I am writing to let you know how disgusted I am about the cover of your May 4 issue. Are you trying to turn into a sleazy men's magazine? Was there really no other way to convey your message than to use an objectifying picture of a woman in a tiny bikini? What about a picture of children on a slip 'n slide? A bowl of ice cream? I expect such stupidity from the Dem-Gazette, not from you. Grow up.
Hope Donovan Rider
The other day I went to get my weekly copy of the Times and was slightly concerned to see all the copies were gone, save for one at the bottom of the machine.
Seeing the lovely young lady on the cover and ladies throughout this week's issue, I understand why this one was a "hot seller."
Thanks for the summer issue. I always look forward to it.
Recently, a reader's letter deploring common errors in prose noted that politicians incorrectly use "beg the question" to mean "raise the question." The gentleman said that the phrase means to avoid the question. The gentleman was wrong. Begging the question is a type of logical fallacy. It means to use the point to be proven as part of the argument to prove the point itself.
Example: Donald Trump is intelligent because he wears an outlandish comb-over. Bizarre hairstyles are a sign of great intelligence in men.
The bike trail money
Ernest Dumas directed some disparaging remarks to U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, who had voted to turn down federal matching money for a bike trail in the Fayetteville/Bentonville area. I am a biker, love it and ride most of the important races. I have family in Bentonville. I know I would've enjoyed and used the proposed bike trail. There's only one problem. We can't afford it. I don't care if it has 50 percent matching federal money or 70 percent matching money, we cannot afford a bike trail with all of the other items that are on our agenda. I am even for doing something about Social Security and I am on the take there myself.
You can't have all the guns and butter you want. There has to be a balance somewhere. As a nation, we've lost that concept and think we can afford everything.
James R. Wallace
Tale of the lottery
On March 22, a Hot Springs woman, after digging through her car, discovered she was in possession of a $1 million Arkansas Scholarship Lottery ticket. What a Cinderella story.
Except that, by her own admission to the local paper, "Two weeks ago, we received an eviction notice. I was on unemployment, literally. I spent my last $4 on a lottery ticket for two games."
Wow. If that doesn't sum up who is playing the lottery in Arkansas, I don't know what does. Yet she wasn't finished.
"I walked into the food stamp office ... " she continued in the paper. "I pulled the ticket out, went to the website on my phone and threw up."
Well, Mary JoAnne, that makes two of us. You are on unemployment, without a home, either applying or extending food stamps, and you spend "my last $4" on lottery tickets.
The best part is somehow this woman has a cell phone with Internet access!! You CANNOT make this up!
Since our legislators have deemed it necessary to meet annually, here's a suggestion from a taxpayer who feels like he purchased part of Mary JoAnne's ticket: Anyone hitting an Arkansas State Scholarship lottery ticket over $200 must fill out a form. If it is subsequently determined that the winner received any sort of state, local, or federal aid (food stamps, unemployment, HUD housing, etc.), they are cut off from all such aid. Play the lottery on your dollar, not mine.
Same old same old
U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin offers the same old solutions as his mentors. Wonder how he feels about the Karl Rove tax cuts which have produced zero jobs and exploded the deficit?
Revenue increases would help to pay for the wars, Medicare etc., but don't tell that to the Repubs. It goes against their lies about spending being the only problem. More money would help the budget also.
North Little Rock
Congratulations to President Obama and the Democrats for successfully negotiating the recent release of the hostage federal budget. For weeks, Republicans threatened to allow federal funding to expire if demands weren't met. Congressman Tim Griffin said he would not be responsible if the government shut down as a result. Tim Griffin was blaming Democrats for his own responsibility in the Republican conspiracy to shut down the government. Typical hostage situation.
The only Republican president to balance his budget was Eisenhower. Republicans are just not very good at budgeting.
It is quite understandable that the state desires to find ways to reduce the economic burden from penal institutions. The current and past proposals target "short-term, non-violent" offenders for early release.
This has been tried before and the recidivism rate – as well as the prison population – has only grown. How can these new changes save taxpayer money when release of more of these offenders will equate to more dollars spent retrying them and sending them back through the judicial system? The less violent the offense, the greater the recidivism, studies show.
It is time for a different approach. The system needs to look and see that other states have had success in releasing long-term offenders. Most states release first offenders serving life sentences and every statistic shows their recidivism rates fall below those of "non-violent" offenders.
(Guss is serving a sentence of life without parole.)