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May 23, 2007

Erosia

LEO welcomes letters that are brief (250 words max) and thoughtful. Ad hominem attacks will be ignored, and we need your name and a daytime phone number. Send snail mail to EROSIA, 640 S. Fourth St., Louisville, Ky. 40202. Fax to 895-9779 or e-mail to leo@leoweekly.com. We may edit for length, grammar and clarity.   No Name Calling A couple of years ago, I wrote in an Erosia letter that I don’t ever consider the source when called an offensive name. For example, many liberal readers of this paper and one lame local Web site have referred to me on many occasions by insulting names such as “a Neo-Con Fascist Pig” (which is always funny given that I’m a libertarian). However, at no point did I ever think to myself, “Well, maybe that person is a Neo-Con Fascist Pig, too, so therefore it is OK for him/her to call me that.” But Ricky L. Jones wrote in the April 25 LEO, “for good or ill, black folk can call one another ‘nigger,’ but you can’t.” Now what kind of messed up logic is that? People like Chris Rock have made a living by getting on a stage and talking about all the “crackers” he encounters, so why wasn’t he ever fired from his TV talk show? And it certainly seems allowable for the “Rev.” Al Sharpton to question the beliefs of Mitt Romney’s religion and still keep his radio talk show (who knew he even had one?). And don’t get me wrong, I love Chris Rock and am not offended by his brand of humor at all. However, according to Ricky’s logic, only white people should be able to call each other “crackers,” not a black man like Rock. I don’t condone what Don Imus did, and quite frankly I’m glad he’s off the air for a number of reasons. However, when Ricky Jones and all his brothers and sisters stop using words like “niggers,” “crackers” and “hos,” then maybe, just maybe, they’ll have the right to tell others to do the same. Rick Robbins   Freedom’s Another Word In Carl Brown’s March 21 column “Queer eugenics and more,” Mr. Brown writes in support of a North American Union, also citing the Council on Foreign Relations and “other powerful economic forces.” He advocates for “one continent, one people, one government.” OK. Whose government? What structure and form will that government have? What laws will that government write and enforce? Will the Canadians, Mexicans and Central Americans chuck out their laws in favor of ours? Will it be the other way round? How many of our inalienable rights will be retained? How many taken away? Those questions are really irrelevant. All of our elected officials, from president down to local sheriff, have sworn an oath to protect and defend our U.S. Constitution from enemies both domestic and abroad. For any of them to cede our sovereignty as individuals, or as a nation, to any other individual, organization or political entity is prohibited. Actions taken outside the oaths of office or outside the limits and disabilities of the Constitution lack legal force. They are impeachable offenses. In my interpretation, they will also be considered treason. I’m not a constitutional scholar, but I am a constitutional student. In my readings I have seen nothing that empowers our elected representatives to cede our sovereignty, to dismantle our Constitution or to dissolve our form of government (we’re a constitutional republic, not a democracy). Any attempts to do so would fall on the wrong side of protecting and defending. That isn’t a slippery slope — it is a very clear line in the sand. I implore readers to learn the responsibilities of our elected officials, the limits and disabilities of their power and the means and methods whereby we the people can keep them within those boundaries and hold them accountable when they exceed them. Our founding fathers constructed the Constitution so that the power ultimately resides in the populace, in the citizenry. Their intention was to have a government that was servant to the people, and not the other way round. They did this to ensure continued freedom for the people. Only by knowing our powers, and the limits of governmental powers, can we do justice to their efforts and continue to live in freedom. Freedom isn’t free. Spend some time reading, or reading again, our Constitution. Glenn Augenstein   Power of Thunder While I would normally ignore a letter like Mike Perlin’s (LEO, May 16), I felt a response was in order since he misstated the point of my letter. While I thought it was clear enough for anyone to get, obviously it was not clear enough for Perlin to grasp. I neither stated nor implied that American forces in Iraq were defending American freedom. Arguably they are defending other  vital interests, but that is another discussion. My point, which I hope Perlin can get this time, was and is that the military aircraft at Thunder represent the power that guarantees our freedom and allows people like him and me to express our views freely. Does he really think America would be safe without military power to defend the country? As for using World War II as an example, that was the greatest threat American freedom ever faced. If Perlin and his ilk cannot answer how they would have dealt with that threat, why should anyone think they have an answer to the current threat we face that is consistent with answering the first question and American values and interests? The bottom line, which I would think most people would understand, is that you cannot negotiate with someone whose position is “I get what I want, and you get nothing or else.” As a former attorney, I know how that works having played it both ways. Finally, if having the military planes are so terrible, how come the Thunder crowd was in the 100,000s and “Peaceful Skies Over Louisville” drew 300 people? Kent O. Sublett   Ignorant Illusions In the May 9 issue of LEO, Kent Sublett writes that merely being gay is not immoral, but “homosexual acts are.” This is no different than claiming that having blonde hair is fine, but refusing to dye it brown is sinful. It is hypocritical double-talk that allows some people to preach intolerance while maintaining the illusion of tolerance. Sublett then has the audacity to compare being gay to having a crippling birth defect. No, I would not insult the parents of such children, but not because I don’t “have the guts.” A birth defect prevents a child from leading a normal, healthy life. Being gay does not — or should not — unless the individual lives in an oppressive, bigoted community. Certain urges should be repressed — I’ve felt the urge to throttle people on occasion, but have so far resisted. But to teach that a life of repression, deception, denial and self-hatred is better than a loving, fulfilling relationship with someone who happens to have the same “plumbing” as you — that’s what’s truly sinful. My god is a god who celebrates love, not hatred. Maxwell Massey