Fall and taxes
With the arrival of fall, recent history suggests there are always at least three certainties that accompany this time of year: shorter days, cooler temperatures and Little Rock City Hall digging for dollars. While I can fully appreciate the painful process the city manager and City Board are now going through in an attempt to cut expenses and shift funds, in my view the simple truth is that our city is going to have to face reality and address revenue alternatives if it wants to provide on a sustained basis all of the basic municipal services most citizens have come to expect, not to mention extraordinary services that distinguish great cities. As was emphasized during our 2003 infrastructure tax initiative, Little Rock is still at the bottom of the heap when it comes to city sales tax rates which other communities around the state still seek, most notably the city of Benton right now. Furthermore, I am sure there exist other potential sources of revenue which have never been tapped and, absent any meaningful exploration of those sources, I fear we will replay this same act in this continuing saga for years to come.
(Lichty is a former member of the Little Rock Board of Directors.)
DOGging Michael Moore
Recently, the editorialist at the DOG (I guess we know who), tried to attack Michael Moore. After lumping him in with Ann Coulter (a low blow, that), he sputtered on to his dull point: Moore's movies make money. Is Moore untruthful? Inaccurate? Unfair? Immoral? Fat? OK, we'll let that one go.
No, his crime is that his pictures sell tickets. Maybe that delegitimizes Moore in the eyes of those who don't like him in the first place, but those without ideological axes to grind might just conclude that a lot of people want to hear what he has to say.
Insurance companies and greed
Why do we need insurance companies?
Insurance companies are in the business to make money, not to help people who need affordable health care. We do need doctors, drugs and hospitals. Insurance companies just get in between us and the care we need. Let's move them out of the equation.
Insurance companies make money insuring us for health care, supposedly. But what do they do with the money they get from us? They pay wages to the un-medical people who look for ways to not give you the coverage you think you are paying for. These un-medical people tell you if you qualify for a certain procedure which was ordered by a doctor. If these un-medicals say no, you don't get it. Or, if you do, you pay for it. They can even drop your insurance after years for a pre-existing condition, such as acn!!! Give me a break.
What do they do with this money? They pay wages to un-medical people you must deal with if you are having a medical crisis. Also, insurance companies pay big bucks to their officers. Insurance companies pay big, big bucks to lobbyists to work against you and for the insurance companies. Lobby money ends up in the hands of elected officials who go to Washington and vote against what's best for the citizens. After insurance companies divvy up money to all these different places, then they use what's left over for medical claims for policy holders. If there is anything left over after all of this, they invest that in the market, so they can make even more bucks.
I repeat. Why do we need insurance companies? Call your congressman and senators and tell them you are for a public option. Let's leave the insurance companies out of the equation. Let's move up to the top of the list of countries with quality health care. Let's think about Americans, not insurance companies.
Hot Springs Village
It's obvious that the reich wing propagandists and their cult followers are not going to stop the constant barrage of lies, hatred, racism and fear tactics until the majority of Americans begin to stand up and actively, vocally back them down at every opportunity.
A good example was terrorizing the elderly over the proposed people's health insurance plan when they returned to the old standby of socialism.
It was greed, not socialism that brought about the Great Depression and every recession since then, including the current aberration, left by the Bush crime family to be inherited by President Obama.
It was greedy, unregulated, predatory capitalism, not socialism, that outsourced good unionized jobs and brought about the influx of millions of undocumented immigrants now being blamed for simply wanting a better life.
It was sheer greed that brought about the unlawful bombing, invasion and occupation of Iraq that cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and over 4,000 of our own military. The oil companies finally got access to the oil fields they had coveted, the contractors made billions, the American people ended up owing the Chinese almost one trillion dollars and the cost of that crime against humanity is still climbing.
Why is it that whenever a program such as a health care program is introduced it becomes socialism but when using the people's money for corporate welfare, such as bailing out insurance companies, banks, Wall Street, oil companies, airlines, etc., it is never even a subject of discourse among greedy capitalists and their braying, well-paid stooges?
Defending South Carolina
In response to: “Republicans in ruin.”
Isn't it rather fitting and ironic, that in this week's Arkansas Times, the Arkansas Times staff have become exactly what they hate? When they say, “Today, it's pretty clear that America would be a better place without South Carolina... ,” they espouse the same stereotypical language of demagogues with names like Limbaugh and Beck, as well as, belittle more than four million people for simply living in the wrong state. Not being from South Carolina, I'm more angry that the Times would insult its readers here in Arkansas, by questioning their intelligence with such rhetoric.
Erich Allen Peterson
Help the needy
Christians and Jews need to write to their senators and congressmen immediately, urging them to remove a cruel restriction from the Congressional draft health reform bill. The odious section specifies that no vouchers (government money for health expenses) be issued to undocumented aliens.
Have our elected officials forgotten the word of God? The stakes in this matter are high for each of us. Matthew 25.31-46: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory...then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory; and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.
After Jesus explains that the Son will bless those on the right hand, the righteous who ministered to sick strangers, he continues:
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily, I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”
Neighbors, the hour of decision is now. For each one of us, life eternal, or everlasting fire? Let us not avert our eyes from aliens needing care.