Bob Lancaster complained, of a book he was reviewing (March 1), that it has “been composed in the most exquisitely impenetrable sociological prose of my reading experience. ...” In another review, on the same page, he used the word “hebdomadal,” sending me scurrying to a dictionary. Perhaps Bob should exercise caution when he dips into literature that has, in his words, “ventured up to the very edge of opaque.” That malady seems to be catching.

Richard Frothingham
Little Rock

Thanks, Bobby

Congratulations to Bobby Roberts, director of the Central Arkansas Library System, and to the Friends of CALS for having conducted another successful book sale, which raised over $16,000.

You provide a community service in that you make it easier (if not completely painless) to part with out-grown or out-of-date volumes. Donations are tax-deductible, and books may be dropped off at any convenient library location.

Knowing that we are recycling our tomes and at the same time assisting our wonderful library system motivates my husband and me to weed through our library periodically.

Suzanne Hamilton

Little Rock

Favors drug bill

While not particularly fond of Sen. Denny Altes’ methods, I am in favor of passage of SB 20, the prescription drug monitoring program. Recent editorials in the Arkansas Times give the impression that a DMP would be a violation of patients’ privacy and make doctors less likely to prescribe needed medication. One editorial specifically states that “Only Big Government would gain from SB 20…to harass taxpayers.”

It is already illegal in Arkansas to obtain controlled substances by fraud, but it’s difficult to identify persons who doctor-shop — going from doctor to doctor and pharmacy to pharmacy — to obtain prescriptions in quantities that no single doctor would ever approve. We prosecute persons who use meth, coke or other street drugs. It can be even more devastating to the families of persons who are hooked on prescription drugs because not only do they have to pay for the drugs, but also incur massive doctor bills — and eventually costs in both time and gas as the person has to travel farther and farther to find new doctors to get their fix.

Let’s also think about the costs to the insurance companies for doctor-shoppers who have insurance. Surely these costs get spread to everyone in the skyrocketing insurance rates we are all paying. Only big government would gain — indeed!

It might be worthwhile to point out that 33 states currently have drug monitoring programs (including such liberal bastions as New York and California), and 15 are, as is Arkansas, planning on implementing one.

The Arkansas Times editorial staff should think about visiting the Department of Justice’s Office of Diversion Control website and see how the programs are run in other states, so they can realize that innocent taxpayers would not be harassed.

Mike Vining


The buck stops where

Secretary of the Army Francis J. Harvey resigned after firing Walter Reed Medical Center commander George W. Weightman (appointed 6 months ago). Placed in command of Walter Reed was present Surgeon General Kevin C. Kilby, who commanded Walter Reed from June 2002 to August 2004. Kilby immediately began painting walls and exterminating multi-legged pests, when what is needed is not a “whitewash” and a declaration that the problem simply doesn’t exist.



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