In response...

For all his attempted erudition, Matthew Haltom's letter [Sex and Social theory/ ACE Jan. 23] maligning Martin Luther King's motives in the civil rights movement is just intellectual bulimia, that is, a regurgitation of half-digested ideas.

He tries to lend weight to his attack by quoting others and by dressing the argument in inflated pseudo-scientific/psychological jargon.

Most tellingly he shows his cards by using a quotation suggesting that MLK "spread social disorder." Anyone who equates the concepts of fairness and equal rights for all, regardless of skin color or wealth, with social disorder makes his lack of philosophic honesty plain. Clearly Haltom is a transmitter of propaganda, not content to disagree with another's ideas, but attempting to distort them as well.

This is shown also in his blaming the "problems eroding Negro families" on "rootless urban life" and sexual libertinism, as though the deliberate disruptions of slavery and generations of enforced poverty had no role or that these problems affect all families of one skin color, but not of another. The truth is that economic and educational deprivation erode the sensibilities of all the poor and that wealth, education, and opportunity tend to safeguard those who are more well off, regardless of skin tone.

Haltom's claims that desegregation helped undermine "Catholic political power, traditional morality, and large families" and that nameless eugenics foundations funded the civil rights movements are such a bizarre muddle as to be laughable...until we realize that some people must believe these things for him to have learned them and that some others will believe what he writes.

I don't blame ACE for publishing his letter. Repressing social comment is un-American; besides, sometimes the best way to reveal a danger is to spotlight it. I never would've known that anyone was spouting such nonsense otherwise.

Certainly Martin Luther King Jr, had personal peccadilloes that show him to have been a flawed person; the truth should always be known, even about our heroes. However, to claim that these shortcomings invalidate his social critique and vision is definitely not the truth and I think most ACE readers will discern that, despite the tricknology that Haltom attempts.

Personally, I can forgive him if he doesn't celebrate MLK's birthday; given his emphasis on high private morality perhaps he will help celebrate that of Malcolm X.

-Darryl Weaver

Tickets, please

The Lexington Men O' War announced a "Ticket Pledge Renewal Campaign" for the 2003-04 season.

The Men O' War face an existing deadline of March 1st to secure the equivalency of 1,200 season tickets. Ticket prices have been lowered and there is no money due until July 1st, but the pledges are needed by March 1st.

Lexington Men O' War hockey places 40 events in Rupp Arena every calendar year, and provides an estimated economic impact of three million dollars to Fayette County.

For more information, fans and companies are encouraged to call (859) 455-9900 or view a "pledge sheet" on-line at www.lexingtonmenowar.com

No war

On Monday January 27, Central Kentucky peace activists joined with activists across the U.S. in an hour of protest. The protest's message: "Not in Our Name Will You Wage War on Iraq."

Peace activists gathered at Lexington's Triangle Park to make their voices heard in opposition to war.

photo by Evelyn Knight
The call for actions on 1/27/03 was issued by the Not In Our Name Campaign. The Campaign is calling for actions all across the U.S. For more information, visit their website: http://www.notinourname.net/jan_27_NION_Call_to_Action.html

On Saturday, January 18 about 200 Central Kentuckians gathered at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond for a "Witness of Conscience" to protest war on Iraq. Activists used used life-size dolls ("ghost children") to help make real the fact that American children (our sons mainly) and Iraqi children will die in the war. The protesters symbolically blocked the truck gate of the Depot. There were no arrests. The Depot was the source of the majority of the small arms ammunitions used by the U.S. in the first Gulf War. The organizers plan further actions at the Depot in February.

To submit an advocacy/activism activity or event for Quickies, email rkirkland@aceweekly.com, or editor@aceweekly.com.


Lame Duck
By Kevin Faris

You might find this hard to believe, but the Tina Conner sex scandal could be best thing to have happened to Governor Paul Patton. Ever since the Luv Guv's "extracurricular" activities were laid bare, any future political aspirations were put on long-term hold. The grand plan to unseat Ernie Fletcher in the U.S. Congress is not going to happen anytime soon. So, with his term in office winding down, Patton has become the most dangerous of politicians, the kind who just does not care what anyone thinks. And I love it.
Jim Bunning, not Fletcher, was who Patton was reportedly planning to run against.

Now let's be honest. This is not the "I don't care what others think, I am going to do what is right" kind of attitude like you might see on television shows such as the NBC crapfest Mister Sterling. Instead, this is the "I have got a tough job to do, and if you are not going to help, then shut the hell up!" Let's face facts folks. We are broke. Blame whoever you want, how we got here is not important, what is important is acknowledging the fact that the Bluegrass state needs cash. I know it, you know it, and Patton knows it. Letting prisoners out on early release to help with the budget crisis? Why the hell not? When a reporter informed him that one of the original early release convicts had committed another crime, Patton simply replied, "I'm not surprised." When Attorney General, and gubernatorial hopeful, Ben Chandler wrote a letter criticizing the practice, Patton responded with a letter of his own.

"I share your concern about releasing felons. I, however, must address the entire problem of the $394 million revenue shortfall in FY 04. I respectfully urge you to provide me with your solution to the entire budget crisis which faces the Commonwealth. Addressing a part of the problem is not helpful and is a disservice to the people of Kentucky."

The letter goes on, "In a previous letter I advised you to leave the solution of this problem to me and the legislature where it properly belongs, because I opined that you had neither the knowledge nor the staff support to solve this problem. I find I must have been wrong. Let me assure you that I have not been able to find a solution absent more revenue and if you can it will no doubt be of great value in your campaign for governor.

I request you share the plan with me and the legislature."

Is Patton worried about pissing people off? Hell no. He's only a few press conferences away from challenging someone to a fight. He has a job to do and that job is to somehow come up with $394 million dollars. Despite what gubernatorial candidates like Chandler say, raising taxes is probably the only way we are going to dig ourselves out of this hole. With no political future at stake, Patton is the only person not afraid to say this. Business taxes? They gotta go up. Cigarette taxes? Sorry smokers, much like The Jeffersons, they are moving on up. Politicians like Senate President David Williams want to criticize, but have offered no budget or revenue ideas of their own. Patton seems to be the only one actually trying to solve the problem. "I'll do what I can, but ultimately the responsibility lies with you," Patton told legislators. "In 11 months, I'll be gone. You'll still be here."

And on top of this budget crisis, Patton has to deal with people bitching and moaning about the new license plate. OK, we get it. It's ugly. But hey, as Patton said, "I have never seen a Rembrandt on a license plate." The guy is trying to convince Republicans, who hate him, and Democrats, who are afraid of the Republicans, to work together.

Since a future governor will no doubt badmouth whatever move he makes. It's refreshing to see a politician who does not seem to be playing to any sort of demographic or trying to set himself up for the next campaign run. "Tax increase" are two words that most politicians avoid like the plague, but it looks like that may be the only way to solve our budget problems. The Conner scandal may not have been the best thing for Patton, but it could be the best thing to happen for Kentucky's future.