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Wise man 

“Roots,” a recent piece on immigration by my good friend and former colleague Alan Leveritt, is logical, lyrical and wise.

Linton Weeks

Washington, D.C.

Labor Day message

Regarding the letter “Labor Day Message:” There is one thing the writer failed to mention that seriously affects our cost of living. According to the Tax Foundation, Arkansas ranks 13th in total state and local taxes, right behind No. 12 California! Certainly being taxed nearly as much as Californians does not do much to recommend the Arkansas political system.

Going back five years to 2002 Arkansas was 22nd. Ten years ago, Arkansas was 30th. What has gone wrong? How many feel they are getting their money's worth from their government? With ever increasing sales taxes, property taxes, taxes on utility bills and other hidden taxes often disguised as fees, when are Arkansans going to revolt?

Larry Hacker

Mabelvale

Stop the coddling

Regarding the El Latino ad on your website: I am quite upset to see yet another ploy to force the Hispanic language down our throats. Is it not enough that our tax dollars are paying for ESL teachers in our public schools? Has all respect for our country gone done the tubes? No, I am not an immigrant hater or racist, I am a concerned citizen. My mom was born and raised in Germany and immigrated here, BUT she learned the English language and took the citizenship test. She didn't ask the government to provide her a translator or legal forms in her native tongue. I am so disgusted with all the coddling.

Amy Duncan

From the Internet

In black and white

What is the criteria for the media in adding a picture to a story? Each time there is a story about Judge Wendell Griffen, there is a photograph. The stories about the Little Rock School Board carry photographs of some, but only names of others.

I have not seen photographs of the Berryville teacher who was fired and rehired after a child abuse complaint. I have not seen a photograph of the policeman who killed the 12-year-old boy in West Memphis. I also have not seen photographs of those fired at the youth detention centers.

When Ron Sheffield was campaigning for a state office, his photograph appeared about every other day in the media. There are other situations too numerous to mention. Please help me to understand the rules of the media.

LaVerne W. Feaster

Little Rock

Gender gap

In Muriel Lederman's letter “The Gender Pay Gap” she states that “claiming that salary disparity is a result of market forces shows no sense of social justice, no commitment to modeling for students that the world is a place that welcomes talent irrespective of the body in which it's located.” That sounds like a statement that everyone could agree with. However, then she goes on to state, “an easy way to hire a women is to have the three final candidates for a position to be women.”

It appears that she is advocating sexual discrimination — that in order to ensure that women are hired you should discriminate against more talented and qualified candidates for the position if “the body in which it's located” is male. The same would go for her argument about hiring “people of color.” She appears to be advocating racial discrimination if the “the body in which it's located” of the more talented and qualified candidate's for the position skin color does not match the particular color she prefers. To me, that definitely shows absolutely “no sense of social justice.”

I fear for our students in universities today if professors are allowed to openly advocate and teach discrimination based on sex and race as long the “correct” sex and race are discriminated against. Is that “modeling for students that the world is a place that welcomes talent irrespective of the body in which it's located” like she claims? How asinine and hypocritical is that? I do agree with her that the “time for change is now.” It is time for college professors to teach and advocate that the only way to model for students “that the world is a place that welcomes talent irrespective of the body in which it's located” is to hire the most qualified candidate regardless of race or sex.

Jeff Hertel

Sherwood

Feeding the hungry

Once upon a time, in the Dark Ages of '03, a bunch of folks faced a problem and an opportunity.

The problem — they had a freezer of meat and there were lots of needy, hungry citizens. How to cook the meat? The opportunity — feed the hungry.

They discussed it. They had meetings. They had a series of meetings. They had many meetings. They talked. They talked about a plan to cook the meat. They planned how to cook the meat. They formed a committee. By December 2006 the committee came up with a 10-year plan on how to cook the meat. Then they formed ANOTHER committee to discuss how to implement the plan. They discussed how to boil water. They discussed the proper temperature for boiling water. They discussed whether the hungry wanted their meat boiled well-done or boiled medium. They had a retreat. They analyzed, coordinated, counted and categorized the hungry. They voted on whether to classify the hungry as “very hungry,” “sorta hungry” and “barely hungry.” They held a slogan contest. The first slogan they adopted was, “progress is our most important product.” One winter they adopted a slogan, “We are snowballing.” One August as the temperature went over 100 for 12 days they sloganized, “we are hot on the trail.” They debated what size pot to use and whether to cook with wood, gas or electricity.

Finally after just 48 months of meetings, committees, discussions and planning, they were ready for action. And they noticed many of the needy/hungry had starved to death.

Robert Johnston

Little Rock

Fred fan

Like many, I've been waiting for Fred Thompson. I wondered if or when he would declare, and I actually yelled “Yes!” in my car as I heard the news clip. Why am I so excited? Well, I like his politics, his emph-asis on federalism. I like his demeanor of affable approachability. He brings a little excitement to the dull GOP field. And last but not least, I think he can beat Hillary.

Judith Crotts

Little Rock

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