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August 5, 2009

Inbox — Aug. 5, 2009

Letters to the Editor

Not So Fast

Am I crazy, or have you completely removed your local music listings? My next question, if I’m correct about this, is why would you ever do that? Something LEO could definitely brag about was their coverage of local music. I’m sorry — your picks of a few shows here and there doesn’t really cut it. Please bring back the local listings.

Brian Manley, Highlands

Editor’s Note: After receiving copious amounts of hate mail daily since March, some of which came from within our own office, LEO has decided to reinstate its Plugged In music listings section in the Aug. 19 issue. Contact Music Editor Mat Herron for details. We love you, and you’re welcome.

Long Way Home

During my 17 years with the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, staff investigated numerous complaints of race discrimination filed by African-Americans. Like the Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr. controversy, some cases involved a “surface truth” and a “deeper truth.” For example, initial investigation would find a black employee had indeed been fired because company policy had been violated.

But further investigation revealed that a comparable white employee had not been fired for the same infraction. Discrimination based on race had occurred. And so with Gates: If Sgt. Crowley had followed police procedure (but who knows?), on the surface it would appear he treated the professor fairly.

But the deeper truth is this: Would the sergeant have treated a comparable Chinese or Jewish professor, or a prominent white business leader, in the same way he treated Gates? I doubt it. Crowley would probably have assumed the suspect innocent, accepted his word, behaved respectfully upon realizing the suspect was an accomplished man, apologized for the misunderstanding, and wished him a good evening.

Yes, Gates should have been more patient and cooperative. But my guess is Crowley’s behavior lacked good judgment, was provocative, and was influenced by racial bias. What really occurred may never be known. But it’s a reminder that injustice against black men continues, and of the distance we have yet to travel to achieve the post-racial America so many of us hope for.

Eric George, Highlands

Original Sins

“The evangelicals in the SBC respected God’s word enough to realize that they had no right to pick and choose. It’s either God-breathed or it’s not,” said Mike Cosper of Germantown in a July 22 LEO letter, adding that those in the Southern Baptist denomination who challenged them “went with the flow of Western culture, accepting as eternal truth the decrees of academia over the Bible’s many-thousand-year claims.”

It is the evangelicals’ absolute right to believe in strict adherence, and I have no problem with Cosper or anyone else doing so to find solace. But that right also obligates them to stand up to some scrutiny about their supposed fidelity to these many thousand years of teaching.

And no one, no one, can live a Christian lifestyle without picking and choosing which of God’s literal commands to follow.

Anyone who touches his wife without regard to the time of the month is very possibly in violation of a command in Leviticus that men refrain from sleeping with or touching their wives during their menstrual periods.

I’ve never been married, but if I were, I would go with the flow of Western culture on that one and, at the risk of smearing the reputation of a true believer, I strongly suspect Cosper would, too.

Sue me if you wish, Southern Baptist Convention, but please don’t make me borrow the money to pay damages, for that would implicate me in the sin of picking and choosing. Charging interest on loans is forbidden in Deuteronomy, Nehemiah and Leviticus.

George Morrison, Original Highlands

Game Over In Iraq

It certainly is great and long overdue that last week, after more than 6.25 years, our valiant military finally turned Iraq’s cities back over to their rightful overseers, the Iraqis, and now some people are even talking about this being the first indicator that we won the war on Iraq — a war, remember, which was sold to us under false pretenses, as only going to last weeks, and that it would all but pay for itself. But by what perverse calculus can tens of thousands of dead and maimed Americans, hundreds of thousands of dead and maimed Iraqis, millions of Iraqi homeless and refugees, and more than $2 trillion in ultimate costs for an illegitimate war ever equal a win?

The painful truth is, no matter what happens, we as a nation lost in Iraq the day our corrupt civilian leadership misled us into this costly, disastrous, ill-conceived, ongoing, completely unnecessary and unwarranted war of choice.

John Sodrel, New Albany

Defrost For Obama

Dear Mr. President:

Six more U.S. military were killed in Afghanistan today, almost eight years after we first invaded the country. The war is becoming President Obama’s War and he soon will have to live with the results. Living with the results of war is not good or easy.

Coincidentally, former Defense Sec. Robert McNamara died today at the age of 93. He stated a number of years ago that we — and he — were terribly wrong to fight and die in Vietnam.

“The Fog Of War” documents how war can go so wrong and the huge mistakes made in Vietnam by a government that thought they were doing the right thing. The Vietnam War is now sometimes known as McNamara’s War, killing more than 58,000 American soldiers and a million-plus Vietnamese.

It is somehow easy to think in the present that a war is necessary and important to the security interests of the country. It is much harder to see the past and then look into the future and through “The Fog of War” to a place where death and dying cannot be supported, and the war becomes a terrible wrong and mistake.

We do not want that to happen to this president for whom we worked and voted. He needs to see through the fog, see the future and how terrible it may be for him, his family and the country.

Harold Trainer, Vietnam Veteran, Prospect, Ky.