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OPINION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Paring bureaucracy | His love is selective? | When grownups talk

November 22, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

Paring bureaucracy

The new Congress needs to lead with budget and deficit reduction actions and be very specific in defining and explaining said actions. For instance, I think the current thousands of IRS regulations need to be "thrown out" and replaced with dozens of simplified regulations. In tune with this, the IRS staff should be reduced from tens of thousands to hundreds. Even easier than this task is eliminating the wasteful, useless departments of Education and Energy.

In any case, very specific reduction targets should be set and progress toward those targets regularly reported.



His love is selective?

Dang! I always thought God loved everybody, but I guess some Arkansas Methodists do not subscribe to that theory.


Little Rock

When grownups talk

"Woke" has been in the news lately and surfaced as a topic at the Men's Coffee. Governor-elect Sarah included dealing with undesirable indoctrination as one of her eight promises. Ron DeSantis referenced his intent to stomp out wokeness in general, members of the Conway School Board have passed a policy of eliminating various woke subjects: any historical mention of racism, the existence of LGBTQ-related "deviations" from the norm, and sex-related topics.

The discussion ranged widely, touching on a variety of related factors, all worth considering. One legitimate question raised: how much of all this should be matters discussed in the home. Another is the potential conflict with religious standards and beliefs. There is the question of institutional presentations in curriculum analogous to one-side-fits-all. Should all views be included? Then there is the need to consider why, what are the objectives, and of course when and where. Sarah's concern over indoctrination is a fair point. How can the notion of "woke" be framed in a positive way that produces an informed person who is still free to think critically about issues that are real and do have an influence on how we interact with each other? We were just getting started when our time ran out.

The Men's Coffee may be a little shy of Socrates, Plato, and Xenophon's discussions in the Agora of Athens, but they are typically friendly, respectful, and enlightening.


Little Rock

Time to accept truth

I believe the short political career of Donald Trump is over. If he is never convicted of any crime, which as slippery as he is is quite possible, he is a loser. This great country has enough level-headed citizens who want to look ahead to better representation in our government; returning to Trumpism is not an option. If the Republican Party nominates Trump at its convention, it will lose the presidential election, and it knows that.

The sun sets in the west, Donald; ride into it.



Diesel deficit looms

The recent economic report was good. Inflation was a bit less and in Arkansas gas prices were way down. However, one issue that President Biden has not attacked yet is a complex problem, like so many we have dealt with since March 2020.

The diesel fuel reserve is the lowest since 2008, an issue not making many headlines or TV soundbites. Those who read often know that after the three-month 2020 lull in businesses of all kinds, demand for gas and diesel increased greatly in late 2020 and early 2021, and continues. Low supply, affected greatly by multiple refineries closing in 2020, caused wholesale prices of both to jump fast. Who uses the most diesel? Semis carrying all kinds of products, including food.

The heart of our heavy inflation rests on the economic method that has made the USA the greatest economic power in the world, but its weakness lies in the principle of supply and demand. President Biden is being pressured to use a portion of the home heating reserve for diesel supply. He did that with petroleum and it has helped some at the pump with gas prices. The Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates to fight inflation, and it is helping some. But the diesel deficit will be the next hurdle. Gentle readers should prepare for a repeat of gas-price raises and especially food costs staying high. Diesel suppliers will increase prices that will pass on to consumers.

This complex matter will not end soon. Previous inflationary periods demonstrate that reduction takes time.



Served our country

Steve Foster's letter posted in the Nov. 19 edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette made me stop and wonder just how hard military life must be. Mr. Foster made his point about serving our country by cleaning toilets, but I assure you that he did much more than that. His letter was posted a week after honoring our veterans on Nov. 11.

Ralph Pace, a high school classmate, joined the Marines in 1966, and he also served our country by cleaning toilets. After serving our country that way, he was sent to Vietnam and was killed the day he arrived.

I personally want thank Mr. Steve Foster and everyone else who served our country, from cleaning toilets to giving your life for our freedom. God bless America!



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