Inbox — Jan. 20, 2010

Letters to the Editor

Jan 20, 2010 at 6:00 am


Last week, LEO Weekly provided incorrect answers to two Not Good for Nothing Quiz questions: Farrah Fawcett is in fact dead, meaning the answer to No. 17 is A, and Cincinnati Bengal Chad Johnson’s jersey reads Ochocinco, meaning the answer to No. 59 is C. Because all three previously named quiz winners answered both questions correctly, they will not be required to relinquish their spoils.

Also, a review in last week’s edition incorrectly identified the guitar player on Lotus Blake’s Love Is War. Jeff Thomas performed on the record. LEO regrets the errors.

Remembering Francene

I had the honor of being a guest on Francene’s show in September of last year. As a professional stand-up comedian for more than 25 years, I have appeared on hundreds of radio shows across the country. Since I live in Louisville and listened to her show a lot, I thought it would be cool to do her show in conjunction with performances at the Comedy Caravan.

The funny thing is that she really made it a challenge; once she agreed to have me on, I was e-mailed a detailed list of dos and don’ts, which were clearly based on previous bad experiences she’d had with other comics. I e-mailed her back stating how experienced I was, how I had studied broadcasting in college, how much pride I take in my public persona, being a Louisvillian and all that, and she basically told me in response that she didn’t care. This is her show, and this is how she wants it. It rattled me a bit, and I was nervous about the interview. As soon as I walked into the studio, however, Francene greeted me with warmth and acceptance. The radio spot went great. We talked about comedy, kids and local politics. She told me she’d try to come out and see the show, and that made me happy. She said something to me on the way out of the studio that keeps coming back to me and keeps choking me up now that the unbelievable has happened. After all the nervousness and apprehension, all the challenging criteria laid before me, after thinking that we might not get along and that the whole thing might be a disaster, Francene said this to me: “You did a great job, Mike, and you will be back.”

Wow. Such a tragedy. A great talent gone, a huge void left in our community. Rest well, good lady. Peace and blessings to your family, friends and fans.

Mike Nilsson, East End

Beneficial Thanks

Thank you all so much for your support of the Camp MARC benefit we did at Monkey Wrench Saturday night. We ended up raising more than $2,000 for the camp, which is pretty amazing for a little show at the Monkey Wrench. Thanks for helping make that happen! It means a lot to all of us! The coverage from LEO, WFPK and Backseat Sandbar was beyond appreciated.

Joseph Bliss, Germantown

Censored Predictions

I always enjoy the Project Censored issue of LEO Weekly (which ran Jan. 6). This year, I was inspired to review the archives and came across a gem from 1997 called “New Mega-Merged Banking Behemoths = Big Risk” that contained a chilling prediction: “Analysts are concerned that the growing giants of the banking industry will shift insurance risks to taxpayers, cost jobs, lead to increased rates for bank customer service, make it harder to get loans, and lessen community access to bank branches...” Does the bank bailout count as shifting insurance risks to the taxpayers? Could this suppression of media have been planned? If so, by who?

So let’s pick which of this year’s 25 stories will resound in a dozen more years as a missed warning. My vote is for: 1 (Congress sells out), 6 (lobbying grows), 7 (Obama keeps Bush’s crooked defense team), 8 (offshore tax havens), 11 (corporate profits from Palestine), 14 (congressional interest in defense contracts), 15 (corporate abuse of cap and trade), 20 (major party cartel controls debates), or perhaps all of the above. The growing thread of suppressed news is that the two-party system is a corporate cartel.

The networks and papers are all owned by the same folks who buy Congress. Support Project Censored and grow independent. You may as well be blindly loyal to the National League or American League as to the Democrats or Republicans. Either way, Major League Baseball, like politics as usual, has an anti-trust exemption.

Ben Schoenbachler, Highlands

Aye, Aye Captain

I smiled when reading of Shannon White’s entry into the mayoral race and the fact that she was asked if being the mother of three young boys would get in the way of her political aspirations (LEO Weekly, Jan. 13). Don’t know Mrs. White, but the following may be of interest to her:

While the plane was turning over its engines, a female attendant gave the usual information regarding seat belts, emergency exits, etc. Then the voice of the female pilot was heard welcoming all aboard and assuring them a pleasant flight was expected. An old, retired male politician asked the attendant, “Did I hear right? Is the captain a woman?”

“Yes, in fact, this entire crew is female.”

“My God, I wish I had two double scotch and sodas. I’m not too comfortable with a woman up there in the cockpit.”

“Sir, we no longer call it the cockpit.”

Bob Moore, East End

A Few Suggestions

Several letter writers to LEO have expressed that they can’t understand how anyone can believe health care is not a right. Allow me to suggest that perhaps no one has a right to something someone else must provide. Suppose for a moment that no one chose to provide health care, that people stopped deciding that they wanted to be doctors and nurses, and that companies decided it wasn’t in their interests to run hospitals. Without these health care providers, where is the “right” to health care?

Let me suggest also that rights are universal and unaffected by geography. If one lived on a small island in a small village with no health care providers, where is the “right” to health care?

Also allow me to suggest that rights are unaffected by the ages of history. The right to liberty of modern mankind was due to ancient mankind, even if most people in both ages have been unable to exercise it. What universal health care “right” existed for the people of ancient Egypt, where there were no modern doctors, nurses and hospitals?

No one wants to see people suffer and die. We would all prefer that everyone got the best possible health care whenever it was needed. Yet, no law, no doctor, no hospital, no insurance and no “rights” will prevent a single person from suffering and dying. This is as true today as it ever has been and ever will be.

Rich Mills, Shawnee

Truth of the Circus

When people think of the circus, they think of clowns, trapeze artists, jugglers and the animal acts, so when the Kosair Shrine Circus comes to Louisville, it means fun for everyone. However, most don’t think of the confinement the animals have to endure during the circus season. For approximately 48 weeks of the year, elephants are kept in chains and the other animals kept in cages until it’s “showtime.”

According to experts, the constant tethering or confinement of any animal can result in a state of psychological distress. So it’s not surprising when sometimes you read about an elephant or a tiger mauling its trainer, and that’s why letting your children ride an elephant is risky because you never know when one will decide to make a break for freedom.

According to the federal Animal Welfare Act, which circuses must comply with, this constant confinement isn’t considered “cruelty,” even though, in our society, such confinement of people is considered punishment. So why do we consider it different for animals?

The Kosair Shriners do very good charitable work, however, I believe they could expand their compassion by not hiring circuses with animal acts. There are several animal-free circuses available that would be just as entertaining to the kids. Many cities, towns and counties have banned these circuses, and it would be nice if the Metro Council added Louisville to this list. To read who has banned these circuses, go to

If you go to the circus, have fun, but remember, after the show, the elephants go back to their chains and the other animals back to their cages.

William Wilson, Jeffersonville