Our nation is still great
I was musing over my hot coffee on a cool early hour under the porch stoop, thinking random about the changes going on in our country -- the lack of respect of the free press, the growing violence, certain rights being rolled back, the turning back of so much progress made in civil matters -- when a robing redbreast swooped down gently right outside my front gate, staring up at me as if to say, "Good morning." He ambled over toward my auto nonchalantly, looking up as though he was saying, "OK, egotistical commander, you can't kick my butt, your highness, for I rule my bird world. So, keep your power-seeking hands off, or I will squirt mess in your eyes and claw that long nose, and foul-up that orange-looking clump of hair. I am the cock of the walk in the world of nature!" At that point, after his strutting, Mr. Robin stepped toward me, took a small bow, and flew off, never offering a physical attempt of violence, "cool as a cucumber."
I thought, just another reminder that the animal world has senses we humans often miss in our frantic, stress-filled pace. The visit of Mr. Robin was a pungent reminder that when doom and gloom comes and people disappoint us with their aberrant, self-serving actions, there is still calm and peace around us if we just take time to look for it, if we will get our minds in a receptive mood and remember the Shinto concept and the Jesus idea that peace comes from within--that no one thing can destroy our mind or our purpose. Perhaps Sen. McCain's horrid experience as a POW must be a perfect example that if our mind is determined to resist evil, the body will survive.
So when a robin comes your way, thank Mother Nature for its beautiful mementos that humans need to copy more. Our nation is still great in so many ways and can get greater if we remember the principles it was founded on: Working together even when disagreeing on political and religious issues, striving for honesty in all things, and doing what we can individually for our country. God bless you, gentle readers, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.
John W. "Doc" Crawford
'Stuff the Bus' a success
United Way of the Ouachitas wishes to thank our community for helping us "Stuff the Bus!"
On Saturday, Aug. 3, the United Way led volunteers in collecting donated school supplies at area Walmart stores for local school districts Cutter Morning Star, Fountain Lake, Hot Springs, Jessieville, Lake Hamilton, Lakeside and Mountain Pine. Not all of the school districts provide supplies to their students as school begins, but even in those districts that do, backup supplies are needed for the rest of the year.
In addition to the Walmart locations, donations were collected at Garland County Library, Levi Towers, SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), and Startek. In total, 7,297 packages of school supplies were collected, along with an additional $1,875.63 in cash donations.
United Way continues to collect supplies to share with area districts to ensure that all of our kids start school equipped with the supplies they need to be ready to learn. Thank you to everyone who helped make "Stuff the Bus" a huge success!
United Way of the Ouachitas
Until I visited the "Home Run for Hot Springs" website, I never realized how vital baseball fields were for Hot Springs. Reading the comments, you'd wonder how the city even exists without them. Yet, where were these folks 18 months ago when city officials sat by and watched the Hot Springs Boys & Girls Club, a 75-year-old institution that had touched so many lives, fail? Where was the outrage? Because we not only lost youth baseball, but football, basketball, soccer, after school and reading programs, and so much more. Except for a few common citizens like myself who wrote letters; silence was heard from city leaders.
For much less than $8.5 million, and without tax extensions, the city could have stepped in, re-organized and put in new management to make the club at least self-sustaining. But our city board, along with Bill Burrough and Steve Arrison, with all their clout, did nothing. Perhaps that's because the board had already decided to donate the land to the A&P Commission, and this $8.5 million project with no details was in the works.
But what's done is done. Now voters of Hot Springs must decide priorities. We do have a serious crime problem, and it's not because of the police, as one person alluded. It's because we don't have any real industrial or manufacturing jobs. The bulk of the economy of this city revolves around tourism and a casino. Those are both risky endeavors, and though they employ a number of people, most are low-income positions. Subsequently, we have a lot of people, especially younger people, walking the streets in the middle of the day and night. Idle time leads to crime.
As I and other writers have pointed out, we have much more pressing issues than baseball fields that could still exist for much less than $8.5 million. Crime, drainage, deteriorating and poorly marked streets, and yes, if you want to talk "Majestic," the still vacant and tacky looking remnants of the formerly named hotel that our tourists see every day downtown. Finally, we gave local leaders $42 million to build a new jail years ago, and as has been well documented in this paper, they can't make that work, so I hesitate to give them money for anything.
The "Home Run for Hot Springs" site states "Quality of life is an essential component for any thriving community." I couldn't agree more. I also don't consider $8.5 million dollars worth of baseball fields that I won't use essential to "quality of life." Driveable streets, feeling safe in all parts of town, those would fall into that category for myself.
So when you go to the polls Sept. 10 to voluntarily tax yourself, ask but one question: Will I benefit from this baseball field project, or could our city leaders not use this money more effectively?
Murder -- really?
Wednesday's The Sentinel-Record had a letter from a Jay Silverman claiming Donald Trump is guilty of murder. Now, Mr. Silverman is obviously a member of the local chapter of the "Fact Free Nation." This gentleman claims Trump condones as well as supports white nationalist and thus encourages hate. Unfortunately, that is completely false and a fabricated lie.
I assume our ill-informed Mr. Silverman is alluding to the deliberately misquoted statement made after the Charlottesville tragedy. Mr. Trump never praised the neo-Nazi nor the Antifa thugs, rather he condemned them both during the press conference and the following day when he repeated his condemnation. Following is a verbatim extract from the recorded transcript of his comments.
"Those people -- all of those people -- excuse me. I've condemned neo-Nazis. I've condemned many different groups. But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue, Robert E. Lee. So -- excuse me. And you take a look at some of the groups and you see -- and you'd know it if you were honest reporters, which in many cases you're not!
But you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. You had people in that group -- excuse me, excuse me -- I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.
But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest, because you know -- I don't know if you know, they had a permit. The other group didn't have a permit. So, I only tell you this, there are two sides to a story. I thought what took place was a horrible moment for our country, a horrible moment."
Mr. Silverman like most Trump haters prefers to perpetuate lies from the media. Perhaps the truth is too much to accept. The complete recorded transcript of Trump press conference is found this link: https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-charlottesville-transcript-20170815-story.html
I suggest viewing a five-minute video by a CNN analyst and points out the lie in the media statements: https://www.prageru.com/video/the-charlottesville-lie/.
Dennis L. Bosch
Ever since Donald Trump began his campaign for the presidency -- and during his present tenure -- his speeches have become more vulgar. Case in point: Halfway into his oratory recently in North Carolina he cursed certain female Democrats using God's name, and there was no noticeable reaction from the young audience behind him. Taking God's name in vain has become so commonplace in today's society that almost everyone uses it in their daily conversations without realizing the consequences.
When God gave His people the 10 commandments to govern their lives by, He knew they could not abide by them every day, nor could they save anyone. In the times of the Old Testament, the people sacrificed unblemished animals annually to expiate their sins until God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to die for the sins of the men by way of the cross. Although this was the new covenant through Christ's shed blood, it did not cancel out the old one. Cursing in God's name is still sin.
Exodus 20:3a says, "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy GOD in vain." This includes all false swearing, blasphemy, and all idle, profane, trivial, light, and irreverent use of God's name in false religions, witchcraft, séances or anything of like manner which would defame His holy and sacred name.
The second part of the verse says that God will not consider a person to be without sin who takes His name in vain. No set penalty is stated, but death is specified in Leviticus 24:10-18. Jesus, speaking to the Pharisees after they accused Him of being an advocate of Satan, said that cursing the name of God or His Son will be forgiven, but cursing the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven (Matthew 12:31-32). He added, "every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" (Matthew 12:36-37).
In his "out-of-body" experience, John "saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:12, 15).
It is shocking to me to hear so many young children cursing their parents openly in public and their antics being taken as "cute." I am fearful of our next generation-elected officials who will govern our nation, but I am even more fearful to think of how many will "fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31).
Hot SpringsEditorial on 08/11/2019
Print Headline: Sunday's Letters to the Editor