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February 10, 2010

Inbox — Feb. 10

Letters to the Editor

St. Francis Cheers!
So let me see if I have this straight. Of the 17 writers recognized by LEO in Literary LEO 2010 (Jan. 27 issue), five of them are students at St. Francis High School? Five. Of 17. Are high school students. At St. Francis High School. Let’s see, that makes reason number ... (hang on a minute, I have to do some math — I didn’t go to St. Francis myself) … OK, got it. That makes it reason No. 8,476,237 why my husband and I are glad we chose to send our son there.
Liz Bevarly, Springhurst

Watch Your Mouth
It seems to me that clean language in public discourse is a thing of the past, especially with LEO Weekly. Each week offers some new article filled with foul language. This week’s “What a Week Zeitgeist Meter,” for instance, features foul language in the section discussing the Louisville game against West Virginia. Shouldn’t it be the job of the media to raise the level of public discourse in this city? It is easy to curse, but it cheapens the writing. It is not your job to mirror the language of your reader, it is your job to improve the language of your reader and leave them that much smarter for having read your work.
Lucas W. Adams, Crescent Hill

Kraut Clout
Just wanted to drop a line of thanks to Holly Clark and LEO for publishing such a great article on local fermentation and for mentioning our farm business (Geier Krauts, Jan. 27, LEO Weekly). We are small and just starting out, so it gives us a lot of inspiration to keep farming and fermenting when we hear back from folks who eat our kraut.

We love Rainbow Blossom because they really roll out the red carpet for local producers. But when we sell to a grocer, we don’t get to actually meet the people who eat our stuff ... so hearing from you means that much more.

FYI, we’ll be selling the kraut from Geier Krauts until it’s gone, and this year we are expanding a bit into sour pickles and other vegetable ferments. So we are changing our name to Sour Power to encompass other ferments besides the kraut. (The jars will mostly look the same ... and it’ll still be us growing and fermenting the goods!)

So keep on focusing on great things like local food, artisan food prep, farms and great groceries.
Brian Geier, Franklin County

Sights for Sore Eyes
I have some suggestions for LEO’s “Eyesore” feature, which exposes areas of Louisville that are unattractive and are reminiscent of what we might imagine “slums” looking like, i.e., abandoned houses and so-called un-artistic graffiti:

Gentrified Areas in Louisville: To be sure, this is more of a proverbial eyesore. But if one takes a glimpse and ponders how the prior community was completely fractured and dismantled, it ought to bring about the same emotions one feels when they see a fire-scorched, boarded-up abandoned house. The effects of gentrification on communities involve the deliberate leveling of communities (i.e., Clay Street Public Housing) and rebuilding with a shift in interest from public to private, and pushing up rent, in turn pushing people out of their homes. But hey, young urban (white) professionals need a place to live.

Fourth Street Live: From the atrocious architecture and visually offensive neon-light-riddled macro guitar, to the noises of such banal excuses for music as “free” shows (everybody pays a price for this kind of noise pollution) performed by the Goo-Goo Dolls, this one is a real sensual rotten egg. This doesn’t bring into question the mockery it makes of public space; I was once checked when passing through this tented carnival one evening to make sure I didn’t have a doo rag or basketball jersey on — i.e., they were making sure, for the safety of Suzy and Princeton stuffing their faces with burgers at Hard Rock Café, that I wasn’t a black teenager. So much for civility and democracy when corporate tyrannies can co-opt our collective belongings (you know … Fourth Street?).

The East End: Suburbanites are beneficiaries of the welfare state. “White flight” involved guaranteed loans and low-interest rates provided to whites in the ’40s and ’50s whilst blacks were excluded.

Enter the East End: half-built homes that lack anything analogous to character, yards that embody a shade of green that doesn’t occur in nature, gated communities that both metaphorically and physically separate the “community” from others, and the ubiquitous chain restaurant.

Individuals in our community need to know when and how to avoid these scary places.
Alex Bradshaw, Highlands

Alert the NRA
Commenting on health care, Rich Mills of Shawnee said in a Jan. 20 letter to LEO: “Allow me to suggest that perhaps no one has a right to something someone else must provide.”

Will someone please tell the National Rifle Association this?
George Morrison, Cherokee Triangle

Guaranteed Response
In response to Richard Mills’ reply to my arguments (Feb. 3, LEO Weekly), I ask the following:

1) If “compulsion” is the difference between right and duty, how can he defend a system that compels its citizens to purchase a service such as health insurance, by law or implication, but offers none of the guarantees of a right? How can there be social duty without a corresponding return of rights? I agree that no one should be compelled to exercise a right they choose to live without, but the possibility of compulsion does not negate the just nature of a right.

2) If no good or service can be considered a right, would Mills sacrifice his police and fire protection in favor of self- or community-based services of the equivalent? If no, then he is demanding a right as a citizen through civil governance that is supplied by others, even if they are compelled to provide it. If yes, then he expects that some should be willing to provide a service required by their fellow citizens for the mutual benefit of all.

3) If a trial by jury is but a mechanism to protect citizens from government power, what mechanisms may we rely on to protect us from corporate power, which is at least as insidious? I suggest that a public insurance option is such a mechanism.

Finally, contrary to Mills’ reading, I do not willingly surrender my liberties to a functioning society. These liberties have been taken from me by the compulsions of law, commerce and convention. In the same spirit, I deny that my name is James and choose instead to remain,
Jason Hill, Old Louisville

Yes to Mitch
Congratulations Sen. Mitch McConnell and congrats to your party of Yes!

Yes to corporate America and that for which it stands. Yes to those who brought America to the brink of financial ruin and the collapse of the American workforce. Yes to lower wages with fewer and costlier benefits, if any at all.

Yes to Big Oil and King Coal. Yes to the dismantling of any agency or law that attempts to enforce regulations that keep our water, food and air from poisoning us. Yes to the destruction of Big Government, because we know Big Business will take care of us.

Yes to having no new ideas and yes to more tax cuts and complete deregulation so banks and corporations can contribute even more to the future of our political process.

Kudos to saying yes to the policy your party has of saying no to anything and everything the majority party has attempted. And yet the Democrats accuse the Republicans of being the party of “No.” After all, it is not about the country. It is about saying yes to no. Congratulations, Mitch. Mission accomplished.
Joseph C. Wohlleb, Highlands