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There they go again



There they go again

Well, once again the right wing do-gooders have appointed themselves guardians of the American Way of Life Without Regard To Consequences. This time it is by way of a proposed initiated measure, commonly known by the name of its sponsor organization, Secure Arkansas. They will tell you that it is designed to prevent certain illegal aliens (read: Mexicans) from receiving public entitlement benefits paid with your tax dollars, that should be going to hard working “real” Americans. And by golly, who could argue with that?

But, as they say, the devil is in the details. Most of you will assume that state agencies will ask all Hispanics to provide proof they are citizens or otherwise legally in the U.S. Agencies can't do that because that would be discrimination based upon ethnicity, which is specifically prohibited not only in the proposed initiative, but in several other laws as well. No, they have to ask everyone if they are legally in the U.S. This means not only Hispanics, but the single mother applying for food stamps, the high school senior being awarded a math scholarship to the U of A, the owner of a company applying for environmental improvement matching funds and grants. Anyone requesting to receive any state aid (with some worthy noted exceptions) will be required to sign a notarized (at state expense) affidavit that they are here legally.

And who has the last word on whether you get your aid or not? The federal government, more specifically the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program. This program is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the same folks who still think we're all trying to blow up planes with shoe bombs. Additionally, we'll have another government program to monitor, track, record and report on the federal response times. And since this program currently receives over one million requests monthly, how long to you think it will take?

This may appear to be a good idea at first, but this implementation plan is using a shotgun approach by blasting everyone just to make sure they get the ones they want. And just like a shotgun, everyone is hurt whether they were meant to be or not.

Gary Bortz

Little Rock

Slow down and save

Gas prices may have reached the point where most folks are looking for ways to cut back on usage or try to improve their mileage. May I suggest a way that will give most of you an immediate return on mileage, maybe as much as 10 percent. It's easy to do, doesn't take any new equipment and guess what, it's the law. That's right, if you want to see an increase in your mileage, go the speed limit. Over the past couple of weeks, I've made a point to put my cruise control on the speed limit to see how it affects my mileage and the time it takes to go to my usual haunts. I'm getting about 5 percent better mileage and I'm getting to my destinations in the same amount of time. The reason I ask the rest of you to try this method is because most of the time my fellow drivers are whizzing past me. Try going the speed limit for a week and keep up with the time it takes to get where you're going. You'll find for the cost of a minute or two you can save 5 to 10 percent on your fuel bill. Just by going the speed limit. At a savings of 5 percent, at current prices, I'm getting the equivalent of the “tax holiday” that some are advocating. But instead of hurting the highway trust fund (the fund that repairs our roads), I'm keeping money out of Big Oil's pockets. And no politicians are involved!

Start the next time you fill up. Go the speed limit and see if you don't gain on gas mileage and you get to where you're going in about the same time. An extra bonus is you don't have to worry if the police will pull you over for speeding.

Steve Heye

Little Rock

Hard times

I never thought a hard old nut like me would bawl over the hard times people are having. I also didn't know that it would be a CNN news story that would do me in.

A man, a building worker, was out of work, laid off and was holding down two low-paying jobs that he had to drive to, thus taking about all his wages to fill Mr. Oil's pockets. He can't pay his bills or feed his kids. That's just not right.

I have written to my congressmen that if they vote to bring foreign high-tech workers in to fill jobs our out-of-work people need, they will not get another vote from me.

I hate picking up my phone. Nine times out of 10, there is a foreign voice on the other end that I really can't understand because of the thick accent. At least give me an out-of-work voice I can talk to and tell them “thanks, but no thanks.”

How can a so-called president paint these rosy pictures? Of course, I don't run with his crowd. I'm out here where people are hurting for their next gas fill-up or how to pay for medicine or feed the kids. If anyone knows how to fix this mess, please let me know.

Peggy Wolfe

Heber Springs

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