Inbox — Jan. 7, 2009
Letters to the Editor
Paint it Red
I just read William Moore’s letter (“Fag Rag”) in the Dec. 31 LEO Weekly. I found it highly amusing that, in claiming to be “outraged” at the insinuation that he and others like him were “rednecks,” Mr. Moore chose to use phrases like “liberal, socialist douchebag” and “bunch of faggots.” Flagrant insults and homophobia aren’t helping your cause, Mr. Moore; they’re a large part of the reason “proud, right-wing conservatives” are sometimes regarded as reactionary hate-mongers. If you don’t want to be considered a redneck, the first step is to stop acting like one.
Maxwell Massey, Jeffersontown
You and Your Kind
I rarely read LEO Weekly’s opinion pieces because they are so left-leaning and nonsensical that they merely get in the way of the coupons and the concert listings I’m looking for, but this week I was particularly bothered by Kate Welsh’s column (Dec. 24 issue). I wholeheartedly support her in fighting for the causes she holds dear to her heart, but she doesn’t win many converts to her side when she proclaims that most white people were racist in the 1960s and wouldn’t end segregation.
Ms. Welsh, the South at that time was primarily run by Democrats who were very opposed to integration. The esteemed senator from West Virginia, Robert Byrd, was a recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan. Libs loved to hate Jesse Helms, but he fathered children with a black woman. Who are bigots here? Comparing your “gay struggle” with segregation is absurd. No one looks at you and hates you because you’re gay. They usually have to get to know you or you have tell them that you’re gay, and then they are free to come to whatever conclusion. You can ride on any bus, eat in any restaurant and work in whatever field you’re qualified in. Unfortunately, that’s not enough.
You and your kind feel it necessary to force yourself and your views on private organizations such as the Boy Scouts, but then but cry bloody murder when anyone of expressed faith and values enters the public arena of ideas, such as [Mike] Huckabee or Rick Warren. I personally couldn’t care less if you married your girlfriend or your pet boa constrictor, but in a society that’s as litigious and so misinformed about culture and history as you seem to be, we probably need to keep it simple: Marriage is between a man and woman (or women if you’re of certain religious traditions). Enough hetero marriages end badly, we’re probably doing you a favor by keeping it that way.
Please keep fighting and take a little more time to educate yourself on the issues that you’re passionate about. Hollywood’s version of history and LEO’s editorial staff will give you a very myopic and self-loathing view of the United States. I expect such a cowardly act of disrespect such as shoe throwing from a foreign zealot, but not from someone who has grown up and lived a life in the freest, most prosperous country in the history of the world.
Louis Blase, Shelby County, Ky.
Knowing Me, Knowing You
Attn: Sara Havens:
I rarely if ever feel compelled to write regarding something I have seen in the newspaper or a publication, but after reading your 2008 movie commentary in the LEO Weekly (Dec. 31 issue) today during lunch, I thought I would drop you a line. I did not see three of the movies but did see “Mamma Mia!” and the Indiana Jones movie.
I was disappointed that you said “Mamma Mia!” “sucked” because, while I will acknowledge the film was lightweight, I found it entertaining. When my wife suggested seeing it at the movies this summer, I was a little hesitant. I am not a big ABBA fan, but we both very much enjoyed the film that provided a little escapism for 90 minutes or so. My teenage daughter and her friends saw it at the theater this summer as well, and they have already watched the DVD we purchased for Christmas.
I believe what I liked about it was it was different. I had not seen a musical in some time, and I also liked the actors actually singing the songs themselves. While the actors were not classic singers, it gave it a touch of realism, at least for me. In some movies today, everything seems to have to be just perfect. I thought it was great the actors agreed to stick their necks out and do their own singing. My intention for writing was not to change your mind but just to provide another perspective.
I would tend to agree with you regarding the Indiana Jones film. I was disappointed. I believe they should have let the series rest on its legacy. None were as good as the original. Obviously, someone thought the box office would be good, and I assume they were correct, as I believe I read somewhere the film grossed more than $300 million. The disappointment for me was that several of the scenes appeared so phony and digitally rendered. In the original Indiana Jones film, the action scenes and stunts appeared so real, but in the latest Jones film, they just seemed fake.
Scott Worthington, Fern Creek
The letter writer who challenged Congressman John Yarmuth to actively support repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act in the Dec. 31 issue of LEO Weekly apparently does not know much about politics. Let’s consider a few of the basics.
The first job of every public officeholder is to get reelected for a very obvious reason. She or he is not likely to accomplish much of anything for any issue without a position of authority.
Now, bear in mind that gay and lesbian political activists have badly hurt Democratic candidates in a number of notable cases. For example, they boycotted Mike Ward’s reelection to Congress in 1994, thereby helping elect Anne Northup. In 2004, they dragged down John Kerry’s candidacy in several key states. And then, there was Proposition 8 in California last year.
Many politicos believe that Bill Clinton’s push for “don’t ask, don’t tell” so early in his first term helped set the stage for the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994.
Personally, I support gay and lesbian marriage. My religious beliefs are not threatened by this idea. But, I also believe that the gay and lesbian political movements need to demonstrate that they can win public support before presuming to make demands on open-minded officeholders like Yarmuth.
Tom Louderback, Highlands
Save No. 7!
What a shameful display of government NOT working for the people. Unless all the information available to residents explaining the negatives pertaining to the closing of Engine Company No. 7 Fire Station is lies and falsehoods, this edict to close Engine Company No. 7 by the mayor’s office is truly a slap in the face to residents of the Old Louisville, Limerick and downtown neighborhoods.
Urban Service District services should not be compromised by the decision to close Engine Company No. 7, and yet these services will be reduced. The equipment and manpower will not be the same; response time will be affected. The office of the mayor promised and committed to no diminution of service with merged government, and yet this is a prime example of just that.
Sadly, just as important as the cut in service is the blow to the historic significance of Engine Company No. 7 being the oldest continuously operating firehouse in the United States. Certainly this fact is an important part of our local heritage and should be preserved and aided in its continued operation. Part of becoming a great city is having the wisdom to protect and help flourish those elements that have brought us to this moment in history.
Just as we preserve the iron-front buildings on East and West Main streets, spires at Churchill Downs and countless other landmarks that have made Louisville what she is, Engine House No. 7 deserves the same. If we have the money to invest in expanding Fourth Street Live and building an arena, surly we have the resources and the wisdom to ensure the continuous operation of Engine House No. 7 into the future. We cannot build greatness into our future by ignoring and putting aside what is great in our past.
Claudette Rego, Old Louisville
Jan. 15, 2009, would be Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 80th birthday. For the last few years, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation has been raising money to build a national memorial in Washington, D.C., to honor King. To date, corporations, national organizations, philanthropists and many individuals with lesser means have contributed $100 million of the needed $120 million to complete the project.
The MLK Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation hopes to be able to dedicate the memorial in the summer of 2010. As one of the individual, lesser-means founding sponsors, I believe it would be wonderful if the remaining $20 million could be raised by Jan. 20, 2009 — Martin Luther King Jr. Day. What a great way to honor Dr. King for everything he did for freedom, peace, justice and civil rights in America.
Donors wishing to donate to the worthwhile project can do so at www.mlkmemorial.org. Even in hard economic times, it would just take 4 million people donating $5 each to reach the $20 million goal. One million contributors giving $20 each would also work.
The MLK Memorial is a unifying project that people of all political persuasions from all 50 states can join in with enthusiasm. The memorial will be a constant reminder to future generations of the need to keep Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream alive.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr., St. Matthews
Regarding the bailout of the auto industry: It seems to me that our government is more interested in saving the powerful than the average citizen. I believe there is a better way to save the Big Three and benefit the citizenry as well. Why not make available grants of at least $10,000 so that a person could go into any Big Three dealer and buy one of their vehicles and apply their “grant” toward the purchase?
By this action, the citizens get a break and vehicles will be sold, thus saving, at least temporarily, the industry.
Irvin Goldstein, Hikes Point