November 4, 2009

Inbox — Nov. 4, 2009

Letters to the Editor

Animal Abuse Awareness

I just wanted to thank you for the (Editor’s Note) “Off the chain” in the Oct. 28 LEO Weekly and the clip in “What a Week” in the Oct. 21 edition. My husband, Kenny, and I are the parents of Layla, the boxer-mix that was put down on Oct. 15 due to a brutal and senseless attack. We were devastated by the blow, and our family is trying to recover from the loss of our baby. We are doing our best to put the word out that animal abuse is wrong and hurts more than just the animal. Our pets may be animals, but they are part of the family.

I am so proud of Officer Lisa Nagle and Courtney Gray of Louisville Metro Animal Services and thankful to them for the support and never-ending dedication to annihilate animal abuse. The more information we can get into the public’s hands the better. Our town has so many animal lovers, I’m surprised that such a heinous act can occur. Awareness is the key to ending such cruel behavior. We have to teach our young to respect and love life, all life. We are still awaiting the capture and arrest of the monsters who caused the death of our Layla. Until that day comes, we will be ever vigilant in our neighborhood and report any suspicious behavior.

Toni Marine, Wyandotte Park

The Steps Beyond

In response to “Ten Years of Fairness” in the Oct. 21 issue of LEO, and with all due respect to Jody Cofer, a smart, dedicated grassroots organizer for whom I have enormous respect:

A more complete description of what happened with the Henderson Fairness Ordinance repeal is that after the ordinance passed, at the next election cycle, the backlash Cofer mentioned organized against fair-minded candidates. Some excellent city council members were targeted for defeat by anti-Fairness forces and replaced by candidates who ran on a platform of repealing the Fairness Ordinance. Only a few fair-minded people showed up to help the pro-Fairness candidates keep their offices; everyone was tired, and candidate campaigns didn’t seem “sexy” compared to the Fairness Ordinance battle.

Fair-minded people didn’t get involved. The council members didn’t change their votes; they lost their offices. A semi-organized backlash and a few hundred votes unseated the fair-minded council members. One pro-Fairness council member retired, partially due to the attacks.

As a longtime organizer and political activist, I have heard many people say, with some degree of pride, “I don’t get involved in candidate races, I work on this issue instead.” That doesn’t make you superior; but it could make you foolish. Protests and media blitzes are fun and important and exciting, but they aren’t everything. We need to also pay attention to our candidate races, hold elected officials accountable, and organize to keep the good and replace the bad ones. The Henderson Fairness Ordinance repeal is an excellent demonstration of this need for a more balanced focus in our organizing work.

Rachel M. Hurst, Old Louisville

End Zone Approached

At The Spotted Bass (thespottedbass.com), we like to begin our writings with a simple statement, such as: The purpose here is to discuss Steve Kragthorpe.

c d kaplan, in “Approaching the end zone?” (LEO Weekly, Oct. 21), admirably takes a similar approach. Only, he simply doesn’t follow through (nor will we, but that’s beside the point).

c d first discusses Susan Boyle and a clever term, “Boyle point,” he’s coined to describe how short the attention span is in this day and age (incidentally, we hope Susan’s boyle is safely removed). The problem is c d cannot simply get upset and arbitrarily decide a “Boyle point” has occurred. A Boyle point is determined by looking backward. In this case, when did Tom Jurich finally swing the axe, or when did the fans stop caring (hold that thought)? Well, TSB, its offspring, BagKrag.com, and the fans are only warming up. Yes, c d, if you define “quickly faded” as being mentioned in the super-uber-mega sports blog, CNN SI’s “Extra Mustard,” on only one day, then we concur. Other stats, such as tens of thousands of “Bag Krag” page views, fractions of thousands of Facebook fans (covering every demographic except male curmudgeons), and billions of laughs (based on a significant sample size taken at TSB HQ), suggest we are far from a Boyle point in the concoction of Steve Kragthorpe and U of L.

Woody Daniels, TheSpottedBass.com, The Commonwealth of Kentucky

Bar the Belle

Regarding The Bar Belle and her blog (barbelle.leoweekly.com): I know it is tongue-in-cheek, but for those of us “real” drunks, it is wearing us out. Don’t get me wrong, this writer is good, and I do like her column, but ... some of us cannot drink because of a disease called alcoholism. Yes, it exists. I abhor hypocrites, so I must say that I LOVE to drink. But unfortunately for me, it didn’t lead to all fun and games. Here are 10 reasons not to drink:

1. You lose money.

2. You lose self-respect.

3. You can’t remember what you did or what you said to anyone.

4. You lose things.

5. You lose your spouse.

6. You lose your house.

7. You lose your job.

8. No one wants to be around you anymore.

9. You lose (almost in my case) your children.

10. You have nothing else to lose, but still you keep drinking.

I don’t want to sound preachy, but I am a victim of my own denial. I have no one to blame but myself. It is fun for some for a while, but for some of us ... it is much worse.

Nancie Hoffman, St. Matthews

Pay Back

Zachary Sanders and I have exchanged a couple of letters on health insurance, or the lack of it. Recently, he responded to my suggestion that he get out more to see how many in town live on limited incomes, many under $25,000 (LEO Weekly, Oct. 21). While recognizing this fact, he then, unbelievably, said if they don’t have health insurance, and run up doctor and hospital bills, “they should pay every cent of that debt with much gratitude for being able to live one more day.” It would be enlightening if he could explain how a family of four with a $25,000 annual income (which is only some $3,000 above the poverty line) pay “every cent” of a $50,000, or even a $25,000, medical bill. I have to confess, I don’t have the foggiest idea how this could be accomplished.

Ed Perry, Louisville

Vote Watchin’

This is my first time writing a letter to a newspaper, and oddly enough, the subject of my ire is not something you have written, rather something you have not.

Earlier this month, 30 senators voted “no” on an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act. An amendment intended to help or prevent U.S. citizens working for government contractors from being forced into mandatory arbitration — even when they were the victims of egregious crimes. The case that spawned the drafting of this amendment is a young lady who was gang-raped by coworkers, and then imprisoned by her company in a shipping container as a means to keep her quiet. Due to a mandatory arbitration clause in her employment contract, she was unable to sue in court for this horrific crime.

The senators who voted against this were all male Republicans, and they include our own McConnell and Bunning.

What I find bizarre is this: The local newspapers in Mississippi, Kansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Georgia all ran stories pointing this out, and denouncing their own senators for this bad decision. These are all states that are deeply conservative, arguably more so than our own — certainly more conservative than the city of Louisville. Yet I see nothing in Louisville’s papers about this. Is it not considered newsworthy, or perhaps I simply missed it? In fact, I’m hoping that I’m wrong and merely didn’t see it. I didn’t really expect The Courier-Journal to give it too much space, but, LEO, you are a voice of progressiveness in this town.

While not every vote our senators make is newsworthy, this one is particularly offensive. Our senators should know and believe that they will be held accountable in public for everything they vote on.

Jasen Gibson, Highlands