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Advice will be shared

I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading Mike Masterson's column sharing his grandfatherly advice. His down-to-earth, common-sense style is truly inspiring. The advice that he shared will be shared with our children and grandchildren. Thanks for publishing his column.

JUDY SMITH

Jacksonville

How we'll be voting

It's that time again, when we directly choose our leaders and keep our fingers crossed that our country will still be here by the end of the week.

A few of us will not vote at all to "make a statement"--one that few people will ever hear anyway. A few will think their votes don't matter. A few of us will vote strictly along party lines. A few will vote third-party candidates--usually a wasted effort. A few of us will ignore the "down-ballot" candidates--always a mistake because they are responsible for most for our daily lives. A few of us will vote only for candidates who share our views on "none-of-your-business" social issues like gay marriage, abortion, who can use which bathroom, etc. Some cannot "bring themselves" to consider a woman (or man, Black, brown, red, yellow, puce or LGBTQ candidate.) Then there are those of us who will cross party lines to choose candidates who can (wait for it ...) actually do the job of representing all of us.

The bottom line is this: We are

really looking for candidates who share the root values that mean something to most of us--honesty, character, compassion, leadership, respect for the rule of law, morality and dedication to a sacred oath. If you can't find one of those who pleases you, try to find one who can work for us instead--all of us. You're never alone in a voting booth.

Vote and be well.

LINDA A. FARRELL

Bella Vista

No more conspiracies

Please, my friends, get off the conspiracy and deep-state theories. Even some liberals used to have them, especially about race and opportunities.

We are all in this together and, yes, D.C. politicians have failed us, but our democracy is in trouble if we listen to baloney talk.

STEVE WHEELER

North Little Rock

Prevent tax increase

Asa Hutchinson wants to raise taxes again. On Oct. 1, 2019, the sales tax on fuel was raised three cents on gasoline and six cents on diesel. The governor signed legislation that allowed this regressive tax. The next tax the governor wants to impose is a permanent sales tax of one-half percent. This is called Issue 1. The governor says these taxes are absorbable by the people in Arkansas. Apparently, he thinks lowering income taxes on the rich, which he just did, helps poor people.

I beg to differ. Arkansas has one of the highest sales-tax rates in the country. This rate is around 9.5 percent. The poverty rate has increased from 16.3 percent in 2017 to 16.8 percent in 2018, resulting in around 90,000 more Arkansans living in poverty. Arkansas has very low wages, which the governor apparently supports. He was against the ballot initiative to increase the minimum wage. Some families are income insecure at this time because of the impact of the covid pandemic. A sales-tax increase could be catastrophic for them. An increase of this magnitude could make it difficult for a poor family to buy necessities such as food. We certainly do not need a tax increase in the middle of a pandemic.

The Chamber of Commerce is advocating for Issue 1. The Chamber has always looked after business interests, certainly not the good of us common folks in Arkansas. The proponents of Issue 1 are running very disingenuous political advertisements. Do not fall for it. A vote for Issue 1 will raise your taxes permanently.

Governor Hutchinson, you need to do better. Arkansas, we deserve better. Vote against Issue 1 and prevent a tax increase.

JOHN ROLLANS

Little Rock

Leading responsibly

I have been shocked and amazed by the left's conformist mentality and its refusal to listen to or allow opposing thoughts. Free speech has become right speech (only my speech deserves to be heard). Individual thinking has become groupthink (phenomenon that occurs when a group of individuals reaches a consensus without critical reasoning or evaluation of the consequences or alternatives).

Your vote in the coming election should be decided by party platform, not by an individual's popularity. Our hatred toward one another must stop. I'm old enough to remember when opposing sides talked and treated each other civilly. Compromises were possible on difficult legislation. That is an example of governing responsibly. The current situation: Both parties are playing to their uncompromising "alt" sides.

From the left we continue to hear a variation of "Four Legs Good, Two Legs Better." "Animal Farm" has become a reality. Of course, let's not forget "1984." Who would've thought that "newspeak and doublethink" would be today's mantra? Mr. Orwell, you got it right.

Your ultimate choice is neither Biden nor Trump. It's economics. The root cause of almost every war ever fought is economics. Do you wish for your children to live under an economic system based on Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, or China? By their own words, I believe that is where the socialists on the left are taking us. Personally, I pray my children and grandchildren continue to live under the system that, while admittedly is imperfect, has provided more wealth, more opportunity, and greater individual freedom than all other systems combined.

Your choice!

RON HUNTER

Bryant

We don't want them

Re your editorial on Thursday: What on Earth are you doing!? Inviting people from California to move to Arkansas, and supporting a plan to exempt them from state taxes for years: Why in the world would we want to do that?

People from California are crazy. The only reason I can think of to invite people to move here from any state is to increase our tax base, which is not a very good reason to increase overcrowding, traffic, pollution, crime, etc., etc. I have lived here all my life and tried in my small way to make Arkansas a better state and, by the way, paid taxes. Why should a bunch of newbies be exempted from taxes when we don't even need or want them here? Do you want Arkansas to become the "Used to be the Natural State"?

DAVID DICKEY

Sherwood

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