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April 1, 2009

Inbox — April 1, 2009

Letters to the Editor

We’re Noticing

Great job on the website/weekly pub. The design/product is mucho nice.

Todd Schartung, Parkway Village

Plug Us Back In

I am writing to register a complaint about the omission of the Plugged In section of your newspaper. I must honestly say that this section is the main reason I pick up your weekly magazine. Although this section has been omitted from the print version, there is still an online link where music information can be found. I went to this online link to see what is happening this weekend in Louisville, and there are 49 pages to scour through and more than 1,660 different listings. Sometimes the same person is listed six or seven times in a row. This is not clear and concise like the print version you had. I can’t look at it in 30 seconds and be on my way. This is horribly frustrating, and it makes me do something I have never done before — write in to a magazine to complain. You stated that you do not have the resources to maintain this section. However, I see fancy new paper and FULL COLOR. The new look looks great. I wish you would go back to the old look, keep your fancy paper and revive the Plugged In music section. I know I am not the only one who feels this way. Please revive this section so we can Keep Louisville Weird.

Mike Norman, New Albany 

An Atrocity

WHY, WHY, WHY did you do away with the print version of Plugged In? I really have no reason to pick up your magazine now like I used to; the new online version is totally confusing.

I know you want to sell more ads, but local musicians need Plugged In! I guess I have to look in Velocity now.

Joseph Morgan, Jeffersonville 

Editor’s Note: We’re scouring the whole range of happenings in Louisville on a daily basis and saying what’s worth the price of admission at Event Horizon, our events blog, events.leoweekly.com. It’s as simple as a blog. Really.

Shot Snafu

A couple issues ago (LEO Weekly, March 18), c d kaplan was going on about U of L’s successes and failures in past NCAA basketball tournaments. He got one wrong. He said Arkansas beat us in 1981 with a half-court heave by J.R. Reid. Reid never played for Arkansas; he was a Tar Heel. Our nemesis in 1981 was U.S. (Unbelievable Shot) Reed. He came to town once for an NBA exhibition game afterward and the boos heard at his player intro were quite resounding throughout the Hall. I figured somebody would’ve caught the snafu by now.

Tinsley G. Happel, PRP 

Suspect Research

I personally respect Dr. Ricky Jones. And I applaud his efforts to find solutions that continually undermine black achievements in pursuing the “American dream.” But I am bothered with his planned attempt to “research” problems plaguing the black community (LEO Weekly, March 18). Have we not seen enough research about us black folk and our problems? Black academia has studied our problems for years, and there seems to be no advancement whatsoever. Jones’s approach to include black academia in his upcoming forum will not solve anything except feel-good chest thumping. His invitation to the entire community is commendable. And yet, we have seen this before where people who attend these “forums” give their opinions of how best to solve black community problems and then walk away feeling better about themselves for having attended.

If I were planning the type of forum that Jones wants, I would first seek people whose addictions to drugs and alcohol perpetuated them to commit crimes. Then I would seek those who were involved in COP (Community Oriented Police) programs. Then I would insist that all black political leaders (Metro Council members and state representatives) attend. (Black political leadership always shows up during election time, then disappears afterward.) I would take attendance. I would ask each government representative what they have done to better their community. I would ask specific questions and demand specific answers. This would probably scare the hell out of some of them. I would also ask those politicians whose campaign signs appear throughout the black community the same questions. (I would definitely ask why their signs appear only during election season while they disappear after the election.) Then I would definitely ask the county school superintendent to attend, as education is the most important key to some of our depressing problems. Finally, I would seek out those military veterans, many of whom are unemployed and homeless, to attend. Their opinions, in my opinion, are more valuable than black academia.

Keith E. Lewis, Downtown

Privacy Invasion

Attn: Jim Welp (regarding “Is that a gun in your pocket?” column, LEO Weekly, March 18):

2001 — U.S. firearm deaths = 29,573; 16,869 of those deaths were suicides (source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics)

2001 — U.S. abortion deaths = 1.31 million (source: Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health)

Apparently Smith & Wesson Corp. helped several hundred thousand babies abort themselves. Thank goodness for the privacy clause of the Constitution (the Second, was it?), since we’re so concerned about “… blood-smeared flesh.”

My suggestion: Leo should start an online website to include the name, city, ZIP and birth year for everyone who has had, has performed, has paid for or assisted in an abortion. But somehow I’ll bet you would consider that an invasion of privacy.

Dave Case, Hikes Point 

Douchebag Responds

Oh my goodness! In the March 11 issue of LEO, an angry Audubon Park woman vented her ire on “Jackass McDouchebag” regarding a Feb. 11 letter written to LEO’s editor commenting on Scott Wade’s well-written paean to President Obama. I plead guilty.

The woman — obviously no lady, or I would refer to her as that — objected to my linking President Obama’s voting record as an Illinois state and U.S. senator to the continuing abortion holocaust here in America. She queried: “If abortion and the right to do so makes it a holocaust, then does that mean every woman who has had to make the hardest decision of her life is akin to Adolf Hitler and that she subscribes to the Nazi regime?”

The short answer, of course, is “No.” The similarity is not at all with the Nazis, who were responsible for only 6 million deaths, but with us Americans, who are responsible for the deaths of close to 50 million unborn human lives — more than eight times that of the Nazis! Until a more definitive word is conjured up, the word “holocaust” will have to suffice. True, those unborns were not walking around in a suit and tie, but there’s no disputing they were human.

The writer wrote that she had to have an abortion to save her own life. Hmm, interestingly, she did not tell us whether her own abortion was the result of a criminal assault or a pleasant romp in bed with a friend. If it were the former, did she press charges on the perpetrator? If the latter, what is the justification for her killing her own unborn child to escape her own irresponsibility? When is it ever moral to deliberately kill one person for the benefit of another?

Women need to know that abortion is the intentional, deliberate killing of an unborn human life. If the writer’s life were in peril, unintentionally losing the infant, after bending every effort to save both mother and child, is not an abortion. That is a tragedy, but unintentional.

Daniel F. McHugh, aka Jackass McDouchebag, East End

‘Ameriville’ Resonated

I think Rebecca Haithcoat understated the impact of “Ameriville” in her review in the March 11 LEO Weekly. While the play did try to address a lot of issues in a short space, I don’t think it set out to provide solutions to each. Instead, I think it sought to resonate with the humanity within each of us through emotion, and it’s there that I think it excelled. At the end of the performance I attended, everyone was on their feet cheering. But, I suppose Haithcoat will be disappointed, too, if Obama’s administration hasn’t solved all the country’s problems in its first term since UNIVERSES wasn’t able to do it in a 90-minute play.

Louisville’s my hometown, but I spent the 10 years following college traveling around. I lived in some amazing places, but none of them had a theater scene that compared with Louisville’s, and I’m not referring only to ATL, but also to the smaller productions. I’m not suggesting all reviews be sugarcoated, but the arts need our support. Without it, we’ll lose them and much of our city’s character.

Virginia M. Smith, Highlands 

A Happy Buzz

Attn: Holly Clark,

A customer of our Hosey Honey from Rainbow Blossom sent us a copy of your wonderful article on “Satisfy your sweet tooth with local honey” with a nice photo of our Midsummer’s Day 2-pound jar of honey (Jan. 28, LEO Weekly). We wanted to thank you for writing such a detailed article (one of the best I’ve seen) on the health benefits of local raw honey, and we are also pleased to know that you appreciate our three seasons of raw honey.

I have been keeping bees since 1974 (since I was 17 years old), but have only in the last five years become driven to help the public know the benefits of raw honey for our health and well-being and the dire need of honeybees on our planet. We are working hard toward saving our honeybees, and I am getting many new people involved in beekeeping.

Happy beekeeping!

Richard Hosey, Midway, Ky. 

Body is Art

The March 11 issue of LEO Weekly featured an art column on the “Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion” exhibit, which describes our bodies as “a magnificent work of art.” As one who believes in a Creator (or Artist, to hold the metaphor), I couldn’t agree more. We all know human life is precious, but at what price must we sustain it? Let’s flip to page 6, where the What A Week segment praised President Obama for lifting restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. If we are indeed beautiful creatures in our elderly years, as young adults, as adolescents, children and infants, could one not argue (Religious Nut Ass’n membership not required) that a human being is beautiful even during its most fragile embryonic stage? Then what do we really gain by destroying one magnificent work of art to sustain another?

I fully support funding for adult stem cell research, which has saved lives. I also believe we must support both science and ideology, not least of all because religious freedom is a human right.

Jason Ramage, Germantown 

Root of Greed

In a March 16 op-ed in The New York Post, joint-columnists Dick Morris and Eileen McGann took great delight in calling President Obama an incompetent socialist who doesn’t know what he is doing on economy matters. If Morris and McGann were journalistic truth-tellers, they would be writing about incompetent capitalists who are terminally ill with G-R-E-E-D. On the individual level and as a nation, finding a cure for greed is just as important as finding a cure for cancer.

Greed has driven the economy into moral and spiritual bankruptcy. Why have we yet to learn the eternal truth of: “The love of money is the root of all evil”? Why did Jesus tell the rich young ruler to sell all his possessions and give the money to the poor? Is it possible an economic system that spreads the wealth is more in line with God’s economic will for God’s kingdom on Earth than a system where individuals accumulate and hoard great personal wealth? Can the economy really recover soon and maintain the recovery for many years to come if we proceed to do business as usual — allowing greed to drive the economic engine?

Paul L. Whiteley Sr., St. Matthews

Shady Registry

Apparently, the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance wants to shut down and close for good. There is not really anything for them to regulate.

Just consider the automated response they sent during the 2008 state election to those who questioned the original source of the “personal funds” reported by candidates on their campaign finance reports: “The Registry does not regulate the personal finances of candidates.”

What is the difference between the personal funds of candidates and the personal funds of their campaign donors? It appears the Registry thinks there’s no difference worth looking into.

As a practical matter, this would mean that campaign donors can simply avoid state campaign finance regulations by giving their money directly to the candidates in person, instead of giving it to their campaign committees. We would hardly need campaign finance reports anymore.

Tom Louderback, Highlands

They Did It!

Yes, We The People are justifiably outraged over the despicable executive bonuses given by AIG and other companies getting taxpayer bailouts, but the blame does not rest with the current administration.

It was the Republican Congress that deregulated the financial industries in the 1990s under the theory that they were run by honest and honorable, God-fearing American businessmen. They wouldn’t do anything unscrupulous that would come back and bite the American people on our collective butt just to make themselves stinking rich, would they? Then the Bush/Cheney gang eviscerated what was left of the federal agencies that were charged with protecting the public from greedy people like themselves. It was Bush’s man Henry Paulson who gave out hundreds of billions of our dollars to the same people who created this mess with virtually no oversight.

President Obama inherited this mess and now he must try to salvage our economy after the Bush/Cheney gang’s years of pillage and plunder. But the Republican party keeps trying to deflect blame from themselves (where it belongs) onto President Obama. The Republicans caused this mess just like they caused the S&L crisis in the 1980s. Let’s collectively toss the Republican Party and their fascist policies on the trash heap of history where they belong.

Joseph Thompson, Highlands