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November 23, 2011

Inbox — Nov. 23, 2011

Letters to the Editor

Race Baiter?
After reading “American Slaves Inc.” (LEO Weekly, Nov. 16), I’m left with the impression that the “prophet” Norris Shelton is just another race baiter. Shelton is content with making a name for himself by exploiting the terrible atrocities of slavery, which ended almost 150 years ago. He blames slavery for economic inequalities and all the problems facing the black community today. Shelton is quoted as saying that slaves were placed “into a capitalist society without any capital.” However, this hasn’t prevented Mr. Silk from participating in our capitalist economy and profiting from poisoning his fellow man with alcohol sales. By no means am I condemning Mr. Shelton for his business and social enterprises. But it’s time we have a movement that unites us as Americans and puts an end to the hyphenated American, Affirmative Action-style movements that will only further divide us.
Zach Sanders, St. Matthews

Uniting the People
Jim Hightower, in his article “Occupying Democracy” (LEO Weekly, Nov. 9), is right. The Occupy Wall Street movement should become an amendment movement. Conservative pundits may argue that the United States is a republic and not a democracy. However, an authentic republic is no more an oligarchy than it is a pure democracy.

Presently, large corporations exercise an overwhelming and corrupting influence on government policy through patronage connected to the electoral cycles. Bribe-wielding oligarchs make a mockery out of popular government while twisting the democratic impulse. With the Supreme Court’s ruling in the “People United” case, the problem of corporate patronage in politics has become more dire. The real people should consider their republic under threat.

The democratic element needs to be reinforced and has been in need of reinnforcement for decades. Not accidentally, the Occupy movement issues forth from a myriad of festering wounds. A piece of the solution must be an amendment to the Constitution explicitly giving the state legislatures and Congress the power to regulate campaign finance, and furthermore, overturning the wicked fiction that spending money is equivalent to free speech.

Founding Father James Wilson cited the amendment process in the federal Constitution as the embodiment of the “revolution principle.” He said future generations could achieve civil, non-violent revolution through the process. It’s time for the next revolution. I’m not as sure as Hightower that the Occupy Wall Street movement is capable of doing what it takes. They lack organization, and not purely because of some higher populist aspirations. They need to form a solid system of committees and cultivate their natural leaders — only time will tell.
Brad Caffee, Jeffersonville

Stop the Poison!
Our communities are being poisoned by mercury, arsenic, lead, selenium and many other toxic substances from LG&E’s dirty aging coal fleet. They are coming to our community now and asking for a 20-percent increase to pay for their dirty coal fleet. Asking us to pay for our own poison. They need to begin to provide us with an energy plan that includes solar, wind and other sustainable energy delivery systems.

The EPA needs to put strong mercury regulations and more safeguards in place to ensure that companies like LG&E will begin to look toward a brighter day. Our congress is voting to take away the EPA’s power to regulate clean air, water and coal ash.

LG&E is being fined $26,000 for their horrendous treatment of the community at Cane Run, which is being deluged with toxic coal ash. Isn’t there a better way? Now they want to build a massive coal ash containment in Trimble County that will deluge those communities for many years to come. A containment that will destroy a beautiful ravine full of trees, wildlife and caves. Also, this land is known to contain indigenous artifacts thousands of years old. It is high time LG&E transitioned away from dirty coal.

Lastly, LG&E has admitted that the containment facilities at all three plants are leaking into the Ohio River. This is shameful. It has to end. Our community deserves green energy and jobs. Not poison!
Thomas Pearce, Old Louisville