Letters Sept. 22 

Private affairs I was very disappointed to see the Arkansas Times including in its Insider column (much less as the lead article) the lawsuit concerning the new UALR Law School professor, Robert Steinbuch. I think that there are much more interesting and worthwhile things going on in Little Rock for the Times to discuss than a lawsuit involving a new Washington-to-Little Rock transplant who was the victim of a social-climbing “Washingtonienne.” Given the rather sordid past of a certain Little Rock-to-Washington transplant, I would expect the Times to be a little more respectful of the distinctions between a man’s private life and his public life. Professor Steinbuch has been in Little Rock for less than two months, and this is how we welcome him? For shame. The Arkansas Times should be aiming a bit higher than the level of the National Enquirer. Kathryn Martinez Little Rock Gas prices I read an article recently pointing out that gas was selling for 30 cents a gallon in 1950. If we apply the effects of inflation, things that cost 30 cents in 1950 would now cost $2.33. So the price of gas is only slightly higher than it was in 1950. Also I recall reading articles a short time ago when liberals were saying that we should not complain about the price of gas since people in Europe have to pay a lot more. James Roberson From the Internet Koon’s rant First, kudos to media columnist David Koon for writing one of the better rants on the idiocy that is the DoG’s editorial page, though I must ask, what took him so long? They’ve had me scaring the kids and animals many, many times in the last year with all the shouting about their turn-abouts, obliviousness and constant regurgitation of whatever’s left of Greenberg’s brain. (I would be remiss in my continuing duties as a former DoG copy editor to not point out that “the only Arkansas politician who ever did anything more historic than siccing the National Guard on school kids and porking Fanne Foxe” should have an “or” rather than an “and,” unless the semester in junior high of Arkansas History I took failed to mention Orval Faubus and Wilbur Mills were in fact the same person.) Second, I hate to say it, but Jim Harris’ denigration of Hogwired and Frank Broyles’ Internet savvy smacked a little of pots and kettles’ name-calling. While the Times’ website works for most of what I use it for, the navigation and design are outdated and difficult. Also, I know it’s a big deal to y’all when you put out an issue, but it doesn’t speak well of your judgment to put out your list of all the wonderful articles in each issue under the e-mail header “Breaking News.” Finally, I’ve got to say I’m going to miss reading the Times in Arkansas, as I have moved to the D.C. area for the foreseeable future. I’ll keep up online as best I can, and when I’m in town I’ll grab a copy. Frankly, you guys have staved off the insanity that would have consumed me if the DoG was all there was and I thank you for that. Keep up the good work. Pierce Presley Chevy Chase, Md. Dave Koon’s Sept. 1 media column of righteous indignation, “Old dead traitor memorial park,” could not have been more on target. We moved to Little Rock from Austin, Texas, in 1996 as Clinton was starting his second term. How a paper like the Arkansas Gazette could be turned into the Arkansas Demagogue-Gazette is beyond me. But then I don’t understand how a state as beautiful and with as many natural resources as Arkansas can be so poor. Some real contradictions here. The name of a street like Markham is of little consequence except for the tomfoolery and demagoguery that lead to such an illogical solution. More than one out-of-towner going to UAMS, at 4301 W. Markham, has taken the “Markham” exit from Interstate 30 north near downtown, followed Markham into the dead-end at the Train Station and become completely bumfuzzled. The sooner that Clinton Boulevard is properly named from the Presidential Library to the train station, the better. But the name of a street is really small potatoes, except for the bigoted idiocy it displays. “The elections of 2000 and 2004, the evil genius of Karl Rove, Fox [FAUX] News’ ‘Fair and Balanced’ motto, voter fraud in Ohio, the Iraq War, Abu Ghraib, 1,500 dead soldiers and counting, and a thousand other things, including the lack of preparations for Katrina in New Orleans and the fact the Louisiana National Guard was misled into a war halfway around the world” are certainly bigger issues than poor street signage and petty politics in Little Rock. I fear the good ol’ USA will never be the same after Bush II. Terry J. DuBose Little Rock The hurricane Thank you for publishing the riveting story by Mara Leveritt on Hurricane Katrina as this week’s cover feature. It’s unfortunate that her concept and research for the book were not accepted and underway months ago, but it is not too late. Urge her to shop the book around again! At the Arkansas Community Foundation, we have felt compelled to respond to the terrible devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. The Board canceled our Fall Forum for Foundation Friends and reallocated those budgeted funds, which we matched with a grant from the President’s Fund, to create the Hurricane Katrina Fund at ARCF. Half the fund assets will be donated to the American Red Cross in Arkansas and half to the Salvation Army in Arkansas, for relief efforts aiding evacuees in our state. We hope that other organizations and individuals will be inspired to follow suit in ways appropriate to their mission and budgets. They can send their donations directly to organizations participating in the relief effort, or to the ARCF Hurricane Katrina Fund, 700 S. Rock, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72202. All donations are fully tax-deductible. Pat Lile President/CEO Arkansas Community Foundation Little Rock This is how smart the people at Fox were after the hurricane. Newt Gingrich said that 500 buses could have evacuated the poor in New Orleans – 370,000 evacuees, that comes to 720 per bus. Suppose there were 12,000 school buses available. Where would the people go, since the city’s plan was to get them to the Superdome? Would Gingrich have canceled school on Wednesday of the previous week on a “maybe” storm? Brit Hume asked if people really wanted the feds involved if states could not perform in an emergency. Last year, he trivialized the weekly death toll in Iraq by saying that the same number of people died in California auto wrecks. This is why some of us vote Democratic. Steve Wheeler North Little Rock Would you please list those in Congress who voted to slash the budget of the Corps of Engineers for the New Orleans levee project? Besides the horrendous loss of life and damage to a major oil pipeline, we need to know who is accountable for such poor judgment. At the same time, the Congress has managed to come up with billions to spend in Iraq. Those who wish to burn incense to the god of war are free to do so, but they are not free to impose their belief on others, sending the families of others to make the sacrifice while they sit at home in safety. Isn’t that a major component of true religion? Self-sacrifice, NOT sacrificing others. Is that behavior just or merciful or humble – three things people of faith are asked to practice. Mimi Dortch Scott While Hurricane Katrina was approaching the Gulf Coast, our president didn’t have time to meet with Cindy Sheehan. Then came Hurricane Katrina. The president did cut his vacation short by two days and fly over part of the Gulf Coast. Two days later on Wednesday of that week, I saw him telling the people in New Orleans to be patient, that help was on the way. How did he think they were going to get that message anyway? There were no communications. While President Bush was telling the people to be patient, helpless elderly people were already dead, having drowned in their beds in a nursing home. When Mike Brown resigned as head of FEMA, Bush was asked about that. He said he didn’t know. He had been busy “working.” How many lives might have been saved if our president had been “working” in the first place, if he and FEMA had been better prepared, if we didn’t have thousands of troops and millions of dollars of equipment halfway around the world in Iraq, instead of here at home were they should be? Our president has shown what kind of leadership he is capable of in a crisis and it scares me to death. Beth Coger Danville The Republicans want to do all the investigating of the government response to Katrina with Democrats taking no part in it. Wonder why. Insist on an independent investigation and don’t let the Republicans get by with a whitewash as they have done during the whole Bush administration. Frances Grace Block Little Rock Chertoff’s record One wonders if President Bush ever bothered to read the resumes of Michael Chertoff and fall-guy Michael Brown. Plenty has been printed in the media about the lack of qualification of Michael Brown for head of FEMA. Quite by chance I came upon the resume of Michael Chertoff. Seems he has no more qualification for head of Homeland Security. Chertoff was a law clerk, member of a private law firm, an assistant U. S. attorney, special counsel to the Whitewater Committee, and lastly a federal judge. Does any of this give him any experience for dealing with terrorism and natural or man-made disasters? The buck stops with the president for making appointments based on something other than qualification and expertise and being more than slow on the uptake himself. Marilyn Fish Bryan Taylor Downtown In Max Brantley’s column, “Downtown: half-full,” he omitted mention of the horrendous investments of the Central Arkansas Library System under the direction of Dr. Bobby Roberts, the man most responsible for Bill Clinton’s election to the office of president. Jim Johnson Conway Tax rebates John Brummett’s Aug. 18 column, “A Plan for the Fleeting Surplus,” made a great case for giving the taxpayers their money back in rebates rather than tax cuts. If we consider something other than rebates, I hope it’s eliminating the tax on groceries. If we really wanted to do it right, we could wrap it in an amendment to Amendment 19, the one that requires a three-fourths majority to raise the income tax. Then, when taxes needed to be raised, raising the income tax would require no larger a majority than the sales tax. Jerry Shell Leslie Never forget Here in Arkansas it seems some people have forgotten what happened to some of the alien workers when they were arrested in Arkadelphia. I wish to remind some of the politicians that there is a large Hispanic presence in this state. Many have the right to vote. I am going to make sure we don’t forget that they did not speak up against the inhuman treatment that the children of those who were arrested went through. The Good Book reminds us “whatever you do to the least of my people, you do unto me.” Deacon Arnold R. Hernandez North Little Rock


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