Women drivers Because I am a woman who seemingly has nothing better to do than cruise Central Arkansas (most likely in search of a shopping mall) with a cell phone happily glued to my ear, I may not have a full grasp on the argument in William Carlyle’s recent letter to the editor. After all (much like the ubiquitous male businessman who chooses to move his office into an enclosed bucket seat on the freeway), I’m too busy hurtling through traffic and across two lanes without using my blinker to worry about the state of driver’s ed in Arkansas. I would venture to remind Mr. Carlyle (who clearly dashed off his letter in an impulsive red-faced fit of anger) that there are drivers in Arkansas who are every bit as fed up with the state of driver’s miseducation in this state, and that many of these irate drivers are mothers of young children and the worrying wives of commuters. If you can manage to ignore Carlyle’s inane generalizations and sexist attitude directed toward “moronic cell phone users, mostly women, who spend entire journeys exchanging mindless drivel with their equally half-witted friends and relatives,” he makes some valid points. A “quick trip around the town square” at the age of 16 does not a good driver make; it is for this reason that a renewal of an Arkansas driver’s license must be contingent on passing the requisite written test and a refresher cruise of the ol’ square. In addition, drivers in this state are reckless and idiotic for one reason: They get away with it, and they continue to get away with it. Last week I found myself driving the interstate between Russellville and North Little Rock three times during the busiest hours of the day. The only highway officer I encountered during any of my journeys to the Big City was the lone officer tending an accident likely caused by a careless motorist. Too bad there were no State Police around when the little white Dodge Neon spontaneously switched lanes and forced my family and me into the grass. Another unpopular idea: The state of Arkansas might consider budgeting in a few extra police officers to monitor the traffic and avoid the instances of officers called to the scene of an accident. Eden Porter Knoxville No Klan In your recent editorial concerning John Roberts, who has been nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States, you sought to blacken him by his association with the Federalist Society. I disagree with you concerning Judge Roberts, but that is not the point of this letter. In the process of your editorial, you unfairly tarnished the Federalist Society, terming it the “Ku Klux Klan of legal societies” and asserting that it “is committed to the principle that people have too many rights. Especially people who aren’t white, male and Christian.” The Federalist Society is an organization of lawyers and law students and is open to all, regardless of race, sex or religion. Most, no doubt, voted for President Bush last November, but there is no political test, either. In general, the members of the society tend to be conservative or libertarian. We do not wear sheets. We sponsor debate on the issues, rather than one-sided rhetoric. For example, at the one national conference of the Federalist Society that I have attended, the national president of the ACLU was one of the speakers. I am certain that you will want to correct your unfair and inaccurate description of a perfectly respectable organization. After all, we can hardly hope to build a more civil society by hurling epithets instead of engaging in reasoned debate. Philip D. Oliver Byron M. Eiseman Distinguished Professor of Tax Law UALR Defending Clerk O’Brien As a longtime enthusiastic reader of the Arkansas Times, it is very difficult for me to comprehend the position taken by your fine newspaper regarding some of the efforts made by Pulaski County Clerk Pat O’Brien to improve his office’s level of service to that community. When you first criticized O’Brien for using an essay as a tool in evaluating his employees, I, frankly, could not fathom that criticism coming from anyone in the written word business. It seemed to me at the time to be the right thing to do in combination with other measures Now, you’re back to bashing him for attempting to set some guidelines for personal hygiene. What I find particularly offensive is the editorial writer’s “next thing you know” demagogic trick, suggesting that Mr. O’Brien might “assume the duty” of inspecting employees’ undergarments and underarms daily. That is so beneath you! It may be regrettable, but it is often true that personnel policy guidelines are what is needed. What is obvious to some isn’t always obvious to everybody. I’ll never forget a wonderful speech given by Dale Bumpers at Hendrix College more than a decade ago. In it, the giant of the U.S. Senate stated some of the high standards (along the same lines) he held for those who would endeavor to work for him serving the people of Arkansas. While those standards might have seemed Draconian to some in the audience, I remember being inspired by his words. And I remember feeling doubly proud to be a Democrat. There may be some of Dale in Mr. O’Brien. We will never achieve all that we can without high standards from public servants. It is only logical that people in public service examine and take responsibility for the people that they employ, as O’Brien is attempting to do. Tom Bisulco Alco The ballpark Since Frank Broyles wants all the Hog home games in Fayetteville, instead of demolishing Ray Winder Field, I agree with the suggestion to make it into a minor league museum and use the field for Little League games. Demolish War Memorial Stadium instead, and there build the new elephant exhibit the Zoo so badly needs. Everybody’s happy — Broyles gets what he wants, baseball fans preserve one of the oldest minor-league parks in the country, the Zoo gets more badly-needed space for exhibits and parking, and Hog fans get the opportunity to make road trips to Fayetteville for every “home” game. The bonuses: 1) no more torn-up fairways on the golf course following Hog games, so Little Rock taxpayers get a beautiful mid-town course that’s cheaper to maintain, and 2) LRPD has fewer drunk drivers to contend with. I believe your readers will find this a modest, yet eminently sensible proposal. Mark W. Riley De Queen


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Arkansas Times Staff

  • Friday's headlines and your holiday open line

    What happened at the State Board of Education and what does it mean; Legislation filed for Hutchinson's government reorganization plan; Pediatric flu-related death in Arkansas reported; Suspect arrested in unsolved 2008 North Little Rock homicide.
    • Dec 21, 2018
  • New episode of Rock the Culture: "Juice In Your Own Life"

    In this week’s episode, Charles and Antwan provide perspective and conversation on the Little Rock Mayoral Election and State Board of Education’s consideration of the anticipated request to waive the Fair Teacher Dismissal Act. In addition, Charles and Antwan discuss all things happening in the Little Rock School District with Superintendent Michael Poore.
    • Dec 11, 2018
  • End of the week headlines and your open line

    Alderman candidate misses chance to cast deciding vote for himself in runoff election; Dem-Gaz to phase out print delivery in El Dorado, Camden and Magnolia; Rapert threatens UA Fort Smith over 'Drag Queen Story Time' event; The Van seeks to raise $35,000 in three weeks for new warehouse facility in South Little Rock.
    • Dec 7, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • On Walmart and state money

    No they don't need state help. Any conservative legislator who is true to their tea party principles will crow on about crony capitalism. I look forward to deafening silence.
    • Sep 21, 2017
  • On shitholes

    The Observer is at home today in our kitty cat socks, weathering a combination sick day and snow day. Way down in Stifft Station, we live at the top of a hill that slopes away in all directions. That's good in a flood, but piss poor other than for sledding during snow and ice, especially when you only have access to a two-wheel drive car.
    • Jan 18, 2018

Latest in Letters

  • End trade war

    Arkansans will be among the hardest hit by President Trump's attempts to strong-arm foreign leaders through economic manipulation.
    • Nov 15, 2018
  • Open letters to Governor Hutchinson and Education Commissioner Johnny Key

    My name is Laura Comstock. I grew up in Mountain Home, then moved to Conway and graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in 2007. Since then, I've worked in the Little Rock School District at Chicot Elementary.
    • Nov 7, 2018
  • Good stories

    I frequently disagree with the extremes of your politics. I do usually enjoy your columnists' positions if for no other reason than simply to read another opinion on an issue. Further, I am often impressed with the width and breath of some of your investigative articles.
    • Oct 18, 2018
  • More »

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Scrubbed from the system

    • I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 1 month after I turned 45. My grandma is…

    • on January 22, 2019
  • Re: Hep A still spreading

    • I am so so happy today, I have been suffering from hepatitis b for the…

    • on January 21, 2019
  • Re: Hep A still spreading

    • I am really happy that i have been cured from (HEPATITIS B VIRUS) with the…

    • on January 21, 2019

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation