Inbox — Oct. 7, 2009

Letters to the Editor

Oct 6, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Not Offended

In response to Kyle Sinks’s letter in the Sept. 20 LEO Weekly: I do not take offense to your use of the word “queer” in describing gay bars here in Louisville. As someone who identifies as queer (yes, it’s a legitimate sexual identity), I see the term as a reclamation of a derogatory word — one that I whole-heartedly accept.

It seems to me that a lot of gay folks, especially older ones, want oh-so-bad to be assimilated into straight society, i.e. marriage, adoption, military service, etc., and are willing to act, think, feel and be “normal.” Well, I’ve got news for the assimilations: Being gay and being queer are pretty synonymous, and neither of them mean “normal.” There’s really no reason for homos to be so politically correct. When you get down to it, we ARE pretty queer, and that’s something to celebrate, not be offended by.

Brent Tinnell, Old Louisville

Hater Ordinance

After reading “The art of peddling” in the Sept. 30 LEO Weekly, I am appalled by the Louisville Metro Council’s decision to block vendors and other artists from selling artwork or commodities without officially paying the minimum $450 fee to enter the St. James Art Show on someone’s private property. I agree completely with Paul Harshaw, founder of the Unfair alternative art fair, when he acknowledged talented artists will be excluded because “they don’t fit the mold” by the five-person panel of judges of the St. James Art Show, as well as his thoughts on the eliminated artists from the original culture of the St. James Art Show. What were these artists or vendors violating by operating with permission on Greg Handy’s private property? I understand by purchasing a booth, the profit goes to neighborhood maintenance for the Old Louisville area, but in these economic times, I believe not allowing artists and vendors to display and sell their goods on Handy’s private land is an inappropriate and unmerited action. Come on, Louisville Metro Council, this was truly a “hater ordinance” you passed on less fortunate artists and vendors!

Jennifer Adams-Tucker, Newburg

Restoring Integrity

In response to the article on the new peddler ordinance, I find it somewhat ironic that Greg Handy was quoted in the article and portrayed as an innocent victim of this ordinance. Handy objects to this ordinance because it “impact(s) … nonprofit groups” and because it is based on “greed and money.”

The property he owns has long been an eyesore of an otherwise beautiful and historic neighborhood. The other 362 days out of the year that Handy does not charge artists to set up shop on his property, it remains unused except as a place for skateboarders and bikers to practice. The shelter that formerly covered gas pumps looks unkempt next to the beautiful homes of the neighborhood. The shed in the back is regularly stuffed with what looks like items picked up on junk day. There is no lighting in the shelter, making it dangerous to walk by at night.

Maybe if Handy took a hands-on approach to his property, he would understand the value of the St. James Art Show to his property, the neighborhood, Louisville and the state. The St. James Court Art Show is what makes his property valuable. Without it, he would be left with an old gas station in a crumbling neighborhood.

Handy and many others have missed the point of the art show. The show was, and still is, a fundraiser to maintain the historic nature of the neighborhood. Without this money, Old Louisville would fall to disrepair, as other neighborhoods in this city have as more people move to greener pastures. It is for this reason that ensuring the integrity of the show is essential. A waiver has been set in place to ensure that nonprofit groups, such as the Boy Scouts, can still raise money at events without interfering with the quality of the event. Without maintaining that quality, NO ONE would benefit.

Please support the St. James Court Art Show as another great and unique event worthy of the acclaim and success it has enjoyed.

Roy Denny, Old Louisville


Attn: Ricky L. Jones: I have just read your column (LEO Weekly, Sept. 23) and nodded in agreement until I got to “Wilson the Washington and Lee graduate.” I, too, am a W&L grad and am liberal enough to have gladly voted for President Obama. What you have done is painted all graduates of this school with the same brush and labeled us all as racists. You, sir, are the racist.

Charlie Bensinger, Highlands

Thanks, Bill

In my opinion, (retiring director of Metro’s Department of Codes and Regulations) Bill Schreck’s career should serve as the model for what an individual should strive to achieve in their position. I have known Bill during his 35-year career in government, and I know that he has performed his duties with the utmost integrity, hard work and expertise. Bill, enjoy your well-earned retirement. Thank you for your service.

Dan Prather, Hikes Point

An Evil Love Story

Michael Moore has been rigorously promoting what could be his most radical work yet, entitled “Capitalism: A Love Story.” If Moore’s comments are any indication of what he thinks about said economic model, it won’t be an homage to capitalism; on a recent Bill Maher show, he referred to capitalism as “evil.” Coming from Moore, who’s not exactly a radical (unless you ask Glenn Beck), it begs the question: Is anti-capitalism cool again? I sure hope so.

While not a big fan of the word “evil,” as it has latent religious connotations (not a big fan of religion), it’s nice to see someone associate it with capitalism. It’s also refreshing to see a mainstream documentary that will be shown at such corporate facilities (ironically) as Showcase Cinemas and Tinseltown tell it like it is about the virulent economic model known as capitalism.

Often in this country, we’re fed the doctrinaire line from demagogues, both left and right, that if not capitalism, then the USSR. This logical fallacy can no longer be tolerated. It’s time we move on from capitalism, an economic model that demands growth or death, especially in an ecosystem as finite as ours. Human beings are creative. Alternatives are endless.

Alex Bradshaw, Highlands

Get Out More

Zachary Sanders’s letter in the Sept. 23 LEO Weekly issue came close to accurately stating one issue but failed miserablly in the other. He said that the goal of insurance companies is to make a profit. That is not their goal; that is a requirement of the law. The primary objective of a corporation is to make a profit for its shareholders. Corporations cannot first take into consideration their employees, their community or any other constituency. Testimony recently has made it clear that at least Cigna understands this legal principle, as it was making every effort to achieve its quarterly profit goal so the stock would stay strong.

The other issue was the “let them eat cake” statement: He said citizens would not be denied health care; all they had to do was pay for it. I don’t know where he thinks a family with an annual income of $25,000 (or worse, $10,000) would find the means to pay more than a very modest hospital or physician bill. And with that level of income, they could not afford insurance, which runs around $12,000 for a family policy. I assume Sanders just doesn’t know any families with such limited income, but I know dozens. Maybe he ought to get out in the world and learn how much these low-income members of our community need health care coverage, and how they suffer when they cannot afford the coverage.

Ed Perry, Louisville

God’s Health Care

We won’t adequately reform health care until we reform capitalism. That may be the most important moral-spiritual-justice issue of our time. Personal and corporate greed drives our economic engine. Capitalism is not all good and not all bad. We worship at the altar of capitalism’s sacred marketplace. Capitalism has become America’s religion, having much more of an impact on how we live our lives than do the teachings of Judaism, Christianity or Islam.

As Christians, we pray the prayer that Jesus taught us. We pray that God’s kingdom come, God’s will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. God’s kingdom has come in the here and now. Is capitalism as we practice it the economic system God wills?

Why can’t we form an economic system that combines the best ideas from capitalism and socialism that is devoid of greed? Wasn’t government ordained by God? We, the people, are the government. If government fails, it is because we failed. It seems to me socialism would serve us better in the area of universal health care. Life-saving health care should be not-for-profit, and the richest nation in the history of humankind can pay for it if the will is there.

Don’t synagogues, churches and mosques thrive and meet people’s needs when members pool their time, talents and tithes to do God’s will?

Paul L. Whiteley Sr., St. Matthews