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The presidential campaign

John Brummett's column criticizing Barack Obama for not burning his bridge to his “angry” pastor shows that Brummett has not caught up with a lot of us. Six months ago none of us feminists could dream of voting for anyone but Hillary. Now we're afraid of Hillary's same old stance of refusing to talk to the enemy, be it leaders in the Republican Party, Cuba, Iran, angry black pastors, even bonafide terrorists. The so-called War on Terrorists has been with us since the Stone Age. We can't afford feminism that supports a national attitude of what Senator Fulbright used to term “arrogance,” an attitude that allows Hillary to avoid answering our questions, even apparently encouraging Chelsea to declare what is “none of the people's business.” The next president needs to ask that little American girl's question right after 9/11: “Why are they so mad at us?” Barack will enlighten by reaching out to the unenlightened.

Anne Courtemanche-Ellis

Newton County

It seems all three presidential candidates have uttered at times statements that can only be described as illusionary or delusional, as the case may be. With Sen. Clinton, it is the memory of alighting from a plane in Bosnia amid sniper fire, which was quickly debunked. With Sen. Obama, it is giving short shrift to his long acquaintance with indicted realtor Rezko and his 20 years of sitting in the pews listening to the inflammatory preachments of the Rev. Wright. Sen. McCain's statement, after a trip to Baghdad and the beginning of the surge, that Baghdad was a safe city was quickly debunked by those who knew better. His recent statements wherein he got his facts crossed about who among the Iraqis Iran is training to fight was quickly corrected by an advisor who knew the facts. 'Tis all enough to make one wonder.

Goofy as it all may seem, any of the three is more competent to be president than the present misstater of all time. Republicans keep harping on President Clinton's lie under oath about a sexual misadventure when the fact remains that presidential mistatements, whether under oath or not, about matters that pertain to the safety and welfare of the nation can have, and have had, far greater impact. Four thousand lives lost, countless lives ruined, and trillions of dollars have been spent because “mistakes were made” and the public duped.

The media and the blogosphere are saturated with trivia when what the electorate needs to know is where the candidates stand on the issues of Iraq; the economy, veteran care; jobs; the cost of health care, i.e., pharmaceuticals/hospitalization/insurance; the housing and mortgage crisis, and the cost of energy and fuel which has fueled inflation of every other cost.

The USA has lost its manufacturing base and must depend on other countries for goods and credit. The idea of jump-starting the economy by issuing a refund to taxpayers will be of little portent when that money is gone and there is no more. An economy based on spending and wasting cannot thrive and we are now reaping the results thereof. The candidate who can best address these problems should be the candidate of choice.

Marilyn Fish Bryan

Taylor

Torture

We have spent more than half a century condemning the Germans for practicing human torture and for concentrating into camps populations of citizens who were deemed threats to the homeland just because of their affiliation with certain religions or cultures.

Today, American CIA officers are supervising German intelligence officers in the art of human torture. Our leading news columnists are promoting human torture.

Jonah Goldberg says five minutes of torture is time well-spent. Tony Blankley says it is unpatriotic to rat out the torturers. Bradley Gitz says it is a great evil to stay the hand of the torturers.

These men have lost the integrity that maintained their humanity.

Really, what was so bad about Hitler and the Germans? Was it the pre-emptive war and the torture camps?

American is promoting human torture. Stop it right now.

Gene Mason

Jacksonville

The gas tax

Through the severance tax, Arkansas could bring a little tax relief to families who are in desperate economic conditions. With $4 gas on the horizon; food prices escalating daily on basics like milk, bread, eggs, and flour; the housing foreclosures; and the ominous economic problems facing our country, our families need tax relief more than ever.

Instead of providing any tax relief for the citizens, Governor Beebe wants the new $100 million annual severance tax to go for roads and the general fund even though the government has $127 million more than they estimated they would this year alone. What good are roads if you don't have food on the table or gas to travel?

If there was ever a time for tax relief in the form of eliminating the tax on groceries as Beebe promised he would when the budget permitted, or for income tax or sales tax reduction, this is it.

Debbie Pelley

Jonesboro



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