The rear-view mirror
In a conversation with a friend, I commented that all the negative comments about the Highway Department's proposal don't take into account that we are 30 years behind Dallas in our road updates.
She said, "Dallas, hell; how about Texarkana? We're 15 years behind them."
HARVEY S. GARDNER JR.
North Little Rock
What the question is
I do not deny climate change. I question its causes.
All of our lives matter
I believe the Black Lives Matter mission is misunderstood because all lives matter. African American/black lives matter, Anglo Saxon/white lives matter, Hispanic lives matter, Chinese lives matter, and Christian, Jew and Muslim lives matter.
However, I am an African American/black lady and I understand the root of the Black Lives Matter movement. Civil rights have been fought for from 1865 to now. The first generation still has a slave mentality. Members of the second generation were taught in segregated schools and taught that they could be whatever they wanted to be if they worked hard at it--a lawyer, doctor, teacher, preacher, nurse, politician, and even the president and first lady of the United States of America.
The third generation is the generation of Why. Why is it that African Americans/blacks seem to have the highest percentage of poverty, unemployment, homelessness and some still live in shanty shacks? Education is also an issue because it appears the Little Rock School District is "dumbing down" African Americans/black youth. Some have slipped through the cracks and do not know the three R's: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. This is why education starts at home.
Why does it seem the criminal justice system is designed to incarcerate young black men by the masses? Society treats jail and prison like a business, and with a business you have to have revenue, clients or customers. So the business is surviving off the backs of young African Americans.
I have two children and I do not put them on a pedestal where they can fall off. I listen, communicate and I tell my children that black lives matter "too" because all lives matter.
MARQUITTA J. CORBIN
Who hates America?
A recent Voices correspondent was so full of contempt for President Obama, whom he described as "this America-hating ... Big Brother/Big Government fanatic ... Barack Hussein Obama ..." that it seemed he could barely keep his gun in his holster. I believe most intelligent readers are fully aware that when someone contemptuously uses the president's middle name in that way, the racist message is just under the surface.
But your reader had other liberal fish to fry. It seems like the tens of millions of rational people in this country who favor some modicum of new gun legislation to stem the sickening spectacle of mass shootings in this country, especially in schools and churches, are nothing more than "leftist gun-grabber fanatics."
It is difficult to disagree or have an informed debate with someone so seemingly removed from reality as to sound almost extraterrestrial. To my deranged liberal mind, calling the twice-elected president of the United States "America-hating" is just as unpatriotic and deplorable as burning the American flag is to others.
DAVID E. COCKCROFT
An encouraging sign
For those here in Arkansas who want to see economic opportunities expanded, there is good news coming out of Congress. The U.S. House of Representatives recently voted with an overwhelming majority to reauthorize the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, which has supported over $230 billion of American-made exports since 2007.
I applaud Rep. Steve Womack for recognizing the vital importance of Ex-Im to Arkansas businesses and joining over 120 other Republicans voting in favor of a long-term Ex-Im reauthorization.
Ex-Im is important because it unlocks new markets for small businesses like mine. My company, BCH Trading, distributes American lumber to places all over the globe, in large part due to the help of Ex-Im. Ex-Im's working capital guarantee program enables our commercial bank to offer us viable financing options; without Ex-Im, that financing would not be there to support our export production and our sales would suffer.
The reality is we live in a global economy where 95 percent of the world's consumers live outside the U.S. Trade unlocks enormous potential for growth, which makes Ex-Im all the more important for helping Arkansas businesses compete internationally and add new high-quality jobs.
Ex-Im has already helped support over 4,500 jobs in Arkansas, and I am confident that number will grow if the Senate follows Representative Womack's lead and completes the reauthorization of Ex-Im.
Two of your columnists, Philip Martin and John Brummett, recently gave their insights and opinions on past and present participants in the political arena. Mr. Martin's column, "Why Bernie Sanders matters," left this reader with the impression that Mr. Martin thinks Bernie Sanders is a "lost cause" and he is not really a Democrat, then lumps him with people who run for office for such reasons as having relatives who like to see their loved ones' names in the newspaper, "self-aggrandizers," and those who think they can "monetize" whatever attention they received.
Well, gosh, people who run for public office because no one else will, and do so standing for the principles that Democrats have always espoused, and realizing that if somebody doesn't run who can't be bought, bribed or bullied--well, my hat is off to them.
And, we need to encourage, not discourage, the principled people to run so that maybe one day Mr. Brummett will not have to write yet another article concerning the ongoing front-page news involving public officials, and the ongoing saga of money and influence-peddling by whatever big-money influence brokers happen to be in the spotlight for the moment.
JANIS K. PERCEFULL
Editorial on 11/05/2015