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Beware the shale 

I am writing in reference to oil service companies that have come into Arkansas to drill. Communities of Arkansas are ecstatic about the rise in the economy. Let me say this, as a resident of Texas, we are glad they are moving eastward because there are certain areas of our state where an individual cannot tap water due to the contamination caused from these wells.

Oil service companies make millions a month in revenue drilling for either natural gas or oil. After water is drawn from a river for drilling, they pump this contaminated water in trucks to haul off. By law this water is supposed to be disposed of properly, but they will dump these truck tankers anywhere they can. The citizens of Arkansas need to be educated about the drilling process and the hazards.

One oil service company that operates in Arkansas, Liberty Pressure Pumping, has been operating in Texas without an air quality permit. It produces crystalline silica sand used in drilling. This sand has particles small enough to be inhaled and to enter the bloodstream. It can cause respiratory problems, bronchitis, lung cancer, silicosis, shortness of breath, cancer, tuberculosis, kidney problems and even death. A person can get severely ill by one catastrophic exposure. I know. I only have 37 percent of my lungs left after working for Liberty Pressure Pumping.

Please don't put your happiness at economic growth before your families' health.

Bob Pilger

Bluff Dale, Texas

The amazing Huck

I lived in Arkansas when Mike Huckabee was governor and he never ceased to amaze me. As a presidential candidate he still ceases to amaze.

In an NBC interview, Huckabee said that the key issue of real faith is that it never can be forced on someone and that he would never want to use the government institutions to impose his faith. Not quite true. He used his government position as governor of Arkansas to designate a specific day as Christian day in Arkansas.

In that same NBC interview, Huckabee said that if elected, he would have no problem appointing atheists to government posts.

However, as governor of Arkansas, after he had designated a specific day as Christian day, the atheists asked if they could also have a day and he belittled them by saying that he thought that they should have a day and it should be April 1st. So, which Huckabee are we to believe? The Huckabee that would appoint atheists to government posts or the Huckabee that thinks that atheists are fools.

While campaigning for president in Michigan, Huckabee said that the constitution should be amended to God's standards. Who among us does Huckabee think that God would choose to relate to us what His standards are? Would it be a rabbi, a lama or a priest, or does Huckabee think that God would choose him as His messenger?

And let's not forget Wayne Dumond who in 1972 admitted to striking a murder victim with a claw hammer but agreed to testify for the prosecution and was not charged. In 1973, he was arrested and placed on probation for admitting to molesting a teen-age girl in a shopping center parking lot in Oregon. Three years later, Dumond admitted to raping an Arkansas woman. In 1985 Dumond went to prison for the rape of a Forrest City high school student. Dumond was paroled in 1997 due to the vigorous efforts of Mike Huckabee but the parole was conditional upon his leaving the state of Arkansas. Florida, Texas and other states refused to allow him to move to their state. He was released in 1999 and in 2000 moved to Missouri. Only six weeks after moving to Missouri he was charged with the rape and murder of a woman in Clay County, and was the leading suspect in the rape and murder of a second woman in, Platte County.

As a Missouri resident now, I say, “Thanks a lot governor.”

Huckabee is a man with a golden tongue selling Americans a bill of goods.

Sue Blakeney

Everton, Mo.

George of Arabia

Shades of Ali-Baba or was it Lawrence of Arabia? Did you view our president and his meetings with the Saudi leadership? One time he was in Arab dress. In another, he wields a sword. In still another, he is being bedecked with gold and jewels. Don't know the total significance of all that, but if on returning to the White House he went up to the Truman balcony and fired a rifle in the air, I would be worried, wouldn't you?

Ray Burgermeister

Greenbrier

Better than a wall

“Few of their children in the country learn English. The signs in our streets have inscriptions in both languages. Unless the stream of importation can be turned away, they will soon so outnumber us that all the advantages we have will not be able to preserve our language and even our government will become precarious.”

Sounds familiar right? Must be a quote from some Republican immigrant-basher who wants to spend billions of dollars on a wall on the Mexican border to keep “them” out.

No, actually the above quote is Benjamin Franklin complaining about how many German settlers were pouring into Pennsylvania in the 1750s. They became US, just as immigrants have always done. Over and over, xenophobic racist politicians have tried to get elected on a promise to keep “them” out: the Catholics, Irish, Italians, Chinese. They became our housemaids, taught us to love pasta, built our railroads, made St. Patrick's Day a holiday and otherwise made a great nation of immigrants who became Americans.

There are two things we can learn from history. One is that walls don't work. The other is that Republicans don't learn from history. The Great Wall did not keep the barbarians out of China. Hadrian's Wall did not keep the fierce Scottish tribes out of England. The Maginot Line did not keep the Germans out of France.

Mexicans like their country. They would stay there if they were not starving.

If we really wanted to keep out “illegal aliens,” all we would have to do is enforce existing laws. Find a major corporation that hires lots of them, put the CEO in prison and also the lowly flunky who hired them. For good measure, jail some rich lady in Houston who has illegally hired Mexican gardeners and maids. Send out the word: hiring illegal aliens will get you thrown in jail. Problem solved. When there are no jobs waiting for them here, they will not come.

Are we going to do this? Of course not. Far easier to build the multi-billion-dollar wall that will not work.

Charles S. Curl

Clarksville

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