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Arkansas' early days

The Pages from the Past feature is now part of my everyday reading of the Democrat-Gazette, right after I've looked at Section B and Sports. Celia Storey's introductions to each day's Pages from the Past are enlightening, and I've used a magnifying glass to read the old page with its very small type.

The language from that time is charming. Stories about General Lafayette in Philadelphia, pirates being chased by Commodore Perry, treaties with Choctaw and Osage Indians, determining boundary lines between the U.S. and Canada, written as new or three-month-old news items are fascinating.

In Sunday's reprint from March 7, 1826, citizens are urged by the publisher of the Gazette to be vaccinated against smallpox, which had appeared and had already caused deaths at Arkansas Post. Safe vaccines were available in Little Rock. Sadly, sometimes old news is new news.

Thanks for adding this feature. I'm looking forward to learning more about the early days in Arkansas from this "new" old news.

BARBARA HAWES

Little Rock

Majority should rule

I'm confused. I thought that democracy meant that the people voted and we did what the majority wanted. Since when do one or two in the minority have veto power?

Recently, a teacher was cited by a parent for saying "God bless America" after the pledge of allegiance. It seems to me that the response to that should have been "Live with it." I could go on, but you get the point.

Using that same logic, if one or two object to people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and/or Martin Luther King, are we supposed to act like they never existed? I think that it's time that the tail stopped wagging the dog.

JOE WHALEN

North Little Rock

Ludicrous, illogical

In a letter on the Voices page, D.H. Ridgway states in the last paragraph, "the needs of the masses always supersede those of the few." I submit that this idea is both ludicrous and illogical.

Why should the needs of anyone be less important and valid than that of anyone else in a given society? Far from being an expression of logic, the claim that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, an obvious connection to Star Trek and attributed to the character named Mr. Spock, is an arbitrary assertion, and a restatement of the baseless moral theory known as utilitarianism. Why is their benefit--that of the many--the proper benefit? On whose scale?

Utilitarianism asserts that each individual should act to serve the greatest good for the greatest number. However, what logic actually dictates is that if human beings want to live and achieve happiness, two of the three precepts in the Declaration of Independence, they must identify and pursue the values that make that goal possible, the third precept of the Declaration, "liberty." The pattern holds for all values.

Logically, the only ultimate reason we as humans need to pursue any value is in order to live and prosper, as Ayn Rand points out in The Objectivist Ethics.

The only principle consistent with logic, and thus humanity, is that if we want to "live long and prosper," as Mr. Spock often was heard to say, we must use the correct logic to pursue our life-serving values and purpose.

RICHARD SCHREIBMAN

Fayetteville

Pharmaceutical ads

Realizing the power of the lobbyists that represent the pharmaceutical companies, it will be an uphill challenge, but I have written to my U.S. senator and representative to ask them if they would consider introducing legislation that would prohibit the advertisement of prescription drugs via TV, radio, and newsprint.

My voice alone will have little if no impact, so I would like many others to consider making the effort to contact your legislators with the same request. The cost of advertisement is passed on to the consumer, and we all know that the rising cost of prescription medication is a concern.

Our personal physicians are the only ones who have the authority to prescribe controlled drugs. We need to trust their expertise to prescribe the meds we need, not the pharmaceutical companies who are out to make a greater profit. We should not tell our physician what medication we need; they tell us based on their years of dedication in the study of medicine and treatment.

We do not need to be persuaded by the pharmaceutical companies to diagnose our need for prescribed medications.

JAMES KITTS

Searcy

Editorial on 05/14/2019

Print Headline: Letters

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