Downtown dealing 

Re: Max Brantley’s column on the proposed sale of the Metrocentre Improvement District parking deck to a condo developer: Bingo! It’s a matter of principle (making informed decisions) and sound public policy (gifting public assets away). With money short and needs great, it would seem prudent for municipalities to actually receive that return on investment to which they are entitled. Also, bailing out improvement districts could set a horrible precedent, even though as a payer on those Metrocentre bonds for 20-plus years I would welcome their discharge, a selfish personal benefit that is more than trumped by the greater public interest.
Larry Lichty
Little Rock

Air Huckabee
Thank you for Jennifer Reed’s article on the governor’s plane. [June 15 article on a plane loan provided by a state Medicaid contractor.] Nobody but the Arkansas Times provides this kind of investigative reporting. I guess that is why you are not on Huckabee’s prized media list. I am a Republican, but am tired of Huckabee not addressing things like this. Keep up the good work.
T.H. Brown

GOP game plan
With the Supreme Court agreeing to address the question of abortion in September, I can guess what the GOP game plan will be in the coming elections. With their ratings plummeting, the Republicans will seize on deceptive “moral” issues to deflect the failings of one-party rule by this lapdog Republican-led Congress. It has not enacted one piece of legislation that benefits the average working-class American, while being totally subservient to corporate America. To our dismay, we have watched this Congress systematically dismantle 50 years of legislation enacted by Democrats that provided a safety net for working people.

Issues that affect the majority of people, such as failures in health care, increase in Medicare costs, the continued failings of our public schools, public policies that leave Americans uncertain about their financial future such as the loss of pensions, the loss of jobs to outsourcing and plant closings and the failure to alleviate the suffering of Hurricane Katrina victims will be completely ignored. Any attempt to engage Republicans in a conversation about sound policies that benefit all Americans will be dismissed as “liberals preaching hate.”

We can expect to hear non-stop ranting about the evils of homosexuality, adultery and abortion. Democratic candidates who happen to be veterans will have their military records dissected and demonized and their patriotism will be questioned by non-veteran Republicans.

We know what to expect. The question is, will Americans once again be hoodwinked? Or will we stand up and demand our politicians address real issues? If we fall for these tricks again, we will get what we deserve.
Sherman Walker
Little Rock

When I was a teen-ager in the 1960s, dabbling in politics, my mom and dad left the Democratic Party. They’d had enough of street protests and flag burnings, and made for the shores of the party of Eisenhower and Nixon. They’d seen Democrats try to solve all problems by throwing away money, but government, they reasoned, should conserve. They were conservatives. They didn’t like the idea of government being in debt, and were aghast at this new thing called a “trade deficit.” The 1994 “Republican Revolution” would’ve especially thrilled them. Small government and welfare limits would’ve been right up their alley.

But they were true conservatives. Yes, keep government out of your pocketbook, but also out of unnecessary wars, your bedroom, and your telephone records. If they were alive today, they’d be appalled at the number of Republican Congress members under investigation for corruption. They’d have just called it stealing. They would have found the Republicans’ trillion-dollar boondoggle in Iraq just as offensive as the useless Democrat-led government agencies of their own day. And the idea that a Republican president would move America from a surplus to this yawning, endless deficit would’ve made them furious. After all, isn’t that what “tax and spend” Democrats did? But Democratic spending was drop in the bucket compared to current Republican pilfering.

Me, I’m a liberal, a bit homeless in the current climate, but if my parents were alive, they’d feel just as adrift in today’s “Party of Abe Lincoln.”
Lawrence Mings
From the Internet

Taxpayers are concerned about the monetary costs of the invasion of Iraq, but the hidden costs to the lives and minds of those who are actually fighting should be the greater concern.

While the War Between the States wrought the greatest havoc in this country in terms of lives and monetary worth, there were no miracles of modern medicine to effect the survival of those so badly maimed by warfare. It was truly a “survival of the fittest.”

Touting the line that “We are fighting there so we will not be fighting here” begins to ring hollow when fighting there means we have created more enemies and terrorists than there were in the beginning.

Fighting “terrorism” is not conventional warfare wherein there can be an armistice, a treaty, and a laying down of arms. Fighting an enemy that cannot be defined, seen or heard has taken its toll on our brave young warriors. Many who return will be unable to forget the terror and trauma they have witnessed.

The number of those maimed in body and in spirit has grown exponentially with the ability of doctors and medicine to save lives that previously would have been lost. Now we are faced with an even dourer predicament. In order to fund an “unwinnable” war, we must cut spending for many of the services that benefit veterans and their families. Although the amount allotted for VA hospitals and benefits may have not been actually cut, the amount has not increased to take care of the increased number of veterans and their families who will be needing those services, some for the rest of their lives.

The result of present policy is a sea of red ink as far as the eye can see, while the administration puts forth the idea that tax breaks for those who do not need them are creating a “good” economy. That is as false as the economic policies followed by Enron, et al.

A false prosperity is not prosperity and saying something doesn’t make it so.
Marilyn Fish Bryan


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