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It has got to be “wholly a pleasure” to finally get the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette to rewrite the history of 1957 to conform to your warped version.
Jim Johnson
Conway


Wake up call
I appreciate “Bush unchecked” by Ernest Dumas Dec. 29. In it, he quotes William Pitt in opposition regarding the necessity for the infringement of rights, but yet later moves to do just that.

This kind of doublespeak fits well into what James Madison meant when he said, “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

The USA Patriot Act also appears to have within it those kinds of nefarious ideas.

Wake up America! Demand from our elected representatives that they oppose that which would attempt to remove the chains of the Constitution that binds us all down and keeps us from becoming despots. I believe there’s a theme song from an earlier era that could go along with this act. “I know a little bit about a lot of things, but I don’t know enough about you.”
Ray Burgermeister
Greenbrier


Bush’s weakness
The strongest character in the Bible is not Samson. The strongest is Jesus the Nazarene, who fed the multitudes, defended the poor and forgave his enemies. Judas Maccabaeus is strong for six years, but his brother Simon is stronger. Simon brokers a deal with the Roman Empire to maintain purity of the temple for 80 long years.

Let’s see. Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa are not characters from the Bible, but they are icons of strength.

Lately we have heard President Bush say he will “do whatever it takes.” However, if whatever it takes happens to be peaceful negotiation, our country is out of luck. Bush did not have strength to protect us Sept. 11, 2001, nor does he have the strength to protect our future.

If President Bush wants to develop strength, perhaps he should try to be more like Jesus. Bush could achieve peace through strength and strength through peace.

Unfortunately, Bush has confused strength with violence and torture. The highest has become the lowest. He is the weakest among us.
Gene Mason
Jacksonville


Beliefs
The abortion issue which is now before us is one of beliefs, religious or otherwise. Take away religious beliefs and we can more readily face the truth at hand.

Do we overpopulate ourselves to the point of extinction or sensibly deal with the facts at hand? After all, religion is only a set of beliefs for the scientific truths we now have at hand. We just might survive and live and learn to understand more of this present existence.
Katherine Erwin
Little Rock


Blanche for president
Outside of Arkansas, most people might not consider U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln to be a viable contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. But as a founding member of a grassroots committee to encourage her to run for president, let me tell you why she is.

Lincoln has a passion for issues affecting rural America. In Congress, she has been on the front lines advocating for farm subsidies, economic development, and ethanol and biodiesel fuel as sources of renewable energy.

Her presidential platform would reflect her record of supporting the welfare of children and senior citizens. These initiatives include nutrition, after-school mentoring, hospice care, and child tax credits for low-income families.

On the international stage, Lincoln has been vocal about expanding trade to benefit the U.S. agricultural market. She authored a “Soldiers’ Bill of Rights” to protect our men and women in the military, and she does not believe America should be policing the world. Furthermore, Lincoln has worked to oppose cuts to veterans’ benefits.

Finally, Lincoln would give positive momentum to Democratic incumbents and challengers further down the ticket in 2008. If Democrats truly want to make electoral inroads in red states and rural areas of the country, they should take a closer look at Lincoln.

Blanche Lincoln is the first potential candidate for the White House to excite and inspire me, as a young independent voter. I encourage all voters to examine her merits as a dynamic presidential contender for the 21st century.
Tony Eichberger
Eau Claire, Wis.
President & founding member,
Lincoln 2008


Bipartisanship
I agree with the premise of Robert McCord’s column that bipartisanship in the halls of Congress would ultimately produce legislation that is of benefit to all Americans. However, such amity and comity is not possible as long as the GOP controls all three branches of government, and not as long as there are people in the GOP camp who write letters like this one from Sunday’s ’Crat:

“If advice outside the GOP is to be considered, such should come only from true Christians. It certainly should not come from those donkeys on the other side of the aisle.”

I suppose this Fayetteville writer, Ralph Ivy, believes the GOP should just “kill all the Democrats,” to paraphrase the fire-breathing Ann Coulter, change the GOP’s name to “Party Of God” (POG is GOP backwards, which is appropriate) — “Hezbollah,” anyone? — and be done with it.

Mr. McCord, your suggestion that Democrats compromise on the extremist judicial nominees put forth by the ethically challenged folks in Chimpy’s White House would be laudable in a time when the GOP rank-and-file did not have such a large proportion of shrieking, obnoxious idiots as Mr. Ivy. Unfortunately, such is not now the case, so obstruction is the only remaining tool the Democratic Party has to defend its ideology and the interests of its constituents.

To those who say “end the filibuster,” I say, “To the barricades!”
Mark W. Riley
DeQueen




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