Who’s got balls? Your Smart Talk Jan. 20 really takes the cake. Just how far off the deep end have you folks on the left gone? But hey, it really isn’t you guys’ fault. You are just up against superior forces who are able to fool the nation, steal Ohio, (by convincing African-Americans that Republicans voted on Nov. 2, and all else voted on Nov. 4), and now hijacking football as our own. To quote you: “Nixon notwithstanding, Tomasky says that the real Republicanization of football began during the Clinton era, when the right set about the task of dividing our one nation into two armed camps, associating liberals with Hollywood, the coasts and enthusiasm for the perverse and the epicene while cornering the testosterone market for itself. “ Apparently Tomasky feels that Republicans have balls and I guess the other side doesn’t? Kinda reminds me of my favorite Zell Miller line from the Republican convention. “Spitballs, the weapon of choice of those who have neither.” If the majority of voters in the last election, some 65 million folks, are the ones with testosterone, then it might behoove the Democrats next time to run someone who has some. Ross Johnson Pine Bluff Bad advice Normally, I enjoy reading your publication. But I was outraged on reading the “advice” of Amy Alkon Jan. 20. I realize she is a syndicated writer who lives in California, and apparently France, but I suspect the majority of your readers are Arkansans. Her advice was extremely offensive to women — so much so that I suspected she was really a man. Writing that men don’t expect their sports cars to morph into cargo vans was a hideous analogy. Her response to those of us who wrote her of our reaction included calling the 5-foot-8-inch, 163-pound advice seeker obese. She then turns around and says she bases her advice on scientific facts and women should get up off their fat asses and get some exercise. After reading her columns of hurled insults, I can’t imagine any real person writing her for advice. If she’s trying to be funny, we’re not laughing. Surely there are better options available than this hateful, rude woman. Kristin Gulley Little Rock Amy Alkon displays the arrogance of a female without fault as she bludgeons the people in her columns. Over and over she does this in her circuitous and crude language — apparently trying to appear clever. However, her cruelty and lack of emotional understanding continue to surface as she so often advises the writers to throw the flawed person back into the dating pool. Since when are we all so perfect? With proper counseling, even difficult problems can be changed to yield a happy and lasting relationship. Amy has distorted love to mean jumping into bed with anyone who suits one’s fancy and then dumping them as soon as the person no longer satisfies that need. An advice column with much more wisdom and understanding is needed. Peggy Kline Fayetteville Early primaries The Democratic Arkansas legislator who told “The Insider” Jan. 20 that he and his colleagues were “pissed off, angry, frustrated, embarrassed, offended” when state chair Ron Oliver testified in opposition to House Bill 1006, would have done well to have attended the state Democratic Executive Committee meeting on Jan. 15. It was the opinion of the majority of those present that Rep. Jeremy Hutchinson’s bill was flawed and poorly drafted. Albeit the majority of those present supported the idea of an Arkansas presidential primary on the first Saturday of February in the election year, they did not favor an Iowa-style party caucus approach, as opposed to the primary election process. Since the Executive Committee is fairly representative of Arkansas Democrats, certainly more so than is Jeremy Hutchinson, it would seem to me that Chairman Oliver properly opposed this very poorly drafted bill. Those Democratic legislators, who jumped on this Republican-inspired bandwagon would have done well to check with grass-roots Democrats and their constituents before doing so. In which case they may not have been “pissed off” and “embarrassed,” etc. James T. McCollum Emerson Make yoursel(ves/f) known Will all you state legislators who know honor and ethics when you see them, and who therefore refuse to accept anything at all free from anyone in conjunction with the job we the people have entrusted you with, will all of you please come forward now and be recognized, and of course praised? Hey, not all at once! One at a time will be fine. Bill Steinkamp Benton Finding the money Reinstating the estate tax is just the tip of the iceberg of what state and federal legislators could be doing to raise revenue to meet the state’s many, many needs. The General Assembly could help members of the lower middle class and the working poor by removing the sales tax from food and lowering the sales tax on other items. Instead, a sales or use tax ought to be imposed on professions, services and businesses that are not now taxed. If corporations with profits in the multi-millions can afford to pay dividends and have private jets and pay for naming rights to arenas, then they can certainly afford higher taxes on their profits. What’s even sadder is how low our state taxes on oil and natural gas are. And, think of the billions of dollars that escape the state because Arkansas doesn’t offer casino gambling, a lottery, or legalized bingo. And a lot of other states have higher cigarette and alcohol taxes. Keeping the income tax surcharge would be better and fairer than raising the sales tax on everything. Instead, if needed, raise the special sales taxes such as the hotel and motel tax or the hamburger tax. A special service sales tax on automobile parts and repairs could be dedicated to road improvements. In short, the state ought to be raising revenue with taxes on anything other than the sales tax on food. Keith Weber Jacksonville

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