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What it is

I have to tell you that, at the end of the day, I personally agree with Doug Smith's fairly unique column, WORDS. At this moment in time, with all due respect, I'm sorry, but it's absolutely a nightmare the way people use such irritating phrases 24/7. Come on, people, shape up; it's not rocket science — find some new phrases!

P.S. I probably shouldn't of written this, but it is what it is.

Mary Waters

Little Rock

 

Nauseated

Every time I pause and pick up a copy of your paper, it reminds me why I usually don't. It's nauseating. Dennis Braddy's letter is a fine example. If it makes him feel better to attribute John McCain's Arkansas win to racism, so be it. Unfortunately, a good many of us who voted for him do not have a racist bone in our bodies and in fact, would still have cast our vote for McCain had HE been black. We are however, tired of making a good income and having the government deem us “rich” and take an unfair chunk of it to distribute as they see fit. Barack Obama did strike fear in the hearts of many a white man, not because he is black but because he so clearly articulated his socialist tendencies. Give me a break.

Noelle Buttry

Little Rock

Accountability

My company has made some bad decisions and acquired some toxic debt. Now we must face the consequences. Accountability! Isn't that what you preach? Where's the accountability for Citi and AIG? My CEO took a pay CUT and even used some personal assets to secure operating capital, yet we still have to lay off our four employees because we can't pay them. We're looking at bankruptcy, poor credit rating and inability to operate. If Citi gets a bailout, so should we. Give that $1 trillion stimulus package to the consumers to pay their credit cards. That will boost the economy and bail out Citi. This whole mess disgusts me.

Roger Smith

Little Rock

Doctors and lawyers

According to Jonesboro personal injury lawyer Bobby McDaniel, “Most doctors are very good and conscientious” [“Fewer medical malpractice suits,” Nov. 6]. Implicit in his statement is the suggestion that at least some doctors are bad and unscrupulous.

Of course, the same could be said of trial lawyers: Most are ethical professionals fairly seeking justice for their clients. But as everyone knows, at least some are deceitful and self-serving, and the costs for their shameless abuse of our civil justice system are ultimately borne by every consumer, taxpayer and medical patient.

And insofar as a 2006 Harvard School of Public Health study found that four out of every 10 medical malpractice lawsuits filed each year in the U.S. are “meritless,” it would seem that the rotten apples have had disproportionate success in stinking up the trial bar's entire barrel while driving doctors' insurance premiums far higher than they need to be.

Arkansans concerned about access to health care and the affordability thereof should be equally concerned about the state supreme court's apparent willingness to erode the perfectly reasonable tort reforms enacted by the elected branches of government in 2003.

Darren McKinney

Director of Communications

American Tort Reform Association

Washington

Wealth

The media and the separate political parties are focusing on the issue of the “redistribution” of wealth. The idea is to keep the public from seeing the truth of what has happened to America and its working class.

Several years ago corporations determined that the only cost they had any control over was “labor.” The result is “globalization.” Now American workers compete with countries that have no human rights laws or if they do they are not enforced because big companies like Wal-Mart can dictate the terms under which their products will be made and the costs paid to their workers.

If the “true” cost of labor for manufacturing the products purchased were to be factored into the price, wealth would be “redistributed” fairly, equitably and without rancor. Whether the wealthy are taxed more than the middle class becomes a moot issue. The corporations would no longer be building or producing products with slave labor. When people have to work for less than what it takes to support a family with dignity and respect, when they are forced to work two and three jobs because wages are so low they can't live on what they earn, when health care is denied because it impacts the “bottom line” negatively, we have “slave labor.” When people are forced to work “off the clock” in order to keep their jobs, we have “slave labor.”

Toyota builds the Prius in Malaysia where the employees work “off the clock” sometimes more than the total hours they get paid for “on the clock.”

How can General Motors or any American auto manufacturer compete fairly when the U.S. has labor laws designed to prevent “slave labor”? These laws are supposed to be enforced but aren't because the EEOC is overwhelmed with complaints of abuse. Americans only want “cheap” prices and are willing to sacrifice their own future for that. Without being aware or caring, their wages have been forced down in this world of “globalization” thereby perpetuating the loss of living wages and jobs to countries that are willing to sacrifice their people for the expediency of having large corporations conduct business in their country.

Judy Ladd

Hot Springs

Old dimples

Since I'm not and never have been a fan of old dimples, Mike Huckabee, Max Brantley's recent column caught my eye and I smiled all the way from beginning to end.

I knew sooner or later even the Republicans would get tired of his bad jokes. All that money he funneled to his family!

I know he was just practicing to be president or at best vice president. But he was looking through rose-colored glasses. Did he really think that a Republican would look good to all the jobless, hurting, poor people who couldn't make ends meet even if they used rubber bands? Perhaps he will have to get a real job, as Mr. Brantley said.

Peggy Wolfe

Heber Springs

 

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