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Lettters Jan. 27 

David O. Dodd Once again the Arkansas Times gives David O. Dodd a thumbs up in the issue after the anniversary of his execution, thereby belittling this unfortunate boy’s tragic death, and taking another gratuitous dig at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for the coverage it gave the ceremonies commemorating the anniversary of David O. Dodd’s execution. I have been moved by the story of David O. Dodd’s brief life and tragic execution since I first heard about it in Mrs. Minton’s Arkansas history class at Ridge Road Junior High School over 40 years ago. The execution of David O. Dodd is not one of the best and brightest moments in American justice. Mr. Dodd was a mere 17 years old when he was arrested on Dec. 31, 1863. His captors claimed that he had notes in his shoe which included information about the strength of federal forces in Little Rock. After a trial in which he was found guilty and sentenced to death by a military tribunal, and despite pleas for mercy from the public, David O. Dodd was hanged on Jan. 8, 1864. David O. Dodd refused to divulge the identity of anyone who was involved with him in spying on the Union forces, if indeed he was guilty of espionage. No one else was ever charged, arrested or punished for being a co-conspirator with Mr. Dodd. The execution of David O. Dodd puts a human face on the tragedy of the American Civil War. It seems to me that the purposes of the Union Army would have been better served by imprisoning Mr. Dodd for the duration of the war, rather than turning him into the “Boy Martyr of the Confederacy.” Steven R. Davis North Little Rock All not racists I read with great interest Max Brantley’s article “Will Central High’s Road Trips to Cabot End?” (Dec. 23). I remember when Central first signed the deal with Cabot. They were upfront about the motive. It was all about the money. No one is afraid of playing at Central because of safety. I followed my Bryant Hornets there in 2003 and it was a great atmosphere for football. There was a good crowd there for the game, but I know there would have been a few more thousand people there if we had the game in Bryant. That is because Conway and Bryant are the only teams in the Central Conference that draw big crowds every week. Many times the Hornets have a bigger crowd at a visiting stadium than the home team does. The reason that this subject got any play in the Arkansas Times is very simple. Brantley will never miss any opportunity to take a shot at communities where people have flocked to get away from their disappointing experience with the Little Rock School District, and that includes moving their kids to Cabot or putting them in private schools like Pulaski Academy. Brantley needs to get over it. I have to come to realize that there are some very fine students and teachers in schools like Central and all the people who have left are not racists. Everette Hatcher III Alexander Priorities I’m tired of hearing the governor talking about higher education. It would be nice just to get the children out of grade school without having to carry their 12-pound backpacks all day because the system can’t afford lockers in the magnet art schools. A lot of the teachers have to furnish their own supplies also. Then the Governor’s Mansion has to be refurbished again to the tune of a couple of million dollars. There is something wrong with this picture. The bigwigs have their priorities mixed up, that’s for sure. Ruby Mettler Hot Springs I am disgusted that Bush accepted donations of $40 million from lobbyists and corporations for inaugural parties in the face of the greatest natural disaster in modern history, and while we are at war. Not to mention the millions in security costs that taxpayers are funding due to Bush declaring the parties a “National Special Security Event.” I wonder how our soldiers in Iraq feel knowing that their president is whooping it up at the most expensive inaugural in history, while they are facing further bloodshed and violence with the impending elections? Bush loves calling himself a wartime president. He should act like one by showing some restraint and economy in a time of war. Bush should have encouraged donors to spend some of their millions on disaster relief instead of on lavish galas and no less than nine balls in his honor. Or heck — the least he could do is send some champagne to tsunami survivors. It would be tastier than contaminated water. Emily Pennel Little Rock The government has now ended our search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The approximate cost to the United States, our soldiers, families and taxpayers: Deaths: Over 1,300 Disabled Soldiers: Over 5,000 Injuries: Over 10,000 Cost: A. Over $600 million on the search. B. Over $2 billion for the war (search included) and counting. Weapons found: none This is quite a legacy for our president who at a dinner for reporters and correspondents that is held yearly, made a film that spoofed the search, as he was shown looking around the White House behind furniture and desks for the weapons. I don’t feel much safer when these kinds of decisions are made. Now we throw a $40 million party for those that got rich from the war. God Bless America. Sam Weatherford North Little Rock Iraq elections By what authority does the U.S. government authorize and organize some of its citizens and/or current residents to vote in foreign elections? How can U.S. citizens – whether or not they have Iraqi ancestry – be authorized to vote for candidates in foreign elections? For many years, American citizens were warned that we risked losing our U.S. nationality by voting in foreign elections. Why are we conducting such a campaign? Is it merely to enhance the U.S. administration’s support of the coalition-selected officials up for election in Iraq? Or will Americans also be allowed to cast votes for candidates in future Irish, German, even Israeli elections? Joel A. Taylor Little Rock
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