May 30, 2006

Erosia - Letters to the Editor

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.Roto CorrectionI’d like to correct something Paul Kopasz wrote in his article about summer movies (May 24 LEO), particularly about the upcoming “A Scanner Darkly” and the technique used to do the animation. That technique is rotoscoping, and while Ralph Bakshi used it extensively, to say the least, on “The Lord of the Rings,” he was not the inventor. That distinction belongs to Max Fleischer, who developed it in 1915.Rene BlansetteNo Yankee VoteAs I read Rick Robbins’ letter accusing congressional candidate and LEO founder John Yarmuth of hypocrisy (May 24 LEO), I wondered why LEO would publish such a letter. Then I saw the punch line at the end of the joke: Mr. Robbins is a Hoosier. If anyone did not get it, and took the letter seriously, consider these thoughts.Among other equally illogical statements, he calls Yarmuth a hypocrite because he never “pulled himself up by his own bootstraps,” yet Yarmuth rejected Reagan’s endorsement of this saying as a basis of economic policy. Wow. Hypocrisy is not thinking people should get help you never needed.The thrilling conclusion, in addition to the aforementioned punch line, contains some humorous praise of Anne Northup. She apparently has “a caring spirit,” which allows her to endorse an illegal war, “consistent principles” as far as voting the party line is a principle, and a “record of achievement.” I want to know what achievements. I’ve lived in Louisville her entire stay in Congress. I read the papers. I watch C-SPAN. I even watch cable news. I never heard of these achievements. What big committees does she chair? What major legislation did she sponsor? What bacon did she bring home? Where is her power? What are her achievements? I really want to know.Hoosiers are welcome to work in our city, enjoy our culture and read our subversive literature, but I’m glad they can’t vote in our elections. Maybe once Northup is voted out of office here, the Hoosiers can get her to run for their state legislature and be the beneficiaries of her achievements.One last thing: People who think “just writing a column” is no kind of contribution to society, or no qualification for public office, may want to consider the contributions of Ben Franklin and Thomas Paine.Mickey EversoleLet’s Get RealI must respond to the writer (Rick Robbins) who chastised John Yarmuth for referring to the Republican party generally and Ronald Reagan in particular for waging “class warfare” (May 24 LEO). The writer has picked up his talking points from the right-wing pundits with his comeback accusing Al Gore and John Edwards of using “class war tactics” during their respective presidential campaigns. Let’s be real. Reagan began the dismantling of the middle class with his fiscal and union-busting policies. Bankruptcies and poverty levels have increased every year of this Bush presidency. State and local taxes have risen in order to pay for public schools and social services that the Bush administration and the Republican-led Congress have cut in order to feed their military-industrial complex (aka Halliburton, Bechtel, etc.) and reward their corporate contributors. Our grandchildren are saddled with debt before they even begin their working lives. The gap between CEO pay and workers’ wages is now about 430 to 1. So, who is waging class warfare? We know who the victims are — the tens of thousands of unemployed/under-employed, uninsured, bankrupt, hanging-by-a-thread Americans. The winners are most assuredly “the haves and the have mores,” or as W. calls them, “my base.”Indeed, there are two Americas. Gore and Edwards should continue to expose the inequities in this country; and may John Yarmuth win big in November. The Democratic Party has a long and proud history of advocating for the individual worker. I hope a Democratic Congress will have the courage to get us back to a system of Fair Trade (tariffs), because when Big Oil, agribusiness, mining, pharmaceuticals, et al get huge subsidies, avoid taxes, are given a pass on environmental laws and are even allowed to write policy to boot, that is certainly not “Free Trade.”Ruthanne WolfeFirearms Not to BlameI find it “ironic” that someone could contemplate a hideous act of domestic terrorism, the apparently indiscriminate shooting of five people attending a funeral, and conclude that the problem lay in the legal possession of firearms (regarding Stephen George’s “Unbridled spirit of KY gun control” in May 24 LEO). It would be hard to imagine a clearer indication that the perpetrator(s) were completely contemptuous of all law, and certainly would not have been constrained by “tighter gun control standards.”Though Kentucky is more firearms-friendly than most states, the overwhelming trend in America during the “steep national declines in gun-related crimes in the past decade” has been toward allowing the law-abiding populace to arm itself, with the spread of “shall issue” concealed-carry permits into all but a tiny minority of states.J.D. BandyHorse HockeyI marvel at the duplicity of the American people who lavish huge financial and emotional capital on injured Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, while subsidizing the abuse and slaughter of billions of horses, cows, pigs and other sentient animals for their dinner table. Although we don’t eat horses, we slaughtered 88,000 last year for export to countries that do.The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503 and S. 1915) would permanently ban U.S. transport and slaughter of horses for human consumption. Similar Congressional efforts have been thwarted by the USDA earlier this year. It makes no ethical sense to cherish our horses, dogs and cats, while paying for the abuse and slaughter of billions of similar animals that are not part of our family. With the great abundance of soy-based meat alternatives in every supermarket, it makes no practical sense either.Logan SellintCars for the Taking?Hey, all you car thieves, it’s a free-for-all in Old Louisville! I had my car stolen, then happened upon it sitting three blocks away three days later. When the officer came to “assist” me, he literally did nothing more than look at the VIN number and the inside of the vehicle with a flashlight. He then told me that I’d better put the stuff still inside the car in the trunk, since I couldn’t roll up the broken windows. Then he suggested I get it towed because I wouldn’t be able to drive it.So I went to the police station the next morning to politely request that my car be fingerprinted and that they actually try to find the person who stole it. You see, it is a crime to steal a car. It’s not just an unfortunate incident. It’s a CRIME. But, apparently, they have so much auto theft in this zip code that they no longer even TRY to solve the problem.A very sweet cop took pity on me and said that they usually didn’t do things like this, but since I asked, they would fingerprint my car. She told me there would be dust everywhere afterwards. Very soon after they towed it, they were done — and, alas, they found no prints. Oh, and guess what else? There was no dust — none! They lied to me. No one fingerprinted my car.So, hey, short on cash? Can’t afford a down-payment on your own vehicle? C’mon down to Old Louisville, where the cars are free for the taking, as long you don’t get caught red-handed.Michelle DamatoThe LMPD RespondsOn behalf of the Louisville Metro Police Department, I truly regret that your reader had such a negative experience in dealing with our Department. Chief White has spent much of his tenure emphasizing the importance of community-police relationships, which makes it disheartening to hear that a citizen had a less than satisfactory interaction with one of our members.I fully empathize with this citizen’s frustration at becoming a victim of a crime. It’s even more frustrating, for both the victim and the police, knowing that the perpetrator is still out there. Unfortunately, stolen vehicles, along with burglaries and other thefts by unlawful taking, are some of the most time-consuming and challenging crimes to solve. The lack of eyewitnesses often contributes to this challenge, along with the many hours needed to generate and track down leads.The Louisville Metro Police Department, like many other departments of similar or larger size, deals with thousands of stolen-vehicle reports each year. In 2005, LMPD recorded 3,417 stolen-vehicle reports for the entire year; that’s roughly 284 stolen vehicles each month and nine each day. For the first four months of 2006, we have recorded 1,228 stolen vehicles; an increase of 23 stolen vehicles monthly when compared to 2005 and an average of 307 stolen vehicles for each of the first four months of 2006. Again, I regret that our Department was unable to assist this reader to the extent of capturing the perpetrator of this crime. However, it is important for the reader and others to know that we take complaints against the Department and its members seriously. Therefore, I would encourage this citizen to contact our Chief of Staff at 574-7660 to see if a more satisfactory resolution can be reached in this matter.  Alicia Smiley, Media and Public Relations Office, Louisville Metro Police Department