More Local Participation

To the Editor:

After reading Jackson Baker's article about Mayor Herenton's role in the MLGW bond deal (Politics, July 8th issue), I thought, What's the big deal? And in John Branston's City Beat column in the same issue, he wrote about "a Little Rock firm that made a $25,000 contribution." That implies that the entire amount came from the law firm. It did not. The law firm hosted the fund-raiser, and that amount was raised.

I've worked in the securities industry for 10 years, and my small firm doesn't have the capability to handle transactions such as the MGLW bond deal, but I have no problem with Mayor Herenton suggesting that more local and minority firms participate. Elected officials and local governments should look at local firms, large and small, to provide the products and services they procure. That would provide opportunities for small businesses like mine to one day participate in large deals such as the one involving MLGW.

Martavius D. Jones


History Lesson

To the Editor:

In response to the slipshod history lesson contained in Gary Shelly's letter (July 15 issue), the historical "precedents" offered fail as examples of preemptive war and show an ignorance of historical fact.

In December 1941, Germany declared war on the United States and, in January 1942, launched U-boat attacks against American ships in the Atlantic. The U.S. did not actually engage German forces until later that year.

U.S. troops entered Korea after a second UN resolution, passed in June 1950, called for all member nations to give military aid to South Korea.

The first shipment of U.S. military aid and advisors to the South Vietnamese government occurred under Eisenhower in 1955. President Kennedy increased the number of U.S. advisors in South Vietnam, but documents from 1963 suggest he was planning to withdraw most U.S. personnel from Vietnam by December 1965.

The U.S. bombed Bosnian Serb forces in 1994 and 1995, under the umbrella of NATO, in response to violations of the no-fly zone and attacks on NATO and UN peacekeepers.

Americans display a shabby disregard for facts. The public swallows what it hears or reads without thinking, without checking the underlying accuracy or truth. How can we have an informed citizenry capable of governing itself unless we understand what is being said and that it is factually correct?

Randy Duncan


Ralph's Strange


To the Editor:

Joe Conason's finger-pointing piece about Ralph Nader ("Nader Returns, With GOP Help," July 15th issue) was predictable, coming from a shill for the Democrats. He starts with the familiar whine about Al Gore's victimization by Nader in the 2000 election. Democrat flacks have apparently learned from the neocons that the more you repeat a lie (e.g., the Saddam/Osama connection) the more believable it becomes. Never mind that 8 million Democrats, 250,000 in Florida alone, fled the Gore candidacy (10 times Nader's total vote count), that he lost his own state, or that Republican dirty tricks disenfranchised thousands of arguably Democrat voters in Florida. In the parallel universe Democrat whiners like Conason live in, it's always easier to point fingers than to take responsibility.

As for attacking Nader for accepting support from Republicans, who are the Democrats to criticize that? If Kerry had gotten his way, a Republican would have been his running mate, not to mention his opportunistic pandering to Republicans by moving to the right on so many issues, and his acceptance of large contributions from traditionally Republican special interests. As for Michael Moore, a bitter critic of the Democrats in 2000, he was co-opted when his Hollywood patrons showed him the money. Hey, Joe, politics makes strange bedfellows, all accross the political spectrum, so get over it.

Marty Aussenberg


A Gay Flip-flop?

To the Editor:

President Bush keeps saying that "people," not the courts, need to decide the issue of gay marriage. Funny, he had no problem with the courts, not the people, deciding the last presidential election.

William Stosine

Iowa City, Iowa

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