Conservative Christians Tom Strickland asserts (Letters, Jan. 13) that “conservative Christians” don’t covet the earnings of others nor want the government to steal it from the citizenry. With such “Christians” opposed to taxation, I would wonder how vital services like our national defense and police, fire and vital emergency services are to be paid for absent such “thievery.” Is a “real Christian” like Strickland suggesting that the Christian churches cover those costs by passing a second plate? And I wonder how Strickland can explain our government going from one possessing ample surpluses to one with massive deficits and without a single liberal to blame for stealing and wasting all that money. Could it be that a particular “born-again” conservative Christian president is the one doing the stealing to pay for what he wishes — a worthless war? But, Strickland has it right about one thing — Jesus didn’t think highly of coveters or thieves no matter how highly they thought of themselves, and there’s no doubt that such people, complete with self-righteousness, compose the “Christian” right wing. Richard Olszewski North Little Rock Critic’s critic Your pet film critic was up to his mischief again recently, using his movie column as a platform to make snide comments about Benton. True that small town is neither progressive nor sophisticated but it is no less so than Little Rock. Unlike the latter, Benton doesn’t claim to be other than its simple self. Everything is relative, of course, and when one thinks of London, where every single one of its thousand thoroughfares would overwhelm this city with its cultural magnificence, Little Rock shrinks to insignificance. For Little Rock even to attempt to compete with the world’s great cities is not only an exercise in utter futility but acutely embarrassing for those of us who, through first-hand experience, are able to perceive the distinctions and visualize the comparisons. It would be better for pretentious little Little Rock to be content with its modest stature and make the most of what it does have to offer. That, thus far, this crumbling city has signally failed to do. William G. Carlyle North Little Rock Liberal demons Confessed drug abuser and radio comedian cum conservative propagandist Rush Limbaugh somehow managed to effectively morph liberals into demons by reasoning that since they care more about people than corporations they’re socialists. He had some help from others, including Fox News talking head Ann Coulter. With her wide eyes, she always looks like she’s seeing either communists or dead people under her bed. Folks, Chuck Berry duck-walked all over the world, so by Rush Limbaugh’s logic he’s a duck. And America’s right-wing religionists are in bed with right-wing Islamic terrorists, since they both want a church-run state, along with strict control of all matters sexual. Rush is using the same old dirty tricks that others before him have: Give would-be haters someone to hate and repeat party-line lies until followers stand up, salute and holler something stupid like “Sieg Ditto!” Unless the close-minded are allowed to continue to hinder our progress, many boats may be lifted by the increased commerce generated by the new Clinton library. Arkansas would be much more beautiful without hate radio, one-sided newspapers, pseudo-religionists of all colors, venerable old segregationists and anyone in our educational institutions, including coaches, who would use the “N” word … in any circumstance. Kenneth Banks Little Rock No parking Having some time to spare Dec. 20, my wife and I visited the River Market and the Clinton library. We parked on Clinton Avenue. When returning to our car, we discovered we were ticketed along with four vehicles in front and behind us. Knowing that we could not have violated the two-hour time limit, we drove to the public works department to appeal. To my surprise, I was told the violation was not a time but a no-parking zone violation. We saw no signs. The gentleman said, “Oh, you were parked near the eagle. We write a lot of tickets in that particular area.” I was not able to go back and check the method of no-parking notification. The only obvious sign I recollect seeing was the two-hour limit sign. By the number of other cars ticketed, I would assume my point of view is correct. We all could not be that unobservant. If one check is made per day, at $30 per ticket, times five cars, that’s $150 per day, $4,500 per month and $54,000 per year. That should pay for the eagle in no time at all. Thank you Little Rock. Glen P. Bindrich Fifty-six Suicide coverage What purpose was served by publishing the details [on the Arkansas Times’ website] of the suicide of Dr. Jonathan Drummond-Webb? Was it to increase the sense of loss and grief for his family? Or, perhaps it was to diminish the value of Dr. Drummond-Webb’s accomplishments as a word-renowned pediatric cardiac surgeon. Or could it have been to expose the vulnerabilities of a very depressed and unhappy man? How can anyone consider this responsible journalism? Revealing the details of his suicide only served to further hurt the very people, institutions and community that Dr. Jonathan Drummond-Webb had so positively touched. Barbara E. Garot Little Rock Another transplant This morning a friend in Little Rock forwarded me Steve Ebinger’s Dec. 16 letter to your publication. It was a poignant reminder of a recent experience I had with my dear home state and to some extent offers validity to Mr. Ebinger’s premise. I am 46 years old and originally from Paragould. I grew up in West Memphis and moved to the Little Rock area with my family at the age of 16. I graduated from Sylvan Hills High School in Sherwood in 1976 and briefly attended college at UALR right after high school I left Arkansas and moved to Wichita in about 1985. I returned to college at Wichita State University, where I earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and two master’s degrees (counseling and Spanish) and began a career in substance abuse counseling. After a 15-year absence, it made sense to me to move home. My parents were now retired and living in North Little Rock and I cannot describe to you how happy it made my ailing mother to have me just a few miles away. Eventually, I ended up working for the state of Arkansas and was quickly promoted to an administrative position. However, my salary was so unbelievably low that I was unable to make my monthly student loan payments. I was also deeply bothered by the oppressive prevailing culture. I guess after being away for so long that I had forgotten how racist, homophobic and backwards Arkansas could be. Destiny took over and an opportunity came from out of the blue to move to the East Coast. I was offered virtually the same position that I was performing for the state of Arkansas for literally three times the salary. I have ended up in New York City now and have never felt more comfortable anywhere in my life. In Arkansas, because of who I am, I had to live my life in the closet. In New York city, I have to be a closeted Razorback fan. I can assure you that the former is much more stressful than the latter. Arkansas is and always will be home to me, but I know in my heart of hearts that I can never live there again. I quite literally felt rejected by my home state. So, if I may be so presumptuous as to consider myself to be one of the exiled “best and most creative” that Mr. Ebinger suggests, so goes the plight of Arkansas. I can only hope that the comfort you feel in maintaining your way of life will in some way compensate for the devastating economic consequence of losing your best and your brightest. Thank God for New York City. Ken Robinson Astoria, Queens, N.Y. The doctor is in Is anyone else in this great state curious how Gov. Mike Huckabee received an honorary doctorate of law from Ouachita Baptist University, which does not have a law school? Chad Dixon Little Rock Simple fixes If the government took what they have borrowed from Social Security and put it back in the system and put in the $2 trillion they want to use to change the system, they wouldn’t have to change anything. If I’m wrong, please let me know. Bobby Strobel Jacksonville


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