UA shows colors 

Once again Arkansas-Fayetteville has shown its true colors and what they are all about.

They had a good, decent man in John Pelphrey. One imagines he was called on to do much more than just teach and coach basketball. Of course, as in any learning process, you have to have people willing to learn and be capable of learning.

One would think that Arkansas-Fayetteville learned their lesson from the fiasco and black eye they got with the episode of Coach Malzahn. The arrogance and high-handed, covert manner in which they treated that good man left a stench they will never erase. Now the same kind of treatment for another good and honorable man. Coach Pelphrey made one mistake; he was too good of a man for the place he was in.

Things have worked out just fine for Coach Malzahn and hopefully the same will be true for Coach Pelphrey. Arkansas-Fayetteville will get what they deserve and they can go back to the tail wagging the dog instead of the dog wagging the tail. You can't walk thru the chicken yard without getting some chicken-s*** on your foot. Hopefully Coach Pelphrey can get his shoes cleaned off quickly.

Allan Dishongh

Little Rock

Asterisked words

I found Doug Smith's Words column March 16 to be very insulting to any reader. I've encouraged my great nieces and nephews to read all local newspapers and learn about the community and networking. There was NO need to use the verbiage that was printed. If you don't have anything else to write about, go away! There is enough negative going around out there and you publish words that had to have asterisks about them. Get real please!

Just saying, that is not the reading for pleasure that I enjoy. I do not know Doug Smith, but if that's all he puts out there, I don't wish to.

Karen Clay

From the Internet

Right-wing excess

As a liberal Democrat, I have few people (real human beings as opposed to social media) with whom to express my disgust at the right-wing excess of the day. With spokespersons of the class of Mike Huckabee, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin there is a lot of toxic waste in the atmosphere. I have never had any respect for the party of Ronald Reagan but — in the past— Republicans were sometimes literate and seemed to be in touch with the same reality as the rest of us. Now they have morphed into the Party of Paranoid Delusion and Baroque Fantasy. Obama was born on Alpha Centauri, plus he is a Socialist, or a Fascist, or whatever I feel like saying he is. Mainly he is black and smart, which is enough to earn Obama the hatred of a racist hick like Huckabee. I went to college with people like Huckabee. He is nothing but a lying fool. Why CNN spends so much powder and shot on him is beyond me. Palin and Beck are easy; they are entrepreneurs of hateful rightwing scandal. Stupid, uneducated and vitriolic. We would be better off without them.

The country seems to be stuck in an economic rut similar to that of the 1890s, which Mark Twain referred to as "The Gilded Age." Wealth continues to accumulate at the top (thanks to Republican efforts to relieve the super rich of any tax burden at all). The people who have done well, economically, since Reagan are the top tenth of the top one percent, which amounts to 300,000 Americans. So much for democracy or simple justice. I can't think of another example of a post-industrial nation where the working class (folks who work for a living) consistently vote AGAINST their own economic interest. But they do in this country. Which proves to me that Americans are polarized but not politicized: that is, as usual we feel deeply and think as little as possible. The average American would rather listen to a fraud like Rush Limbaugh than read "the Economist." Even if they knew that "the Economist" existed. I suspect Palin has never heard of it. 

So, I spend my summers in Rome and Naples. When politics becomes nothing but stand-up comedy, you can't do better than Italy. Meanwhile, there are all those fascinating ruins, and great food.

James A. Means

Natchitoches, La.

 Tax gas for schools

A recent article said that 95 percent of the gas severance tax goes to highways, roads and streets. Is the use of these funds somehow sacrosanct?

While the need to invest in Arkansas's transportation-related infrastructure is arguably important, there is another crucial aspect of our infrastructure needing equal attention. It includes the desperate need to raise educational levels.

Few Arkansans would argue that our educational levels are dismally low. Economists have found that downturns in the economy are less severe where educational levels are higher.

Arkansas could launch a robust effort to tackle the educational deficit by earmarking half of the natural gas severance tax. By marshalling advocates in the educational sector, it would be realistic to push for a 7 percent tax, with few, if any exceptions.

It's time to realize that Arkansas people are a large part of its infrastructure and must be given utmost consideration for participation in higher educational levels.

John V. Diaz


Use chicken litter

I would like to see the poultry producers in this state properly compost some of their chicken manure and market it to users, large and small.

There is a huge and growing need for organic fertility by urban and market gardeners. Selling them compost would bring profits to the industry.

To make the animals' waste decomposable may require modifying the growing system so that fewer additives are needed and all are biodegradable. Even if the cost is somewhat greater, the meat might taste better, really be better and easily command a much higher price.

Arkansas calls itself the Natural State, but it is not. It is actually a place poisoned and polluted by agribusiness and the energy industry. Just reducing the pollution from one major source and supplying organic horticulture with good fertilizer would dramatically improve our state's image.

Polly D. Davis



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