Moral equivalence 

Moral equivalence is an imperfect science at best so comparing the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission's current $22,000 accounting error to, say, the city of Little Rock's firing of lowly zoo attendants, code inspectors, etc., while paying $200,000 to the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce “contractors,” or to North Little Rock's council members selling guns and rigging city construction bids to help a New York crime family, may seem like apples and oranges. However it still leaves one the feeling that there is something terribly wrong. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette bravely listed the names of the Martin Luther King Commission volunteers who shamelessly accepted hotel accommodations after working tirelessly to serve the underserved and give back to their community. I'm sure these same intrepid seekers of the truth will show the same vigilance in investigating which North Little Rock city contracts were given to mob associates and in finding out exactly who the Regional Chamber of Commerce contractors are and why they are so indispensable.

Anthony Goldsby
North Little Rock

Let's play bocce

Just read the wonderful 2010 Natives Guide to Pulaski County. Don't know if Graham Gordy was serious or not, but one of Birmingham's finest restaurants (The Highland) has a bocce bar in the back — very popular with UAB med students and such. Great fun — glass of wine and bocce ball.

Randy Wright
Little Rock


Is there nothing simple anymore? 10,000 menus after one supposedly simple phone call. Drives me insane.

Then, I know I don't have to watch but I am a sports fan and I do watch hunting shows on ESPN. It amazes me that as a child I used to go fishing with an old cane pole and go duck hunting without all the happenings of today — all those pounds of gear, body spray, etc. God, would it not be wonderful if all the animals had this protection from human beings? Maybe then it would be a fair fight.

Supposedly, we are one of the most civilized nations. Sorry, but I have grave doubts. If I ask a 17-year-old in a store when the computer is down to go ahead and figure up my bill, they look at me like I'm crazy.

It's OK my wonderful young generation. Build upon this great nation and country you were given. I am a dying generation and I am sure you shall make a fine, wonderful United States of America. But guess what? I shall be watching.

Beverly A. Clary
Little Rock

Not enough bad news

Every day I hear people declare they just don't want to hear any more “bad” news.

As Wall Street takes our retirement funds through billions of tax dollars, we are “tired” of the “bad” news. Amid billions being paid as bonuses to the same guys that drove our ship of state off the cliff, we are sick of hearing “bad” news.

Our corporate-run “liberal press” is aware of how much “bad” news we will take; they give us just enough to make us believe we're living in a “free” society. When it falls apart, we get scrutinized, not the guys on the “watch” list.

We are, as Kevin Drum of Mother Jones said on the Bill Moyers Show, suffering from the “Stockholm Syndrome.” We are the captives of Wall Street.

Since that is not “good” news, no one wants to discuss it. The corporations running this country do not want us going to the streets begging for their heads on a platter. So keep watching NBC, CBS, ABC or, for the paranoid, Fox News.

Judy Ladd
Hot Springs

The health battle

I am an Obama supporter, and his organization asked me to call my senators on the health care bill. The Republicans also contacted me and asked me to call. Here's my letter on behalf of no one but myself.

First, I don't know enough about this complicated issue (and I don't think anyone else does either, including those of you who are going to vote on the health care bill) to know what is right and what is wrong. I suspect that there is truth in both sides.

I am increasingly concerned about the Democratic Senate and House hijacking the Obama agenda to further their own agenda, which is usually a pork barrel project or expansion of government into the private sector.

Also, I am increasingly concerned about the federal deficit and governmental spending, but the Republicans have no basis to complain. George Bush spent like a Democrat.

I am not a wing-nut, right or left, and I believe that governmental expansion is not always bad. In fact, many times it is necessary.

The sad fact is that it does not matter which party controls Congress, nor does the heart of a president matter. What Eisenhower warned about in his farewell address (the military-industrial complex) has transmogrified into the military-industrial-lobbyists-Congressional complex so that no legislation is passed without the consent of the powers-that-be lurking behind the scenes and lining the back pockets of politicians of both parties.

Americans are about at the point of saying a pox on both your houses, and I am going to keep my options open, including giving up on the system entirely.

Cliff Jackson
Hot Springs

If Sens. Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln want to protect the interests of rural Arkansans, they will vote for some version of a government program to improve our health care. Arkansas's rural health systems desperately need incentives to cut back costs and to improve quality of care.

For example, recently our local health care clinic had no qualified staff on hand to prescribe medication to reduce my high blood pressure. I am a stroke victim. The staff had to send me in an ambulance to the regional hospital so I could get the pill I needed. That pill cost Medicare thousands.

Another time there was no one in the same rural clinic to diagnose the stroke I was having and the unqualified staffer advised me to go to the grocery store and get “deep heating lotion.” Over two years later I still need therapy for the effects of the stroke that could have been prevented had the clinic been properly staffed on a Friday when they only provided for a phone receptionist. Medicare foots the bills.

I urge the senators to vote for including government in the new health care coalition. Who else can oversee how our privately-run regional hospitals manage their regional clinics?

Anne Courtemanche-Ellis

I used to think that we elected good people to go to Washington and represent our values and to vote the way we would vote if we were there ourselves. Somehow in the last 200 years there has evolved a class of politician that cares nothing about what his constituents want or think and votes along an agenda that is self-serving and damaging to our country at the expense of this new ruling class. Vic Snyder is one of these people. He ignored the clamor of the people that elected him and voted for this horrible so-called “healthcare reform” bill. At a time when our country and people are hurting so much, why would our leaders want to push more taxes, more obligations, more debt and more control over us? I hope that everyone in Arkansas will keep this vote in the forefront of their minds for many years, and never elect Vic Snyder to another office again. Shame on you Vic Snyder. Go back to Oregon!

Greg McMahon
Little Rock


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