March 18, 2008

Erosia for 3-19-08

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.Protection FirstDon’t distort the truth, George Morrison, which you did in your Erosia letter in the March 5 LEO. If the Supreme Court of 1939, as you said, decreed to disarm citizens, we wouldn’t own guns today, now would we? Did you know Japan spared us an invasion due to the fact that the average U.S. citizen could fire a weapon? Look that up! Did you also know that here in Louisville, our mayor and judges protect the drug dealers and gangs? Ask any detective in town about the judicial system or how the mayor has let Chief White disband the gang unit and won’t fill the police positions. Jerry loves the soaring gang rate, etc., so that the feeble-minded will join him in being with the New York Mayor Bloomberg-Soros anti-gun mission. As for me, Mr. Morrison, what right should any of us give up because criminals exist in the real world? Should we give up liquor sales or cars because of drive-by shootings? Like any nation that formed under dictatorship, its people were disarmed first, except for in America, where the people have the right to overthrow its government — and, baby, that’s not done with pea shooters.Maggie Martin, LouisvilleFood for ThoughtHigher food prices are the result of droughts, higher fuel costs to truck the produce to market and competition between industries. Seventy percent of all the grain raised in the United States is used to feed animals on those Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, and the demand for meat is increasing. The ethanol industry is now competing with those CAFOs for the same grain, and the result is higher prices. There are an estimated 6.6 billion people in the world today, and, according to the World Health Organization; 60 percent of them are malnourished, and the Earth’s population is expected to reach 8.3 billion by 2030. To feed everybody, we need to rearrange our priorities and change our lifestyle. It takes about 25 pounds of grain to raise one pound of beef, and you can feed a whole lot more people with 25 pounds of grain than you can with one pound of meat. For ethanol production, it will take about 11 acres to grow enough grain to fuel one car for a year. Those same 11 acres can feed at least 11 people for that year. Meanwhile, according to the EPA, both CAFOs and cars are a leading cause of global warming, which is causing the droughts. We simply can’t continue this cycle, which is causing food prices to go up.There’s simply not enough land to feed all the people plus supply the CAFOs and fuel our cars. Our No. 1 priority should be grain for people. CAFOs should be phased out, and the auto industry should develop those hydrogen fuel-cell cars as fast as they can. Only then can we bring the spiraling food prices under control.Harold R. Wilson, Corydon, Ind.Vote Your ConscienceMy day job involves talking to complete strangers on the phone for 10 hours a day, strangers who often aren’t in a very good mood by the time they reach me. One recent day I had the pleasure of speaking with a woman stationed at Fort Knox. She had served in Iraq during, and after, the first Gulf War, and suffered from what we now call Gulf War Syndrome. She was told she would never have children. But now, thanks to patience and the miracles of modern medicine, she has a young son — a son whom she will be leaving soon. She was about to be deployed to Iraq for a fifth time. I thought she would be unhappy about it, but instead she was sort of looking forward to it. She wasn’t looking forward to leaving her family, of course, but she was looking forward to, as she put it, making sure her fellow soldiers “made it back alive and safe.”She left me with the thought that, “If the next elections turn out right, we should all be home pretty soon.”My job prevented me at that time from expressing any political opinion stronger than, “I hope you’re right.” But I’m not bound by any such restrictions here. I say to anyone reading this: If you REALLY care about our troops, you cannot in good conscience vote for John McBush this November. You will vote out of office the morally bankrupt Mitch McConnell. You will return to office people like John Yarmuth.I don’t care if you’re for Hillary or Barack. I support Barack, but either will do fine for me as long as we remove as many of the fear-mongering, terrorist-enabling Republicans from public office as we can. We have a chance to start repairing all of the damage done to this country over the last seven years. Let’s not blow it.Bryan E. Hurst, LouisvilleNew is Better?Every time I read another endorsement of Barack Obama, I see that the endorser chose Obama because he is “new,” but I have yet to read any concrete reasons why these persons consider his brand of “new” to be “better.” As a psychotherapist, I could write a book on people whose lives have been ruined after having fallen prey to the idea that something “new” is automatically associated with something “better.” I wish “new” really was always better. That would make it so much easier to decide how to proceed in life. The next time I wanted a “new” dose of happiness, I’d just follow the advertisers to that “new” product for whiter teeth, less body odor or bad breath. I’d max out my credit to buy a brand “new” status car with a fancy emblem on it, or I’d follow the mobs to the mall for the newest fashion fad. But we are talking about someone who is campaigning for the role of the next president of the United States here. This is not a game to be taken lightly based on unconscious and fallacious ideas of what is new and better. I’m proposing that once we challenge and debunk the hidden assumption that new is necessarily better, we’ll see that Barack Obama is actually a less than stellar version of a better “new.” We will see that his campaign (aided by the media), is psychologically manipulating the national state of clinical depression we are all feeling after seven years of the Bush debacle, and we will see that he is a candidate who is so inexperienced that he actually has to resort to plagiarizing Hillary Clinton’s incredibly detailed policy proposals in order to keep up with her. Rather than giving in to mass hysteria over a man who has not yet earned the title of “new and better,” maybe we should form national support groups for those who have almost survived eight years of the most horribly negative and depressing president anyone could have ever imagined. Then we can hand the next presidency to someone (Hillary Clinton) who has spent the past 35 years preparing for this chance to make things truly better for the country and the world.Anne Milligan, Hodgenville, Ky.Dems Doomed?In what could be a year-long series, here are a few reasons why I could never be a member of the Democratic party. Remember back in the 2000 election when all the Democrats were whining about how they thought some voters in Florida had been “disenfranchised”? They went on about how all the votes should count. So now what does the DNC do in this primary season? It strips Michigan and Florida (yes, THAT Florida!) of their delegate votes. Now Hillary wants those delegates to count — AFTER she won the two states. Of course, that would not seem like a fair thing to do since Obama didn’t even have his name on the Michigan ballot.Then there is the issue of “equality” that the Dems often preach about. However, in the Democratic primary, there are “regular delegates” and then there are “super delegates.” These super delegates are not voted on by the general public. Basically, they are “chosen” because of their status in the party. Is it just me, or does that seem similar to the old Soviet “common people vs. the Politburo” kind of political system where all people are equal, but some are simply more equal than others?And remember again in 2000, when all the Democrats said it wasn’t fair because Gore won the popular vote? Well, it looks likely in the Democratic primary that Obama could win the most states, win the popular vote and yet somehow lose the candidacy. On the contrary, the Republicans simply vote in each state and award the winner those delegates that he is entitled (usually in a winner-take-all format). Each vote counts equally and each delegate counts equally. There is no “class system.” So the next time you hear a bunch of Dems whining about equality, disenfranchisement, the Electoral College, class warfare, haves vs. have-nots, the people vs. the powerful, etc., just remember their blatant hypocrisy given how they choose the de facto leader of their party!Rick Robbins, Sellersburg, Ind.