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Words and pictures 

Seeing your Dec. 21 cover of our (thankfully) soon to be ex-governor with his image in oils, I couldn’t help but be reminded of “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Regardless of his weight loss, if his grasping behavior, ethical lapses and thin-skinned snarkiness were so rendered, Gov. Mike Huckabee’s image would doubtless resemble Jabba the Hutt from “Star Wars.”

Mark W. Riley

De Queen

I just finished your Dec. 21 edition and even though I am a greedy Reagan conservative, I enjoyed your publication. I especially enjoyed the editorial “New Journalism” and feel like I know Bob Lancaster though we’ve never met.

May 2007 be a positive year for all Arkies, Democrat and Republican and Green Party.

And may we all stay focused on the greater picture.

Mike Graves

Nashville

Justice for doctors

Robert B. Leflar, a University of Arkansas law professor, compared how courts in the United States and Japan deal with medical errors and discovered that injury or death in Japan due to medical error is often treated as a criminal matter rather than a civil matter.

Addressing negligent homicide in this country is inconsistent. When John Q. Public is the perpetrator, he can expect to appear in criminal court. Almost without exception, when medical malpractice includes negligent homicide, the victim’s family, when looking for a measure of justice, must seek it in a civil court. The same is true when negligent homicide is committed in a nursing home.

Why the discrepancy?

Follow the money. Far too often in this country, money buys influence and influence provides protection. The American Medical Association and the nursing home industry have the financial means to influence those lawmakers who are inclined to be influenced. Medical malpractice victims do not.

Irony is in play here. We look to medical professionals and caregivers for help when it is most needed. It is the way of the world that we must all die, but it is disquieting at best when death is assisted by those to whom we entrust our lives. It is outrageous that the person responsible for such a death may or may not be called before a civil court and will virtually never be called before a criminal court.

It is time for the call of money to be replaced by the call for justice.

Jane Marshall

Dover, Tenn.

Looking for leaders

For the past five years our country has suffered a bankruptcy of leadership in both the executive and legislative branches of our government. The damage that has been done at home and abroad is startling.

From the beginning of the Bush administration we have had fumbling, bumbling, manipulation and lies. It is astounding that it has taken five years for the American people to awaken to this disaster. The November elections have shown that some of us are ready for accountability.

As the new Congress begins I ask: Will the U. S. Congress hold the president and his administration accountable? Will the U. S. Congress hold themselves accountable considering that they overwhelmingly voted for the resolution to give the President power to use force? At least we in the Second District of Arkansas can say “Thank God for Vic Snyder.”

Brenda Ball Tirrell

Hot Springs Village

Respect abroad

Ernest Dumas’ concern that Europeans no longer want to follow America’s lead in military and diplomatic matters is nothing new. The rift has widened since the Iraq war but Europeans have been distancing themselves from America for decades.

Perhaps the anti-American Europeans are experiencing feelings similar to the Stockholm Syndrome. Sympathizing with an enemy is a common occurrence when someone is taken hostage. Any American policy that means they might have to fight a war removes them from their comfort zone. They’re more comfortable with an acceptable losses policy rather than engaging the nations sponsoring terrorism.

Europeans claim to abhor terrorism but refuse to acknowledge that Iran and Syria and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq are the primary sources of terrorism in the world. They have been deceived by the covert nature of state terrorism and they’d rather blame America than accept the truth about these nations.

Another trend in Europe is that creeping secularism has lessened support for the Israelis. Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe and much of the anti-Bush sentiment reflects support for the Arab cause.

Dumas’s main complaint is that America doesn’t have a foreign policy that Europe agrees with. But whose interest should American foreign policy serve? Shouldn’t Bush be more responsive to Americans than Europeans?

Thomas Pope

Little Rock

Change comes

Well the people have spoken. “We want a change,” they demanded. Well a change we certainly shall have now that the Democrats control Congress; Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will see to that. But, alas, I don’t think many people will be happy with the “change” the Dems have in store for us.

In Iraq: The Democrats will cut off funding for the war, the same way they did during Viet Nam. This will force the withdrawal of all U.S. forces. Millions of Iraqis will die in the bloodbath that will follow our departure, as different factions struggle for power. In the end Iran will control the whole region along with the Iraqi oil and also control the oil market. Iraq will be a wasteland and a haven for terrorists. We can then expect wholesale terrorist attacks within the United States.

The economy: The Dems will roll back the Bush tax cuts which will plunge the nation into a recession and increase the tax burden on the average taxpayer by $2,000 to $3,000 per year. They will also raise the minimum wage to $7 an hour which will result in the loss of several million low-paying jobs.

How will the Democrats explain the catastrophe they will force on the American people? You guessed it — “It was Bush’s fault.”

Fred Lemon

Cabot

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