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December 2, 2009

Inbox — Dec. 2, 2009

Letters to the Editor

Don’t Douche

A bit of unsolicited yet, nevertheless, very valuable advice to Stephen George and Jim Welp, and any other LEO writer who thinks it is cool to use the word douchey. 86 it.

Ralph Koslik, Highlands

Come Together

In response to “On the front lines” (LEO Weekly, Nov. 18): Though our responses are varied, most people, whether “pro-choice” or “pro-life,” do not want abortions to occur. However, we’ve chosen ideology over working together to reduce the number of abortions. Many women who choose to abort go through a painstaking decision-making process, just as many women who choose not to abort must make difficult decisions. All women, regardless of how they deal with pregnancy, must be treated with dignity and respect, and not have their motivations assumed.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, I’m troubled by our current situation. I’m embarrassed by the way Christians condemn, and how we have treated others with hostility and derision. Such actions are inexcusable, and I ask for forgiveness from those whom we have hurt. I believe that lives of all children are sacred, whether children in the womb, children under the shadow of a predator drone, or children who will die today from lack of clean water. We all know that things in our world are not as they should be, and we all long for that which is not. As Christians, our hope is that in the future, all that is not right will be made well through Jesus. As a Louisvillian, my hope is that there will be no crowds in front of the EMW clinic, not necessarily because of legal decisions or because of squelched convictions, but because so few women will feel the need to abort. Let us work and hope together.

Ryan Kupiec, West Buechel

Say What You Mean

Your article, “On the front lines,” chronicles the activities of what the article calls “pro-lifers.” These people are apparently within their rights to harass and detain women attempting to reach the EMW Women’s Surgical Center. They are also within their rights to call themselves whatever positive-sounding name they choose. I’m surprised to read that LEO has followed their deceptive lead with this misnomer, as has most of the mainstream media.

It has been heartening of late to hear respected journalist Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune refer to “anti-abortionists,” and to come across more than one television report reporting on “anti-choice” movements in state legislatures and the current health care reform debates. It is certainly time to correctly describe those who oppose legal abortion and a woman’s control of her body. I’m guessing that except for rare exceptions, “pro-lifers” are death-penalty supporters, and that noticeably few of them are raising the babies of or financially supporting women who’ve followed their advice. We all know that there’s more to life than birth, a fact ignored by this group seeking to force all women in all circumstances to live or die by anti-choice demands.

Please, let’s call them what they are, not what they pretend to be. The LEO can’t prevent their distortions, but you don’t have to contribute to their cause with misleading descriptions of their agenda.

Barbara Cambron, Highlands

Choice Words

Once again, conservatives are hijacking health care legislation on reproductive rights. Why not focus on health care and the endless number of Americans who need real health care reform? Abortion should be a private and personal choice left to the individual and her doctor. It is a legal medical procedure. Once again, a woman’s decision is being dictated by government, run by conservatives who think it’s a good thing to make the health care reform bill only negotiable if it includes the abortion issue. This is just plain wrong and denies women access to medical coverage.

With the reform of this bill, does that include excluding payment for Viagra as well?

Judy Oetinger, Prospect

Ad It Up

Attn: Joe Manning: Thanks so much for your column about the abhorrent advertising industry (LEO Weekly, Nov. 18). It was brilliantly funny and refreshing, and I agreed with every word of it. My only issue is with the timing of its publication. One was not allowed to read LEO this week without first ripping off the annoyingly wasteful plastic packaging that enclosed the 2009 ear X-tacy Holiday Gift Guide — not to mention the four-page “advertorial” in the middle of the issue itself.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for supporting local businesses, and there is some quality stuff in that ear X-tacy guide (although, truth be told, I’ll probably get most of it from Underground Sounds. Just sayin’ …). I also understand that you guys gotta pay the bills. At least it wasn’t a Walmart catalog. Still, the fact remains that your spot-on tirade against advertising was sorta lost within one of LEO’s most blatantly commercial issues. You probably didn’t have much to do with that decision anyway … but I just thought the irony was worth pointing out.

Alex Plamp, Clifton Heights

Yarmuth Votes

We have volunteered for and strongly supported John Yarmuth in his two congressional campaigns and hope to do so again, but we are disappointed in his vote on H. R. 867, which rejects any further study or action by the United States on the U.N. Gaza Fact Finding Mission Report. This report, by Justice Richard Goldstone of South Africa, applies humanitarian and human rights law evenhandedly to the Israeli military and Hamas’s armed wing. It found very credible legal evidence that civilians, hospitals and other civil infrastructure had been targeted.

We wish Yarmuth had had the courage to stand up again the Israeli lobby (AIPAC) in Congress and vote to look further into the war crimes that were committed by Israel in their Gaza War last winter. The report also condemned the rockets fired by Hamas, which it should have done; however, Hamas’s arms and those of Israel, possibly the fourth largest military in the world, are really not equitable. The difference in firepower can be seen in the great contrast between 14 dead on the Israeli side and 1,400, including about 400 children, among the Palestinians.

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, in a statement before the House, pointed out that since most of the members had not even read the report that they condemned by their votes, they really “brought shame to this great institution.” We agree with Kucinich and would like to know if Rep. Yarmuth had read the report. And if so, why he voted as he did.

David Johnson & Polly Johnson, Hikes Point

Zen Christmas

My studies of Zen Buddhism and anarchism have prompted me to probe the values of many of my life’s routines. These reflections have caused me to refrain from celebrating some traditional American holidays, or to celebrate them in different ways. I came to this decision because of moral convictions, so the Christmas holiday was at the top of the list for consideration (mainly due to the capitalist perversion of the Christmas spirit). I considered not celebrating Christmas, but I decided that it’s not fair to deprive myself (or my loved ones) from experiencing the wonderful times that are shared during this season. However, we must ask ourselves, are we really celebrating Christmas with all of our materialistic gormandizing?

Therefore, this Christmas I am proposing a challenge to myself and others: Whatever your Christmas budget is this year, commit to giving 12 percent to a local organization that helps those in need. One great resource is Louisville’s Wayside Christian Mission. Phillip M. Bailey’s recent article about Wayside’s Hotel Louisville (LEO Weekly, Nov. 25) is an ideal example of the true spirit of Christmas in action. Someone once told me that the greatest act of love is to give to someone who can give you nothing in return.

Douglas Lucas, Highlands