Asa’s turn in the Times 

The ways of politicians can be so complex and beyond most voters’ understanding. Take Asa! Hutchinson as an example.

Max was fair-minded enough to give Asa! his place on the editorial page while Max was on vacation so Asa! could make his case as to why he should be our next governor.

So what did Asa! do? He used nine paragraphs to tell us what is wrong and unseemly about Mike Beebe!

He told us nothing about his positions, policies, views and campaign promises. But his “door will always be open” — to what and whom, this voter might ask?

What was Asa! thinking?
Betty Lane
Little Rock

You should be commended for offering Asa Hutchinson the opportunity to discuss the type of governor he would be for Arkansas. This gives more than just lip service to the fair and balanced slogan of Fox News (motto: “We give both sides — the president AND the vice president.”).

But what has he said? The first three paragraphs are just blah, blah, blah. The next eight are about what a rat bastard Mike Beebe is. The final three (actually two, because two contain a single sentence each) are about him. He won’t try to hide his position. What position? Couldn’t find one. He won’t cater to special interests. That’s good, and finally, his door will always be open.

In his big chance to reach an audience outside of his base, 80 percent is used in running down his opponent and 20 percent saying he won’t dodge or hide his position, but he doesn’t offer any positions from which not to hide or dodge. From his writing, I guess we may assume that he would expend four times the energy carping about others than he would actually doing anything. Sounds like the same old crap to me.
Lewis Neidhardt

More jail space needed
Anytime you pick up any newspaper, same story: No room to put convicted prisoners! They are left in the courts to be handled the best they can (violations of court orders). The sad part is the comments from the courts, police administrators, quorum court — “We’re in one big mess. No jail space!”

What a ridiculous statement. This has been the situation for years and nothing (except words) has been done about it.

Tell the public to wake up and provide money to build more jails! Now!
Santo Formica

On abortion and the death penalty
I would, first and foremost, like to thank Betty J. Hambuchen for her thought-provoking reasoning and points of view. I mean, without her, the fact that I should have sympathy for murder victims’ families would evade me.

Ms. Hambuchen displayed sheer ignorance and reproachable stupidity in less than 100 words. I always thought that “murder” is an act in which one human slays another. Right? Never before have I heard it regarded as someone wreaking havoc on another. Considering her (idiotic) statement about abortion, I’m assuming that Ms. Hambuchen is a Christian, and would just as well assume that she understands that her religion preaches forgiveness and redemption.

Inmates, on Death Row or not, are still people, and death does not justify death. Murderers are men and women, businessmen and journeymen, husbands, wives and uncles. That she jumps to conclusions and generalizes, murderers’ states of mind furthermore recognizes her intellectual incompetence. I’d love to know how you can support the murder of a grown man or woman yet denounce a mother’s right to abort her unborn child.

Betty, as one Little Rock comedian would say: “A three-month-old baby in a mother’s womb is not a human being; you’re not a human until you’re in my phone book.”

Call me, Betty. You should come have tea with me sometime and talk about our favorite George W. Bush expressions. (I’m prone to adore his “puzzled” face.)
Spencer Campbell

Remembering Paul Eells
The tragic untimely death of the irreplaceable Paul Eells will undoubtedly raise the existing level of competition between Central and Northwest Arkansas. Regardless of what immediate decisions are made concerning just who will be the next voice of the football Hogs, one man or a rotating team, no doubt the growing militancy of the Fayetteville/Springdale MSA will lead some to lobby for a permanent Northwest voice. Mike Nail, who currently does radio play-by-play for basketball, will be pushed, as will Chuck Barrett. Both are broadcasters we already know and trust. Little Rock will probably counter with Steve Sullivan or possibly Scott Inman, each already on KATV’s payroll, and familiar to most as well. Either way, an era has ended, in more ways than one. [Nail has now been chosen. — Editor]

Such considerations are but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the frequent skirmishes between the two largest markets in Arkansas. We first became aware of these notions in the 1990s, when the construction of Bud Walton Arena and the enlargement of what is now Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville began limiting Little Rock games in both sports. Influential Hog supporters in Central Arkansas and elsewhere threatened to withdraw financial contributions unless Frank Broyles reconsidered. He didn’t. Many contributors made good on their threats, and off we went.

Greater Northwest Arkansas is essentially a teenager yearning for independence. Although the increasing competition between it and the larger cousin downstate occurs in every conceivable endeavor, it may be most visible in sports. I’ve grown up with the Razorbacks, but perhaps it is time for the Central region of Arkansas to carve out its own lofty collegiate sports niche, separate and distinct from Fayetteville and the UofA. We’ve already done that in terms of professional sports.

I remember when Mike Newell left as coach of UALR’s basketball program, one of the names that cropped up as a possible replacement was none other than Eddie Sutton. I was extremely excited over that possibility, and crushed when it didn’t come to fruition. Little Rock missed out on a golden opportunity to establish a second regional, perhaps even national power within the state. Look at Sutton’s success at Oklahoma State in recent years. With a new on-campus basketball facility, Alltel Arena still available across town when needed, and the proper support, UALR could be that type of program.

Football? How about UCA, now that it’s going NCAA Division 1A? The Bears are worthy of watching, have a great coach and reload on talent year after year. When they begin winning consistently at this new level, and they will, watch out! Estes Stadium in Conway is great, but suddenly here is another valid reason to update or rebuild War Memorial Stadium. Remember, UCA will compete in Division 1 basketball, too.

Wouldn’t most of us prefer to drive across the metro area (30 minutes max) to watch high quality athletic competition rather than 3 hours to Fayetteville? I know I would. I suspect many Arkansans to the East and South would gladly travel to Little Rock or Conway to provide additional support for these teams, just as they used to do for the Razorbacks.

I say let upstate have what it wants, and go its own way. We downstaters will be just fine, here in the real Arkansas.
R. A. Rogers

The laws of our country have been broken by people carrying law badges who like to write tickets on the wrong people just to make themselves look good to their superiors or just for spite. One is the Game and Fish Commission. I hope the Arkansas people will wake up to this lawlessness performed by highway robbers carrying badges.
Lawrence House

Lieberman’s loss
Most progressives see Ned Lamont’s victory in Connecticut as a sign that the Democrats have finally grown a spine and will win handily in the 2006 and 2008 elections. Conservatives are predictably spinning this as a sure sign that Republicans will win those races. For the sake of the country, we’d better pray that the progressives are right.
Scott Easterly
Little Rock

‘Intolerable’ court
In recent days Congress failed to submit a proposed constitutional amendment conforming to the Arkansas law defining marriage, deviates were arrested in a Conway park, and Mr. Justice Donald Corbin, gleefully pleasing the ACLU and speaking for a unanimous Arkansas Supreme Court, gave blessings to homosexuals becoming foster parents to wholesome, vulnerable, defenseless children.

There is an intolerable, irreconcilable inconsistency here which screams for rectification.
Jim Johnson


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