After the letter from Mr. Mayberry in Sunday's letters, I would like to get a full list of all the accomplishments of the Trump administration that Mr. Mayberry was extolling. I didn't hear any specifics.
But through my lens I see his (Trump's) chief legislative accomplishment as the tax cut where most went to corporations and the wealthy. I see a country more deeply divided than ever, covid running wild. Hospitals getting filled up rapidly. Lying about things like windmills, covid being a hoax or over-hyped, Mexico will pay, national debt and the deficit going through the roof. Lies about the results of the election. Stacking the Supreme Court for his preferred ideology. Blaming Democrats for his failures. Demonizing anyone who disagrees with him. Twittering endlessly. Facts being twisted. Nepotism with family members on the payroll. Endless, useless court cases to keep him in power. Infantile behavior. Narcissism running wild in maskless covid-spreading rallies. White House weekly firings.
I don't care about where the capital of Israel is located, but I do care about my daily existence in this country and see nothing to improve my life except for the tax break of $14 per week. It didn't buy me. Oh, yeah--hacking of government computers and 300-plus trips to the golf course.
On essential business
Looking at the list of businesses that are supposed to close during the pandemic versus those that are considered essential, one great exception is Walmart. Why is it considered essential?
As the smaller mom-and-pop stores are driven out of business, all that is left is Walmart. The petty bureaucrat that made up the list might as well have been on Walmart's payroll. That list was obviously not made out by an independent committee or commission. Why are gun stores essential? Why are nail salons on the list of some nerd who has never been in one? Most barber shops have one or two chairs, obviously not a threat.
As we continue to ruin the economy of this country, that list needs to be revised and reviewed. Already over 100,000 small restaurants have been driven out of business.
F. RICHARD JORDAN
North Little Rock
Could be better spent
Over half a billion dollars spent on the Georgia runoff! That is just immoral.
Yes, I do understand the issues, but what I do not understand, with so much money available, is why millions of Americans go hungry.
They're cutting in line
What makes politicians think they have the right to jump to the front of the line to get their vaccines? Just the other day the vice president-elect was shown getting her vaccine ahead of doctors, nurses, the elderly and many others who needed it a lot more than she did. She and all the other politicians doing like her should be ashamed of themselves. Wait your turn.
Tweak the bill's name
Re the "hate crimes" bill: I like the bill, but not the billing. Billing this bill as the "hate crimes" bill is off-putting. Tune out. Turn off.
The term "hate crimes" puts many people off immediately. Why? Because most people do not consider themselves hateful and, accordingly, become very defensive very quickly. Using the word "hate" is a trigger for a predictably dismissive and negative response. As in "this doesn't apply to me" because I am not hateful.
I believe a better description, a better moniker, a better "billing" for this bill would be the "enhanced penalty bill."
When a reasonable citizen or legislator hears or reads "enhanced penalty" they should pause a moment and ask themselves "penalty for what"? Pausing allows for reflective thought.
An actual reading of the bill confirms it does not criminalize hateful thought. Nor does it criminalize hateful speech. It simply enhances penalties only after a conviction of an underlying offense, and only if there is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the criminal defendant purposely selected the victim due to the victim's race, color, religion, ethnicity, ancestry, national origin, homelessness, gender identity, sexual orientation, sex, disability or service in the United States armed forces.
If someone purposely selected the above victims, the resulting penalty would be enhanced only 20 percent.
Reflect on that.
And then advocate that at least five of the eight Senate Judiciary Committee members move the bill forward from the committee to the full Legislature so it can receive the consideration and discussion it deserves.
Kudos to Democrat-Gazette reporter John Moritz on an outstanding interview of retiring Arkansas Supreme Court Associate Justice Josephine Hart. Through his thoughtful and insightful questions, readers actually came away with a clear understanding of who Justice Hart is and her approach to law and the legal system.
I say "kudos" because this type of journalism, while common in this paper, is appallingly scarce in the current world of alleged news reporting. Those who consume news from multiple sources today are well aware of a reporter's agenda and opinions simply by listening to or reading their biased, egotistical verbiage.
In reference to Justice Hart's retirement, as well as the departure of U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas Cody Hiland, both represent a great loss to the people of the Natural State. Good wishes to each one.
North Little Rock
Verse same as first
In reading about the policy changes of the new president, it seems we have elected Barack Biden.