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  1. Political Spectrum: A View from the Right — Does the financial industry need more government regulation?

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    May 24, 2012 by Mike Landry

    When I was a kid there was a newspaper cartoon by Harry Shorten and Al Fagaly  featuring ongoing scenarios about people doing the kinds of obnoxious things that get under our skin. The cartoon was “There Oughta Be A Law.” I guess the cartoons were funny then.  Today, that title turns me off. Because when crooks break laws, government responds by developing new ones. Take for example Enron.  It crashes, people are ruined. There oughta be a law!  So legislators pass new laws to ensure another Enron cannot occur and in the course of it hamper the abilities of honest companies to conduct their business.  Never mind that masterminds who created the Enron collapse went to jail under laws already on the books.

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  2. Political Spectrum — A View from the Left: Does the financial industry need more government regulation?

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    May 23, 2012 by Richard Drake

    Does the financial industry need more government regulation? Government regulation. The horror of the ages. Urban legend tells us that regulations kill the
life blood of American creativity, that “job creators” across this great nation of ours would be hiring workers by the bushel if weren’t for those regulations, which govern everything from workplace safety to environmental protections. And nowhere, the legend goes, does the hand of regulation have a more strangling effect than on our financial industry. And one of the most vicious pieces of legislation, the one that has kept the best and brightest helping to left our economy from the recession we now find ourselves in. When we talk about legislation of late, we talk of two things: J.P. Morgan and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The fact that J.P. Morgan lost so much of its investors’ money might seem to play up the urgency for bills such as Dodd-Frank, yet for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the J.P. Morgan crisis matters – pardon the pun, but I can’t help myself – not a whit. In fact, as he pointed out on a news show this week, somebody made money off the debacle, and …

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  3. Speed Bumps; Do The Research Then Do Something

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    May 23, 2012 by Steve Winkler

    [Click here or somewhere] Any discussion of the automobile will at some point become controversial and emotionally charged.  They’re a blessing and a curse. We hate them, love them; we love to hate them. We can’t live with ’em; can’t live without ’em. Cities, large and small, around the world devote exorbitant amounts of attention to the car’s pollution, regulation, parking, roads, and traffic control.  One device to reduce speed and volume is the “traffic calming” device introduced in 1970 known as the speed bump. Speed bumps, speed humps and speed tables began appearing in Fayetteville several years ago and the bumps arrived last year to West Fork. First, residents of Doke Street requested and got them, followed shortly by requests from Pleasant Street and Riverwood Street residents. Not everyone thought the “sleeping policeman” as they’re called in Europe were a good idea. Fire Chief McCorkel spoke against them at several council meetings noting the damage they can cause emergency vehicles and also resulting in slower response time. At the April council meeting it was reported  that “while it is a common practice to cut the middle out of a speed bump for kids on bikes and motorcycles, the removal of …

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  4. Letter to the Editor: Tax ‘Em All

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    May 15, 2012 by wcobserver

    The good intentioned people of the Quorum Court have passed to some of the voters, a measure that will extract yet another incremental tax increase from all of us. I say some voters because this will be on a May ballot which all involved know is lightly attended by the public at large. We can call this fair in the sense that it is a public vote but make no mistake; it is clearly intended to sway the result from the limited turnout as opposed to allowing this to be included in the well attended November election. This dichotomy should be explained in any elections that the issue included has no real time constraint. Do they really purport this to be a democratic act? The reason I oppose this measure is twofold. First, anyone who will consider the simple arithmetic will see that this is a manufactured entitlement. Using the ORT figures, ridership is at best 250,000 per year, the fare is $1.25, and the tax increase, not the total spent, is over $7 Million.  ORT further claims that ridership will exceed 1.2 Million in 2012 and although far fetched, would yield: $1.25 rider fare times the exaggerated 1.2 million …

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  5. Political Spectrum: View from the Right

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    May 8, 2012 by Mike Landry

    Question: Washington County voters, on May 22, will decide whether or not to establish a quarter cent sales tax that would provide $7.5 million annually for Ozark Regional Transit.  Do you support passing this measure? Why or why not.   By Mike Landry Ozark Regional Transit (ORT) wants you to give them $7 million a year to build another government empire. The Empire of the Magic Buses. ORT wants a full-blown urban bus system for Washington County. And it’s all speculative. There’s no current demand for the service ORT proposes. Rather, it’s all based on the Field of Dreams concept of mass transit: “If you build it, they will come.” It’s magic. ORT says annual ridership will increase tenfold from its current 200,000 to 2 million by 2022. There we’ll be, lugging around our laptops, sales presentations, groceries, and infants. And we’ll be smiling as we whisk through Washington County on the magic buses because…because… Well, if they build it, we will come. And it gets better. With all the planned increased services and capital goodies of this empire (including getting rid of most of their little $70 thousand vehicles for full-sized $400 thousand buses), ORT has no plans to …

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  6. Political Spectrum: View From the Left

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    May 8, 2012 by Richard Drake

    Question: Washington County voters, on May 22, will decide whether or not to establish a quarter cent sales tax that would provide $7.5 million annually for Ozark Regional Transit.  Do you support passing this measure? Why or why not.   By Richard Drake As I write this, I am sitting in western Oklahoma, which, on a clear day, is sort of like seeing Northwest Arkansas in a funhouse mirror. This city does not encourage recycling, and sidewalks – oh, I still haven’t seen one of those yet, and I have been here a little over a week. There is no public access television, no volunteer citizen committees to advise local governments and no public transportation. It may be a city, but it doesn’t appear to be a community. It is Social Darwinism at its finest, and I can’t wait to come home. It is, however, the perfect place to ponder this question. I wouldn’t want to live in a city which lacks any of the above. To find oneself in such a place, which seemingly feels no need for any of them, boggles the mind. To paraphrase a quote from those great musical philosophers, The Animals, “I gotta get out of …

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  7. Letter to the Editor: Support ORT

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    May 8, 2012 by wcobserver

    You’ve heard the old saying, “give a man a fish you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for life.” So what if the man already knows how to fish but lives too far from the water to be able to fish.

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