Stop state's bullying

Does it strike anybody else as a particularly "1984"/"Brave New World"/"Alice in Wonderland" moment when Sister Sarah and her mules piled the whole emergency clause-driven power of the state of Arkansas on the backs of some 600 Arkansas citizens (out of more than 3 million) whose gender identity declarations harm absolutely no one whatsoever at precisely the same time these same officials are using the full weight of Arkansas law (Act 411) to promote and protect the poor, fragile snowflakes in the energy, gas, and oil business from "discrimination" with no regard whatsoever to costs or to the best interests of Arkansas taxpayers, retirees, and others who might get in their way?

Sister Sarah and her many mules would do well, in my opinion, to heed the words of the anonymous and profound wag cited by Paul Prather in this paper on March 23: "Almost everything is none of my business." Seriously, stop state-sponsored bullying, y'all. It's a nasty mess. We don't allow it in schools, and we should not allow it in state government.


Little Rock

Immigrants needed

I was appalled by Richard Sanders' letter of March 30. First of all, as a liberal, I would not vote for Caligula under any circumstances.

Mr. Sanders' statements regarding immigrants are largely inaccurate. While we need a humane and practical solution to immigration, President Joe Biden has not opened the floodgates, and a comprehensive border security bill was torpedoed by Mr. Donald Trump, a proven liar and narcissist, as he believed it would hurt his election chances. The migrants crossing the border now are not "the worst of the worst." They are almost exclusively citizens of nearby countries wanting a better life, and some of them are literally running for their lives. Studies have shown a lower crime rate for illegal immigrants than the native-born population.

Quoting a Chicago Tribune editorial reprinted in the March 18 edition of the Pine Bluff Commercial, "our need for economic growth still dictates that migration at the sort of levels we're seeing now must continue in order to keep the U.S. population rising enough to provide the labor we need and keep the economy healthy." Who do we see working on replacing roofs in the middle of summer in 100- degree temperatures, or overwhelmingly working in landscaping? Not the native-born.

I question whether Mr. Sanders or others questioning the contribution of today's migrants would have been on the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Maryland in the middle of the night to patch the potholes. The men that perished there were all migrants.



Trash on the roadway

Re Nell Matthews' account of an uncovered vehicle and trash littering the road, I was following a Waste Management truck once, and packing sheets of foam were blowing out. I called the company and reported it.

The ones who trim trees and bushes do not always have their trailers covered (or the back of the trailer is open) and debris blows out. People driving pickups throw drink cups, etc., in the bed of the truck and litter when air movement blows it out onto the roadside.

We have all seen someone throw trash out of their vehicle. Is anyone ever fined for littering?



Let someone else in

I agree with Marvin Schwartz. The Sunday paper is looking like a Philip Martin vanity project. Let's hear more voices in the arts reviews and on the editorial pages.



Save Social Security

Social Security wasn't taken seriously until I retired. Now I pay close attention. Recently the Republican Study Committee unveiled a budget that calls for cutting Social Security benefits. They say that Social Security will run out of money within the next 10 years. Instead of looking for funding, they propose cutting benefits and raising the retirement age.

I've never heard them speak of running out of money for government pensions. They always seem to find the money for congressional raises. But when it comes to a benefit we paid into our entire work lives, then we're short of money!

There does seem to be a solution. Bernie Sanders is a sponsor of the "Social Security Expansion Act." It would increase our benefit, fund Social Security for 75 years and pay for it by taxing the rich more. U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., introduced the "Boosting Benefits and COLAs for Seniors Act." It would fund Social Security by raising the payroll tax or increasing the Social Security payroll tax income limit beyond the current $168,600. That means you paid Social Security tax on every dollar you earned last year. Tim Cook of Apple paid Social Security taxes on the first $168,600 he made. It took him about two hours to reach the cutoff. If the top 10 CEOs paid Social Security tax on all their income, including stock options, it's estimated the system would have received $3.4 billion in 2023.

To our elected representatives on the Republican side, it would make more sense to give us back less of our money and makes us work longer for it. I'd like to know how our representatives and senators from Arkansas feel about this. Surely they'd eagerly vote for one of the proposals. I, for one, would urge a "yes" vote.



Charging for Bibles

I'm confused. Wouldn't a devout practicing Christian who is a billionaire distribute free Bibles to people?



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