October 10, 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.Props to Iroquois AmphitheaterI’m at the Wilco show at Iroquois Park right now (sending this from my phone — yes, I’m a nerd) and I just wanted to let everyone know how GREAT THIS VENUE IS! I had been to this amphitheater years ago, but I must say that it is completely unrecognizable from what I remember. Credit is due somewhere, whether it be Metro Parks, or whatever. The place is great, the sound is perfect, the vibe is a awesome. Please bring us more events like this here, and if you didn’t make it out to Wilco, get up off your ass and support this place when the next group stops by.Lee JonesEditor’s note: Funding for the renovation was provided by the state (half), Louisville Metro (one-third) and the Olmsted Foundation.Pretzel LogicWe understand that the writers and editors at LEO are twisting themselves in knots trying to defend John Yarmuth, and justifying the positions he has taken over the years. After all, John Yarmuth founded LEO.  But even the most devoted Yarmuth supporter should see your most recent column (Stink Eye, Oct. 4) discussing the congressional race as a desperate attempt at spin control.  The anonymous author wrote that our Web site, www.theyarmuthrecord.com, is a “morally bankrupt and anti-intellectual distortion of reality.” But how can this be? The Web site in question consists of nothing more than the columns John himself wrote for LEO, accompanied by a few quotes he made in his role as TV commentator and general speechmaker. There is no editorializing on the site. No spin. No slant. Just John’s own words, in their entirety.Since LEO is apparently unable to post John’s previous columns on its Web site, we decided to post them ourselves. Without commentary. We hope that everyone visits the site and reads the columns for themselves, and comes to their own conclusion about John Yarmuth. I am sure that a few of the positions he has taken will be attractive to some of your readers. Some will probably not. But elections are supposed to be a choice between contrasting visions and ideas. Unfortunately, despite the fact that John stated repeatedly that he would stand by every column he has written, he has tried his best to run from his own words and ideas. We believe that the voters should know what John has proposed, where he stands on issues and what he has written. Since voters are unable to access John’s archived columns from the LEO site, we felt it was our responsibility to put them up and make them available for the public to read and decide for themselves. A couple of more points for clarification. The anonymous author claims that our commercials have not discussed any current political issues. In fact, our ads have discussed the East End bridge, the new Veterans Administration hospital, Social Security, the prescription drug plan, taxes (doubling the payroll tax and John’s plan to tax SUV’s and pickup trucks) and others — all of which are current political issues. The disclaimer refers to her as a candidate for Congress, because that is what the campaign finance law dictates. Finally, the Ohio River Bridges Project, the new VA Hospital, airport expansion, Waterfront Park construction and more Homeland Security dollars are not Anne’s “so-called accomplishments,” as the anonymous author wrote. They are Anne’s accomplishments.Patrick NeelyCampaign ManagerNorthup for CongressEditor’s note: To be clear, the site to which Mr. Neely refers does include some manner of spin. In the menu running along the left side, each column is prefaced by an extrapolation made by the Northup Campaign. For example, the link to the column in which Yarmuth discusses the drinking age in Europe is headed, “On Lowering the Drinking Age.” After you click through two screens to the column, the highlighted paragraph in it reads: “Young men and women are allowed to drink in England (and Ireland and virtually all over Europe) at least by the age of 18, and while this seems an unlikely prospect for our country, a few days here with an 18-year-old American (son Aaron) has convinced me that it is something we should consider, even though I realize there are probably aren’t five politicians in America with the courage to propose such a thing.”It is also important to note that the Northup Campaign’s corresponding TV commercials do place Yarmuth’s ruminations in the affirmative — that is, they allege that he “supports” something that he has, in his column, discussed as worth exploring. There is a difference, and so, it seems, one person’s contortion is another’s attempt to provide context.Too Late?Why, oh why, have you waited so long to slap 8664 on your cover and write a huge blowout article? Did I miss this issue last year when final touches were being made on the current tainted bridges plan? It seems that now, when all the squeaky bureaucratic wheels have finally begun turning, that even the most idealistic progressives have doubts about the promise of success (Allen and Stites notwithstanding). Your only saving grace is the fact that the budget story for the bridges plan — you know, the one about it costing so much more than planned that it will have to be pared down or done in pieces — came out just after your article. Without that little breath of fresh air, it seems too little, too late. Jay StallonsEditor’s note: LEO’s first piece on 8664 ran Jan. 12, and another ran April 25.More Anger!You BASTARDS! I demand action and answers, and I don’t mean maybe! This “Anger for Mayor” campaign has got to start somewhere or we are stuck with another 20 years of buttoned-down mambypamby, mind-numbing schlock we’ve been stuck with since God knows when. I don’t want blown-dried efficiency from a mayor; the people want a mayor who will drive a goddamn truck to work and kick some ass from dusk to dawn! Give me Anger or give me death! Give me Anger or give me something cold to calm me down! Give me Anger or I’m moving to somewhere where men are men and the godless heathens who read this commie manifesto each week go style hair and make my goddamn mocha lattes each morning at that hippie hangout on Frankfort Avenue and don’t demand their goddamn “rights” about something every 10 minutes! What we need is Anger and more Anger!Matt IngramDoomed StartUntil 8664 — and the reporters who cover it — incorporates an improved public transit system serving the needs of east/west commuters, the 8664 concept is doomed.Jackie GreenTortured Tongue in CheekI want to thank Northup, McConnell and Bunning for supporting President Bush’s torture program. Sure, there have been some incidents of accidental death and some suicides by depressed detainees. While some torture victims were obviously innocent, like the guy from Canada, we’re at war and, as Rumsfeld reminds us, “Mistakes happen.”The bottom line is that we are asking our soldiers to occupy a foreign land where our military’s own poll finds 75 percent don’t want us there and 60 percent approve killing American soldiers. And they have done just that, killing more than 3,000 coalition troops and seriously injuring another 20,000, many who will live the rest of their lives without eyes, limbs or fully functioning brains. Estimates are that 100,000 American soldiers might suffer depression after watching comrades die or from the guilt from killing innocent women and children.In such environments, a little torture can be therapeutic. British soldier Donald Payne, now charged with committing war crimes in Iraq, said he really “enjoyed” hearing Iraqi civilians call out in pain. And last year U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. James Mattis cheerfully said war is fun, “It’s a hell of a hoot. I like brawling; it’s fun to shoot some people.”Thankfully, Northup, McConnell and Bunning didn’t buy into the argument that if we torture, they will torture our soldiers. Bring it on! Bush twins, Jenna and Barbara, might squeal like stuck pigs, but our military doesn’t include pampered rich kids. Composed of poor working class and minority kids, they have already lived a life of hard knocks. Blows to the head and kicks to the groin aren’t going to bother them. If torture was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for our soldiers. And do they really need their fingernails?The most recent whining is about a new U.N. report that tortures in Iraq are now worse than under Saddam. Yes! We’re No. 1 — that’s something to celebrate, not deplore. Geneva Convention and U.S. Constitution be damned.Sam Sloss

Fighting Crime?

By armymgt

Sitting in Jail, everyone denies the crime. Some are guilty and some will be found innocent. But what we need to take a look at are the facts. Bonds during election years are inflated to keep people behind bars, whether they are guilty or not. Why? It’s simply to create the illusion that the courts and the legal system in general are doing their jobs. Judges are at the top of the heap. If they are up for re-election, you better believe the bonds are set so high, it is nearly impossible to meet the bond. Unless you are of course a white collar offender. They typically have the cash. County Prosecutors charge people with little to no real evidence pointing to their guilt. This happens predominantly the year before re-election as well. The legal system is making a statement…. See how good I am…vote for me!

I know a young man sitting in the Floyd County Jail New Albany, Indiana right now, who is accused of sexual misconduct with a minor. Here is the evidence. He signed a confession. I should mention that he can’t read. So what did he think he was signing? Could he have been told it was a request for a public defender? That’s what he says he was told. I believe him! As for the other evidence: the girl claimed he penetrated her vaginally. Medical examination showed the girl to still be an intact virgin. There were no visible signs of trauma to the area either. Why would the girl make claims that were untrue? Upon investigation, I learned that the young lady in question was taking a large number of medications for a mental disorder. But even still, what was her motivation? The young man was dating her sister. But she had a crush on him. And when he made light of her interest, she decided to show him! He was going to pay! Keep in mind her mom supports her claim. By the way, mom is also taking the medications for the same mental condition. The mom actually claims to have witnessed the act and yet waited several weeks to file a complaint. Delusional would describe this woman at best. Why would a mother, watch her daughter being “raped”, wait so long? Because it didn’t really happen! And after weeks of her daughter pleading to call the police, she finally did. The mother convinced herself that it did happen and that she had witnessed it. How is that possible, the girl is a virgin!

Yet this young man sits in jail for nearly a year still waiting for resolution in the case. Unable to make a bond of $500,000 he waits and waits. The Prosecutor is pushing for a plea bargain. It’s a conviction! Yep, more re-election ammunition! The young man is convinced he is going to prison for life if he passes on the plea. So he considers the plea, knowing he will be listed as a sex offender for life, whether he spends one more day in jail or not. He has no faith in the legal system. Especially after he was told, “you signed a confession”. Don’t get me wrong, this young man isn’t squeaky clean. He has made a few bad decisions as young people sometimes do. Nothing felonious in his past! However he had remained trouble free and was working hard to make a life for himself, until this false accusation.

I am all for cleaning up crime. But why would Floyd County ruin the life of an innocent young man? For the re-election, that’s why! And the young man is merely…collateral damage.