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Unfit for family 

Unfit for family
It's too bad you think it was a bad week for the Little Rock Zoo (May 20 Week That Was). I, personally, think it was a refreshing week as far as the Little Rock Zoo was concerned. At least they haven't let a bunch of anti-smoking jihadists tell them what to do — yet! What's the matter with you people? Is the sweet smell of a cigarette burning getting in the way of you smelling the aroma of a fresh pile of elephant shit outside at the zoo? A little whiff of cigarette smoke is not a health hazard, doesn't smell foul, and whether you know it or not, smoking does not make it anywhere less of a pleasant family venue. However, the continuing hate spewed by your newspaper toward people who choose to smoke is quickly making it unfit for family reading.

John Vinson
North Little Rock

Fix school board
Let me get this straight. One of the Pulaski County School Board members causing the most fuss has the most spending issues in the audit? This stinks. I'm hoping the state board takes a long look at this group at their next meeting. The district is not instilling a lot of public confidence right now. I look for a drop in students in the fall. I would not want to be the new superintendent coming into this mess of a district.

Board members Tatum and Williams have been on the board long enough to know the rules of reimbursement. Tatum has almost 20 years. Williams over 10. Maybe Wood should spend more time on spending rules than taking away the union.

Richard Moss
Jacksonville


Who deserves GOP?
The Republicans seem to be doing much better these days in Arkansas. The brilliant, winning message that Arkansans really go for is this: “Republicans have not been behaving conservatively in the past. We are those Republicans. We are conservative.”

Is it possible that red state Arkansans actually deserve Republican leadership? Does anyone, really?

Gene Mason
Jacksonville


Stealing childhood

The piece on national news, showing 7-year-old girls doing dirty dancing just like they were grown-up chorus girls, took the cake. It must have given a lot of pedophiles a real jolt.

Even Miley Cyrus, whom I consider a grown-up child, was at a party bumping and grinding with an older man. I'm glad I saw all this with my own eyes, otherwise I would have found it hard to believe. Things like this rob children of their childhood and people wonder why things are so bad out there. I am glad that my granddaughters and great-granddaughters have God-fearing parents who would never put them into such horrible situations.

Peggy Wolfe
Heber Springs

Happy about election
As a man who was born and raised and educated in Arkansas, I was gratified to see that Senator Lincoln will face her liberal opponent in the runoff. We can only hope that she will be resoundingly defeated.

The present conservative anger is nothing new: I grew up in Little Rock in the '50s and '60s. The big issue back then was race, but one hears the same mindless right-wing muttering against government as if it were something more than an extension of us.

Washington is not inhabited by aliens. But you might think so to listen to the Tea Party people, like Mr. Rand Paul (named for Ayn Rand, no doubt) who talk resentfully about “taking the country back.”

From whom? Who has captured it? The same phantom liberals who have taken all your guns away? The same paranoid fantasies that abort every other fetus in Arkansas? Do these right-wing people ever actually listen to their own paranoid nonsense?

Now we are being told that the government has no right to require those who don't have it to purchase health care insurance.

Mortgage companies can require us to buy insurance on our houses, and Arkansas can require us to carry insurance on our cars, but the right wing wants to start a revolution over the horrible tyranny of government asking you to take care of yourself, and contribute to the common welfare. At my advanced age, I am sick and tired of listening to these idiots of the right who are always wrong. They cannot think rationally, so they never make decent moral decisions.

We may never achieve a decent health care system in this weird country where Americans prefer a patch-work of health care “industries” over a “system” that might operate with the interests of the patient in mind rather than the profits of big pharma and the insurance thugs.

I lived in Canada for 15 years, and I have used their health care system, and their hospitals.

I can assure you that health care is more efficient in Canada than in this country; it is also cheaper, and it is universal. When or if you do fall ill, you do not have to fear being bankrupted. No one asks you first thing about your “insurance” as they do in our blessed land; they are actually interested in getting you healed.

It is some relief to express my disgust with people who never seem to learn anything except vicious selfishness, paranoia and a stupid parochialism that passes for “patriotism.”

James A. Means
Natchitoches, La.

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