Up until recently I have been a fan of your paper; but, your recent article on the Arkansas Senate race has me doubting the wisdom of that. You are just as biased as all the other press and media in the state. I find this disappointing. If you truly want to inform the people of Arkansas, then you must include all candidates so that voters can be informed. Unfortunately, the press and media only recognize the two-party system and its candidates. That is an injustice to the other candidates on the ballot who worked hard and met all requirements to earn the right to run. But it is also an injustice to the Arkansas voters, because they are not getting all the facts. I hope in the future you will be less biased and more informative.
To protect and search
I would like to see if there are any civil rights organizations, politicians or lawyers who could look into the Sherwood police stop-and-search policies. I have lived in several countries and many cities in the United States, and I have NEVER seen as many cars get pulled over and searched as I have since moving to Sherwood a few years ago. It is not unusual to see two or three cars a day pulled up in a lot somewhere surrounded by police cars and some helpless driver standing there with all the doors and trunk open on their vehicle while the police look through their things. I thought this was America and the police needed a search warrant. This is totally out of control and I am sure it is keeping some people from moving or shopping here. Not everyone driving through town is a criminal.
Has the Democrat-Gazette come up with anything worse than the possibility that House Speaker Robbie Wills might use a state-owned car to stump for congressional candidate Joyce Elliott, as alleged in an Aug. 28 editorial "Speaker and Freeloader"? The Sept. 22 editorial "A test of character" accused Sen. Elliott of slinging mud. Did she do anything worse than raise the questions about the former Karl Rove underling Tim Griffin's background that we all would like answered? The basis for the questions about his appointment as a U.S. attorney is found in the report "Professional Responsibility in the Justice Department" on the firing of eight U.S. attorneys including Bud Cummins, considered by his boss one of the finest U.S. attorneys in the country.
The lie that Mr. Cummins was lazy, if it didn't begin with Tim Griffin, was at least passed on by him. Why shouldn't the question about his role in the direct mail that was to scare or misinform the poor, minorities and the military out of voting be pressed? Even for a rabidly Republican newspaper, editorials that question Sen. Elliott's ethics while ignoring the evidence about Mr. Griffin's ethics is outrageous. Besides Tim Griffin, if anybody flunks a character test, why isn't it the Democrat-Gazette?
Where's the ethos
A recent letter to this paper is entitled "Where's the ethos?" I can only assume that the headline writer actually was satirically posing the question, not of the reader, but the writer himself. Ironically, although Mr. Means and I grew up in the same town (if even then there was considerable distance between Park Hill and Rose City) and graduated from the same college in the same year, our opinions of Arkansas and Arkansans are light years different.
Like most Arkansans, I have travelled very little, and even now live only five miles or so from the abandoned Koehler Bakery, the old post office, the Starving Artist cafe. Oh, I was in Paris once, I have walked the streets of Stratford, and seen the Circus Maximus in Rome. I have attended a play in New York City and strode the boardwalk in Miami Beach. I have eaten a meal with two presidents and had communion in a service led by the Pope at St. Peter's. But though these were all fascinating experiences, in truth they make up little of who I am. I am an Arkansan, with my view of the world, my sense of right and wrong, my interpretation of what is reasonable and what is not, shaped by a life that began above a laundry in North Little Rock. An Arkansan able to moderate a Missionary Baptist heritage with the redeeming love of a Methodist Sunday School teacher. An Arkansan who was fortunate enough to graduate from Hendrix College in 1965 because the Aluminum Company of America paid union wage to my machinist father and yet the company was farsighted enough to give generous scholarships as well. My ideas were formed largely through Arkansas experiences and my impressions largely confirmed or rejected by Arkansas people and events.
Since Mr. Means and I graduated from Hendrix in 1965, Arkansans — not unlike the rest of the planet — have grown, frequently learned from our mistakes, and ever so gradually begun to gain confidence in ourselves. That confidence has, among other things, elected a president and spawned several corporate giants, but also created some of the foremost hunger programs in the world. It is that confidence, not invective, which will provide a vehicle for an ethical dialogue among the diverse people we Arkansans have become.
Dana F. Steward
The 2010 Pledge of Allegiance: "I pledge allegiance, wrapped in the flag, to the Corporate States of America, and to the profit margin for which it stands, one free market, under the Cross, with the illusion of liberty and justice for the rest of us."
Middle class tax cuts
Mercy me, sakes alive, and carrot coffee! As a friend and admirer of Ernie Dumas, I must respond to the recent letter of David Harper, a severe critic of Dumas! Speaking of the Bush tax cuts for the extremely wealthy, he writes, "I can personally assure him that several middle income families in Arkansas will suffer immensely if those tax cuts expire." Come now, Mr. Harper! Will their children go without food, or clothing? Will they not have adequate health care? Will their home mortgage be foreclosed? Further, he should tell us just how much income these "middle income" Arkansas families have now, such that they will suffer if they have to pay their fair share of taxes.
Or, could it be that they just won't be able to buy off as many politicians as they have been doing before! What a shame!
Kermit C. Moss
The Republican Party left our economy in the biggest hole since the Depression. They are still refusing to help: They want to repeal financial oversight reform, student aid reform, and health care reform, denying coverage to millions while bringing back the worst abuses of the insurance industry. They want to reward big corporate donors. They embrace the Radical Right in spreading lies about "death panels," "birther" lies against President Obama, unemployment compensation is unconstitutional, whatever cheap rhetoric it takes to rally the fanatics. Why would anyone want such near-sighted leaders?
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