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Arkansas Constitution supports equality 

Arkansas Constitution supports equality

Three things struck me about your latest issue: All of the letters were signed by real people who do not claim to be "from the internet," the article about Rita Sklar was fun, and (last, but most important) the words of both Ernie Dumas and Judge Griffen still missed an important point in regard to the appeal of the ruling made by Judge Piazza. Those who challenge the ruling are citing the primacy of the voters to control the content of the Constitution of the State of Arkansas; those who support the decision make a valid, albeit federally oriented, argument.

I firmly believe that the Arkansas Supreme Court has a duty to rule on a state basis, which they will do despite the fact that one side has failed to raise an Arkansas defense of the ruling. Our ancient Constitution contains a marvelous answer in Article 2. This statement of rights was over a century ahead of the issues of today, and it is a well-crafted promise of total equality. Although many of its sections are applicable to the instant case, No. 2 as well as the concluding section are of the greatest importance. It should be noted that nothing in the recent amendment outlawing same-sex marriage clearly repeals any part of Article 2, nor does it purport to grant an exception. Judge Piazza has ruled correctly, but the best defense of the ruling is still in waiting. I urge every Arkansan, regardless of their position on this one issue, to read, understand and appreciate the protections they all share under the terms of Article 2. I hope that the Arkansas Constitution will be considered in addition to the federal arguments.

Peter Dahlstrom

Little Rock

Sick, tired

Is it too early to be burned out by the election year? I am not impressed by the current lot of politicians, for the most part. Is there any Republican in our state who is not running against Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama? And exactly how can the attorney general or the state treasurer repeal the Affordable Care Act or defend the Second Amendment? I am really insulted by these people who must believe I can be so easily duped and influenced by such obvious hot-button items. And the Democrats should be ashamed as well! Tell me what you stand for other than the hollow statements no one could find fault with!

No one seems to have the guts (and brains) to say, "I have a plan and ideas, some of which you may not agree with, but overall it will be good for our country and our state!" And the gumption to convince me that I should sacrifice my immediate self-interest for the good of the nation! I would do that for the right person. My friends, these are shoes that are apparently too big to fill by any of our politicians nowadays, no matter their affiliation.

It seems that no one can be elected nowadays without selling their soul to a sufficient number of special interests in order to finance their campaign. Does not matter the party, it just changes the faces with the money. And sometimes the faces are the same.

Call me cynical. Probably guilty. Prove me wrong. I will shake your hand and call you a statesman.

Wendell Fowler

Little Rock

Swinging pendulum

I am writing this letter in response to David Steadman's letter, "War Fetish" (May 29) in which he refers to Gene Lyon's article, "Trigger Warnings," in the Arkansas Times (May 17). I am personally acquainted with both of these gentlemen, so seeing both of their works in the same edition was a pleasure. To me, the Times offers a needed liberal counterpoint to the conservative media, which is often presented as the news. I have two thoughts to share. The first is about politics being contrary to natural law. The second is the need for a newspaper that presents ideas needed in Arkansas.

There are rules that govern how all things relate in our universe. This is true of everything from atoms to apes, and maybe even to us humans. When these rules are violated, the force that governs the universe puts things right. One of the phenomena that is observed has to do with swinging pendulums. I call it the Law of Swinging Pendulums. It goes something like this: When released, a pendulum never swings farther in its second arc than it did in its first. It never swings more to the right than it did to the left. This is true unless outside force is applied. This outside force is often applied by humans. We call this phenomena politics.

I believe that since Caveman Ogg first decided to fight Caveman Sogg, the issue of peace versus war has been the basis of the most important political decisions made. This is true today of the Christians versus the Muslims, as they try to decide whether or not to have the next crusade or jihad. It is true as my neighbor and I decide which election signs we put up in our yards. This upcoming political season will apply steadily increasing amounts of energy to our already wildly swinging pendulum. I hope this energy will be directed toward detente rather than war. If we could all step back, take a deep breath, have some deep thoughts, and put down our mental rocks and clubs, then the swinging pendulum might adjust itself.

I am grateful to David, Gene and the Times for provoking these thoughts. I appreciate the role that the Times plays in Arkansas, even if it does at times border on rabid, yellow journalism. I am glad that the news media has the right to publish our opinions. I will defend this right to the death if necessary. I recently sold all of my guns, so if it does come to the Rights against the Lefts in our next civil war, I may have to use a stone or a club to defend our First Amendment right to free speech.

Ralph Hammond

Pulaski County

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