Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
Concealed carry laws?
Amount to a police state.
Thirty-round clips? They're
Needed for self-protection.
And the victims? Arm them, too.
Stuart Jay Silverman
Time for gun reform
It's beyond time to reform our gun laws, folks. True, it won't solve everything overnight, but it would certainly quickly aid in screening lunatics who can now pick and choose at gun show festivals and order mass murder arsenals online. Responsible gun owners should have no problem in some extra questioning to further public safety. I mean, we all gladly take out our belongings at an airport because of one awful tragedy, right? It's not "Big Liberal Government Lockdown" either. It's called being practical because we all have to live with one another.
Jeff B. Woodmansee
Huckabee on Newtown
One-time presidential candidate Mike Huckabee claimed after the tragic Newtown, Conn., mass murder that the shooting was not a surprise, as it was caused because God has been systemically removed from the schools.
What a cruel and insensitive thing to say. If he was president and said this, he probably would have been impeached his first month in office.
Kenneth L. Zimmerman
Huntington Beach, Calif.
The real reason for the season
The one drawback of having cable TV this time of year is having to witness Suzie Everett of Northwest Arkansas's Everett-Maxey car dealership shoving her religion down everybody's throat multiple times a day. Thank God for the mute button.
The original "reason for the season" was the Winter Solstice, the longest day of the calendar year. It was celebrated in ancient Rome with a huge festival called the Saturnalia. It was marked by an official sacrifice at the temple of Saturn, public banquets, private gift-giving, gambling, a carnival-like atmosphere and a general sense of fun.
The early Christians moved Christ's birth back a few months from the birthing of the lambs in spring to December in order to compete with the Saturnalia. When the Emperor Constantine became Christian, Christmas replaced the Saturnalia as the official winter holiday, and there went the neighborhood. And the Suzy Everetts and Ronnie Floyds of the state have been falsely proclaiming the "reason for the season" ever since.
Supreme Court got it right
I beg to differ with the editorial page assessment of last month's Arkansas Supreme Court decision regarding school funding. It may not be what you want to hear but it is an accurate reading of the law.
The decision does affect to a small degree equity of maintenance and operations funds among the state's school districts. Maintenance and operations, however, is only one of several funds that make up a district's budget.
Most important, the ad-valorem tax collected by our county for our school district is our money and not the state's. As the majority opinion expressed, should the legislature wish to tackle that issue they are welcome to address it in the legislative session. A modest task compared to explaining that position to their constituents.
Albert J. Larson
Jews and Jesus
In your Dec. 12 issue, a gentleman wrote a letter stating: "... lost souls ... will try to kill him (Jesus) again in the name of God, just like the Jews in Palestine did some 2000 years ago."
This comment is insulting, bigoted, and hateful. Furthermore, it is erroneous. According to a wide scholarly consensus, Jesus of Nazareth was sentenced to death and executed by the Romans occupying and ruling the kingdom of Judea. Crucifixion was used as a tool of humiliation and torture by the Roman Empire, which employed specific methods to carry out this heinous act.
The perpetuation of the myth that Jews killed Jesus has had dire outcomes for the Jewish people. These include the forced conversion, execution, and expulsion of Jews from Spain, century-spanning pogroms against Jews in Eastern Europe, and, the mass-genocide of the Jewish people of Europe during the Holocaust. Anti-Jewish myths and distortions, in the forms of tales of the "Wandering Jew," the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and numerous anti-Jewish conspiracy theories have spawned more sanitized forms of anti-Semitism, including Ivy League quotas preventing admission of Jews to universities and professional schools, barring of Jews from country club and civic organization membership, and the absurd recent assertions that the Jewish population was to blame for the recent U.S. financial crisis.
In short, continued advancement of the concept that Jews killed Jesus, whether intentional or via ignorance, has made it easy and even fashionable for Christian Americans to injure and exclude the Jewish population. I would ask that all of the readers of the Times, in this season in which peace and goodwill to mankind is so strongly emphasized, question their beliefs, educate themselves, and work to actively denounce all forms of bigotry, not only to Jews, but to all people.
Jonathan A. Dranoff
Submit letters to the Editor, Arkansas Times, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203. We also accept letters via e-mail. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We also accept faxes at 375-3623. Please include name and hometown.
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