I enjoyed Doug Smith’s article on humor in the Bible. One quite funny item particularly comes to mind — perhaps the original really lame excuse: Exodus 32:22-25. Moses had gone down from the mountain with the stone tablets upon which God had written what we commonly call The Ten Commandments. When he saw the reveling and wild merriment of the people around the golden calf, forged by his brother Aaron, he demanded an accounting from Aaron. Aaron first blamed the people: “Do not be angry, my lord. You know how prone these people are to evil.” Aaron had responded to the people by telling them to bring their gold jewelry. Then he blames the golden calf! “Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!” Right, Aaron! It just popped out of the fire, didn’t it!
Jesus often used hyperbole, which usually injects an element of humor. Matthew 18:8-9 shows an example: “If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. ... And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away.” The context reveals clearly the deeper meaning, but superficial reading certainly seems to evoke at least a chuckle at the very idea of cutting off one’s foot or gouging out one’s eye. (I don’t see many of those who insist on very literal interpretation of scripture going about with only one hand or one eye.)
One thing I was taught as a child was that you dilute the value of your argument when you result to name-calling.
That’s why, for me, it’s hard to pay much attention to John Brummett’s columns. He could have valid points of view, but I can’t seem to get past his childishness — or the hypocrisy — in his last column to hear his message. Whether you’re a Huckabee supporter or not, when he calls the guy — or anybody — “childish” but then goes on to spend two columns name-calling with words like “thin-skinned, bratty, hyperbolic, tiny and infantile,” I’m forced to wonder who the child really is.
I write this, my first to the Times’ Letters, to offer support for the Pulaski County Election Commission, after what must be a terribly frustrating ordeal during the primary. The staff endured considerable embarrassment during early voting and on election night through no apparent fault of their own. My heart goes out to them. I know them all to be good people, always trying their best to do a good job for this county.
Many voters in this county have good reason to be frustrated with the election process. Mistakes of the recent past shake faith in the system every time any glitch occurs, no matter how large or how small. Most people do not understand in detail the inner workings of voting and how it is conducted. As the immediate past chairman of that commission, I am lucky that I do.
I want your readers to realize also that as of last Tuesday, I am unique in that I now enjoy three perspectives on this issue, as a voter, as a past chairman, and now also as an unsuccessful candidate. When a candidate loses an election, it is quite easy to look for blame in places other than your own back yard. If voting problems occur, it is very tempting to lay blame at the feet of election officials and not your own.
I am quite confident that the problems we experienced election night are the fault only of the software company, and not the staff. This staff admits it when they make a mistake. I am confident that the commission staff remains as talented and as eager to perform as when I left them. Please join me in offering your support of their great efforts.
Jim Harris’ May 11 story “West Wing calls it a day” brought to mind a “real and related West Wing story.” As Jim Harris recalls, the “West Wing” TV show began in 1999. I worked in the White House presidential personnel office during the second term of the Clinton Administration, and in April 2000 the White House personnel were gathered on the South Lawn for some occasion. After the ceremony was over, President Clinton, in his usual fashion, started shaking hands all down the line. As he came to me and we shook hands, I said “Great speech in Oklahoma yesterday, Mr. President.” He said, “Thank you.” Not being willing to leave well enough alone, I went on to add, “Better than Martin Sheen could have done.” President Clinton’s face drew a total blank, and I knew I had blown it. He moved on down the line, but after about three more hand shakes, he stepped back to me and said, “But Martin Sheen makes a pretty good president, doesn’t he.” Indeed, Martin Sheen made a pretty good president, as did Bill Clinton.
Charles H. Cole
Just when I think I have heard everything I read an article like I did May 17 in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Gov. Huckabee, a Baptist preacher, was asked how he planned to fund a race for president. He said, “I have a plan. I’ve got a map of 7-11s, a bunch of blue steel revolvers and a ski mask. We are going to go all over the country and raise money in a unique way.”
What in heaven’s name was he thinking? What a sick answer. He should apologize to every 7-11 that has been robbed and every family member who lost a loved one in those robberies.
I can’t believe folks aren’t up in arms that a governor would say such a thing. Anyone else making that statement would be handcuffed and taken to jail and charged with terroristic threatening.
My son sends the Arkansas Times for me. I enjoy reading even the old news because your paper is different from the run of the mill paper.
Anything that the governor does really does not surprise me. I am happy to find a paper that is not a “yes man” paper. I’ve written a couple of letters to Mr. Huckabee that rubbed him the wrong way, one for making my six-year-old grandson cry because his parents got a letter saying he was fat. (He’s not even overweight.) And another one when he turned Wayne Dumond loose.
I enjoyed Warwick Sabin’s column “Enemy of the State” about the governor’s decision to stop providing services to the Arkansas Times. Sounds right to me.