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Martin does it again 

Martin does it again

I don't believe this! Mark Martin released the info of every Arkansas voter not just once, but twice? Is he really that eager to grovel at the feet of Herr Trump?

I don't know which is worse, Martin's amazing stupidity or Kris Kobach's evil intentions.

Setting up a hotline after the voter info has already been released is about as useful as teats on a boar hog. The damage is already done.

Get used to it, folks. This is life in a full-blown corporate oligarchy. Big Brother is watching you now.

Martin has betrayed the people of this state. He should be fired.

Brad Bailey Fayetteville

Rights

For decades now, Democrats have believed that all people are entitled to certain benefits. Even the U.S. Declaration of Independence lists life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as inalienable rights and that the government is designed to secure these rights. Republicans, on the other hand, want government out of everyone's rights and business. Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt offered his Second Bill of Rights, which guaranteed employment, farmers' rights, housing, medical care, Social Security, education and freedom from monopolies. Republicans want the free market to handle all these things. In 1965, President Johnson and his Democrats gave us Medicare and Medicaid. Today, Democrats agree that Americans are entitled to Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, unemployment and welfare programs. Republicans are trying to unravel and privatize those programs.

Here in Arkansas, Governor Hutchinson and his Republicans practically kicked 60,000 Arkansans off Medicaid. Hutchinson says these poor Arkansans will buy health insurance on the Obamacare market, which Republicans are trying to destroy. Meanwhile, health providers across Arkansas have lost 60,000 customers. To make matters worse, Hutchinson also signed a punitive act to remove a tax exemption on unemployment benefits. Newly unemployed health professionals will be less likely to exist on unemployment income. Republicans will not allow these people to live, be free and pursue happiness.

Gene Mason

Jacksonville

Cycling good for Central Arkansas

I was glad to see the Pulaski County Quorum Court pass the resolution to accept FLAP funding for the Southwest Trail. I did appreciate the opposition voicing concern for the single mom in Wrightsville holding down two jobs and how funding for the Southwest Trail might impact her. I am, however, unsure of the necessity of the attack on the cycling community by hoping we eventually leave the Big Dam Bridge for the Southwest Trail for the safety of himself and his children.

I ride with a lot of passionate Republicans and Democrats. I ride with believers and nonbelievers, with professionals and blue-collar workers. All these differences are nullified on the bike. We all have a common goal of cycling for fun. I'm a member of two Central Arkansas cycling clubs and have ridden with most others. I sit on a bicycle advocacy board that represents a cross section of cyclists who use their bikes to commute, ride off-road and ride for exercise or competition. There are thousands and thousands of voters cycling in Central Arkansas. And as the court saw in letters and phone calls and then in person, we make up a passionate bloc of voters.

We are a force economically. Allied Cycle Works has brought in some of the industry's best minds to Little Rock to create the only large-scale production carbon bike facility in North America. It is receiving international accolades for this effort. Meanwhile, there are a dozen bike shops in Central Arkansas, selling thousands of bikes and providing ongoing mechanical service and support to this large community. In addition, Bobby's Bikes rents thousands more bikes each year to tourists and residents, and Little Rock will soon launch its own bike share program.

And most cyclists aren't pedaling $5,000-$10,000 bikes as was suggested by another opponent of this measure. Though the comment was an attempt to paint us as out-of-touch elitists, spending on bikes is a positive economic issue. Still, most average biking citizens who benefit from the bike lanes and trails don't spend near that on their bikes.

Our community involvement runs deep. Recycled Bikes for Kids provides bicycles, helmets and safety training to an underserved community, including the single mom in Wrightsville holding two jobs. We want her children to know the joy and freedom of riding, as well.

In September, many of us will again ride to fund multiple sclerosis research as a small part of the national Bike MS program. Each year, cyclists in Central Arkansas raise roughly $100,000 by requesting donations and then traversing the hills of the Ouachita Mountains to Hot Springs Village. Then, we'll turn around and come back the same way the next day.

Safety is a big concern out there on roads, and we spend much of our time talking about it. We talk about considerate riding, sharing the road, and how better to protect ourselves with onboard cameras, lights and safe riding skills. We've lost fellow riders to distracted drivers. Every year, in the middle of July, over 600 cyclists and volunteers meet in Scott to participate in a memorial ride to honor Marilyn Fulper by doing what she loved. This is a ride of which few noncycling citizens are aware. Funds are primarily used for improvements on the Arkansas River Trail.

But the real return on investment is to our broken health care system. When I took up cycling six years ago, I was overweight, already on blood pressure meds and being encouraged to add another for cholesterol control. In six months, I lost 15 percent of my body weight, improved all my cholesterol numbers and stopped taking blood pressure medication.

I am extending my life by riding — physically and mentally. A friend recently told me she and her husband have taken up cycling and lost over 60 pounds in just two months. Another friend recently lost 60 pounds, and he, too, no longer needs any cholesterol or blood pressure medicine. In a state with one of the highest obesity rates in a country with one of the highest rates among developed countries, I'd say the lower cost of health care is an adequate economic benefit in and of itself.

Randall Hula Little Rock

From the web

In response to a July 31 blog item about the firing of White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci 10 days into his job:

I just hope I'm around long enough to read the all Trump administration tell-all books that will come out in the future. Of course, that's assuming the fool doesn't do something so monumentally stupid that none of us will have much of a future.

Sigh.

In response to the July 27 Arkansas Blog item "County approves bike trail":

All cyclists and/or bicycles should be taxed or licensed to help pay for this expenditure. There is no good reason why this elitist group, who may afford expensive cycles and equipment, should not contribute rather than receive a free ride on the backs of their neighbors.

Baker

Everybody pays taxes, baker. The vast majority of people who ride bikes are also car owners who drive just as much as everyone else. Regional paths like the proposed Southwest Trail have been proven to benefit the communities along them and the counties around them, so this is an investment in everyone's future, more than just a giveaway to your neighbors who ride bikes. Or, simply think of it as a linear public park. That being said, I do like your logic when applied to things that don't have a clear benefit to the community at large. Let's repeal the general sales taxes that go to highway widening and replace that funding stream with tolls. Are you with me?

Timbo

In response to the July 28 Arkansas Blog item "Senate defeats Obamacare":

I heard McConnell was crying on the Senate floor.

I hope so.

Maybe somehow he can find a little empathy for the millions upon millions whose health care he keeps putting into jeopardy.

He lost a vote. Many of them will lose their lives if he ever gets his way.

Perplexed

We live in one of poorest states that relies on all of the money we can get. Cotton and Boozman just voted against our best interests. Will those that voted for them choose another candidate? Nope! Blind pride and loyalty is the game and ignorance is their game.

Yapperjohn

I pray that was McCain's last hurrah.

71909er

There's nothing to worry about. We had the highest health care in the world before, and we'll have the highest health care in the world after. A for-profit system will always deliver a high-priced product or service than a nonprofit.

Screwing around with health insurance is just a useful distraction from the corporations making the real money.

Ivan the Republican

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