Archive for Letters

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

Swine is swill

Nah, ya know what's "Dismal" (re: last week's Pearls About Swine column, "Dismal")? That a geopolitical division of these United States would be so bereft of wisdom that its smartest news outlet finds it necessary to devote precious column space to commentary on the typically atrocious sports teams of a single university.

Swine is swill

Nah, ya know what's "Dismal" (re: last week's Pearls About Swine column, "Dismal")? That a geopolitical division of these United States would be so bereft of wisdom that its smartest news outlet finds it necessary to devote precious column space to commentary on the typically atrocious sports teams of a single university. No offense to Beau Wilcox; he's an unusually good writer for this topic area (even if the unparalleled successes of the track and field program are given woefully short shrift in his keystrokes). But it has always hit me like a blindside clip that the Arkansas Times can maintain such vigilant and righteous monitoring of the sadly unbalanced distribution of funds between athletics and academics at the state's flagship school while simultaneously pretending that a sizable fraction of its readership cares one flying flag about whatever embarrassing performance the Razorbacks turn out from week to week. The ethically challenged slave-labor status of collegiate athletics notwithstanding, how can you justify wasting ink on cultivation of fan-boy foppery? If you must have a "sports section," it would seem much truer to our state's unique excellence in energy exertion to focus on what is the genuine feather in our athletic cap: outdoor recreation/competition.

The Natural State boasts mountain-bike races, rock-climbing contests and trail runs that are nationally renowned. Believe it or not, the most successful athletes in these contests become local heroes whose exploits snap-crackle across their devotees' Tweets and whose careers last decades beyond the latest Hog to be arrested. What's more, those Arkies lacking a competitive bone still find great sport in getting outside for a hike or a float down the country's first (and best) national river. Friends who were unlucky enough to get transferred to other locales tell me they never realized how much they would miss the amazing resource that is the River Trail. Indeed, I would lay dollars to hickory nuts that a far greater fraction of our populace finds participatory inspiration (versus the spectator form inspired by UA athletics) in the woods and streams than inside the painted lines of ball sports. The benefits to our health (and, by extension, our economy) provided by such participation are beyond question. Informing your readers about their outdoor opportunities, perhaps infecting them with the excitement that can come from an XTERRA podium finish, would seem a far greater service than feeding the pretense that the Razorbacks will ever again win a conference championship by putting (hot) air in a ball.

Steve Barger

Conway

Foster care nightmare

What a horrible story, the federal court pleading of sexual abuser Clarence Garretson, a foster and adoptive parent. It makes me sick. What terrible memories those young people will carry around with them all their lives because adults who were responsible for protecting them, including the Arkansas government, betrayed, abused, neglected and ignored them. I am disturbed because for two years I have read articles, reports, graphs and comments about the Arkansas's foster care program and the growing number of children that are trapped, separated from family, friends, in a state agency that has multiple problem areas that our state government seems incapable of dealing with.

Money is more important to them than protecting the lives of the foster care children and they resent any money they have to spend on the program. This subject has been over-studied, analyzed, assigned to multiple, redundant legislative committees, and Hornby Zeller Associates did studies for the governor. The Arkansas Times has done several in-depth articles about the reasons for the backlog of parents waiting to be approved and why the numbers have increased. One of their best issues on the subject is "Cost of incarceration: When moms jailed, kids sentenced to foster care," by Kathryn Joyce.

The governor knows the weak links in the program. He knew them in 2015 when Rep. Justin Harris gave his adoptive children to a rapist. None of his Republican colleagues in the state legislature or Governor Hutchinson demanded that he resign. The governor and the legislature pretend they care about life and will aggressively protect a fetus in a womb to justify their discriminatory laws to control women's reproductive organs. At the same time, they contradict themselves, by not doing what needs to be done to ensure that the lives of the living, breathing children in the foster care program are protected, and that there are enough caseworkers and inspectors to make home visits to check on the children after they have been placed in a home.

ShineonLibby

Little Rock

From the web

In response to last week's cover story, "Leslie Rutledge, the absent attorney general":

Chastised for loving her state and country! Left will be left.

Mike Linn

She has served the will of the majority of Arkansans. 

Your article is your opinion, not news. I miss the days when reporters and news media would just print the facts less their opinions. It was much more compelling to the masses of readers. We the readers like to form our own opinions. The win for your publication is you get a broader audience.

arkmom

If nothing else, I'd ask her to keep her mind on what's going on here and quit worrying about what's going on in other states.

Well, and one other thing: When she goes on TV, please don't mention she's from Arkansas.

Rick Fahr

Correction

Last week's cover story, "Leslie Rutledge, absent AG," incorrectly said that Rutledge was the first female Arkansas attorney general. She is the first elected female; Gov. Bill Clinton appointed Mary Stallcup attorney general in 1991 after AG Steve Clark resigned. Stallcup, who went on to be general counsel at the University of Central, died in 1997.

Thanks!

In less than two weeks, We the People are about to roll the dice and elect our next president. Just enough time left to dash off a few well-deserved thank you notes ... .

Thank you

In less than two weeks, We the People are about to roll the dice and elect our next president. Just enough time left to dash off a few well-deserved thank you notes ... .

So first of all, a great big thank you to our Arkansas watchdog tea parties, and to their patron saints the Koch brothers, for birthing them out of the smoldering ashes of daddy's John Birch Society. Good to know that old-fashioned, flag-waving, Bible-thumping, patriotic paranoia never goes out of style.

And a special thanks for the right wing's frenzied letters and blogs and banners that openly confess all that moulders in their inky souls. Their hatred of the black man in the White House, their love of Fox News and fake web sites, and their fixation on some dead guy named Saul Alinsky. Their heroes are legion, demigods of the email underworld, supermen like Dinesh D'Souza and David Barton and Robert Jeffress and even Billy's boy, the very, very reverend Franklin Graham. Always pro-life and yet always eager for more kill-them-all smiting. Always peddling an improbable myth of American exceptionalism to beguiled folk along the desperate fringes of reality.

Thank you, Republican Party, for your three-ring political circus that gave us blow-dried, blowhard, scary-clown Donald J. Trump. He almost makes us miss George Bush and his bloody wars and blown-up economies. Almost.

Thank you religious zealots, for showing us your real family values. If you ever held dear the radical example of your long-ago messiah, you've clearly left it all behind for a last-stand mess of Machiavellian pottage, a devil's deal to somehow save the Supreme Court from godless liberals. We marvel at your mountain-moving faith in a madman who promises to build a beautiful wall that others will pay for, banish dusky strangers from this fair-skinned land and bring us into a millennium of it-will-be-so-fantastic gospel prosperity.

Thank you, Mr. Trump, for making us believe again in the magic of hair spray.

Thank you, America, for scaring the bejeezus out of every sentient being on our fragile planet. The world waits and wonders — and trembles — that we could even remotely consider this preening, predatory trumpery of a little man.

And finally, a brief apology to our neighbors in Canada and Mexico. We're really, really sorry.

John Ragland

Hot Springs

Midwifery regulation

Currently, the Arkansas Department of Health is proposing very restrictive midwifery rules on Arkansas families. We already have some of the most restrictive in the country. The ADH has outlined a number of medical procedures and tests to which they will soon mandate mothers consent to as a condition of being cared for by a midwife, rather than a physician. If the mother doesn't consent she will lose her midwife. It doesn't matter how far along the mother is in her pregnancy. Many obstetricians will not accept pregnant patients in the third trimester and some are unable to take any new patients. If these mothers can't find a doctor, they may experience a gap in maternity care, go without maternity care for the duration of their pregnancy, or hire an unlicensed midwife. Mothers who have had a previous caesarean are currently prohibited from hiring a midwife under Arkansas law. This mother will likely deliver in a hospital with a "policy" that requires she have another surgical birth.

There is a local law regarding the health department's authority to regulate public health. It states the government cannot infringe on a citizen's right to a health care provider, practitioner or healer. Furthermore, the proposed midwifery rules only impact women, who are a protected class. Additionally, there are ethical and anti-trust implications when a government agency, through a board of doctors who are also market participants, decides to make extremely personal health care decisions for women. The board members have a financial incentive to prevent families from hiring midwives and designing rules that make it difficult for them to keep a midwife.

The medical procedures and tests the ADH wants to mandate are procedures that expectant mothers can rightfully decline while under the care of a physician. When they make an informed choice to do so they will not lose their doctor, so why should they lose their midwife?

There is a Midwifery Advisory Board, comprised of consumers and midwives, who advise the ADH during the rulemaking process. They will have a public meeting sometime in November where the changes will be discussed. We want the public to attend.

Kesha Chiappinelli

Little Rock

From the web

In response to the Oct. 23 Arkansas Blog post "Welfare for the wealthy: More reasons to VOTE NO on ISSUE 3":

At some point, even when it comes to fishing, the streams run out of naive, born-in-the-stock-pond trout that will bite on anything.

Then there's nothing left but skeptical natives who've seen it all before and have a pretty good idea of what's food and what's just bait.

"Economic development"? "Jobs creation"?

... What else you got?

Joe Quimby

The same people who are proposing this hogfest are the ones who complain continually against food stamps (SNAP) and other help for the less well-off, many of whom work for these same companies, with their low pay, less than 40-hour work week and lousy to no benefits. 

The Good Suit Club, the Chambers and the 1 percent led by the Republican Party that routinely has a hatefest on the poor because of "welfare" are leading the way to take 10 to 100 times more for the already rich and those who contribute (bribe) to their campaigns. This is a definite NO!

couldn't be better

Trump, Christianity and decency

Considering how many appeals Arkansas's Republican leaders have made to the religion of Christianity over the years, how can they justify continued support of the least Christian person in the presidential race?

Trump, Christianity and decency

Considering how many appeals Arkansas's Republican leaders have made to the religion of Christianity over the years, how can they justify continued support of the least Christian person in the presidential race?

Rich Hutson

Cabot

After watching the Michelle Obama speech from Oct. 13, I felt good inside and comforted that the first lady stood up for me. She has a sense of decency that Donald Trump and his followers — Mike Pence, Mike Huckabee, Tom Cotton, Governor Hutchinson, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and half of the Arkansas legislature — will never understand, because they lack it in themselves. She didn't let Trump get away with his horrible remarks about women. I would vote for her if she ran for president. She has more class, courage, humanity, intelligence and integrity in her little finger than the whole Arkansas government has.

Governor Hutchinson and other state government officials were either silent or made lame excuses for Donald Trump's sexual predator remarks about women. Some politicians protested the crude remarks for media attention, but these same politicians vote against women when it comes to equal pay, equal health care and violence against women. Look at their voting records. The Arkansas legislature is known for making disrespectful remarks about women when they are passing discriminatory, unequal women's health care laws, so I am not impressed with the few who said they were offended by Donald's sexual assault remarks because of their female family members. I guess they aren't outraged on my behalf, since I am not part of their family.

In my opinion, if you are still a Trump supporter after the sexual assault remarks he made, then you are no more a Christian, or conservative, or patriot, or decent human being than Donald Trump is. When you wave that family values, conservative flag at me, I will just call you what you are: a liar. Women in Arkansas deserve better state government representation than what we have. It is wrong for our state government to act like it is normal to use women as sexual punching bags, and this attitude is part of the reason that so many women are raped in the United States of America. Sexual predator Donald Trump and excuse-making Mike Pence do not deserve to represent America. Strangely, it was two Arkansas women, Leslie Rutledge and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who made fools of themselves on national media shows when they failed miserably in their defense of Donald Trump's sexual bragging and ended up sputtering and talking in circles. There is no defense. Why would they want to defend him? Money? Were they promised a job in the White House? Are they mentally unstable and need help? If you weren't offended by Trump's sexual assault remarks, what does that say about you?

Young girls and boys heard a man running for president make excuses for himself for bragging about sexually assaulting women's bodies. It is not OK for his supporters to excuse the disrespectful, vulgar way he talks about women, in the past and in the present. People like Trump create a culture where people accept rape as normal, instead of being outraged by it. The first lady said, "Strong men — men who are truly role models — don't need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful."

Shineon Libby

Little Rock

From the web

In response to the Sept. 29 Arkansas Reporter, "Democrats' last stand in NE Arkansas":

I was tickled to death to get this much valuable information about a Senate race outside my own district, until I started reading Brandt Smith's positions. There's just something wholeheartedly discouraging about the demise of the political talent and common sense in this state, and the voters are to blame.

Don't get me wrong, I share Nate Looney's admiration and recollection for common sense and sometimes even fairly conservative Democrats. Bumpers, Pryor and Clinton were names that garnered national respect. Why do we never hear anything about Arkansas politicians on the national stage any more, unless it is the embarrassing craziness of Leslie Rutledge or Mike Huckabee twanging it up for Trump, or Tom Cotton trying to start WWIII?

Here are a few reasons:

1) Looney cites a study about the value of pre-K funding from one of the foremost institutions of higher learning in the country, and somehow Smith associates the findings with the urban problems of the city where Arkansas State University is located? What is maddening is that so many voters probably see his (lack of) reasoning.

2) In one of the poorest and most disadvantaged states demographically in the entire nation, Smith is citing the availability of air conditioners and cell phones as some measure of economic comfort and security for pre-K children? What? And as for the value of full-time parenting of the young, that may be fine for many, but does he not realize that the best thing to do for immense numbers of children is to get them into a safe learning environment at as young an age as possible? I guess it would be too much to hope he had read Plato's "Republic."

3) And enough with this need to establish Christianity as the official state religion. Honestly, is the threat of Sharia law really a common problem in Jonesboro? This is just another example of local Republicans listening to conservative radio or watching Fox News to get guidance for solutions to problems that don't exist.

4) And yes, by all means, let's fund efforts to stop immigration or the flow of people into our state. That shouldn't cost much since it is doubtful anybody would want to come to Arkansas with policymakers like Smith setting the standards.

Godspeed, Mr. Looney.

redeemed626

Cheez Whiz and lye

Mr. Sniffles' ardent fans often attempt a diversionary tactic to deflect each and every criticism of their much-prayed-for sweet potato.

Cheez Whiz and lye

Mr. Sniffles' ardent fans often attempt a diversionary tactic to deflect each and every criticism of their much-prayed-for sweet potato. It's an old debating trick to ignore the critics and instead demand an immediate and compelling explanation of why the alternative candidate is the better choice. The tactic usually follows this erudite and genteel form:

"You better give it up, right now. Splain why Hillary would be a better president or shut your dang pie hole!"

How should one respond to such devastating brilliance? The recent words of a life-long Republican and Birmingham lawyer suggest the answer. Here, shared with his permission, is his take-no-prisoners response to an unfortunate soul named Louis:

"Actually, no, Louis, I don't have to give it up. Nor do I have to explain why Hillary would be a good president; I don't particularly think she will be. On the other hand, for me to advise you to eat Cheez Whiz rather than lye does not require me to explain why Cheez Whiz is good for you; it simply requires me to remind you that lye is poisonous and Cheez Whiz, whatever its flaws, is not. Which is sort of analogous to what I've been doing ever since it became apparent that Trump would be the Republican nominee."

He then adds ...

"Hillary, I think, is an uninspiring person who will likely be a fairly mediocre president (others disagree, and I'm not debating that in this particular post). Trump, on the other hand, is a racist, ill-informed xenophobe who speaks without regard for the truth or, as the game show would have it, the consequences either. There is simply no comparison between the two, and the suggestion that, well, in order to speak against Trump, I must be a fan of Hillary's is without foundation."

And finally, he concludes ...

"I speak against Trump because I'm a fan of the survival of humanity and of the survival of basic American principles."

Drop the mic, Mr. Birmingham Lawyer, sir. Debate over. Huzzah, huzzah ...

John Ragland

Hot Springs

The so-called protest vote

Well, now, here goes the radical right again with their dire predictions of the future! Obama is going to declare martial law following the election. Is that like he was going to take away your guns? He didn't. Is that like he is Muslim and is going to impose Sharia law on our land? He isn't and didn't. And despite this overwhelming evidence contrary to their paranoia, adherents to the radical right continue to spew doomsday.

I chalk this up to a combination of things — increased fundamentalism, decreased quality public education and this ubiquitous culture of fear that seems to be uniquely American. Couple those with a nearly unlimited access to guns and ammunition, and you have the makings of a very scary, deadly state of affairs. Namely, we are looking at a sadly uneducated, highly armed ogre afraid of its own shadow. This is the stuff of which nightmares are made.

The rest of you, hear this: Voting for a candidate other than those supported by the two majority parties is not a vote for the other candidate. Does that seem like a non sequitur? It isn't. Such a view is a load of paranoid bunk that has been promulgated by well-meaning and/or ill-advised and/or manipulative people of both political stripes. There is no doomsday.

Some people refer to voting outside the two major parties as a protest vote. In some cases, I suppose it is. But for many of us, it is something else entirely. Neither major party candidate speaks for us. Trump is a racist, sexist, classist, egomaniacal liar who believes that he knows everything and can fix everything. I need provide no more proof here because he does so on a daily basis. Clinton is a well-polished politician (read someone who changes opinions according to the political winds) who believes that more of the same ol' same ol' is what we need. One look at her record shows that she was proud of her conservative roots as a Barry Goldwater Democrat; no, wait, she's a progressive. She supported family values through DOMA; no, wait, she believes that the LGBT community deserves equal rights. She supported every single aggression the U.S. had undertaken since she was first elected to office; no, wait, she made a mistake about the Iraq war (among others!). 

The situation is frightening, yet I won't vote for the major party candidate who appears more closely aligned with my personal values. In truth, neither of them is. I refuse to be driven by the fear that my vote will help elect the other candidate; indeed, I reject this view entirely.

Voting for the lesser of two evils still begets evil. I don't buy that a vote for anyone other than a major party candidate is tantamount to voting for one of them. While such a vote may not — indeed, will likely not — result in my choice being elected, my vote has also not contributed to the ongoing evil. In my opinion, that's what counts. Similar dire warnings were issued during the Bush II vs. Gore vote when I voted for Nader. Even though Bush II got in because of some serious shenanigans, his presidency did not bring about the cataclysmic events predicted by the left. Was his presidency bad? Most definitely. But again, it wasn't the Apocalypse. We survived. We will also survive whoever wins this election.

Leeann Bennett

Little Rock

From the web

In response to an Arkansas Blog item on Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's televised defense of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's refusal to release his tax returns:

My question is when did her Southern accent become so drawn out and pronounced? I don't remember it being that thick when she campaigned to be attorney general, if any at all. But when she gets on national TV she has an accent to rival Gomer T. Pyle. It was great when [Bob Schieffer] asked if opinions would hold up in court and he said that she has seen more courtrooms than him. Oh Bob, you don't know Leslie like we do. She has about as experienced in legal matters as the aforementioned Gomer T. Pyle. She just lets her minions do all the real court work, and then just attaches herself to already existing cases to make herself look busy. I hope the next election rids us of Mrs. Gomer.

Conway Michael

John Walker and the police

In my experience John Walker has always been the perfect gentleman that you do not want to mess with. He's a bulldog, and will not let a real or perceived wrong go unpunished.

From the web

In response to the Sept. 26 Arkansas Blog post, "John Walker and another lawyer arrested while filming police":

In my experience John Walker has always been the perfect gentleman that you do not want to mess with. He's a bulldog, and will not let a real or perceived wrong go unpunished.

Sound Policy

One of the things that keep us from being a police state is the public's right to know how police operate. If they're doing something in public, the public has a right to film it. If there's any question about that, the law needs to be made perfectly clear.

Chip Baker

I know John Walker. He's smart and generous, and has a strong and obvious commitment to helping young people reach their potential. He's been a crusader for racial justice for decades and has certainly made Arkansas a better place. But he's also stubborn and arrogant, and at times it prevents him from rethinking his positions, considering new information, or imagining that he's wrong or poorly informed. He's always a formidable adversary, and Little Rock will regret the day their police officers tangled with him in such an indefensible way.

PVNasby

Hi, I'm John Walker, I sue schools for a living, then drag it out for 30+ years and charge $450 an hour for my legal services. Don't mind me while I walk through the middle of a police investigation and not give a fuck. 

I have no problem with him filming whatever he wants, but you cannot obstruct a governmental operation while it is being conducted by the police. Sounds like they tried to be nice and politely asked him to back away, and he did not. I guess he can use the old and senile excuse in court.

arkansas panic fan

It amazes me the number of you who automatically believe Mr. Walker is right.

louie

In response to the Sep. 19 Arkansas Blog post, "Jason Rapert: Goes off again on Muslims; erupts again over Facebook edit":

I know Brother Rapert knows better since he is a constitutional scholar, but the First Amendment does not apply to Facebook. Facebook can establish its own rules.

By the way, how nice that the "senator" is using his title to throw around willy-nilly with companies whose policies bother him. 

Arkanzin

Facebook, though publicly traded, is a private company providing its services free to the public. It's under no obligation to post whatever Rapert might say. It's called capitalism, senator.

AnnaHarrisonTerry

Ah, Mr. Rapert — thinks he's a Big Fish when he is in reality but a minnow in the vast ocean of life.

Kate

Fuck Jason Rapert. That's exercising my First Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution. Max et al can exercise their rights regarding this website and I am happy either way they go. My ego can handle such.

Jason's ego, monstrous as it is (in all regards and meanings), tends to mewl and whine like the bully he is when he doesn't get his way.

Jake da Snake

Remember when Chick-fil-A was making money hand-over-fist with its anti-gay marketing stunt and all of our more gullible Christian friends were bragging about how much Chick-fil-A they were going to eat because this "Christian" corporation had every right to discriminate against gay people? So, why is SENATOR rAPErt getting so fired up that his post was blocked by a large corporation called Facebook?

Artificial Intelligence

The First Amendment does apply to Facebook. Or at least rights under the First Amendment do. It's a private enterprise that can refuse to allow tripe if it wants to. The senator thinks his position in the state government makes Facebook somehow answerable to him. The First Amendment says otherwise.

Chip Baker

Jason Rapert really gives God a bad name. He drives people away from God by twisting scripture, just as Satan did when he tempted Jesus. 

The difference is that Satan simply sought to tempt Christ, whereas Rapert actively wants to hurt people. Satan can afford to fool around because people like Rapert do his evil work for him. 

Just because Rapert cries "Lord, Lord" does not mean that the Lord knows his goaty face.

Paying Top Dollar for Legislators

In response to the Sep. 20 Arkansas Blog post, "Rapert claims victory over Facebook; either way, he still doesn't get 1st Amendment":

What is wrong with this man/child? Does he not have anything of substance to do besides play on the computer? It appears the most important thing in his life is making a laughing stock of himself via social media. 

Surely there is someone in his life who cares enough about him to convince him to unplug so maybe he can regain a tiny shred of dignity ... if one ever existed.

mountaingirl

Rapert's religious-based radicalism, tinged as it is with veiled and sometimes not-so-veiled threats of "holy" violence against "others" based on his so-called deeply held religious beliefs, is the same phenomena that he decries as threatening from those whom he would ban from entering this country. 

He then plays the Xian-victim card re his false narrative of Facebook violating his free speech rights. Of course.

Tsallernarng

It's obvious the Bigelow Buffoon matriculated at some point at Trump University. His major was Blustery Puffery as a Way of Life.

Claude Bahls

You wonder why the state has any idea that a high tech company would think of relocating here when you have RAPERt and his unconstitutional laws and outbursts against reason and bitching about his religion being under attack and when there is a "6 Flags Over God" monument on every other street corner in Conway that doesn't have another monument to their other god, MoMoney. 

If anything, we have too many so-called religious organizations that, obviously with their hate speech, should not be called Christians because they still have their nose stuck in the pre-Christ book of Leviticus. And from an intelligence basis, they sure aren't Jewish. Just hate speech by the bucket-load in Tea Party Faulkner County.

couldn'tbebetter

Outsourcing state government

As a citizen, I don't get to choose not to pay taxes because I don't like what the Arkansas state government is spending state and federal money on, such as paying a Chinese company, Sun Paper, approximately $1 billion to build a paper mill in Clark County.

Outsourcing state government

As a citizen, I don't get to choose not to pay taxes because I don't like what the Arkansas state government is spending state and federal money on, such as paying a Chinese company, Sun Paper, approximately $1 billion to build a paper mill in Clark County; Leslie Rutledge's lawsuits to defend unconstitutional, discriminatory laws; or the ridiculously high salaries being paid because of Governor Hutchinson's and Department of Human Services Director Cindy Gillespie's ($280,000) numerous and questionable firings; and promotions and new hires to DHS and the governor's executive staff.

I don't like that Medicaid money will pay 90 percent of DHS new hire Dennis Smith's $300,000 salary. But, if he was hired to help the poor, sick and elderly, then that's OK. Smith is a proven expert in reducing the cost of states' Medicaid Program and an expert in handling waivers, so the state can make up their on ACA program and Smith has received high praise from Sen. Jim Hendren about Smith's expertise in handling money from Medicaid Block Grants that the federal government awards states, which allows the state to spend the money as they see fit. That's scary!

Gillespie and newly promoted Director of Youth Services Betty Gulham ($100,077) have canceled several Medicaid vendor contracts, which Gillespie says is supposed to cover Smith's salary. Gillespie said, "The outside world wants to help Arkansas. They'd like to help us do our missions. If there's work that can be done by a nonprofit group or faith-based organization, then we don't need to be doing it inside the government." How nice. I can see where our broke state government might need a lot of free help. I am sure Governor Hutchinson is worried about finding money for the highway fund and money to pay those huge salaries he has recently created, and finding money to pay out-of-state vendors to house prison inmates (Texas) and juveniles (Indiana), but thanks to Cindy and Dennis, he doesn't have to worry about not being able to keep the pledge he made with AHCA (nursing home lobby) to save the Medicaid Program $250 million dollars in five years by upgrading reforms to nursing homes.

I admit I don't have an accountant's math skills or understand the complex political staff changes the governor is implementing, but I do have a large calculator on my desk, and I do know when someone is feeding me a fluff story and I am capable of connecting some of the dots. My question is: After Gillespie and Smith get through gutting the Medicaid program, what will Smith do with the federal money from Medicaid Block grants? Will it go to the Chinese to pay them for building a paper mill in Clark County? Will it go to the Highway Fund? Will it go to pay the high salaries of top-level state employees? Will it go to out-of-state vendors we are currently making contracts with? Will it go to pay the legal fees incurred from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's appeals to defend unconstitutional laws passed by the Arkansas legislature? Can Arkansas citizens get a financial report, showing in detail, every dime the state receives and spends?

ShineonLibby

Little Rock

Doesn't make sense

It is unconscionable that Republicans refuse to vote on a clean bill to combat the Zika virus. Instead, they add a rider that would ban Planned Parenthood from receiving any funding related to helping the fight against Zika. Planned Parenthood provides reproductive services and family planning to 2.5 million patients nation-wide each year and is the largest provider of sex education in the U.S. Family planning is the primary strategy recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It is completely illogical to reduce access to contraception and sex education at a time of a health crisis that is directly related to pregnancy. And to top it off, Republicans added another rider to allow unfettered use of the Confederate flag in national cemeteries. What does that have to do with combating a disease that can cause neurological defects in fetuses and severe developmental delays for children? Unfortunately, both of our senators went along with this political power play. Contact Sens. Boozman and Cotton. Ask them to quit playing politics with the lives of children and families. Ask them to support a clean bill to fund the fight against the Zika virus.

Teri Patrick

Little Rock

The powerful people and the LRSD

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, gushing with love for the Walton Foundation, suggested recently that the foundation's letterhead should read, "Walton foundation — giving all the help we can." Using wealth and politics, the Powerful People (PP) control Arkansas schools, particularly those in Little Rock.

The PP heavily promotes charter schools with no concern for the thousands of children unable to use charters. There is nothing innovative about Little Rock charter schools. They succeed by picking good students, quickly removing disruptive students, and taking full advantage of the cooperative eager classes formed with select students. Successful charters thrive on enrolling students receptive to learning. That process of selecting students for charters leaves the difficult, more expensive job of teaching those refused entrance to teachers in traditional schools. 

Recalling my days as a teacher, I hated the times when a parent was transferred and I lost a good student. Sadly, the Walton Foundation is "helping" the LRSD by removing thousands of good students from classrooms and placing them in charter schools. If the PP wanted to help Little Rock, they would show concern for the 20,000 or so LR students unable to take advantage of private or charter schools. Those are the children hurt by the foolish obsession (shown at Central High in 1957) to attend school with only certain people.

Richard Emmel

Little Rock