Inbox — Sept. 30, 2009

Letters to the Editor

Sep 30, 2009 at 5:00 am

Category Corral

Thanks for the fun Readers’ Choice issue (LEO Weekly, Sept. 23) — always interesting what names will surface to the top (and, yeah, some of those that did are head-scratching … as if Golden Corral could be the best of anything). Loved the people comments, too. Found myself reading those as much as anything else. My favorite: “I don’t. I’m ready to get the fuck out.” I think I live near this guy.

I did, however, want to plead a big ole yikes to the plastic surgery and liposuction categories. Whadup with that? What an embarrassing thing ... this survey does more with pets than people when it comes to anything medical. Please get rid of those and pop in “best hospital” or something else simple along that line that makes more sense. Otherwise, you may as well include “Best Eye Doc,” “Best Podiatrist,” “Best Gynecologist,” “Best Brain Surgeon” ... you get the picture.

Other category suggestions to consider that help describe the cool factor and peculiarities of this town: Best Annual Parade; Best Free Event; Best Place to See a Balloon Glow; Best Halloween “Must-See”; Best Architecture; Best Community Hellraiser; and Best Nursery/Greenhouse.

Rebecca Kessler, Old Louisville

Bad Name?

Recently I read Leo and the 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards. I was appalled and offended by the word queer. As a homosexual man and part of the gay community here in this great city of Louisville, you have no idea how many people you have offended. I’ve always enjoyed reading Leo, but this made me change my opinion. It’s bad enough to be called a queer on a daily basis, but then to read something I enjoy and be called it again was outrageous.

Kyle Sinks, Eastwood

Trump Money

If it weren’t for the disdain evident in Jim Welp’s line, “Every time I see a poor person complaining about socialism, I want to grab him by his mullet and explain: ‘Sir, if we taxed the rich, you’d be able to afford a better razor for shaving Mr. Dale Earnhardt’s ‘3’ into your chest hair,’” I would think he was just mean and didn’t like us poor people (LEO Weekly, Sept. 16).

More substantively, even if everything else he said about taxing the rich were true, which it isn’t, his appeal is that poor people should only want more money and, therefore, that breaking into the rich man’s safe or having the government do it for us is good. The thing is, sometimes honor, dignity and liberty trump money.

Rich Mills, Shawnee

Caring About Heath Care

I just read Cary G. Stemle’s “I reserve the right to be angry about health care” article (LEO Weekly, Sept. 16). I believe a more appropriate title would have been: “I reserve the right to be informed about health care.”

Stemle’s article was entertaining but misses key points about health care reform. He interviewed a veterans’ advocate, Nick McIntosh, who offered a fairly balanced view of insurance companies. When asked about insurance companies denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions, McIntosh indicated he was sure it occurs but not as frequently as the scaremongers want to portray it. He also admitted, “he did not know enough about what they do on pre-existing conditions to voice an opinion.”

Sounds fair so far. However, Stemle then goes on to say how “I can’t easily overlook the malevolent, self-interested forces who act like the jackass in the middle school who instigated a fight just for kicks. Result: People who have been or will be screwed by an insurance company, fighting tooth and nail in defense of insurance companies.

Stemle then summarizes that a lot of people are saying, “I’m frightened by the unknown, and I don’t believe anything you tell me, and I reserve the right to be angry even if I don’t know why. And I’ll spill blood if you’d like.” Or maybe, many of us are becoming bullies because we have yet to see enough of the details to fully understand how Obamacare will fix our health care situation.

Perhaps Stemle should ask the question: “Are people really frightened because health care is a complicated issue? And secondly, nobody has taken the time to adequately explain how to address the problem.”

The Obama administration has not convinced people. To be successful, any plan should have health care improvement efforts that balance three factors: quality, access and affordability. He has yet to explain how his plan will address these (especially the affordability piece).

I give the jackass middle-schoolers much more credit. They are taking an active stance to learn the issues about health care, and they are fighting on behalf of the rest to try to get this right!

Ron Mueller, St. Matthews

A Small World

Jo Anne Triplett’s Sept. 9 review of the book “Elizabeth Cady Stanton: An American Life” educated readers on this remarkable woman and her contributions to promoting women’s rights. Additionally, it served as a vehicle to connect me with Duncan Stanton, a local professor who also happens to be a descendant of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s husband, Henry Stanton. After reading the review that stated I co-founded the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Trust, Duncan Stanton contacted me to inform me of his connection to this historic figure. What a small world indeed! A big thanks to Triplett and LEO for bringing us together.

Marsha Weinstein, vice president of Elizabeth Cady Stanton Trust Inc.

Back in the Day

In Jo Anne Triplett’s review of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton biography “An American Life,” I am disappointed that Triplett descended into male-bashing in an attempt to shore up support for this book. She wrote, “To give you an idea what Stanton was up against, a woman of her day couldn’t own property and had no rights to her children — her husband did.”

In fact, women could own property, however, when they married, their property was put into her husband’s name. If this arrangement wasn’t satisfactory, a woman could sign a common legal document to retain control of her assets. Today we call this a pre-nuptial agreement.

I also find it hypocritical that in an era where men have few if any parental rights, let alone reproductive rights, Triplett would lament the lack of custody rights for women of Stanton’s time. Men did get custody, but they didn’t get child support. It was a time when “cash” income was scarce, and that policy ensured the father met all his obligations to his children while not actually rewarding him for divorcing, and it contrasts greatly to today’s system where courts effectively reward women for divorcing by overwhelmingly granting them custody as well as decades of cash payments.

The policies of Stanton’s time were widely supported by women of that era. They fall under the “Doctrine of Coverture.” This doctrine, far from privileging men, actually made men responsible for all of a woman’s debts as well as any crimes. It was not unheard of for a man to be tried and convicted for his wife’s crimes up to and including murder and treason, and a life sentence in debtor’s prison was possible for the husband who couldn’t keep up with his wife’s spending.

When feminists decry how women were “non-persons,” they are deliberately failing to mention that this status actually placed married women above the law. And when journalists regurgitate these myths, they serve only to perpetuate bias and hatred toward men.

Cavan A. Clark, Old Louisville

Sleazy LEO

I wanted to comment on the article Francene wrote on the town hall meetings being held around town (LEO Weekly, Aug. 26), especially the “so-called doctor’s forum on health care reform,” as she put it. For someone who was not even at the meeting, I was disgusted to read her comments on it and her calling it an anti-abortion rally and comparing it to a sleazy one-night stand at Porcini’s. I am neutral when it comes to abortion, I really don’t have any thoughts on it, but I can tell you as someone who was at the meeting that it certainly was not an anti-abortion rally. The only time it was even mentioned was when the OB/GYN said he did not feel he should be forced to provide a service he felt uncomfortable with. That was it. Yes, it did get a round of applause, but that was it — the meeting went on with other issues.

I am disgusted by Francene’s remarks and do not think she should be writing about something she does not even know about. I demand an apology. For you to publish such garbage is “sleazier than a one-night stand at Porcini’s.”

Cameron Arbuckle, New Salisbury, Ind.