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U.S. must be better

Is this my country anymore? I made a mistake. I clicked on a link where Trump was speaking live. I swear I don't know my country any longer. When the president of the United States still refuses to say out loud that the alleged killer in Kenosha, Wis., one of his supporters, was wrong ... I don't recognize my country any longer. It seems Trump is now pulling out all the stops to call for an outright race war. I was taught the Civil War settled it, but it took years and years of fighting in the streets and the courts to actually allow some people to even vote. Yet I was still proud that the arc of progress was bending closer toward equality. We sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Liberty," not realizing that was only reality for some of us.

Anyone who supports Trump at this point is already telling me who they are. I will believe them. This isn't personal. But now I know better; I must be better. If you aren't angry, you aren't paying attention. And I'm angry. Trump does not represent my America. My America has always included those who disagreed with me. But never on such an important moral question. You simply cannot say all lives matter until they actually do. Until then, Black Lives Matter.

And this is not about politics. This is about moral fiber and integrity. I've disagreed with presidents in the past. But they at least gave lip service to the right words. Only a vote for Biden and other non-Trump supporters will give our country a chance ... again. We must be better.

KAREN MUSICK

Little Rock

Benefits endangered

Please pay attention to changes in payroll taxes proposed by the Trump administration which have been in the news lately. Trump has repeatedly called for a cut in the payroll taxes which fund your Social Security and Medicare. He has issued an executive memorandum on a temporary payroll cut through Dec. 31, 2020. This enables employers to save money.

He thinks this will spur the economy. However, the result is less federal revenue, particularly for Social Security and Medicare. This is not fake news. This is scary. Google the letter from the Social Security Administration Chief Actuary Stephen Goss to four senators who wrote asking about the impact of these cuts. Goss writes that Social Security would be permanently depleted by 2023 if there was hypothetical legislation that changes the tax rate paid by employers, employees and self-employed individuals to zero. Even though this may be the worst-case scenario, it was important enough to be raised by these senators.

If you receive Social Security, it's also important to understand the implications of any payroll tax cut and how it may impact you. Any cuts to the current programs will be detrimental to those receiving and those about to receive benefits. If you are among those wealthy enough to live out your lives on your stock market earnings, that's great. I doubt that the majority of Arkansans are that lucky.

JOAN MILLER

Eureka Springs

Vote for justice for all

I am deeply saddened by the never-ending shootings of Black people at the hands of police, most recently that of Jacob Blake. Congress is sitting on legislation to better protect people of color. A timely response seems like a no-brainer. However, like many issues of the day, this legislation is in limbo because of partisanship and lack of compassion by many Republicans.

On June 25, the House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. It bans chokeholds, no-knock search warrants in drug cases, and it would stop police militarization. The Senate approved a less extensive proposal, the JUSTICE Act, that does not go far enough with long-term solutions for police reform.

French Hill, U.S. representative for Arkansas' 2nd District--along with all our Arkansas representatives--voted against the Justice in Policing Act.

Now the issue is stalemated and stoked by President Trump. He has not expressed sympathy for the Blake family and their community. His lackeys say the president is waiting for a briefing. Has there been a briefing yet? Perhaps Mr. Trump was more concerned about his party's convention, where he was spewing diatribes about being the "law and order" president.

Recently, the president was still silent about Blake's shooting, and he slammed the NBA for its peaceful protest. Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, speaking at the RNC, said, "America is not a racist country." Mr. Hill and Mr. Trump are demonstrating otherwise.

We need an across-the-board change in November. Please vote them out and vote for justice for all.

MARY JAMES

Little Rcck

Moms are warriors

Webster defines warrior as a brave or experienced soldier or fighter. For the purpose of this letter, let's omit the word "experienced" and let's substitute the word "mom" for soldier.

On July 25, 2020, a friend of a very close relative joined the "Wall of Moms" in Portland, Ore. This young woman is white and privileged, with three children. She was endeavoring to lend her support to the BLM movement by forming a barrier with other women between the peaceful protesters and the thugs sent by 45 and William Barr, to no avail. Tear gas was used to disrupt the peaceful protest ... she has photographs ... and in the confusion that followed, she was struck in her face by a foreign object. She will suffer no permanent damage, but her voice has been silenced by our government. Why? Have we lost our First Amendment right? Is our government, in particular 45 and Barr, afraid of peaceful protesters and the Wall of Moms? Did angry interlopers cause the problems? Did the government thugs then stoke the fire?

It seems 45 and his puppets are scared that the gravy train is about to end. They are scared they will all go to jail. They are scared of the Wall of Moms. They are scared of peaceful protesters. They should be. On Nov. 3, those moms, those protesters and millions of honest and hardworking American citizens will have the opportunity to go to the polls and send them all back to the ooze from whence they came.

I, along with brave moms from every state in the union, will be heard once again, loud and proud. Vote for the future of our democracy and our children. Vote like your life depends upon it ... and it just might.

TERRY BARKET

Little Rock

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