When opening the page to the April 24 edition of the Arkansas Times, the movie review written by Matthew Reed caught this writer's attention. The movie “Expelled,” by writer, actor and commentator Ben Stein was to be the subject. There were no surprises about Reed's own personal stance — he expelled it. The review was an immediate all-out attack. Reed was offended that Stein would dare present a documentary showing how people (scientists and other professionals included) were being ostracized, censored, ridiculed or terminated for the simple inquiry as to the possibility that evolution was still only a theory. In addition to this is the objection that intelligent design should be considered in the realm of true scientific methodology. This is truly what Stein's movie is about. And if one is not too set in their ways to be confronted with the possibility that their theory is debatable, then by all means go see the movie. Otherwise ridicule Stein, and smugly ignore “Expelled.”
Disagrees on Clark
Typically I find the political analysis of John Brummett to be spot-on. However, I must disagree with Mr. Brummett's column concerning Steve Clark and his run for the Fayetteville mayor's office. Mr. Clark's Phoenix-like story of redemption is refreshing and inspiring to include his desire to return to public service. Regardless if his renewed ambitions are ego-driven, Clark's record of service to the citizens of Arkansas — but for the misuse of the people's credit card — is a good one. As Attorney General he performed admirably as the people's advocate. Perhaps the best example was the very pro-active Consumer Protection Division of his administration in which he turned the lemon of the state's anemic consumer protection laws into lemonade with an outstanding outreach and education to the state's citizens on their rights. I take note that current AG is attempting to recreate that program, but that only generates an “'bout time” in response. The citizens of Fayetteville can do far worse than Mr. Clark as their mayor.
James R. Fisher
Operating on the assumption that any publicity is good publicity I have chosen not to respond to your last four attacks on my book, but when you write April 24 that “the Jacoway book defends Gov. Orval Faubus” I simply cannot let that pass. The Jacoway book does not defend Orval Faubus. It attempts to place Orval Faubus' misguided actions in their proper context, demonstrating that Harry Ashmore's narrative of that tragic period in Arkansas history fell far short of offering a full explanation for the governor's behavior. I have difficulty believing that anyone who has actually read my book could find there the kinds of conclusions that you and your staff have been attributing to me over the last year. I urge you and your readers to invest the time in reading “Turn Away Thy Son: Little Rock, the Crisis That Shocked the Nation.”
So far George Bush has come through on his pledge of no child left behind. They all went to Iraq. On the other hand, when it comes time for them to come home, so far, over 4,000 have been left behind and of thousands who did return, thousands are in pieces.
Why elections matter
Random thoughts from a member of the Greatest Generation:
Members of the Greatest Generation always knew what it was like to love this land. We were never hesitant about saying it or made silent by the fear we would look uncool.
It wasn't a political thing, our love of our country. Rather, it was people we knew or knew about — members of the Greatest Generation at Monte Casino or Utah Beach or Bataan or Okinawa, or worse, slowly rotting in a Japanese prison camp.
All of us of a certain age know that VE Day means Victory in Europe Day. The day that mattered most to us, though, was VJ Day. Not because we beat Japan, but because the most terrible war in history was finally over.
On that earlier day in August 1945 I rose before dawn and walked out of town to an abandoned quarry where I had a private place to be alone and think. I must have been facing east, because the rising sun brushed the sky a vivid red. That day was the first time in my life that our world changed, never to be the same again, because we, the freest people on earth, had detonated an atom bomb high above Hiroshima, Japan, and killed 100,000 people before the Enola Gay was out of sight. And every one of us knew we and those who came after would have to carry that knowledge throughout our lives.
Our children know from us about that day, but I doubt if our grandchildren do. It is lightly touched upon in their history books, smothered by other happenings, to be forgotten by the next day. It seems to me it would have been better if these young history students shared this dreadful knowledge and made it useful by participating in the affairs of this nation. But they never really have until now.
That is why this election matters so very much to me. Our young people are finally becoming involved. They no longer think it's uncool to choose a candidate and campaign for him or her, they are finally voting in huge numbers, they are taking some of the burden off my shoulders. That is why this election is so very important to me.
This election matters because we are being given a chance to repair the wounds in our land, to weave back together the torn and tattered pieces of our unique freedoms. It's not important who you choose as your candidate or what party you champion, but it is important that you, all of you, participate.
I once interviewed a retired fire chief from Chicago who grew up with Hillary Clinton. He told me when all the neighborhood kids played kick the can on summer nights, they would lose Hillary. She would be under a streetlight reading.
Maybe she didn't play well with others. Or maybe she simply absorbed what she loved, thought of what she would do if she were leader, preferred to spend summer nights fantasizing about how to knit the world instead of how to kick the can.
Hillary's defining moment was when her heart leaked and her voice caught and her eyes clouded up in New Hampshire. It's the only time in the campaign that the essence of who's running was so clear. A woman against a man in a man's world where women are the majority.
It's a tough hike. Ask the Cherokee, who had a vibrant matriarchal society until European soldiers born in America changed their culture. Ask stewardesses who were required to be single and registered nurses while married pilots asked them for two sugars in their coffee.
Barack Obama is incredible, smart, smooth, charismatic and capable, no doubt about it. Hillary Clinton should be president because she doesn't have one drop of testosterone. She is a brilliant, serious, weepy Scorpio who will look out for our population as only a woman would.
Hillary Clinton needs, and deserves, to have the vote of every woman of every age and every color in this country. This is an ideal time to shake things up, to show our daughters that a woman can be first in her law school class, a mother, president of the United States and still feed the tomcat.
Men break and enter, women shoplift; men are magnets for energy, women are sources of it. We're different, and it's time to make a difference. Not a change, a difference.
Mary Pat Boian