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Pryor’s comments I have just read the Dem-Gaz’s opinion on Mark Pryor’s remarks about right-leaning politics and religion. What a joke! If our founding fathers wanted anything, it was to keep religion and politics separate. It’s hard to tell who writes their editorial garbage, but it is quite evident they are right-wing zealots. Senator Pryor is a Christian. He is a Democrat. And just as I am proud to be both, I won’t stand still for nuts making him out to be an uncaring person. If anyone should be put down for play-acting as a Christian, it should be the leaders of the Republican Party. They have used every lie and half-truth to their advantage for the past 10 years. Ann Lewis Little Rock In the garden Going on a garden tour is like asking a room full of rich grandparents to show pictures of their kids. Look out! Here come the albums of professional photos and various mementos. That’s the feeling I came away with after taking the 2005 Spring Garden Tour held at six homes in the Maumelle and Little Rock area. If I only learned one thing from the tour it was this: it’s amazing what a couple hundred thousand dollars can do to one’s backyard. Hire out some noted local landscapers, move several tons of rocks onto the family plot, dump in equal amounts of fertilizer, mulch, and plants, top it off with statues, gargoyles, concrete critters, and anything that’s rusty or in classical ruins and you have it: a garden ready for the public. Lots of people were on hand to give advice. The experts talk about mulch and a good watering system. My wife solved that problem years ago. When putting in fertilizer one year she thought the instructions on the bag said mix it 10 to 1 when it actually said 1 to 10. We’ve got plants that migrate from other yards trying to get to this gold mine. As to water, she says: “God’s in charge of that.” At the end of the day, we came home to our little garden and looked at it with renewed appreciation. We had many of the same plants we saw in those fancy backyards and our own unique collection of garden decorations were just as thought-provoking. Now, if only our Master Gardener would water more regularly. Jake Tidmore Little Rock Conserve As gas prices continue to climb, more people are beginning to realize that America needs a smart energy policy that will lower prices by cutting our dependence on oil. Sadly, that message doesn’t seem to have reached Congress. Instead of putting real solutions to work, Congress is once again trying to pass its deeply flawed energy bill. Even the Bush administration’s own Department of Energy has said that this energy bill would do nothing to lower prices or cut energy imports. While this flawed and polluting bill fails to solve the real energy issues facing the country, it does succeed in deepening our dependence on the fuels of the past by funneling billions of dollars to already profitable oil companies and other energy industries. There is a better way. It’s time for the United States to cut our dependence on imported energy and protect the environment by investing in innovative energy sources like wind and solar power. We can cut energy prices by investing in energy efficiency. Finally, we can cut America’s dependence on foreign oil by requiring automakers to make vehicles that go farther on a gallon of gas. It’s time that we had the courage to explore new solutions and new ways of thinking. Glen Hooks Regional Conservation Organizer Sierra Club of Arkansas Democratic principles After watching national politics for the last year or so, I’ve seen the Democratic Party get pummeled from every direction by Republican politicians. Sitting on the sidelines and watching your team get beat is frustrating. I’m tired of hearing the Republican attack machine label my party as weak on defense, that we favor government spending, that we are anti-religion, and the list goes on. And we can’t leave out the “liberal” label so frequently thrown around by many Republicans. Let me share with you the principles of my Democratic Party. We are a party of fiscal responsibility, social inclusion and equal opportunity. This party has always fought for middle-class families and that fight has never been more important. Our deficit has never been larger. Middle- and lower-class Americans are being financially squeezed like never before while big business is reaping the benefits of this administration’s policies. In the political arena, we are seeing more and more use of the “religion card” as a basis of attacks on others. Wasn’t freedom of religion one of the founding principles of this country? Now we have a narrow-minded group of religious conservatives trying to dictate their doctrine to the rest of us. We have so many more important problems to face. What about health care, a balanced budget and national security. Let’s turn things around. I invite others to set aside the propaganda and take another look at today’s Democratic Party. Derek Welker Maumelle
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