Joe Manning’s recent reflection on the value and appropriateness of the Occupy movement (LEO Weekly, Oct. 19) is perhaps the most ripe with meaning I’ve read to date. The layers of symbolism tangibly present the complexity of, and yet plain decay within our nation’s obsession with the taste of the dollar; money is real and necessary, but the games our Wall Street gods are playing are not. The broad appeals we have seen on carried signs is the effect of people from so many backgrounds awaking with the same bad flavor in their mouths, grasping for recollection of what made the dream so appealing. Specific action has not yet come, but here are those who are making time in their lives to demonstrate what many, many more of us know but have not responded to: Our country is rapidly losing its faith in the papacy, and the idols of our entertainment will not last.
Jeff Blanchard, Old Louisville
Occupy Your Neighborhood
If the Occupy Wall Street movement wants to magnify their impact, why not work tirelessly to ensure they can effect policy and legislative changes from the inside, too? In other words, ensure that elections really are elections and present choices. It can be difficult, as the recent redistricting proposals indicate. Take my case, for example, in Metro Council District 16. Though remaining largely intact, it will be losing two neighborhoods — namely, the Crossgate area and the southern portion of Barbourmeade.
The complexity of redistricting is acknowledged, but I should point out this troubling fact. There are only two individuals who have challenged incumbent Kelly Downard during the past decade. Theresa Stanley, who lives in Crossgate in 2002, and myself (a Barbourmeade resident) in 2004 and 2008. Pardon my skepticism, but I wonder if changes in any of the other 25 districts were as favorable to the incumbent. Kinda doubt it.
The net result is that unless another candidate emerges, Downard will be unopposed next November. In the interest of furthering democracy, I encourage all voters in District 16, especially any of the 6,057 residents who voted for me, to consider running. Significantly, requirements are minimal, including only $50 and two signatures on a petition. If you live elsewhere, look at your own district and see if you’re facing a non-election, too. Just imagine if Anne Northup were unopposed, with Yarmuth not offering us that choice in 2006.
Art Hoffman, East End
Enough is Enough
Millions of Americans are jobless, losing their homes, feeling helpless. The super-rich now rob wealth at an even greater obscene rate, as the middle class crumbles. Senate leader Mitch McConnell continues to hold the nation hostage by paralyzing Congress. Meanwhile, the protests grow, and the public becomes ever more savvy to what is really happening. Republicans have nowhere to hide.
Kentucky’s great statesman is Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis — not McConnell. Brandeis left us telling and timely words for these most troubling times: “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”
Sen. McConnell mocks democracy and devotes his career to concentrating great power and wealth in the hands of a few. Like Richard Nixon, McConnell’s abuse of power is a cancer that paralyzes our government. And like Nixon, McConnell must go. Americans don’t have to take it anymore. We are not helpless. Demand McConnell resign — now! Participate in restoring accountability and true democracy.
Michael Gregoire, St. Matthews