Inbox — Dec. 9, 2009

Letters to the Editor

Dec 9, 2009 at 6:00 am

Made in Louisville

A comment or correction on Bill Doolittle’s piece on the Ballet’s “Nutcracker” (LEO Weekly, Dec. 2). He writes, “Peter Cazalet designed the new costumes and sets, which were fabricated in South Africa.” In actuality, the 30 or so soft goods (scenic backdrops) were painted in South Africa, and the rest of the scenery, props and the bulk of the costumes were fabricated right here in Louisville by many (and close to all, at some point) in our close-knit theater production community. Some local artisans have been at it for a year, myself as scenic artist for more than five months, so please throw us a bone for promoting this new production with much hard work. We have represented out vaunted arts scene smartly, and we hope audiences can appreciate that.

Karl Anderson & Taylor-Berry, South End

Care of Health

First of all, I don’t think any health care reform bill has a chance of passing the Senate. Why? Money. Too many senators from both parties are more interested in filling their war chests with insurance lobby money than are interested in the welfare of their constituents — especially those who don’t vote, make campaign contributions or can’t afford/access health care.

We and money are the root causes of our health care woes. Insurance companies are for-profit. They profit regardless of who is healthy, sick or dead. They don’t even have, by definition, a product. They only manage risks and responsibilities for the benefit of shareholders.

The system is broken. It’s everybody’s fault. It’s my fault for smoking; somebody else’s fault for being obese; another person’s fault for driving drunk; another person’s fault for buying/selling/using illicit drugs and supporting the firearms violence inherent to such activity. Each of us who doesn’t care for our health until it’s time to seek help from the health care system for the diseases that are a result of our reckless lifestyles is responsible for the mess.

My solution? Nationalize the health insurance industry, make it illegal to profit from health care “insurance,” and put the emphasis on prevention and well-being.

Doctors’ jobs would be easier. They could spend more time keeping people well and not treating diseases that are the result of our irresponsible lifestyles. They would be less prone to practicing defensive medicine if people weren’t scared that they would die from their self-inflicted diseases.

But will our good senators admit this? We won’t hear it from this group of self-serving, pocket-lining hypocrites! Because it’s the truth. Politicians aren’t in the business of telling the truth.

Lastly, if you’re a fat-ass, gun-totin’, chain-smokin’, no-helmet-wearin’, beer-swillin’ meth-head, then stop bitchin’ about the right to health care. Health care starts with you!

Bert Hoskinson, Hikes Point

False Ads

Our representative in Congress did the right thing by voting for the House health care reform bill. The health care bill is far from perfect, but it expands coverage to 96 percent of Americans, increases choice with a public option available everywhere, ends discrimination due to pre-existing conditions or gender, and helps reduce the deficit.

Washington lobbyists at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are running TV ads attacking our representative — but the ads are false. The chamber’s attack ads misrepresent the cost of the bill with funny math. They count tax cuts and fines paid by companies that refuse to obey the law.

The ads claim “over $572 billion in new taxes,” but the Associated Press finds middle-class families will pay no new taxes. Small businesses will pay no new taxes either. The only people paying new taxes are the ones making more than $500,000 a year.

If Washington lobbyists are attacking our representative with lies, they must be doing something right.

Carolyn Cardwell, Jeffersonville

Drum Up Some Change

Our country is not “one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” We are a nation of haves and have-nots divided along class and racial lines and degrees of unequal justice. Two things we need to do as a nation are take the money out of politics and the greed out of our capitalistic economic system. Money in politics and greed are the source of many of our problems. They are related to each other and are moral/spiritual issues.

I love America, but we will not change the world for the better as long as we believe and act like we are superior to all other nations in every way. That air of superiority and arrogance of power blinds us to our flaws. How can we criticize other nations’ human rights policies when we are the only industrialized nation in the world that does not provide universal health care coverage for its citizens?

We need leaders today who have the wisdom and humility of a Martin Luther King Jr. Drum majors for social and economic justice are needed to unite America and help liberate us from the greed that enslaves us. Then, maybe we can change the world.

Paul L. Whiteley Sr., St. Matthews

To Hunt or Not To Hunt

Hunting is an American tradition whose time has come to pass. About 13 million people hunt, and of those, only about 2 percent do it because they need the food. The rest hunt simply because they like to kill something. Of course, you won’t find many who will confess to this, so they feel obligated to provide some sort of reason, which is, usually in the case of deer, to cull the herd to prevent starvation due to over-population, even though no data exists to show how many deer can be sustained in a human, suburban environment.

Yet, hunting fails to reduce the deer population because trophy hunters target the antlered bucks so that they can mount their heads, which means that the surviving bucks mate with the surviving does, and the result is usually twins. However, if a perceived overpopulation of deer were to cause a problem, the wildlife contraceptive Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP) has proven effective in preventing pregnancy in does. And it is worth mentioning that hunters also target the deer’s predators for the sole purpose of taxidermy.

Another “reason” for hunting is to “feed the hungry,” even though there are plenty of food banks to which people donate canned foods. Hunters kill more than 200 million wildlife of all kinds, plus farm and domestic animals every year, all in the name of “recreation.” They defend this action by saying that the fees they pay go toward conservation and wildlife habitat programs. However, the actions of wildlife agencies are not to protect the animals but to propagate species for hunters to shoot. They are out to conserve hunting, not wildlife.

We must oppose this outdated tradition, no matter how deeply rooted it is in the notion of manhood. And hopefully, one day, we will reach a point when hunting, the pleasure of killing animals for sport, will be regarded as a mental aberration.

James Wilson, Speed, Ind.

Love Thy Animals

For Christians, Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’s birthday, even though scholars are not sure of the exact date. It is believed the Roman Emperor Constantine, who converted to Christianity in 313, chose December as the celebration of Jesus’s birth, and eventually, Pope Gregory (590-604) decided on Dec. 25.

Jesus’s main message was to love one another and help those in need, but he didn’t say anything about being kind to animals. However, not all Christians ignore their suffering. As St. Francis of Assisi said, “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.” And Abraham Lincoln has been quoted as saying, “I care not much for man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.”

Animals should have the right not to be abused. Those raised for food should be treated better, which goes beyond food and shelter. They should be allowed to live a more natural life. We should stop keeping animals tied up or in cages for most of their lives, and we should stop using them for rodeos, research and fashion. So in this Christmas season, I ask all Christians to expand their circle of compassion to include all of God’s creatures, because only when we end cruelty to both humans and animals will we be able to realize our most unique quality: humanity.

Harold Wilson, Corydon, Ind.