On the fringe
Firstly, I have been a member of both Republican and Democrat parties but not of any Tea Party or any other groups you call "fringe" in your Feb. 16 cover story.
I write only because I was in Little Rock to file a federal lawsuit yesterday and happened upon your newspaper with a striking red/black cover and a most provocative headline: "BRINGING THE CRAZY" which in subliminal Orwellian double-speak is code for "don't believe anything they say."
You go to great lengths to pillory white folks in the middle years (who you seem to punish for "knowing more about politics") which you more rightly could have identified as "facts." That just might mean they are not so crazy after all.
I remind you that this generation grew up on a movement against government cover-ups like Watergate and Iran-Contra. Then, the press actually found fault with lies and corruption but after many years of consolidation, we should be asking, just who owns you? Is it Rupert Murdoch, an Australian who controls media in America?
Back in my day, the press called our college-aged generation (who were dragged off to kill rice farmers in Asia) dirty and godless. Perhaps they were wrong then, just as they may be wrong now by suggesting there is something wrong with middle-aged white folks who believe in God and have a job. Maybe those are the same folks who brought about real change in the '70's that was eviscerated over the last 30 years by both parties. The false light cast upon them then and perhaps now has one common denominator — anybody who does not believe the big lies is somehow not mainstream. I suggest that you check your facts and understand that we have lost so much that we may be at a boiling point. The press would do well to take heed before the bosses start burning newspapers in the public square like they did books in 1930's Germany.
Arkansas lost one of her best with the death of Carol Griffee on Jan. 24. To say that she was an outstanding journalist is an understatement. She loved Arkansas, but, more importantly, she loved truth and justice, and pursued both throughout her career. Her excellence in reporting and her dedication to her career set a high standard. She also left a precious legacy in journalism which should never be forgotten. Thank you, Carol.
Don F. Hamilton
I am offended by the reference in the Orval cartoon Feb. 16 to white Christians. If you do not like Rep. Justin Harris that is fine. But it is racist to refer to white Christians like all of them are like him. Freedom of speech is great and you may talk about Representative Harris all you want, but do not bring all white Christians into it,
From the Internet
Shut it down
Let's examine this further: when your local grocery store shuts down, you no longer give them money. So, if the federal government shuts down, we no longer give them money right? No more taxes, etc. I like the whole idea — put 'em out of work for a month or so and we might be better off for their learning experience.
Even though I'm short on some of the details in Arkansas, I know enough to keep me fuming when it comes to the natural gas exploitation that's been going on there. The apparent complicity of state government institutions is nauseating and quite possibly scandalous. Now as I read stories about hundreds of tremors affecting the state and the possible link to "fracking," it makes me all the more furious. Living in North Texas on top of the gas-rich Barnett Shale I'm acutely aware of the hideous and under-regulated chemical injection methods used by the likes of Chesapeake Energy — whose gleaming Texas headquarters tower I can see from my balcony. The city of Fort Worth and surrounding Tarrant County are graced by over 15,000 football-field-sized "well pads" which pepper the landscape. That's right: FIFTEEN THOUSAND. I can hear incessant fracking, (which curiously seems to happen only at night) from my porch and even from inside my house. It sounds like high volume bursts of steroidal firecrackers echoing across our neighborhood throughout the evening. Here's what I've observed. Sites are selected and scraped bare. Temporary 30-plus-foot walls go up. Drill rigs go up. Fracking ensues. Then the wells are capped and the walls come down revealing yet another permanent eyesore. It all happens at breakneck speed. You never know when or where it will happen. But it's everywhere. And yes, we've had similar earth tremors where I live. Flying in and out of DFW I have seen countless scars from these rectangular sites and their access roads stretching all across North and West Texas and throughout Colorado and Wyoming — even in what appear to have been pristine wilderness areas. I've seen them around Arkansas, too. Sadly, my city commission is blatantly ignoring persistent and vehement protests from the community about the noise, air and ground water pollution caused by these activities. Not only do we have some of the worst air quality in the country, but our aquifers are slowly being rendered useless. But that's not what I'm writing to you about. I'm writing as an Arkansan. We've got to do something. This could be an environmental disaster of epic proportions. Please take advantage of the media attention focused on Arkansas right now. Let's see some good old-fashioned muckraking. It's time to call those responsible to account. I sincerely hope Arkansans won't allow The Natural State to become The Hazmat State — unless it's already too late.
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