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November 26, 2008

Inbox — Nov. 26, 2008

Letters to the Editor

Corrections 

In the Nov. 12 issue of LEO Weekly, Edgardo Mansilla, director of the Americana Community Center, was incorrectly identified in the story “Beyond Race.” The same story also erroneously stated the percentage of African-Americans living in Metro Louisville; according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest estimate, 22.6 percent of the city’s residents are black.

LEO regrets the errors.

Pardon the Turkey
 

Barack Obama has risen from humble beginnings to the power of the presidency. But every one of us has the presidential power to pardon a turkey on Thanksgiving. In fact, here are some reasons to skip the turkey this Thanksgiving:

You are what you eat. Who wants to be a Butterball?

You won’t have to call the poultry hot line to keep your family alive.

You won’t sweat the environment and food resources devastation guilt trip.

You won’t spend a sleepless night wondering how the turkey lived and died.

Your body will appreciate a holiday free from saturated fat, cholesterol and hormones.

My family’s Thanksgiving dinner will include a tofurky, lentil roast, mashed potatoes, corn stuffing, stuffed squash, chestnut soup, candied yams, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and carrot cake. An Internet search for “vegetarian Thanksgiving” got us lots of recipes and other information.

Louie Ralls, Hikes Point 

Love It!
 

I love your newspaper. I always turn to it to get my latest updates. Your newspaper is much more entertaining than The Courier-Journal. I’m always excited to read your newspaper! I just wanted to let you know that I always look forward to the next. So, keep up the good work. Great job!

Danielle Hampton, Louisville

Hate It!
 

It saddens me that John Yarmuth took the time to write an article for you (“Former Editor’s Note,” LEO Weekly, Nov. 19). Compared to the beautiful parchment he created, you people have turned it into toilet paper. It’s fitting that your half-quality paper is now half-sized. Stupid is as stupid does.

Brian Rogers, Smoketown
 
Shades of Gray
 

Reading Kate Welsh’s column in the Nov. 12 LEO Weekly reminded me when I first “attempted” to register to vote. I was an 18-year-old in 1970 and felt it was my duty to register since so many risked their lives for my right to do so. When I went to a local Democratic office, I was met by a guy wearing a short-sleeved white shirt and resembled the infamous Gov. George Wallace of Alabama. When I asked for a registration form, he smiled and said, “We ain’t letting no niggers register here.” Disappointed and shocked, I returned home not telling anyone what happened.

Years later, I would register as a Republican. Yet I didn’t always vote the straight party line. One reason I registered as a Republican was Richard Nixon. He promised to end the war in Vietnam. Besides, I was a young Air Force airman during Vietnam and saw no reason to continue fighting there. Again, years later, I voted for Jimmy Carter. While in office he concocted the infamous Iranian hostage rescue. Two of my best friends were killed during that feeble attempt. Then my voting began to take on a more Republican tone: Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and then his son, twice. (I didn’t trust Al Gore because his father, Sen. Al Gore Sr., voted against the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965.) I figured that apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. I re-registered as a Democrat a few years ago in protest of the Republican Party seeking to “monitor” black voting precincts. This time I split my vote, one for President-elect Obama, one for Sen. Mitch McConnell. (Couldn’t vote for Bruce Lunsford. A couple of my friends invested in Vencor and lost everything.) So I figured most of my votes were based on personal principles.

Lastly, Miss Welsh, where did you get the idea that Republicans are for war and Democrats for social justice? Lyndon Johnson sought to defeat communist North Vietnam while elevating the war on poverty. He only started the war on poverty after scenes of poor whites in Appalachia appeared in the press. To this day, I still believe the war on poverty was reserved for poor whites and not poor, inner-city blacks. Also to this day, I have never nor will I ever wear a white, short-sleeved shirt.

Keith E. Lewis, Downtown 

Come Together, Right Now

As I am writing this — hours after Barack Obama’s decisive win — my home state appears to be going blue, marking the first time a Democrat has won Indiana since I was 6 years old.

While I am elated enough with these results to be walking about a foot off the ground, I am also aware that this is not a time for partisan strutting. I hope President-elect Obama will carry through with his pledge to cross party lines and bring Republicans and the small but significant number of independents into the decision-making process.

Moderate Republicans — a group I hope are propelled by this election to the top of their once Karl Rove-dominated party — should pull the GOP away from the Rove and New Gingrich method of excluding and demonizing of opponents, a method thoroughly repudiated by the voters tonight. Likewise, progressives in the Democratic field should not recoil at the idea of seeking unity across the aisle. It is the only way lasting progress is to be made.

Every progressive initiative of the last 50 years — from the civil rights and voting rights acts to Head Start, Medicare and laws against sex discrimination — was enacted with strong support from moderate Republicans like Jacob Javits of New York, Charles Mathias of Maryland and Kentucky’s John Sherman Cooper.

The very successful Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) was created in 1972 by cooperation between President Nixon and, of all people, Sen. George McGovern. They saw that the health of the nation’s children came before their parties’ posturing.

Please let this election be a clarion call for more priorities like that.

George Morrison, New Albany, Ind.

Yes He Can

Presidential temperament mattered in the race for president. America needs a president who stays on an even keel, listens well, thinks clearly and speaks deliberately. Short-fuse decisions made in anger can be devastating. The presidential campaign and the debates showed that Barack Obama has the ideal temperament. He looks and acts presidential, but most importantly, he has the intelligence, knowledge, ideas, confidence, compassion and humility it takes to lead our country in these perilous times.

Paul L. Whiteley Sr., St. Matthews