The bond vote
Why would any government bypass national Election Day and hold a special bond election on Dec. 13? How many costly days of poll workers do we need on subjects not an emergency?

Gov. Mike Huckabee has vigorously campaigned for the Highway Commission’s money desires and appoints its members. For the past 10 years, all Arkansas revenue collection agencies have boasted of increasing incomes and the federal highway allotment has increased each year. But at budget time, our Highway Commission claims shortfalls and no accountability.

Please vote against the upcoming highway bond issue. Should this bond request pass, it will give the Highway Commission complete control of allocations and will put Arkansas into billions of dollars of indebtedness.
Roland Pugh
Mountain View

Toss the vending machines
I just read Max Brantley’s column in the Arkansas Times about the possibility of Gov. Mike Huckabee making it to the White House. It’s a great article and it kept me laughing out loud from beginning to end. Politics and preaching do not go together. Huckabee should keep the two separate. I’m on my lunch now and I’m drinking a Coke. I can relate to the vending machine section of the column. I graduated in 1979 and I didn’t see a vending machine until I was in high school. I say remove all vending machines from school. If the kids want a snack, pack it in their lunch.
Lee Jefferson
Little Rock

Green Day
I shouldn’t be the first to applaud Joy Ritchey on her piece about Jason White and Green Day.

The story was moving and masterfully put together. As much as I hate what Green Day has become (I liked them in the older days), the passion in Ritchey’s writing made me long to go pick up one of their old albums and give it a spin. I only hope that my writing reflects that much passion in the future.

I can always rely on the Arkansas Times to have that once-in-a-while mind-blowing story, causing the hair on the back of my neck to stand up. Thanks, again, and keep them coming.
Spencer Campbell
Little Rock

I recently moved to Arkansas from Michigan. Upon arriving here, I was given a copy of your paper by a friend. I have read it faithfully since then. I always seem to find something to either entertain or piss me off. Either way, it causes me to think and that is NEVER a bad thing.

Upon reading the newest edition though, I have to say that Joy Ritchey’s article did both.

First, let me say that I have NEVER been a Green Day fan. At first, I said, “Oh, crap, not another idiot blathering on about those no-talent losers!” After reading the article though, I am forced to change my opinion.

While I still do NOT care for Green Day, Joy’s writing was amazing. It was like a trip down memory lane. It was relevant, touching and completely heartfelt. I could almost imagine being there when the events described happened.

So, I want to say congrats on the article. I just may be forced to give the Green Day thing another try.

And Joy, just so you know, I absolutely LOVE punk. Crass, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles and Dead Kennedys have always been my favs. And I have to respect ANYONE that likes Chomsky.
C.J. Plain
Gravel Ridge

I am a huge fan of Green Day. However, after I read Joy Ritchey’s article, I realized that there is so much more to the group than just the band we fans see on the outside. After I read the article about Jason White, it dawned on me, “Hey, Green Day is just like everyone else.” I never actually looked at the band as real people; I just looked at them as rockers. I totally didn’t even bother to think that they live, breathe, and fall in love just like I do.

I thought the article was very compelling. When I was reading about a memory that Joy shared with Jason White, my stomach just tightened because the way she spoke of him made me feel like I knew how she was feeling at that moment.

I only wish when I get older that the memory of my first love can make me feel how Joy Ritchey’s memories of Jason White make her feel.
Kristin Dingman
Rock Falls, Ill.

Hillary’s time?
I was particularly interested in the 2008 forecast by Robert McCord Nov. 24. I respect and admire Sen. Hillary Clinton, but I am hoping she does not run for president in 2008, though I’ll vote for her if she does.

At the time when all three branches of government are going to be under the control of one party, the Republicans, we cannot afford to lose a single seat in either house of Congress. Mrs. Clinton has been doing an excellent job there and we need to keep her there for now. She is young enough she can still run in a future presidential election.

Unfortunately, I do not think she could win in 2008, particularly if Senator McCain is her opponent. There are too many people in both parties who are simply not ready to vote for a woman president, no matter how qualified. And, there is a large segment of the Republican Party who absolutely hate her and will stop at nothing to defeat her if she runs. It would be an extremely nasty campaign that would further divide this country.

The Democrats will be better off nominating someone who is more of a centrist with fresh ideas and proven leadership, such as Virginia Gov. Mark Warner. I saw him recently on C-SPAN and was glued to my chair. He took office when he was told by the outgoing party there was a surplus. He found the opposite to be true. He came up with a program to return the state to fiscal responsibility, even though he knew parts of it would be unpopular. People realized he was being even-handed and not asking for any one group to sacrifice and he turned things around, much as Bill Clinton did.

He is exactly what the Democrats need at this time — proven ability to work with both parties, a fresh face with a centrist point of view.
Marie G. Fowler

With reference to Bob McCord’s column concerning Hillary Clinton’s possible nomination and election in 2008, I’d guess she’d have an excellent chance. Reason: Women of the U.S. would like to have a woman president.

As a journalism professor at Purdue University 20 years ago, at the end of basic news writing classes I’d have students prepare and deliver a radio newscast as if it were 20 years in the future. Always, in “political news,” there’d be news about the woman president.

So even taking into consideration that my classes were two-thirds female and that the evidence is anecdotal, I’d surmise that the woman vote would heavily favor Hillary in 2008.
John B. Webster

More on Marvell
I know you’ve probably had some criticism for your article on Marvell (“Digital Delta,” Nov. 17), some justified, some not. I don’t want to complain. I just want to know one thing: How could the sight of cotton fields be “disconcerting?” I’m a lifelong resident of Marvell (aka: “The Third World”), but I believe that if I were unfortunate enough to have been born a Yankee, I wouldn’t be appalled by the sight of a cotton patch. Surely Ms. Morehead doesn’t believe her Fruit of the Looms just grow on trees.
Brian Bass



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