate attribution.

“Dear Teach, some of this high-school or college paper was borrowed from sources I am hereby generally crediting with this all-purpose give-me-cover footnote strategy borrowed from U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.”

Paul’s sidestepping arrogance is a natural outcome of the Tea-Libertarian mindset and entitlement — as our country continues to steadily crumble.

And if you don’t like Paul’s lame excuse, then tough on you!
Michael Gregoire, St. Matthews