Archive for Letters

Taking on trainers

As our legislators return to work this week, they will take up House Bill 1040, preventing athletic trainers from practicing in nonclinical settings and severely restricting what they can do to provide assistance to students.

Taking on trainers

As our legislators return to work this week, they will take up House Bill 1040, preventing athletic trainers from practicing in nonclinical settings and severely restricting what they can do to provide assistance to students.

As someone who has worked in college athletics for the better part of the last 15 years, I have seen up close the fine work that our certified athletic trainers do to keep our student athletes healthy.

However, State Rep. Joe Farrer (R-Austin) apparently does not see the value in the services provided by my colleagues in the athletic training profession. Perhaps, as a physical therapist, he stands to have a personal financial gain due to these restrictions, as the treatment of certain spine injuries and post-surgery rehabilitation — treatments that ATCs are licensed to conduct — would be reserved for off-site physical therapists under this legislation.

In a Dec. 20 story on KARK-TV, Channel 4, Farrer was quoted as saying "some local physical therapists and I have had some issues with some of the athletic trainers in our area. We need to clear up some of these issues."

Perhaps Farrer would like to clear up his conflict of interest in introducing this insidious legislation — if conflicts of interest even bother us anymore. But that is unlikely, as he was apparently "too busy" to discuss this legislation with KFSM-TV, Channel 5, in Fort Smith earlier this week.

Certified athletic trainers not only help students heal from injuries, they help prevent injuries, and in some cases, they save lives. Would the same interventions by athletic trainers that saved the life of a college student athlete in Arkansas be illegal because of Farrer's issues?

Just a few short days ago, the Mississippi State University basketball team's bus was just 200 yards away from a car that flipped in a single-car accident. Riders on the bus pulled the driver from her car, and she was then evaluated by the team's athletic trainer. Would that evaluation be illegal in Arkansas because of Farrer's issues?

The needs of our students are greater than any issues causing Farrer any personal consternation, and frankly, his complete lack of sound judgment in introducing this terrible bill gives me full confidence to say that I trust the talented and competent certified athletic trainers in the state of Arkansas far more than a politician with an axe to grind.

This bill currently sits with the Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee in the House. I implore the members of that committee not to let Farrer's issues take precedence over the wellbeing of Arkansas students. Kill this atrocious legislation immediately.

Paul T. Smith

Russellville

The fallacy of deterrence

Last week's article "The 91st Arkansas General Assembly: It's going to be a beast" was, overall, an excellent summary of significant legislation we may expect this year. However, I wish to correct one statement from the article regarding guns on college campuses.

In reviewing circumstances related to the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon (2015), the article incorrectly stated that UCC banned guns in violation of Oregon state law. In fact, individuals (including students) with concealed handgun permits were allowed to carry their weapons on the UCC campus and in classrooms. This fact was reported by Politifact in November 2015 when a Florida state senator declared UCC was a gun-free zone).

UCC was anything but a gun-free zone. It was known at the time of the shooting that many students had concealed handgun licenses and were carrying concealed handguns on campus. At least one of those students spoke to news media immediately following the shooting.

We are told that permitting concealed handguns on college campuses will deter mass shooters. UCC proves the fallacy of the "deterrence" argument. Knowing there were armed civilians on the UCC campus, the shooter attacked anyway. Perhaps he was hoping for a firefight that would create additional casualties? We may never know, or we may learn more when the final report of the shooting is released later this year.

Stephen Boss

Arkansans Against Guns On Campus

Fayetteville

From the web

In response to "The 91st Arkansas General Assembly: It's going to be a beast":

2017 will be the first year where we really find out exactly how heartless some of our elected legislators can actually be. We had better buckle up, because we're in for a long, bumpy ride here in Darkansas!

RYD

Thank you to the Arkansas Times for organizing this important information. Thank you Rep. Greg Leding for providing the public with a plan of action. There are still a few legislators with common sense and decent morals. I know their names. I really believe we need to hire an exorcist for the Arkansas State Legislature. They are being socially harmful, irresponsible, unreasonable, irrational, counterproductive, discriminatory, overreaching and they are hurting the state economically by driving away business and tourists. Why do they hate the people of Arkansas? Because we get in the way of the Arkansas Legislature's true God: power and greed. The political machines have offered them a lot of easy money to go down in the history books as unpatriotic traitors to their state and their country.

ShineonLibby

In response to Ernest Dumas' Jan. 12 column, "Glass houses":

The USA has meddled in the attempts of people in numerous other countries to govern themselves. That other countries and governments, and corporations spanning all the above, might use psy-ops to influence our governance should be understood. However, we should hold our leaders accountable for making false, perhaps dishonest, perhaps misinformed (lying or just dumb) statements to us, and we should try to educate an electorate capable of recognizing and responding to such challenges. These are likely to be the nature of future invasions of our borders. The redcoats are coming, via the internet and similar mechanisms, not so much by the boats and planes of yesteryear. I felt much better having a president who demonstrated the capacity to comprehend, understand and work in the nuanced gray areas of modern challenges than I feel looking forward to having a simpleminded bully thumping his chest and not really thinking about anything in particular.

deadseasquirrel

In response to Gene Lyons' Jan. 12 column, "Hillbillies":

I mostly agree with Gene; however, he failed to point out that, in the introduction to the book, J.D. Vance stated that he was a conservative in his political views and was not pretending to present an academic and unbiased viewpoint of his subjects. This book was too personal for that. This explains his tendency to assign some blame to the "hillbillies" for their own predicament. However, that does not diminish his explanation of the failure of government, or why the people are the way they are.

plainjim

Because I put my name on what I write, I have avoided many discussions on race in Arkansas. Perhaps I need to find a pen name, because my experience has been that anyone who contends there isn't hateful and two-faced racism from border to border in this state has lived a sheltered life. Regarding the book, I don't understand the empathy for the racist views. Call it as you see it, if you're gonna write about it.

Rick Fahr

I've seen Mr. Vance interviewed once about his alleged "memoir."

It took even the likes of me about three minutes to determine that he is a complete and utter fraud; he's had about as "hardscrabble" a life as Ivanka Trump and, since she's at least nominally in business, she probably works a lot harder.

Of course, you may want to buy this big pile of crap for investment purposes; I hear that a copy of Clifford Irving's bio of Howard Hughes commands a high price on eBay these days.

Joe Quimby

My problem with the haters is that they have pretty much destroyed the concept of "common good," and are against anything that would improve the common good because it would help people they don't approve of. Doesn't matter why they don't approve, they're just against helping those "others" even if it would also help them. And "others" is most easily defined by race. Because it's so easy.

Vance at least acknowledges that he doesn't understand why more people don't escape the same way he has, which, in my mind, makes him a whole lot less smart than what he thinks he is.

Vanessa

On the issue of hate: Many ignored voters felt "hated" by the press and Clintonites — constantly referred to as "uneducated" — as if formal schooling is the only definition of "educated" — and constantly lumped together as racists, xenophobia-ites, etc., and totally ignored by the Democrats. Vladimir Putin didn't stop Clinton from going to Wisconsin. The self-righteousness of the press was truly ridiculous and still is. Liberal used to mean caring for all the people — whatever happened to that concept? Hubris.

Investigator of both sides

For gun sense

Since the attack at Ohio State University, lawmakers have offered solutions they believe would prevent such scary events.

For gun sense

Since the attack at Ohio State University, lawmakers have offered solutions they believe would prevent such scary events. Recently, state Rep. Charlie Collins (R-Fayetteville) argued that all Arkansas colleges should be forced to allow the presence of loaded, hidden guns on campus, because shooters intentionally pick so-called "gun-free zones" like college campuses to wage attacks.

However, an analysis by Everytown for Gun Safety found that only 14 percent of mass shootings from 2009-2015 took place in so-called "gun-free zones." Of the at least 133 mass shootings since 2009, only two occurred at a college or university. Lawmakers like Collins are relying on this false notion of exaggerated vulnerability to carry out the gun lobby's aim to allow guns into as many places as possible with no questions asked.

In 2013, our legislature passed a law allowing faculty and staff with concealed carry permits to be armed at our colleges and universities, with the condition that institutions could choose to opt out of the law annually. Three years later, every single Arkansas college has continuously chosen to keep guns off their campuses — and they have good reason to do so.

While some may believe that only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad one, the fact is most civilians have not received law enforcement training on how to respond to active shooter incidents and severely lack the expertise required to stop a shooter.

What's more, allowing the presence of guns on campus would burden campus police and other first responders with the task of having to quickly decipher during a violent incident if a person holding a gun is a "good guy" or criminal.

If you believe our lawmakers should respect the decisions of our campus communities and ensure that Arkansas colleges continue to remain safe spaces in which to learn, I urge you to join Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. There is simply too much at stake to back down now.

Eve Jorgensen

Little Rock

Congressional perks

Did you know Congress works 10 months out of the year, taking the entire months of August and October off? Sixty days of vacation? Do you get that much? Did you know that in the 10 months they are in session they average three workdays a week? They get four-day weekends every weekend. Do you get this?

Robert Johnston

Little Rock

Lawn commandments

Governor Hutchinson signed the bill putting the Ten Commandments on the Capitol lawn. He's a lawyer and knew it wouldn't pass the Supreme Court. But before he was a lawyer, he and his wife were graduates of the fundamentalist Bob Jones University. He won't publicly admit that now, but it still compels him to sign bills by religious nuts that he knows to be illegal.

Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) says the Ten Commandments are the basis of American law. Some questions: Please show me where the Ten Commandments made the genocide of the Native Americans OK? Where did it authorize the Trail Of Tears? Where did it make the Salem Witch Trials OK? Which commandment made slavery OK? Where did Jim Crow get authorized? Where did it make the internment of innocent Japanese Americans morally right?

For that matter, where did it say torture and secret prisons under George W. Bush was OK? The simple fact is that Rapert is a phony who is pushing his religion on us with the lie that our government was built on the Ten Commandments. The above stated proves that!

And our governor is complicit in that effort because he signs such bills out of religious compulsion or to get the cooperation of his fellow fundamentalists in his "save the rich folks' money" administration.

Time will bear out what I'm writing here, I believe. Not to mention the taxpayers' money it will cost us in the courts.            

Karl Hansen

Hensley

From the web

In response to Best and Worst 2016

Always the best read of the year.

Claude Bahls

The best read of the worst year.

Yellowdogdaughter

Rapert is gonna be pissed he did not get a mention ... or did I miss it?

Arbiter of All Things AOAT

In response to an article in the Dec. 15 issue about the medical marijuana commission:

I have some concerns about how a commission [whose members] voted against medical cannabis and were appointed by opponents of medical cannabis will be able to make fair, unbiased decisions that would best benefit and meet the needs of seriously ill patients. Alleviating unnecessary suffering is what this law is supposed to be about. It sounds like the commission still wants to continue the arguments for and against it. Dr. Ronda Henry-Tillman said "not everyone in the state voted for it and we have to be conscious of that." What has that got to do with anything? The majority of the state voted for medical cannabis. Period. There wasn't a rule that said you had to cater to the minority that was against it. Does this mean the commission is going to dilute the law and only halfway honor the "will of the people"? Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2 million people in the presidential election. Do you think Donald's new Cabinet members are looking for ways not to offend or hurt those 2 million voters? I was wondering about the comment that the commission can also impose fees and receive revenue from other sources. Will these fees and revenue be available to the public? I have a hard time believing that Speaker of the House Jeremy Gillam did not receive any applications [for the commission] from attorneys who have experience in state rules and regulations. You would think Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas, would have an overabundance of them.

ShineonLibby

Ride it out

Before the JFK assassination and the dawn of conspiracy theories, we trusted our government to tell us what was what. Ike might hold back a few facts in the interest of national security, but he would never flat-out lie to us.

Ride it out

Before the JFK assassination and the dawn of conspiracy theories, we trusted our government to tell us what was what. Ike might hold back a few facts in the interest of national security, but he would never flat-out lie to us.

The 1960s changed everything. Lyndon Johnson misled us to cover up mistakes and failure in Vietnam. Nixon conducted secret raids against Laos, Cambodia and the DNC. Ever since that time, we have been witness to a parade of misinformation emanating from our leaders.   

Acid flashbacks: The government put out PSAs warning that they would be coming our way. Many spent 1970s in fear. Today, with old age upon us, we might welcome one or two just to break up the monotony. As it turned out, those flashbacks were just another empty promise.

Y2K: Need I say more. It took me years to get rid of the cans of tuna fish and evaporated milk I'd stockpiled for that dud.

Weapons of mass destruction: Last month my fourth-grader came home and told me his math class was trying to find the common denominator. I felt sorry for the lad. We were looking for that denominator when I was a kid and I truly believe it will never be found. It may be time to put weapons of mass destruction in the same category.

For decades, the public has been fed misinformation on a regular basis, but 2016 took the art to astounding new heights. We are through the looking glass now. In the words of Grace Slick, "logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead." I'm afraid there is nothing to be done for a bad trip ... err, so I've been told ... but to ride it out.

David Rose

Hot Springs

Prey

It is the nature of living things to prey on each other. Carnivores prey on herbivores and other carnivores, herbivores prey on plants, and, in some cases, plants are the predator. Just consider the Venus Fly Trap. It's that whole "circle of life" thing. 

Humans are also not exempt from this predator/prey relationship. While instances of humans actually eating other humans in a literal sense are rare, or at least antiquated, we are the predators and prey of each other nonetheless. I mean, here we are just a few days into the new year and there have already been six homicides in the state, at least as reported in the news at the time of this writing. 

Also, consider the fact that we are the only animals that, as the saying goes, "pay to live on the planet." This cost of living too often comes in the form of a predator/prey relationship. People need and want things, and other people prey on those needs and wants. The prey in this situation may not experience a literal death, such as a sheep devoured by a hungry wolf, but a death in the form of a loss of freedom. The prey in this scenario succumbs to a form of slavery. There is loss when a person's wellbeing is at the mercy of a predatory system designed to make them pay to live for the entire span of their life. This is the "circle of life" for humans. We pay to be born, we pay to live, and we pay to die.

Modern humans have lived on the earth for either 200,000 years or 6,000 years, depending on whether one subscribes to the theory of evolution or believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible. Either way, you would think in both instances we would have had the time to rise above the level of plants and animals. Guess not.

Rich Hutson

Cabot

From the web

In response to the Jan. 9 Arkansas Blog post "Legislature opens, House speaker calls for collaboration, civility":

It sounds like a good idea, and I have made a promise to myself to try to hold my tongue about the legislature this session. Let's see how long I can keep this promise.

plainjim

I'm trying to remember if Sessue Hayakawa, in his role of Col. Saito, the commandant of the Japanese Prison Camp in Burma during World War II in the movie "The Bridge on the River Kwai," ever spoke to the inmates about "collaboration and civility." I don't believe he ever used those words. 

Since Democrats in the Arkansas legislature hold not even a quarter of the seats, there will be no "collaboration and civility" in the legislative session starting today. We'll see a giant steamroller rolling over a little group of ants. Probably wordlessly except for the faint screams coming from the little pile of crumpled ants.

Let's be supportive of our tiny ant army in the legislature, but all they'll be able to do in this session is throw roadblocks at bad bills. They'll never stop them from becoming law because the votes aren't there.

Deathbyinches

Shorter translation is: Democrats should sit down and shut up. And we can all get along just fine.

wannabe conservative

Civility? Collaboration? Where did this come from? Has he been talking to some well-qualified public school educators?

Maxifer

Arkansas’s top grantmakers

I enjoyed reading Leslie Newell Peacock's recent article about Arkansas's top grantmakers. But our foundation is feeling a bit left out.

Arkansas's top grantmakers

I enjoyed reading Leslie Newell Peacock's recent article about Arkansas's top grantmakers. But our foundation is feeling a bit left out.

The Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas should appear on your annual list, coming in around No. 12 in your ranking. During 2015, we had assets of $47.3 million and awarded $3.1 million in health-improvement grants to organizations in Arkansas.

Our foundation was created in 2001 by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield to fund health-related programs solely in Arkansas. In our 15 years of grantmaking, the Blue & You Foundation has awarded more than $27 million to 1,036 health programs in Arkansas, in 176 communities and in every county of the state, except one (come on, Prairie County!)

Thanks for continuing to recognize and report on the importance of philanthropy in Arkansas.

Patrick O'Sullivan

Executive Director

Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas

Fact check

Whoa! Watch those decimals.  In the report of Arkansas's top grantmakers, the assets of the Walton Family Foundation are listed as $2.6 trillion.  In fact, they are approximately $2.6 billion (at book value; about $3.1 billion at fair market value).

Mike Watts

Little Rock

From the web

In response to the Dec. 19 Arkansas Blog item "Arkansas electors vote for Trump amid protests":

I don't remember the exact year, but many years ago my mother was selected to cast a vote for the Arkansas Electoral College. Even back then, I thought it was a concept whose time had come and gone and I begged her to decline the position. She considered it an honor and when I refused to congratulate her, my dad intervened (not good!). I told him I would never support something that took power from the people and gave it to a select few. 

Hubby and I were having the Electoral College discussion last night and I told him what I did to my mother and that 30 to 40 years later, I still feel the same way.

So what if there is a bigger concentration of people in California than Arkansas? That doesn't make the people who vote in California any less significant, enough to diminish the value of each one of those individual votes. But we are doing that exact thing and that's just not something I can support.

But I am sorry I was disrespectful to my mother.

mountain girl

A winner in name only

When this indirect election system started in 1789, the person receiving the most electoral votes became president and the runner-up got the vice president's office. The 1800 election with President Adams and Thomas Jefferson showed the problems with the system, so the Constitution was quickly amended so candidates have run specifically for president and vice president. By the way, in 1800 Jefferson became president and Aaron Burr vice president. How did that work out? Can you say "Burr-Hamilton Duel"?

Cato

In response to the Dec. 15 nonprofit profile of Arkansas Women's Outreach:

Thank you, David Koon, for bringing attention to the dignity of homeless women in Arkansas and for the information on how to contribute. Great article. I applaud Katy Simmons and Rachel Achor for seeing an overlooked need and doing something about it. Many people may just think of the male gender when they think of the homeless people in Arkansas. There has been an increase in the number of homeless women in Arkansas over the past two years. Women, who unfortunately find themselves a part of Arkansas's homeless population, have basic, everyday needs, just like women who aren't homeless. Personal hygiene is very important to improving peoples' mental and physical health. Thank you, Katy and Rachel, for starting Arkansas Women's Outreach and for doing something practical to restore the dignity and quality of life to Arkansas's homeless women.

ShineOnLibby

In response to the Dec. 8 story, "Arkansas archeologist does his job, is asked to leave":

In this new age of Donald Trump, more of this will be going on until the Section 106 review process is completely removed as a requirement.

Marc Henshaw

You are hired to do a job. You perform exceedingly well in the job. You are fired from the job for doing so (excellent job performance). What does this say about the folks in charge of said employee?

Maxifer

This is what happens when a dilettante is made head of an agency requiring actual knowledge. I thought at the start that the director would be a disaster after my disappointing experiences with her as my city councilwoman. Now with the atrocious new headquarters building and yet another example here of failure to follow the most basic steps to preserve knowledge about the city's past we see that we are getting what we voted for with Governor Hutchinson. All governors are guilty of patronage. But rewarding smart people who know their jobs and foolish people who just want to be in charge of something is quite a different thing.

preserverob

CORRECTION: The feature on the top grantmaking foundations in the Dec. 15 issue of the Arkansas Times had an error in the order of magnitude by 3, reporting the Walton Family Foundation wealth in the trillions rather than billions. For 2015, the family foundation reported assets of $2.6 billion and grant awards totaling $373 million.

Obama to-do list

It must be extremely frustrating for President Barack Obama to see our country heading for the end of the pier knowing there is nothing he can do about it. There are, however, some things he can alter and he should focus on those.

Obama to-do list

It must be extremely frustrating for President Barack Obama to see our country heading for the end of the pier knowing there is nothing he can do about it. There are, however, some things he can alter and he should focus on those.

1) Change the national anthem. Nobody can sing the Star Spangled Banner outside of those sopranos at ballparks, and even half of them can't get it right. How about something by Woody Guthrie, Ray Charles or, my favorite choice, ZZ Top's "Sharp Dressed Man"?

2) Straighten out this dollar coin fiasco. People never did warm to Susan B. Anthony. I'm sure she was a fine person but she looked like Robin Williams in "Mrs. Doubtfire." Sacajawea was an individual to be admired but the courage she displayed in going with Lewis and Clark was a bit overplayed. After all, she was living in North Dakota and married to a Frenchman. How much worse could things have gotten for her? Let's put Marilyn Monroe on the coin. Put Elvis on the flip side and people will sew leather liners into their pockets just so they can carry more of them.

3) Get rid of the designated hitter. You can mess with curling, cross-country skiing or synchronized swimming all you want to and nobody will give a flip. Change the rules of hockey or soccer if you must, but baseball is sacred. 

4) One charger fits all. We don't need half a dozen hanging out of every outlet like Rasta dreadlocks. And while we're at it, let's make all those checkout line touch pads universal as well. 

5) Get Christmas under control. Only an outgoing president with nothing to lose could take this on. I've heard it said that we are at war with Christmas. We are, and we're losing badly. Christmas has overrun Thanksgiving and sprinted across the open ground between there and Halloween like Hitler's Wehrmacht across the Russian steppes. Appeasement doesn't work with Madison Avenue. If we don't do something, and do it soon, we will be listening to insipid Christmas carols piped into our lives all year long. 

David Rose

Hot Springs

Not a path forward

Autumn Tolbert ("Stay the course," Dec. 18) doesn't like it when some folks say Dems should back off "identity politics" in favor of a progressive economic message that will appeal to the populist right. What she doesn't seem to get is that these rural white voters see themselves as the victims, as opposed to the groups normally identified by the left as being disenfranchised in this country. These people can't be shamed into voting Democratic by pointing out how mean they are. The only chance to win their votes is by appealing to their pocketbooks. Without their votes Dems will remain virtually irrelevant, which certainly won't do much for their "identity politics" agenda.

Rich Hutson

Cabot

In response to Tolbert's guest column from the web

Thank you, Autumn. I agree that we cannot compromise an inch on the value of equality or tolerance under the law, not even in the prioritization of expressing those values. When equality is threatened for any individual or group, it is immediately the priority. Aside from being a moral absolute, we have to assume that no one else will stand up for those threatened minorities. Votes can be swayed in other ways. Arguments can be reframed. An opposition party can halt the erosion of rights even in the minority. For inspiration, think of how good the Republicans have been at being a legislative roadblock, even from 2008-2010 when they were the minority in the House and Senate. Civil liberties are much harder to re-win than votes.

Scott Brock

"It's not a matter of choosing our battles; they've already been chosen for us."

... by the Republicans, of course. Do you really think they want to do anything truly substantive or final about any of those pretended concerns? They do not, in the main because those hot topics keep Republican voters very active. To resolve any of those issues would mean to lose those myopic voters and the rhetorical (and supposedly moral) upper hand against Democrats.

In the meantime, the Democrats spend far too much time in this rhetorical twilight zone far from the concerns of the average voter. I think it can be stated flatly that people who are concerned about how to pay their bills or make the rent might not give a fuck what bathroom a transgender person has to use, even if they have nothing against transgender persons and even wish them well. They just don't care.

Democrats keep bringing knives to a gunfight. I can tell you who will win every time.

A lot of you are going to have to realize that voting Obama into office wasn't the great icebreaker a lot of us thought it was going to be. Instead we've mobilized the racists and haters as a kind of blowback for our socially progressive viewpoint. And just like Clinton before him, Obama was actually a bit to the right of center. The end result was a huge sacrifice for very little gain. In hindsight, it was probably the dumbest thing Democrats ever did. And I voted for him, too.

I am just going to state it plainly: We put a black man in the White House and we thought everyone would be cool with it. Newsflash: They really weren't cool with it!

But hey, sure, whatever, keep poking fear-motivated voters like the average Republican into always voting against your causes. That'll work for sure

tiredofit

Dems path forward

The Arkansas Dems can lead by doing the opposite of what the national Dems did when they reelected the same leadership in charge since the equally embarrassing losses as seen in Arkansas. Electing 75-plus-year-olds is no way to embrace the youth.

From the web:

In response to Jay Barth's Dec. 1 column, "Arkansas Democrats' rocky road forward":

The Arkansas Dems can lead by doing the opposite of what the national Dems did when they reelected the same leadership in charge since the equally embarrassing losses as seen in Arkansas. Electing 75-plus-year-olds is no way to embrace the youth.

Pygface

Northwest Arkansas has been a Republican bastion forever, so I think this part of Barth's analysis is wishful thinking. Alas. And the appeal of populism goes "way" beyond rural voters. Finally, does anyone think the boutique feminism of "Pantsuit Nation" is going to win hearts and minds in a state that has been so nasty to Hillary Clinton? I really wanted to like this piece, but I just can't.

Jay Ball

The Arkansas Democrats are disorganized. Black Democrats distrust white leaders who failed to support Obama and who fail to support black candidates. The state party website is a mess. It appears that there are almost no activities on the calendar. Every county should have regular meetings with interesting speakers. The county organization is the fundamental component of a healthy party. The chairman and executive director should be speaking across the state on a regular basis. Democrats need to focus on the unifying and necessary issues of improved education and environment. The crime rate in Little Rock is a direct result of terrible schools. The Democrats need to worry more about fixing the schools and less about supplying jobs for inadequate administrators and teachers. Arkansas river quality is terrible, yet Beebe builds a steel mill for the Kochs and Asa puts in a paper mill for the Chinese. Connor Eldridge and Nate Steel ran good campaigns, but there was nobody out there to help them. The party chair should have ripped in to Boozman's trips to Paris and Asa's paper mill and $1 million renovations to the governor's mansion. The party apparatus is a dysfunctional mess, which serves only to greet the Clintons when they happen into town. The Clintons are not that popular in Arkansas anymore. Perhaps they should be invited to give some money to some Arkansas charities to increase their standing in the state. It is disgusting when people serve as governor and then leave town. That applies to Huckabee as well.

Populist

So let me get this straight. The Jay Barth who is writing this article about what the party should be doing is the same Jay Barth who actually thought he had a chance running as an openly gay white man in a majority African-American district and actually thought he could win? Nothing wrong with him being gay and white, but if he was naive enough to believe he could win in that Senate district, one has to question his political acumen. So why is anyone listening to him? Forget about his poor judgment in running for the senate for a minute. Just look at this article, where he writes about Pulaski and Washington counties as being the start of an activist movement in Arkansas. If you want to follow Pulaski and Washington county's lead, then the Democratic Party is definitely screwed. Most see the Democratic Party in those counties as a social club for LGBT and liberal elites. If he thinks the "activist energy" of Pulaski and Washington counties is going to change the state, he (again) is naive and sadly mistaken. The Democratic Party in this state has totally abandoned rural Arkansas. People have abandoned the party because the party has abandoned them. Bernie understood this. I don't agree with everything he stood for, but he was at least trying to talk to the disenfranchised. I admire some of the things these activists are doing, but again, do you have to call it "Pantsuit Nation?" It just highlights that Hillary lost and how out of touch the Democratic Party is. And before someone starts hollering about how she won the "popular vote," I understand that. But that is simply because she won California. She failed miserably in the Rust Belt. The Democrats need to get back to what made them dominant in days of old, and that was first and foremost, looking after working families. Yes, they need to do candidate recruitment. That is a "no brainer." But again, if he thinks the activism in Pulaski and Washington counties will translate to rural Arkansas, he is flat wrong. Keep ignoring 80% of the population and you will keep getting the same results.

Rabid

From the Dec. 4 Arkansas Blog post, "Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus":

And thus we give microphones to morons.

Silverback66

To the best of my knowledge, Bill Clinton never addressed Arkansas Boys State saying that the way to win a case in the Arkansas Supreme Court was to talk and talk and talk, until you turn black in the face. Bill Clinton never did use the office of governor to try to deny children access to public education on the basis of the color of their skin. As I remember, Orval earned $10,000 a year for about 13 years, at which time he retired into a house estimated to be worth $300,000. Oh, and Orval was never elected president of the United States. Really, Jason?

deadseasquirrel

"I don't think honoring a serial adulterer is the image we want to project ... "

Well Rapert, you just voted for one!! You will be honoring him on January 20. 

What a load of crap!

Bass Clef

Welcome proposals

Thank you for the amazing article by Benjamin Hardy and Kathryn Joyce about the overhaul of our [state Division of Children and Family Services] system to be inclusive of relatives after all of these years (at least nearly three decades) of frequently excluding family members as foster parents.

Welcome proposals

Thank you for the amazing article by Benjamin Hardy and Kathryn Joyce about the overhaul of our [state Division of Children and Family Services] system to be inclusive of relatives after all of these years (at least nearly three decades) of frequently excluding family members as foster parents. As the de facto kinship caregiver liaison in this state since 1994, I know these exclusions have been painful. I have heard the anguish of these families who lose touch with the children of their relatives. I have averaged four to six calls per day for the past 20 years of keeping documentation of relatives left behind by the system.

Their tears and heartache were truly hard for me to bear, but I continued to receive their calls despite the little I could do to remedy their exclusions. I would call various caseworkers, or even senior management, nearly always to be told, "You don't know the other side of the story." I would then observe so many of these children remaining in foster care, never knowing there was a caring relative who wanted to be there for them but a 20-year-old marijuana charge was in the way, or a caseworker claimed their frequent calls were harassment, rather than full-blown anxiety on their part.

I am so grateful for these remarkable policy changes. Thank you to all who helped make these changes possible. Personally, I would love to be part of this change happening, and I will certainly do everything I can to let our families know they will be better considered than in the past.

And thank you to Hardy and Joyce and the Arkansas Times for the role your reporting may have had in pushing this policy change.

Dee Ann Newell

Little Rock

Be truly progressive

It's time for the so-called "liberal media" to stop telling red-staters how shameful it is to support such a mean-spirited political agenda like that of the modern-day Republican Party. For years now, we've read the writings of left-leaning journalists telling us how evil conservatives are for supporting a political party that promotes such an angry and discriminatory agenda. Rural white evangelicals and alt-right types will not be swayed by heart-felt appeals to secular humanism's color-blind benevolence. Pointing out decades of bigotry and ignorance have done nothing to convince the right to embrace a more socially tolerant and economically viable approach to government. To keep populist conservatives from voting against their own self-interest, Democrats are going to have to embrace a truly progressive message that shows them in no uncertain terms how voting for Republicans is the equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot financially. Stop focusing on the mean-spiritedness of those who placed Trump in the White House and show them how a progressively liberal approach to policy is better for most people, economically speaking. Continuing to focus on the racism and lack of education of rural white voters will do nothing but encourage them to keep voting Republican.

Rich Hutson

Cabot

Trump doesn't want the job

It would be better if Trump just admits he never expected to actually win the presidency and knows he is not up to the job. His wife knows it — she does not even want to go with him to Washington, D.C. They only wanted to enhance their brand to advance the chances of their various businesses. Now they'll have to use a blind trust to avoid the appearance of profiteering from their high government positions. That's got to be hard on a legendary capitalist's capitalist. Now they clearly see all the thankless years of selfless work ahead and how it is all going to be an uphill daily battle — with already more than half the people in the nation disgusted by them and most of those who voted for him disillusioned before too long. Already you can tell the Trumps really just don't want to do this and are looking for a way out. The Electoral College unfaithful throwing their votes to Hillary might be it. Trump can even afford to pay all faithless elector's fines — it will be cheaper than building that wall, deporting all the millions of immigrants or settling any more multimillion lawsuits with scammed students, vendors, workers, investors, etc. Hamilton would be rolling in his grave now — as would all the famous, quite white forefathers — to see the ham sandwich who got elected by their foolproof electoral college system designed to disenfranchise non-property owners, minorities, women and slaves. Well here's the news — it's now the 21st century and, like the actor sings in "Hamilton," "We're not throwing away our shot!"

Mady Maguire

Little Rock

Watch out for Social Security

The Wolf of Wall Street is going to eat our Social Security. Real- estate tycoon President-elect Donald Trump and Ayn Rand-fanatic House Speaker Paul Ryan will surely see to it that former President George W. Bush's dream of funneling Social Security funds to Wall Street comes true. Remember Bush's 2005 State of the Union address: "As we fix Social Security ... the best way to reach that goal is through voluntary personal retirement accounts." Thank God Bush failed! Right? Had he succeeded, millions of Americans would already have lost their retirement accounts on scams like Trump University and Trump real estate. Even worse, all that money would be gone from the national Social Security fund and retiree benefits would be a fraction of what they are today. Trump and Paul have at least four years to make this scenario come true.

Seriously, when FDR presented the New Deal to America in his first term, Republicans opposed Social Security. FDR insisted that Social Security payments should be drawn straight from our paychecks, and he crowed, "With those taxes in there, no damned politician can ever scrap my Social Security program." However, Republican presidents have been known to borrow heavily from the Social Security fund.

The Wolf of the White House might not "scrap" our Social Security funds, but he sure will gobble them up.

Gene Mason

Jacksonville

An open letter to Governor Hutchinson

I am writing you today regarding changes I believe need to be made to our state's gun laws. Specifically, I believe that we need programs to make it easier for women and minorities to acquire a concealed carry permit and that we need a "stand your ground" law so that people can protect themselves from the political and racial violence that is already occurring.

An open letter to Governor Hutchinson

I am writing you today regarding changes I believe need to be made to our state's gun laws. Specifically, I believe that we need programs to make it easier for women and minorities to acquire a concealed carry permit and that we need a "stand your ground" law so that people can protect themselves from the political and racial violence that is already occurring.

This week, an acquaintance of mine was walking to her car, which has a Hillary Clinton bumper sticker, when a man in a truck drove up to her and started screaming, "Killary lost! Get rid of your fucking bumper sticker, or I'll fucking kill you." I am sure that you are familiar with other examples of violence that have occurred in the wake of Donald Trump's election to the presidency — the women in hijabs who have been attacked, the Latinos who have been threatened with murder if they did not leave immediately, or African Americans who have woken up to find their homes and property vandalized with racial slurs. 

All of this speaks to a growing need on the part of women and racial/religious minorities to be afforded the means of self-protection. The black community, for one, reports a lower percentage of gun ownership than whites despite experiencing a greater share of violence. If we developed policies to promote gun ownership by such communities, we could most certainly reduce the amount of violence. Moreover, if Arkansas had a "stand your ground" law, women and racial/religious minorities would feel more secure in using legal and lethal force to counteract the violence to which they are being subjected by Trump voters, to name but one group.

I believe that several policies could be put into place to encourage gun ownership among women and minorities. For starters, consider lowering the fee for a concealed carry permit. Second, we need to make guns more affordable for members of communities that are economically disadvantaged, perhaps with a tax holiday on gun purchases, like we currently do with school supplies, or some kind of rebate program. Third, we have federal and state small business programs to encourage female and minority entrepreneurship, and so we could easily use those to encourage the growth of the gun industry in minority communities. After all, most gun shops are white-owned, and many owners have evinced negative attitudes toward non-whites, as per one in Hot Springs that advertised itself as "Muslim-free." Black-owned or Muslim-owned gun stores serving their respective communities would make all the difference in growing gun ownership percentages in marginalized groups.

I hope that you will consider these ideas and look forward to hearing from you.

Guy Lancaster

Little Rock

The election

Like a lot of people I was surprised at the outcome of the presidential election. But, it is what it is and we have to carry on. I knew there was still, even in the 21st century, a lot of bigotry and ignorance in this country. However, I have been naive about the extent to which that bigotry and ignorance reaches. 

Living in one of the reddest of red states, we've all heard the comments and jokes about our first black president, who by all traditional indicators has brought positive changes to our country. Unemployment is down, fuel has stayed under $2 a gallon, middle-class incomes have slightly increased, more people have health care, low interest rates have helped people buy homes, and other positives could be mentioned. President Obama certainly didn't accomplish much of the good he promised, but that had more to do with an obstructionist Republican Congress than with any lack of effort on the part of the president.

Who can say what the next four years will bring? But we should be concerned. Republicans now have the House, Senate, White House, and most likely will soon have the Supreme Court. Public education, Social Security and Medicare, I'm afraid, are in grave danger. I'm afraid we'll see the full effect of Citizens United for years to come, as the results of this election will embolden Republicans to press their aggressive agenda of privatization and deregulation. 

My hope is that Democrats will learn from this experience and utilize that learning to build a much different coalition for 2020. Millennials will have to be reached if Democrats want to be relevant again before the next elections. Trump changed the way elections are run. Traditional methods didn't work for Democrats this time around. In 2020, Democrats will have to embrace a truly progressive agenda and turn millennials loose on social media. The support is there. The candidate just has to be right.

Richard Hutson

Cabot

Another veterans story

I wonder how many of those ranting "veterans" recall those black veterans who came back from this country's nasty wars and found Bull Connor's police dogs chewing on their knees for trying to exercise the rights they'd fought and bled for? How many defended the black soldiers back then? Easy enough for those white boys to put such things out of their memories. Not so easy for the black fellows who are still reminded of those days when rousted by the rare racist cop we still have among the many decent ones.

So a few ladies took the knee to remind so many of the garbage heaped upon some of them without justification. And please be aware that when justice can be routinely denied to any citizen — it can be denied to any of us for the same reason. Not likely to get your head cracked with a police baton if you're kneeling in front of a few thousand witnesses, is it?

I haven't consulted with any of them, but I'd wager they, like some of us white folks, perceive foundations being put in place for the return of some aspects of Bull Conner's platoons. We do know now, after all, what White Christian Southern Family Values really are, huh? Got us a cretin for a new president — and where does a reasonable person see it stopping?

Karl Hansen

Hensley

Stay tuned in

Will plaintiffs in the upcoming Trump University fraud lawsuit have the guts to refuse to settle with the mighty Donald Trump — president-elect of the U.S.A. — and take their case to trial? Might it depend on if there are any Democrats among them? Probably not very many; this kind of a scam strikes me as the type that mostly under-educated, greedy Republicans would fall for. But even so, those who still cast their vote for Don the Con might be mad enough by now for being suckered twice that they hang in there. Will, despite continuing protests, El Donald be narcissistic enough to take the stand, even if all he does is plead the Fifth again and again? Will he be found liable for this cruel and brazen fraud that fooled so many desperate real estate mogul wannabes — like he conned those who bought his hats, rallied, cursed, prayed and cast their votes for him? And, will all the other lawsuits pending for stiffing workers, vendors, contractors, investors and others be covered live, too? Did the banks really think that if Trump became president he could access the money to pay back the billions he still owes them? Will the other tenants of Trump Tower break their leases and move out because of the continued domestic resistance in the street, plus the fear that ISIS terrorists might plant crockpot bombs? Can Trump be evicted for causing a nuisance? Is it possible that the banks and all his doting fans' hopes will be dashed by this one lawsuit — presided over by a judge of Mexican descent (LOL—talk about instant karma)? Could just this one civil court decision be sufficient to prevent Trump from being sworn (literally) in to the highest office in our country — that he swears needs only him to be GREAT again? What if this Trump University trial runs past his inauguration? Is he then immune from further court actions while in office? Is there the will in Congress to impeach the Don or might he resign and then file bankruptcy again? Stay tuned.

Mady Maguire

Little Rock

Governor is glad students engaged in politics

I am disappointed that Governor Hutchinson made such a weak, indifferent statement when the Arkansas Public Policy Panel and the Arkansas Citizens First Congress asked him to respond as a leader when they reported "assaults, racial slurs and hate crimes against Black and Latino students across Arkansas." Is the governor calling these organizations alarmists because he hadn't heard any reports? Did he think they were making stories up? Of course, he passed the responsibility of student safety to the teachers and schools because he was unaware of any problems. Doesn't he own a TV? His statement made him sound like he was glad children were being educated and engaged in the presidential campaigns through assaults, racial slurs and hate crimes. Does he agree with school students being bullied or worse? Go get state Sen. Missy Irvin. She got very indignant, and was ready to sponsor all kinds of bills when she thought her children would be accosted when the transgender bathroom issue was a hot item. Surely she cares about other people's children being mistreated because of the horrible things people are saying and doing in the aftermath of Donald Trump being elected. Does she own a TV? Maybe Sen. Alan Clark, Sen. Jason Rapert, Rep. Laurie Rushing, Rep. Robin Lundstrum and Rep. Kim Hammer can summon up some of the same indignation and anger for bullies scaring school students that they showed to the women Razorback Basketball players, and reassure the parents and school students in Arkansas that their new GOP Political Party State Government (I wish this new group would stick with one name, but they have an identity problem right now), does not tolerate discrimination, mistreatment or bullying of school students, or anyone else for that matter. They have TVs don't they? In the old days, before the New GOP political party took the place of religion, people that quaintly called themselves Christians would have defended school students from the aftermath of Trump's racist remarks, which are causing real people to be terrorized. Whether Governor Hutchinson personally heard a report or not, he could have come up with a better statement, which could have made citizens feel safer and would convey a sense of unity to the rest of the nation. The citizens of Arkansas do not tolerate homegrown terrorist behavior. Maybe the governor's wife, Susan Hutchinson, who is an advocate for abused children, could make a more humane statement tomorrow, which would diffuse any violence from happening in the future — something that would, for a change, make Arkansans proud.

ShineonLibby

Little Rock

Farming medical marijuana

With the recent passage of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment to our state's constitution, I wanted to share my perspective as a small organic farmer at North Pulaski Farms and the former CIO of World Wide Travel Service.

Farming medical marijuana

With the recent passage of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment to our state's constitution, I wanted to share my perspective as a small organic farmer at North Pulaski Farms and the former CIO of World Wide Travel Service. When I started my organic farm in late 2008, all my friends asked me, "What are ya gonna be growing out there, Carney?" insinuating that I would be growing an illegal substance. My reply was always, "Nothing that would risk losing my farm and landing me in prison." For the last eight years my focus has been growing certified organic fruits and vegetables and building my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farmshare. The last few weeks I have pondered whether to seek one of the cultivation licenses that will be issued per the AMMA. Now my friends are saying "Don't you know the fix is already in?" "Some politician's farmer cousin is already gonna get one." To this my reply is, "How can that be when they have not even formed the commission to create the rules yet?" Not having an understanding about the relationships that may or may not be in our state government and hoping my friends are just as clueless as they were when I started farming, I want to offer some ideas for the soon-to-be-created Medicinal Marijuana Commission.

First, I think existing Arkansas farmers should get the cultivation licenses. Everybody talks about getting warehouse space and becoming millionaires growing this medicine. We realize there will be significant security and record-keeping requirements. The farmers who understand this already have the infrastructure, have committed their lives to feeding our state and have a working knowledge of horticulture should be considered over others. Secondly, how this is made should be a factor. You can't just wash off any residue that may have been used to grow and produce this medicine. Patients should not have to worry about what toxic chemicals may be in it. Third, we have a chance to finally negotiate our drug costs. If they use a competitive bid process to award the licenses, patients will not have to pay as much. We all have seen the videos of the small child whose seizures have been virtually eliminated by using this medicine. That family should not have to go broke to provide it. Lastly, I know our state has always been one to readily adopt "sin" taxes. I don't believe God created this plant for man to use as a sin; he created it to be used as a medicine.

Kelly Carney

Cabot

Once upon a time

Putin and Trump will negotiate peace. Putin begins by asking for Melania — or he will blow up Trump Tower. El Donald will agree, but instead sends his ex-wife Marla Maples naked — but wrapped in a 22-carat gold sheet woven directly into Merino wool fabric backed with a silk jacquard added to 1,000 thread-count Egyptian cotton. Marla will roll out into the splits and dance sexy for Putin. This will keep the peace for a while, but eventually Putin will want something more. The Don will send his lovely, innocent, youngest daughter, Tiffany, allegedly merely to visit her mother. But he tells Putin if he wants to keep the peace, he must marry her ASAP in a HUGE official ceremony and also keep her mother (in Siberia will be OK; she likes to ski). So does Ivana, by the way. Putin and Trump will be happy as kings. 

Then, El Donald suddenly passes on — in the middle of the night, in the middle of a peaceful Tweet. After a brief period of national mourning that morning, in the afternoon FLOTUS will be crowned Queen of America, democracy having recently become passé when the Constitution was legislated and adjudicated away. Beautiful Queen Melania will immediately send all his kids to Trump Tower and close them in securely. They can't get out but they can order out. Baron will become Prince and his cousins will come to live with them to teach him Chinese and Russian. Putin divorces Tiffany on the grounds that in her sleep she calls him "Daddy." He gives her a long baby seal fur coat and sends her to Siberia to join her mother and Ivana. As a wedding gift, Czar Putin annexes Slovenia for Czarina Melania, who reveals that for such a long, lonely time she has longed for a stronger, shorter man with very little hair and that time goes by so slowly and time can do so much. Their opposing nations now peacefully joined the good old-fashioned way, everyone in the world lives happily ever after.

Mady Maguire

Little Rock

The upside of Trump

If Superman went around roughing up junior high students for overdue library books, he never would have made the comic pages. Is the failure to return a library book on time a wrong? Certainly it is. But, to be a superhero one needs supervillains, and absent-minded teenagers just don't measure up to supervillain status. As much as he despised Lex Luthor, the man of steel needed him. 

We baby boomers were blessed with some great adversaries. Lyndon Johnson and his interminable, indefensible war; Richard "I am not a crook" Nixon; and Spiro "No Lo Contendo" Agnew were all there to inspire us. The millennials are an even bigger lot than we boomers were. Trump might just be the man they need to motivate them. 

This will be especially true if The Donald turns the likes of Tom Cotton loose. Cotton is likely to start more wars than he has army for and end up bringing back the draft just to keep a fresh supply of IED fodder on hand. When their ranks begin to thin, the millennials will take to the streets just like the boomers did. Trump can look to Johnson, Agnew and Nixon to see how well things worked out for them.

David Rose

Hot Springs

In response to ‘Hillary in Arkansas’

You have to admire the dedication and energy of the older Traveler campaigners. No apathy in that bunch.

From the web

In response to the Nov. 3 cover story, "Hillary in Arkansas," and the Arkansas Travelers campaigners that turned out for Bill and Hillary Clinton:

You have to admire the dedication and energy of the older Traveler campaigners. No apathy in that bunch. I never got caught up in the Clinton conspiracy saga, but Arkansans love a good soap opera. Apathy is what allows evil to take over and allows corruption in state government to spread. It is time for young people to pick up the torch and move Arkansas forward or they will wake up one day and find our current Arkansas government has taken all their basic human rights and civil rights away from them. I think maybe Hillary's intelligence, strong views and a desire for personal privacy caused Arkansans from the early years to label her as aloof. She wasn't going to hang over the fence with you and swap gossip about what is going on in town. Hillary is not a wimp and that is a good thing for the country. After years of campaigning, the senior Travelers (76 & 84?) must see some honorable presidential quality in Hillary that makes them get out of their recliners and once again hit the campaign trail for her.

ShineonLibby

Good column. That said, I wouldn't call the 1980 governor's election the most startling outcome of the modern era in Arkansas, however. Many expected the outcome. The whole "Cubans and car tags" thing was talked about up and down this state, and don't forget Ronald Reagan was on the ballot and he swept through the South. I knew of several Democrats at that time who were voting against Clinton and Carter. Wasn't a surprise.

Poison Apple

In response to an Arkansas Blog post about Pantsuit Nation, the Facebook group supporting Hillary Clinton's presidential bid:

I've been reading the Pantsuit Nation stories for days and never get through them without shedding a tear or two. People (men and women) sharing personal stories and reasons why they cast their vote for Hillary ... and most are very compelling. Anyone out there caught up in minutia, take a moment today and please read some of these real life stories of struggle, sacrifice and triumph. THIS is the America I want to live in and these are the people I want to know. To hell with the haters and the horrible place they want to take our country. Today is the day to prove there are more of us than there are them. It's time to take back our county and prove once more, love trumps hate every single time!

Mountaingirl

In response to an Election Day post on voting in Pulaski County:

It's the greatest fear a conservative ever knows: democracy.  The idea that a black single mom making minimum wage has a vote that counts the same as a white, male, middle-aged NRA member is shocking to our white, male, middle-aged NRA-member ruling class.  Middle-aged white guys have fucked this country up beyond recognition by borrowing billions to prosecute wars while hollowing out the middle class and creating domestic terrorism, and even though I am one, I am ready for them to go away.

Paying Top Dollar for Legislators Paying Top Dollar for Legislators

I have a feeling most Arkansas Republicans will be hiding at home so no one can see their tears when the Drumpf is defeated. I personally can't wait to see what hateful tirade [state Sen.] Jason Rapert unleashes on Twitter about how America has forsaken God, etc. I really hope that Clinton wins just so I can see all the losers whining on social media about the rigged election, etc. It will be an enjoyable evening.

ConwayMichael

ConwayMichael ... I expect to see a flood of gun-related posts, too, from our Elephant Friends. Probably lots of threats from local/state politicians threatening to shut down more programs/services, too, since the vote may not go their way.

Artificial Intelligence

Well, up here in Carroll County I was denied the possibility of a paper ballot. I was told that paper ballots have been available to all early voting but today machines only. I went to the Eureka Springs courthouse and then called the County Clerk Jamie Correia in Berryville, who told me to quit watching the news about these machines ... . I told her I have no television/broadcast or satellite, that I read reports on these matters on blogs like bradblog. Hence I did not vote. This system is a complete sham. Criminals are still in charge! Best not to encourage them in any way.

Eureka Springs

In response to an Arkansas Blog post about former Gov. Mike Huckabee's comment that Republicans who don't "come around" and vote for Trump should not ask him for his vote:

"The ones that don't come around, I'm gonna remember them." Attention non-Drumpf R's! The grifter of many cheeseburgers and a man of yuuge political mojo (just ask him) has spoken, BUT he will take it all back if you will hire him for a gig, any gig. Daddy's about to have an unemployed daughter to support.

tsallenarng

In response to a post on the Rock Candy blog about the five finalist architects vying for the Arkansas Arts Center renovation job:

I know this phase is about architecture, not collection, but if there isn't a promise to bring at least one painting of dogs playing poker, my checkbook remains closed.

Arbiter of All Things AOAT