Arkansas angler and fishing expert Billy Murray shares his extensive knowledge of the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas
Immigration, income inequality
Noticeably absent from your commentaries on immigration is any mention of the effect of flooding our labor market with over 30,000,000 new unskilled laborers on the Democrat's latest topic du jour: income inequality. We should all beware of any issue on which the Democratic Party, SEIU, La Raza and the Chamber of Commerce are in agreement. The Democratic Party wants a new supply of voters who will be dependent on government largesse. The unions are forfeiting any pretense that they represent the working class. They are interested only in political power and a new supply of dues-paying members. The Chamber of Commerce and Big Business want cheap labor. Meanwhile, we have record-high, structural unemployment, with no end in sight. Adding this many unskilled workers will keep unemployment of American workers unacceptably high and further depress the wages and earnings of those Americans who have jobs. The demagogues notwithstanding, this is not a false choice between amnesty and mass deportation, which no one — left or right — advocates. Our immigration system is not broken. We allow more legal immigrants than any other country on earth, and are far more lenient than the Mexico these immigrants are so anxious to flee. We need only insist on respect for our laws and our national border. The Republican Party has a wonderful opportunity to be the party of legal immigration and the working man, but is completely missing the boat.
Cigarette butt litter
Today, I can't recall a public area that isn't littered with cigarette butts. Ironically, littered cigarette butts are seemingly more prevalent in non-smoking areas. I am a student at Pulaski Technical College, South. There, you will be fined $100 if caught smoking on campus. Although students and staff are not provided with designated smoking areas, and threatened not to smoke, there are littered cigarette butts all around the campus. I've witnessed fellow students walking far away from the school to stand along the service road on I-30 and smoke, and smokers simply breaking the rules. There is currently caution tape surrounding an area of trees — a smokers paradise — along the back entrance of the school to prevent smokers from loitering and littering. At my previous community college, there were two designated smoking areas with cigarette disposals conveniently located within them. There, I witnessed a substantial decrease of litter around the entire campus.
Smokers already take the time to distance themselves in public areas while smoking, and would have no problem being obligated to smoke only in designated areas.
Low-maintenance outdoor ashtrays reduce fire risk and keep facilities clean. Outdoor ashtrays retail for just $25, come in a variety of styles and sizes, and can hold up to 14,000 cigarette butts. They feature an interlocking, flame retardant and polyethylene housing to keep out rain and airflow to extinguish butts and fight odors.
To improve aesthetic appearance, prevent fire hazards and to keep facilities clean, I think that every public area should have at least one designated smoking area and conveniently accessible disposals for cigarette butts.
From the web
In response to an Arkansas Blog reference to an editorial by Ernest Dumas suggesting the state bypass a special election to replace Lt. Gov. Mark Darr:
As much as I'd love for the State of Arkansas to save $1M, I think it IS a dangerous precedent to simply ignore the vacancy. And I don't see how the legislature can act to preclude a constitutional requirement. It was said earlier on the blog that it is important for the heir to the governor's chair to be elected by the people of the entire state, not just one state Senate District. I agree. It may seem like an unnecessary job, but it's not. It simply is not like teats on a boar hog. There's simply no way to be completely certain that Gov. Beebe won't be incapacitated in some way. Life is simply too tenuous. Heaven forbid that a health issue should strike him, but it could happen and we should always be prepared for it. If something happened today, we'd have boy-child Darr in the governor's chair — at least until Feb. 1. If something happened after that, we'd have Gov. Lamoureux. Lamoureux may or may not be qualified to be governor. But regardless, the people of the entire state have not elected him to that office, even temporarily. Things happen outside legislative sessions that require us having a qualified governor who has been elected by all the people. We shouldn't take the risk of not having a properly vetted backup. If you don't like spending money on a statewide special election, blame the Republican Party for nominating and the people of Arkansas for electing an unqualified candidate. Maybe we'll learn better this way. To have people in the legislature and the administration looking for ways around the constitutional requirements of filling this post gives me a chill. And the fact that pundits and others are encouraging it, is both remarkable and regrettable.
In response to an item on the Arkansas Blog about Sen. Mark Pryor's campaign fundraising:
If money was all it took then Pryor would be re-elected now. Of course, the votes for the liberal agenda of Obama can not be ignored in Arkansas. When Obama was elected in 2008 we had a few Democrats from Arkansas in Washington and now it is time for Pryor to face the voters. He will be the last to go and he will do better than Lincoln and lose by only 5 points instead of over 20.
Every Thursday I email him more spending cut suggestions just like he requested but yet I don't think he has taken me up on any of the 90 suggestions I have given him.
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