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The ruin of Reaganomics 

The Arkansas Times has officially become an institution; the conscience of journalism in Arkansas, what the Gazette used to be. When the Gazette was gobbled by Gannett and then folded, I feared no paper would be able to stand for rational debate in Arkansas. Could the Arkansas Times hang in there?

But, the Times plugs away, getting better and better every week, never shirking from pointing out the emperor is not only nude, but really wrinkled.

After all these years, you, all of you, keep your loyal readers informed (and usually angry) about the "other side" of Arkansas politics and journalism, the parts that Hussman and his ADG lapdogs don't bother to or can't write about.

I read the ADG editorial page only to get outraged by the self-interest of the writers or the insipid letters to the editor about Republican talking points. I read yours to find out what the ADG sweeps under the rug. And the Arkansas Times Blog is the only real source of what is going on in Arkansas.

No daily newspaper would touch David Cay Johnston's piece on "The Ruin of Reaganomics," and the endnote points out it was distributed by alternative news weeklies. If Paul Krugman is worthy of the Pulitzer Prize for economics, so is Johnston.

Arkansas is a better state having the Arkansas Times as its journalistic conscience. Most minds obviously will not be changed, but it's good to know that there still are sane people in this state.

Thank you, Arkansas Times, for your years of service to your readers, but, most importantly, the truth.

John W. Hall

Little Rock

What amazes and irritates me most in this world are the people who destroy their credibility after making a profound social statement (that needs to be made) by using a logic that is the exact same logic they criticize. I began to suspect the article "Mad Men" was propaganda when the author pointed at certain presidential failures while ignoring others, but then I read his byline and understood from whence he comes.

His premise and purported intent is true. We could have universal health care and solve many social ills if we wanted to — if we could rid the tax loopholes for the rich. What is not said is that this loopholer class of people is the very one financing campaigns for the lawmakers that make these loopholes.

So then why would Mr. Johnston, and more importantly, this rag, publish an article that has so much to say about our way of life in America, then stoop as low as the Republicans who question Barack Obama's birthplace? I suspect it is because the author (and the Arkansas Times) don't care so much about the poor as they do about political power.

The real message underneath the subterfuge is true. Poverty is rampant. In 2002, Jimmy Carter made the point much better than Mr. Johnston, without the junk. When the former president was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, he "decided that the most serious and universal problem is the growing chasm between the richest and poorest people on earth. Citizens of the ten wealthiest nations are now 75 times richer than the ones who live in the 10 poorest ones."

We have to see helping the poor as a calling and a mandate, a cause rather than an excuse. What will we do? All of us rich people have a choice, without needing a loophole.

John Wayne Smith

Hot Springs

Hey, you!

Hey! Dumbass! Yeah, you in the late '90s to early 2000s gold Cadillac. Yeah, you and your license plate.

I saw what you did April 15 headed east on Cantrell by Reservoir Road  4:30 p.m. or so: You almost hit the cop car and horned in on a gold Prius rushing to your destination — you're damned lucky the cop didn't get you and that I didn't have a firearm aboard.

I followed you and you should thank whatever God you may have. Your discourteous driving — actually infantile, selfish driving — was rude and inexcusable. You don't belong in a 300-acre field with a push mower.  Your kind should not be allowed to vote, procreate or drive.

The traffic light at Andover and Cantrell was out. You and several hundred others are ignorant of the law that a traffic signal — not working — is to be stopped at, and then proceeded through, alternately, with caution.  But you proceeded to insert yourself into oncoming traffic so you could turn left (north) into Kingwood Exxon. Yeah, I know who you are and how you drive.

Shape up or take a taxi. You are not welcome as a fellow driver on our roads.

Are you originally from Texas?

Steve Gibson

Little Rock

Writers' errors

The current attacks on education by state and federal politicians is particularly regrettable given the dwindling ability of citizens to speak or write clear, effective English. Telephone operators talk too rapidly and enunciate poorly, politicians have no idea of basic logic, as is evidenced by the rise of such mistakes as using "begs the question" to mean "raises the question" (rather than "avoids the question"), and what are ostensibly television news reporters giggle and gargle out an irritating throaty falsetto.

Perhaps most annoying are the professional writers whose work exhibits outright error along with awkward passages the editors either missed or assumed readers could not be bothered to understand. For example, Ernest Dumas' article "Arkansas: A Tax Myth-Maker, Too" (April 13) begins: "Arkansas is not quite the laboratory that the government of the United States has afforded us for testing supply-side economics and other popular tax myths, but our experiment is much older." Can a laboratory be "afforded" someone? Did the writer mean "and," rather than "but"? Did he, perhaps, mean "for our experiment is much older"? Probably, he should just have junked the sentence, decided what he wanted to write, and started over. Then, "The Observer" column has a dilly. The second paragraph, referring to an article in the Arkansas Times, states, "If you live in Fordyce, however, and you don't own a computer, you can get one for about $5 at a local gas station." The writer meant that anyone could get a copy of the newspaper for $5, not a computer. Sloppy writing calls into question the writer's ability to put ideas together and tacitly condemns the editor's failure to correct the lapse.

Yes, I know these are minor, but examples often are and others like these may be multiplied ad nauseam in the shopping malls, the media, and among the political hacks who misgovern the country at every level.

Stuart Jay Silverman

Hot Springs

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