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July 14, 2010

Inbox — July 14, 2010

Farm City
I want to thank Jonathan Meador for writing the article “Slow Food” in the June 30 issue of LEO Weekly. Meador did a great job touching on the complexities of increasing access to farmers markets, such as the challenges of coordinating local efforts and securing EBT machines, but also the positive strides that Smoketown/Shelby Park and Gray Street have taken in laying the foundation for other markets to follow suit. For clarification purposes, I want LEO readers to know that Stone Soup Community Kitchen, a volunteer group started by Community Farm Alliance, has been the real leader when it comes to “bridging the gap between farm-fresh and table-ready.”

While the Center for Health Equity has helped to plan cooking demonstrations at farmers markets and corner stores to build capacity for people to cook more, Stone Soup has organized a number of community dinners for the past two years. Stone Soup volunteers usually meet once a month at different locations throughout the city and use food gleaned from farmers markets to create a healthy, great-tasting meal with the surrounding neighborhood residents. For more information, visit www.stonesoupky.org.
Josh Jennings, Community Outreach Coordinator, Center for Health Equity, Highlands

Gay Highlands
In thinking about Pam Swisher’s recent column, “Are ya’ll sisters?,” in the June 30 LEO, that’s a head-scratcher. Really, Pam? As a gay person, you feel in the minority and discriminated against in the Highlands? I’m a recent import to the area, but it seems a gay person in the Highlands is as rare as a monkey in a zoo.

I was imagining how the conversation with that man on the street COULD have gone. Seems like you missed the opportunity you were longing for in the premise of your article. Why didn’t you just correct him and say, “No, she is not my sister. She is my girlfriend.”? And being in the Highlands, he VERY WELL may have said, “Oh, fabulous. I’m just coming back from the drug store to get me and Fabio some green martini-flavored lube. Do come over tonight. We’re having a ‘Sex and the City’ premiere party, and you must dress the part, darling. We live two doors down.”

Outside of San Francisco or a gathering of Republican senators, I think you have moved to as much of an I-don’t-give a-shit safe zone as you can find in the country. But keep the flag waving. America has a long way to go.
Kirk Miller, Highlands

Caravan to the Caravan
Your article “Funny Business” was right on (LEO Weekly, June 30). Comedy Caravan is our No. 1 entertainment venue in Louisville. We always enjoy our evening. Your comparison is perfect. If you want funny comedians, go to Comedy Caravan. If you want celebrities and autographs, go to The Improv. Comedy Caravan is smaller in size, more intimate and just a very friendly place for an evening’s entertainment. What we appreciate is no hidden charges or minimums. You control your spending. It is the home of Louisville Comedy Underground. You not only see established comedians but also the people who will be the next generation of stars. For a great time, friendly staff, funny comedians and truly a wonderful night out, we would highly recommend the Comedy Caravan.
Charles Brown, Jeffersonville

History Lesson
A comment on the statement of Bennett Fulner (LEO Weekly, June 16) concerning Helen Thomas on Israel. It is so easy to dismiss any criticism of Israel as “anti-Semitic” that we forget the facts.

The legal basis for Israel’s existence is United Nations Resolution 181 (Partition of Palestine, November 1947). That plan created two countries based on a comprehensive study and the sharing of resources. Jerusalem was an international city. Before the plan went into effect, Zionist terrorists with a powerful secret army seized the land allocated to Israel, plus 20 percent of the land allocated to the Palestinians, and dispossessed the Palestinians from their homes within this territory. Arab countries tried to stop this land grab but were no match for the Zionist army. An armistice was declared in 1949, and the United States recognized Israel but not Palestine.

In 1967, Israel occupied all of Palestine and attacked Egypt. The UN Security Council directed Israel to withdraw to the Armistice Line (Green Line), but Israel refused and has continued to occupy most of Palestine by military force. Every time the Security Council seeks sanctions against Israel for its flagrant violations of international law, the United States vetoes the action. If the roles were reversed and the Palestinians were occupying Israel in violation of international law, the cry of “anti-Semitism” would be deafening, and the United States would invade Palestine.

Much criticism has been leveled against the elected leaders of Gaza Palestine because they have not renounced their call to remove Israel from all of Palestine, but no such criticism is made against Israel for its refusal to renounce Zionism: the claim that Jews are entitled to all the land from the Nile to the Euphrates rivers.

Every American should read the UN Partition Plan (Res. 181) before taking a stand on this issue.
Stanley A. Stratford, Frankfort, Ky.

An Arresting Development
Cast aside reservations about former glory, as Arrested Development delivered an outstanding concert at Waterfront Park’s Fourth of July fest. The Ohio banks haven’t rocked like this in a long while. With their trademark soulful, hip-hop vocals, predictably performing their past hits but with unexpected spontaneity and abandon, the group took off, taking the captivated crowd with them, and never looked back. Major metro urban influenced it was, standard hood-rat fare it was not, with the band at times passing as a new age Sly & The Family Stone.

Questions can arise when such productions are too perfect, lending to suspicions that prerecorded audio is present. It was not the case — the supporting musicians simply performed with exact precession, on cue. Even now, if operating on the fringes of its genre, artistically this is what hip-hop was meant to be. In the end, it became all too apparent why this band holds two Grammy awards.
Lance Crady, Crescent Hill

War on Bacon
Regarding Keith Lewis’ letter in the July 7 LEO: It’s my understanding that we had picked up some chatter days before 9/11 that might have alerted us to the danger but was not translated until days later. If we hadn’t discharged some perfectly competent Arabic translators for being gay in the months prior, things may have played out differently.

As to Muslim nations’ militaries not wanting to serve alongside gay Americans, perhaps we should also ban Christians and anyone who eats bacon.
Paul Riley, Shively

The Lowdown on Libertarians
Honk if you like Rand Paul. He’s witty, handsome, sexy and engaging. Just be sure to look before you leap into his political ideology. Appropriately enough, Libertarians fear absolute government power, and it seems everyone agrees with them on that point. No one wants to see a return of Communism, Fascism or anything similar.

Unlike Libertarians, however, most of us also fear absolute corporate power. Of course, we recognize that big corporate power is inevitable in today’s high-tech economy. Corporations need to raise and invest enormous amounts of capital to develop and provide increasingly complicated products and services. That’s a given. But we also recognize that corporations are much too likely to treat us like resources, instead of human beings, and despoil our environment when there are no checks and balances in the marketplace. The economic purpose of corporations is to make money, and we want them to do this without hurting us too much. If economic laws were natural laws, we could just let the free market mediate these concerns for us. But our real-life experiences indicate otherwise. If we really want those checks and balances, we’ll have to enforce them ourselves somehow. It looks like we need government to do this.

Libertarians believe what most of us do not believe — that economic laws are indeed natural laws. Why? Maybe it’s a matter of psychology. Like the creationists, Libertarians are wholly committed to notions of inerrancy and absolutes. This is a special calling. Obviously not for everyone.
Tom Louderback, Highlands