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Thursday, October 02, 2014, 7:51 a.m.
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Should be driver's choice

This article was published August 1, 2014 at 2:12 a.m.

Recently, a woman wrote a letter complaining about the seat-belt law being an invasion of our personal liberty. I fully agree with her that it is unconstitutional.

I understand the good intentions of those who enacted this law, as it does save lives. However, what I fear more than not having my seat belt on is a government that can force me to wear one or maybe be arrested for not complying with the law.

Some say the seat-belt law is there for the greater good of society as it saves lives, and giving up personal liberty for such a worthy cause will be worth it. I think we need to remember that those who give up liberty for safety end up with neither.

I would think that more deaths occur from being obese and overeating than from not wearing seat belts.

If saving lives is the justification for interference, would we want them regulating our eating habits? Should they tell McDonald's and Burger King what they can or cannot serve to the public? When government starts down this road it doesn't stop until freedom is gone. As Ronald Reagan said, "Government cannot control the economy without controlling people."

It seems the greater good of the people has been the justification for the worst tyrants in history to enslave man. I believe our lawmakers have forgotten that we have a Constitution to protect individuals from government.

Personally, I wear my seat belt almost 100 percent of the time; however, the decision to wear it should be mine and not the government's.

K.K. KENNEDY

Austin

Recognize hard work

In this day and time, we so often hear the negative, the complaints or obtain service lacking of quality, but we never seem to hear enough of the positive, the compliments or receive excellent service. I would like to extend some positivity and show my appreciation to a group of men and women who are seldom recognized.

Many accolades should be bestowed to the employees who comprise the city of Fayetteville's Water and Sewer Department and Recycling and Trash Collection Department for the excellent job they tirelessly perform day in and day out.

Every time I have had a reason to call one of these two departments, I have always received prompt service and come across helpful, courteous employees. If I mistakenly reached the wrong department, they have gone out of their way to transfer me to where I needed to be.

Recently there was another such occasion when I contacted the Water and Sewer Department after I had detected an outdoor sewage odor for several days. Within 30 minutes a department employee was at my front door investigating the cause, reporting the findings and lessening an even-worse problem.

We are very fortunate here in Fayetteville to have city offices that emulate the quality of life that the citizens of this community know and love. My countless thank yous to the city of Fayetteville's Water and Sewer and Recycling and Trash Collection departments for their hard work, care, dedication and a job well-done!

JENNIFER A. LAW

Fayetteville

It's more complicated

The proposed increase in the minimum wage may lead to an increase, a decrease or no change in employment.

The outcome depends on the relative levels of the current minimum wage, the competitive wage and the proposed minimum wage. It also depends on the elasticities of supply and demand in the labor markets, the substitutability of inputs, possible disequilibriums in capital and labor markets, and the current sharing of the fruits of joint production.

To suggest that the result is a foregone conclusion which can be intuited with common sense, as you did in your editorial of July 23, is misleading. Economics may seem like simple common sense to the uninformed, but actually it is quite complicated.

LEN WHITE

Fayetteville

Should be ashamed

I've always been a fan of public art, and have been proud of my North Little Rock for giving us some. Among the best are the paintings by Theresa Cates, covering up a couple of ugly electrical boxes.

We've been admirers of Theresa's work for several years. Her vivid colors, the composition of her paintings, the spirit and verve that obviously go into her paintings--she's just very accomplished.

Many of her paintings are childhood memories of Sunday church services, at which the congregants, and especially the ladies, dressed to the nines, give thanks and glory to God. Someone complained to the city of North Little Rock that one of her paintings, on the edge of Park Hill, should be removed because it was "ethnic." I haven't decided whether the complainer and the city employee who caved are cultural neanderthals, or racist--or both. (I forgot to mention, Theresa and her subjects are African American.)

Now someone's pressuring Jacksonville to commit the same shameful action to her Spirit Dance painting on one of its electrical boxes. I would hope that those responsible for this desecration of art would be ashamed. Unfortunately, I doubt they have the good sense or the good taste to realize they should be.

J. MAURICE ROGERS

North Little Rock

Don't cross that line

My wife and I have lived in Northwest Arkansas for four years. As in any new place, people must adjust to traditions, customs and folkways when they move to a new area. One that defies us is a subject that Mike Masterson has brought up in a couple of columns.

Why do people in Arkansas drive left of center? We noticed it when we first arrived and then were troubled by the reports of numerous head-on collisions caused by this phenomenon. It is a weekly ritual to read about these types of crashes that usually result in death or major injury. I come close to taking out mailboxes to avoid people who hug or cross the yellow lines on a regular basis. What is the answer, Mike?

Along with people driving five inches from my bumper, this is a very annoying and dangerous habit that seems to occur at an alarming rate here.

DON LANDRUM

Fayetteville

To fix those potholes

Concerning the recent Mahatma column about the numerous street potholes throughout Little Rock, I would like to commend the city workers for quickly patching all of the potholes that I report. I see many while driving and bicycling.

Call 311 or use 311 online at LittleRock.org. Also, there is a Little Rock City phone app that allows you to report those and other problems. The city will fix them if you let them know.

JAMES BRITT

Little Rock

Superceding secular

It's really not difficult to understand.

Fact: The Bible is not the U.S. Constitution and may not legally supersede secular laws. Fact: The First Amendment's establishment clause makes it unconstitutional to pass laws forcing people to follow any religious belief, even Christian beliefs.

Unfortunately, it seems many current Supreme Court justices, as well as Republican legislators and governors, believe Christian dogma should be given the force of law.

Every day, I believe "Christian-based laws" restrict our constitutional rights, illegally discriminate against targeted groups, undermine our education system, block legitimate health care and force non-Christians to behave as if they believe Christian mythology or face civil punishment.

LGBT marriage and adoption; safe, legal abortion; buying alcoholic beverages; gambling for money and other legal behaviors are punished because of Christian laws. It seems that allowing job discrimination against non-Christians; blocking health-insurance payments for legal contraception; forcing teachers to ignore science and teach creationism; forcing employers to pay employees for religious holidays and other unconstitutional acts are not ethical, yet legal due to Christian laws.

With the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision treating businesses like churches, we're closer to trading democracy for theocracy. I believe biblical law--stoning blasphemers and burning witches at the stake--is no different than Sharia law. Hopefully, secular sanity and the Constitution will prevail and all Christian laws will be overturned.

In the meantime, freedom of religion must end where freedom from religion begins!

JIM BLOK

Benton

An ancient promise

There is an ageless wisdom straight from our creator, God's mouth, concerning sowing and reaping. It is likened to a farmer sowing seeds and getting a harvest of whatever he puts in the ground.

I believe we as a nation have forsaken Godly truths, and as the old song says, we have done it our way. As a result, we are drowning in a harvest of greed, materialism and immorality.

The answers to world problems and individual nations will never be found in man's wisdom. The elusive peace that the world is crying for and frantically searching for is like sifting sand in an hourglass that is slowly but surely running out.

I think our elected leaders, and every citizen that dwells in this land who is concerned about the abyss of self-destruction we are headed for, need to review the ancient moral truths America was founded on or else we will perish as a nation. The evidence is getting clearer every day that we are on a path of no return.

I believe the answer to the godless seeds we have sown as a nation is found in three words of warning: repent, return, restore. That is also an ancient promise that has never failed in its eternal wisdom for mankind.

WILLA ROMINE

Bryant

Editorial on 08/01/2014

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Vickie55 says... August 1, 2014 at 11:55 a.m.

Jim Blok, another law that has always puzzled me is the fact that alcohol cannot be sold on Sunday. That is definitely a "Christian-based law".

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