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Political stories

“Political opinions seldom get formed or changed by mere preaching or debate.”

So sayeth John Brummett in a recent column, which included a heart-warming tale of Congressman Mike Ross taking a personal interest in the health care of an owner of a diner he allegedly frequents in Prescott.

First of, all, I don't believe Ross or the story he relates to Brummett (which contains no specifics as to the owner or the business, only alleged heart condition). Ross comes to Hot Springs every now and again, sheds his tie (sometimes even wearing some camo) and attempts to act like a good ol' boy. The truth is, he's a Washington insider who has been there far too long and is now manipulating the media and Brummett with his heartfelt tales.

If the story were true, with one phone call, Ross, if he cared, could have taken care of this woman through SSI or another avenue.

I don't carry health care, and not having been to the doctor except for a minor bout of poison ivy and a snake bite over the past 20 years (both of which I paid for with cash), I don't particularly like being told I have to, which is a mandate each of the remaining health care reform bills contain.

“Political opinions seldom get formed or changed by mere preaching or substantive policy debate.”

Let me add my own simple addendum to that: Trillion dollar spending packages seldom get passed without thousands of pages, provisions, lobbying influences, back door deals, and heartfelt stories like the one Mike Ross bought and sold to John Brummett.

Anthony Lloyd

Hot Springs

Real criminals

Now that the Senate and House have been Beck-ized to go through the motions of beating up on ACORN for being caught in a Faux TV sting, how about going after some real criminals and denying funding to Halliburton, Wackenhut, Boeing, and other defense companies who have repeatedly cheated the country and damaged the image of the U.S. abroad while making money by the millions? These are real criminals.

Richard Boosey

Mount Vernon

Who's middle-aged?

Really? I'm middle aged? Because I'm the nearly same age as Jason Baldwin, referenced in Mara Leveritt's Sept. 3 piece on the West Memphis Three, and apparently we are both “middle aged” at the ripe old age of 31-32. Can't wait for 40, I'll be practically geriatric. Hope this health care reform gets pushed through; apparently I'll need it.

Jen Phillips

San Francisco

The road to socialism

It is amazing how the level of discourse has sunk to where any criticism of Barack Obama is now, ipso facto, evidence of racism. John Wesley Hall does not go quite that far. Instead, he requires one to accuse Obama of Socialism. That is the objective manifestation he needs to discern our racist motives. Did you read Monday's edition of that rabid right-wing journal, the Washington Post? There was in article discussing how the mortgage industry has been nationalized. The U.S. government now funds or guarantees 90% of all new mortgages. The federal government now owns a majority interest in GM and Chrysler. The House voted yesterday to take over the student loan business. The government has taken over much of banking and finance and is considering standards governing executive pay. That's right, the government is going to decide how much persons ostensibly employed in that branch of private industry can be paid. Leaving aside the merits of the health care debate, there is little question but that it would eventually be a complete federal takeover of 1/6 of the domestic economy. Socialism is defined as society or the government owning and operating the means of production and distribution. That these measures are surely achieved with the purest of motives does not change the fact. My questions to Messrs. Hall and Brantley are: If this is not Socialism, what is it? If these policies are not putting us on the road to Socialism, how would you describe them? We have all heard the saying that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels. A corollary is that an accusation of racism is the last refuge of desperate persons who have lost the debate.      

Michael J. Emerson

Little Rock

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