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Democracy, not oligarchy 

Fund-raising suggestion

I received a cold call the other day from the state Republican fund-raising call pit. I guess since I had voted for a Republican or two in my voting history, I was still on the list of folks to call.

The gentleman on the other end wanted to know if I could contribute to the cause of putting the Republicans "over the top" next election for state offices.

I told him that with things being proposed by the Republicans, a contribution was not possible at this time.

But I did suggest to him that he put some of the party philosophy to work: Find about $50 worth of cuts they could make down at the state party headquarters and then call it a contribution from me.

I then suggested that he do all of his fund-raising this way and then see if they could succeed with out raising any revenue.

He hung up.

Steve Heye

Little Rock

Democracy, not oligarchy

I would like to know how the Republicans and their cohorts can talk about how removing the tax breaks for oil companies, big corporations and the wealthy would be the same as increasing taxes on these entities and at the same time remove funding for Medicare, the disabled, children, veterans and Social Security. The removal of funding for these programs is exactly the same as hitting those least able to afford them with tax increases.

If Republicans think for one second that those receiving Social Security and Medicare are sucking at the public trough, someone needs to educate them to the fact that money was taken from our paychecks every two weeks or monthly for those programs. Every month money is still taken from our Social Security check for Medicare Part B. We still pay real-estate tax, gasoline tax, utility taxes, phone taxes, cigarette taxes, sales taxes, grocery taxes, etc.

I worked 40 years and paid in my money — money I could have used to raise my children, which I did all by myself without help from any government agency. That is my money and the Republicans and their wealthy "friends" had best turn to themselves and their living off the fat of this land for tax increases!

Any group of people that can pay $100,000 dollars to play Polo with Prince William and $200,000 to eat lunch with him is not hurting for money and can easily use this "throwaway" cash to put into tax payments. They certainly can afford it more than the groups the Republicans are trying to punish for not being wealthy like themselves and their friends. The Republicans, the wealthy, the oil companies and huge corporations are no better than bullies picking on the weaker kids to steal their nickels and dimes on the playground.

Perhaps they have read too much Ayn Rand to ever be able to serve the people of this country! If there is any possible way they think they have the backing of the majority of the American people, they are seriously delusional and are obviously determined to lead this country down the same path as Greece, Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Libya. The French, Russian, and Chinese revolutions are all clear examples of what happens when the oppressed poor finally have had enough! Rome with all its power could not withstand the merchant and lower class anger at being taxed heavily to support the decadent lifestyle of the elite class and fell into ruin. This is a democracy, not an oligarchy, and it is time someone let the Republicans know it.

Mary Williams

North Little Rock

Kudos for 'Severe'

Congratulations to the Arkansas Times for publishing Gerard Matthews' excellent article "Severe is the New Normal." I am an old lady who has spent the last four years taking classes, attending lectures and reading countless books and peer-reviewed articles by respected scientists on global climate disruption. I have no dog in the hunt since I have no children or grandchildren who will be affected by this very real issue. But I feel very real concern for the progeny of those who believe the hype spewed out by politicians and energy companies.  Not caring for the future planet the next generation will inherit is inconsistent with those who claim to value life.  We remain uneducated at our peril.

Linda Farrell

Bella Vista

Capitol zoning

Protect our capitol from developers! Act before Thursday, July 28, and write the Capitol Zoning District Commission to oppose the rezoning pending before the Commission.

This proposed rezoning will fail the basic standard of our regulatory protections: to maintain our views of our Capitol dome. These thoughtful, carefully calculated regulations have been in place for a generation, and now are threatened by the proposal of a five-story building on Sixth and Woodlane, across from the Capitol, where only a three-story height is allowed.

True, it's a pretty building design; it is in the wrong place, however.

Commission members voted a variance to allow the project last December. When Dan Cook, who helped establish these regulations, filed suit, the judge upheld his objections.

Now comes a rezoning proposal, again by unanimous vote of the Commission. None put reasons on record for their votes to take this action. We understand; a livelihood up against a governor's influence, and an aggressive push from a developer, is no contest. Now, it is up to all of us, the citizens, taxpayers and voters of Arkansas.

The Commission will conduct a public hearing July 28 at 5:30 p.m. at 410 S. Battery St. Please attend, or put your statement on record by then, and join the opposition to this rezoning. E-mail Boyd.Maher@arkansas.gov, or fax your statement to the agency at 324-9631.

The developer's only stated reason to seek a waiver from the standards is that five stories are required for him to profit from the building. That's no reason to destroy views of our century-old Capitol.

Governors come and go. Commission members come and go. Developers and their buildings should not out-rank the seat of government, the symbol of our state.

Kathy Wells

Little Rock

Submit letters to The Editor, Arkansas Times, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203

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