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December 31, 2008

Inbox — Dec. 31, 2008

Letters to the Editor

Case by Case

I found your “Loserville Awards” (LEO Weekly, Dec. 17) on target for the most part, but you erred in including the “Group of 18 dismissed teachers.” First, you are guilty of using “guilt by association.” Each case is different and entitled to be considered differently. The issue is due process and adhering to the teacher contract. I suggest you look into this issue a little more. I would be glad to help.

Penance: Research to get the facts and write a feature article.

Bill Mattingly, Highlands

Fag Rag

I am writing to you in regards to your Dec. 17 issue. I must admit, I don’t normally read your magazine, but as I was scanning this particular one, I came across the article “Loserville.” After reading some of it, I decided I would get “outraged” by some of the things said in it. Like insinuating that if you were a proud, right-wing conservative (as opposed to a liberal, socialist douchebag), then you were a redneck. It also gives me the impression that all of you at the LEO are a bunch of faggots. :)

William Moore, West End

Attention Starved

Why such a negative cover and story (“Loserville,” Dec. 17)? Do so few people pick up your free paper that you need such a sensationally negative cover to get a response? A lot of other cities (like Chicago) have had a worse year. The whole country is fucked up. Why do you feel like you need to bring us down more? Are you afraid of going bankrupt, too, so you need such a nasty story to get people to pay attention (and get attention for your advertisers)?

Bob Magruder, Middletown

Tandy is Dandy

Good point! Metro Council member David Tandy says that he has decided to run for council president in 2009 partly because “there is a sense that the same person should not serve consecutively” (LEO Weekly, Dec. 10). As we know, a different council member has served in this post each year since Metro Council was formed by merging our local governments in 2003. Tandy would be the seventh council president if elected.

That rotation makes good sense given the newness of the council and merged government. Passing the baton at the end of year is a good way to build up the level of experience the council needs.

Tandy has been serving on the council since 2005 and is well respected by his colleagues and constituents. So, I’m for Tandy and hope his colleagues will elect him in January.

Tom Louderback, Highlands

Basking in the Quiet

I simply want to thank Joe Manning for the eloquent description of his experiences with quietude in “Silent Note” (LEO Weekly, Dec. 17). By the time I finished reading the article, I realized I had unconsciously shut my ears, closed to the sounds of the café I was sitting in. Talk about “experiencing” literature. This column reminded me of when I visited the Grand Canyon this summer, which gave me a sense of awe and power from the giant vat of absence that sat right in front of me. I really enjoyed it. Thanks, Joe.

Michael Grantz, East End

Yarmuth Shouldn’t Play It Straight

Federal law should not discriminate in any way against gays and lesbians. For this reason, President-elect Obama has committed to help repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA).

I’m calling on our courageous 3rd District U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth to join the president-elect, and represent his constituents, by beginning to remove the embarrassing cloud of discrimination brought over Kentucky under Bush and (former Rep. Anne) Northup. Specifically, I’m calling on him to be brave, stand up for what he believes and introduce the historic bill that repeals DoMA.

Curtis Morrison, Downtown

Saturn Rings Untrue

I agree that GM “needs to evolve into a different kind of car company” (regarding Francene’s Dec. 17 LEO Weekly column). I agree “they ignored their chance for a real turnaround” and “that it didn’t have to be this way.” Where I strongly disagree is the part about Saturn being the “poster car for how to win and keep customers.” I bought a Saturn Vue Hybrid and was feeling pretty good about myself … for about a week. After almost a year of countless trips to the shop, being treated as a nuisance and irrational, the Enterprise rental personnel knowing me by name, having to hire an attorney and conduct an asinine amount of haggling with their lawyer over a few hundred bucks, I finally got “most” of my money back and moved on with my life in the Toyota Prius I should have bought in the first place. It hasn’t given me so much as a minute’s grief.

They knowingly unleashed an untested, unfinished product with untrained and unequipped personnel on the market. Saturn’s reputation, at least in my opinion, isn’t and shouldn’t be what it used to be.

As for their having to submit viable business plans, why would anyone would think this is unreasonable? These companies are responsible for earning our business, and those that are not worthy due to the bad products or management should not survive or be given federal life support only to delay the inevitable. I was under the impression that was the American way. At least it used to be.

Shannon Burch, Highlands

Lamest Duck of All

In his departing interview with ABC’s “World News,” President George W. Bush reveals himself. Bush doesn’t like the idea of “people losing jobs, or being worried about their 401(k)s.” Bush’s solution: “We will safeguard the system.”

Great consolation for people who are out of work and for the millions whose retirement funds evaporated. That deregulated money is gone — people don’t have the luxury of “worrying” about losing it.

President Bush claimed he was unprepared for war. Is that because Bush and Condoleezza Rice ignored top-secret warnings days before 9/11?

WMDs? Bush said: “That’s not a do-over, but I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess.” He “guesses” about one of the worst bungles ever? With an estimated million lives lost and $3 trillion wasted, did Bush forget to mention that he and Cheney twisted the intelligence to jump-start the Iraq war?

Bush is “sure some people voted for Barack Obama because of me.” He got that right!

Bush wants us to think of him as “a guy that came, didn’t sell his soul for politics, had to make some tough decisions and did so in a principled way.” What a crock. Why should we expect anything more than damning lies and insults from the worst president in U.S. history?

Michael Gregoire, Highlands

86 Can Build A Bridge

As a lifelong Louisvillian, I have always been proud of many aspects of our great city. One of the things I am not proud about, however, is that while we label ourselves a forward-thinking town and “Possibility City,” we seem to always be behind the times on many important issues that are required for cities to grow. We were one of the last regional hubs to merge our city and county governments, a move that caused us to be outpaced by Nashville and Indianapolis during the last 40 years. We were probably the only city in the nation that shunned the chance to get an NBA franchise, a move that would have brought the downtown arena and urban growth five years sooner. And finally, our city leaders have been extremely antiquated and non-progressive when it comes to the issue of “8664” and the need for an East End bridge.

Mayor Abramson was quoted several months ago as saying that he felt an East End bridge would only redirect 2 percent of traffic around the city. That, my friends, is either a bald-faced lie or proof that our city leaders are truly as ignorant and bureaucratic as they sometimes appear. An East End bridge would almost certainly relieve a huge burden on Spaghetti Junction and downtown traffic, as it would require all large trucks not stopping downtown to go around the city — which they would rather do anyway. The removal of these large vehicles would relax congestion, almost assuredly put an end to major accidents in and around Spaghetti Junction, and help increase the free flow of traffic downtown.

You need look no further than cities such as Seattle, Milwaukee and San Francisco to find examples of the powerful impact the “86” plan would have on our downtown façade. We’re spending billions of dollars “revitalizing” downtown; why would we want to spend another $2 billion covering it up with highways and overpasses? In the 1940s and ’50s, Detroit began a massive highway construction project in an attempt to ease traffic in its burgeoning downtown area. Since then, the city has been completely covered by interstates, and its urban areas are now desolate and unappealing. Is that what we want for Louisville?

I’m not saying that an East End bridge will solve all of our problems, but it would be fiscally irresponsible to not build the East End bridge first. We can then determine whether another downtown bridge is needed and choose to either restructure Spaghetti Junction or “86” a portion of I-64. And we would save a billion dollars by not going blindly into a project that will have a negative impact on our city for generations to come.

Let’s make the smart choice and try to live up to our self-given namesake by actually becoming “Possibility City.”

William R. Donaldson, East End

 

Get the Facts "Straight"

By lmhstrumpet
In last week's Letters to the Editor, Curtis Morrison called upon Congressman Yarmuth to "stand up for what he believes and introduce the historic bill that repeals DoMA" and "to remove the embarrassing cloud of discrimination brought over Kentucky under Bush and (former Rep. Anne) Northup." Congressman Yarmuth certainly has the right and responsibility to support or introduce any legislation he believes would be best for the nation and this community. If a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA) is on his agenda, he has the ability to debate that issue on the Floor of the House. The only issue I intend to raise with Mr. Morrison's letter is the facts. He writes as if Anne Northup voted for and President Bush signed DoMA into law, but they didn't. It was Kentucky Democrats Mike Ward, Scott Baesler and Wendell Ford who supported the bill which was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996. But they weren't alone. They voted for DoMA alongside 342 Representatives in the House and 85 Senators including the current Majority Leader, Harry Reid, Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy and Vice President-Elect Joseph Biden. Mr. Morrison's enthusiasm on this issue is commendable and he should continue to voice his opinion in this important debate, however, the most important components of any debate are the facts and we ought to bring correct facts to the table. Highlands

The Weak Analogy

By DavidHume
One hears nowadays from those defending Israel’s attack on Gaza questions that go something like this: “Wouldn’t the U.S. be right to respond in a similar way if, for example, Canadians started lobbing rockets into Vermont?” But the answer is no. To follow out the analogy, the U.S. should, instead of military action, respond by returning to Canada its territory (most of which, like that of Palestine, the U.S. would have occupied since 1967, some since 1948). Remembering that it was created by foreign powers against the will of most Canadians and neighboring states, the U.S. should stop brutalizing those living under the illegal U.S. occupation of Canada. It should dismantle the many U.S. “settlements” it has built on Canadian soil and stop taking Canadian natural resources. The U.S. should return to Canada its capital city (which the U.S. would have illegally annexed). In accordance with the demands of international law, the U.S. should allow those Canadian-Americans it drove into Canada and Greenland sixty years ago, to return to their homes and property in Vermont (which by law they still own). At least the U.S. should pay those it dispossessed reparations. The U.S. should release the Canadians it holds prisoner, pay reparations to the families of the many Canadians it has tortured and killed, and prosecute the perpetrators. The U.S. should keep its promise to lift the siege-like blockade of large and densely-populated parts of Canada, a blockade that has created sub-Saharan levels of malnutrition among Canadians and strangled the Canadian economy. The U.S. should rebuild the Canadian infrastructure and public health facilities it has destroyed and stop assassinating Canadian political and religious leaders. It should stop interfering with Canadian elections and stop propping up dictatorships in the region. And finally, the U.S. should fully recognize Canada’s right to exist and respond positively to the overtures Canadians have made to recognize the U.S.’s right to exist. Having done all this, the U.S. is likely to find that it will become much easier to halt the rocket fire endured by northern Vermont. D. Hume