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Letters Oct. 21

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Play ball The Bauxite Miner football story was incredible. I hope you reprint it yearly and keep it archived on your website forever. Every person in Arkansas can tell some version of that story. Only one person had the talent to write it. Jim Jackson Bryant TB problem Your article about the Marshallese people who have settled in Washington County was most welcome. I have a comment about tuberculosis in Washington County. It was stated that TB in Northwest Arkansas’s 18 counties peaked in 2000 with 59 cases, in part due to the Marshallese. Eight of those cases were Marshallese. In 2003, there were 44 new cases, 18 from Washington County, again with eight Marshallese, one highly contagious. In 2004 so far, 18 cases have been diagnosed in Marshallese patients, quite possibly largely due to this one patient. TB infection in the foreign-born is a major risk. Positive TB skin tests, indicating infection, were found in 2,960 patients in Arkansas in 2003 and 52 percent of these were in Northwest Arkansas, with 601 positive tests in Washington County. Of Washington County’s positive tests, 14 percent were in children and youth and 73 percent of these reactions were in Hispanic children. A positive skin test does not mean that the patient has the disease, but has a 10 percent possibility of developing infectious TB in a lifetime. This can be prevented with proper treatment. The Health Department in Washington County is struggling to handle this large case load. State funds have been repeatedly cut and federal funds have also been limited. I would hope the citizens of Washington County would want to help subsidize this care, which is for their protection. Also, since the majority of Hispanic and Marshallese people work in the chicken plants, some direct assistance from employers is also desperately needed. Dr. Rosalind S. Abernathy Little Rock The big race Sometimes it’s refreshing and reassuring to turn to literary giants of the past for appropriate responses to contemporary Republican propaganda. Thus Emerson observed in his enduring essay on self-reliance that "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." It’s also helpful to put things into historical perspective. In doing so, Republicans turn out to be world-class flip-floppers. "The party of Lincoln" started out with flying colors by abolishing the "peculiar institution" cherished by aristocratic Southern planters. Now, lo and behold, they have become a peculiar alliance of greedy plutocrats, rabid religious fanatics and closet racists. With apologies to Dylan Thomas: Do not go gentle into that bad night of neo-fascism. Rage, rage at the lying of the Right. Howard Goggans Sherwood I just don’t get it. The only opposition party in sight is the Democratic Party, which in Arkansas seems to consist of superannuated cheerleaders involved in a social club. The other party is more interested in accusations than issues, but there are real issues in this election. The war for example. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe we should support our troops by giving each of them a first-class ticket home but I do not hear this from the Democratic Party of Arkansas. Here in Arkansas there are matters such as literacy, health care, childhood diabetes and mal(over)nutrition. National security begins at home, but our first responders have not been immunized against anthrax or smallpox. Why Iraq? Colombia has contributed more to the decay of American family structure than Iraq by our inability to limit cocaine. Maybe you or your readers can relieve my perplexity. I don’t identify with any party or candidate and I need help. Cecil Fox Little Rock There must be an answer Not only am I a huge fan of the Beatles but I am also a huge fan of the city of Little Rock. That’s why it is so disturbing to hear of the theft of items from George Harrison’s sister Lou during her recent visit. Perhaps this can be a wake up call for some of the baby-boomers and younger (I am 26 ) as to what is going on in GREATER downtown. As we strive to achieve city status, we are realizing that we have a big-city crime problem. With the opening of the Clinton Library, we have a chance to make Little Rock’s downtown a cultural center much like in other great cities. I would like to believe that some of these incidents are isolated, but how many people go anywhere downtown after 6 p.m. on any given night unless it is in the River Market. While the River Market is terrific, it is a pocket of contentment in an otherwise dead zone. The people being hurt by the transients, panhandlers and common criminals are middle-class business owners and their potential patrons. Do I have a solution? It is simple: More police. The buck has to stop somewhere and I know that if we put pressure on city officials then they will have to listen. Brooks Browning Little Rock Poodle no wimp That dog WILL hunt. The picture of a standard poodle wearing a Kerry sweater appearing in an ad in papers nationwide and coming to a T-shirt near you, is more misleading propaganda designed to make hunters nervous about a Democrat in the White House. But back to the poodle thing. As an owner of two standard poodles, I may be a tad biased. However, if readers do not know already, the reason that working, hunting poodles look "that way’" has to do with ducks. The "lion" trim that you see most often on poodles has to do with their bird-retrieving abilities, combined with the reality of where they had to slosh to get them. The "mane" protected their heart and lungs from the shock of the cold water. Their hindquarter-sheared look allowed them freer swimming capabilities. The ankle poufs allowed for some warmth around their joints in the dank weather. The other tufts covered their kidneys. Whether a dog is being shown, or a politician is showing up at a fancy fundraiser, both have to look the part. I’ve seen George Bush in a tuxedo. He addressed the duded-up crowd by saying something like, "Some call you the elite. I call you my base." Beverly C. Lucey Maumelle Presidential politics I will vote for Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian Party’s candidate for president this year. Badnarik and the Libertarian Party are in favor of reducing the size and scope of the federal government. Libertarians offer a true alternative for change from the increasing Democratic-Republican stranglehold on government now. Bill Fausek Hot Springs Some Christians in our nation will be obligated to change their name Nov. 3 after voting for a presidential candidate who supports, condones and practices policies that are contrary to the teachings of the Bible and particularly the New Testament. These same "Christians" stand every Sunday and sing songs that profess their love for and obedience to God’s instruction, yet in deed totally contradict the same in this matter. That Christians are commanded to obey civil authority is a fact. It is a shame that some who claim to be Christian take part in the establishment of a government that promotes child murder and homosexuality. Adults determine the social climate and the kind of world our children and grandchildren live in. If you claim to be Christian read Matthew 18:6. Richard Pinkston DeQueen

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