Kudos to road department
With all the negative news circulating around us every day, I want to write something positive about our local Garland County Road Department.
Last Saturday, we awoke to having a downed tree that was blocking the entrance to our residence. With it being a weekend, I reluctantly called the road department expecting no response. I was then, via voicemail, directed to call the Garland County Sheriff's Department to report this. Again, I expected nothing to be done until the next business day on Monday.
Within an hour, a very nice gentleman named Adam Davis, who works for the road department, showed up with the equipment to have our road cleared within an hour. I just want to thank these essential workers for their efficient service to our community.
When I first saw last week's letter from a tourist proclaiming her shock over visiting Hot Springs and seeing large groups of people not wearing masks, my first thought was "Why are you traveling during a pandemic?" I know I'm not.
That said, the letter did make some excellent points. Both the Garland County Sheriff's Department and the Hot Springs Police Department, under the new leadership of Chris Chapmond, issued public statements in the past month indicating they will not enforce the statewide public mask mandate. I find that both inexcusable and blatantly irresponsible to announce publicly.
Addressing the latter, if you're not going to enforce the mandate, announcing it only encourages irresponsibility; people know they can literally flout the law and get away with it. That endangers everyone who is trying to protect themselves and their families.
More importantly, why would you not enforce it by issuing citations? Other cities have proved that it is well within their legal right to fine people for not following the prescribed guidelines. And Lord knows, the folks at City Hall are always crying about being underfunded, so I'm sure handing out 100 or more $50 fines daily to be directed into the city coffers is something they wouldn't complain about.
Positive COVID-19 tests and deaths keep rising at an exponential rate here in Garland County. By not enforcing the guidelines, our local law enforcement is complicit in helping spread this pandemic.
Gunnery Sgt. Ron Collins, USMC retired
Time to be a leader
This is in response to Mike Williams.
Once the president wore a mask, others followed. That's what it means to be a leader. If he would have worn a mask in the first place and called it patriotic from the beginning, that would have been leadership for everyone. Trump made it political first and that, sir, is why his handling is inadequate.
Mr. Williams, if you want to stand idly by and defend the president while people die, so be it.
We both are entitled to our opinions, which makes the United States of America the greatest place to live.
Timothy L. Yates
Emphasizing the good
Your July 28 newspaper was well put together. The front page was full of articles that the mass majority of your readers are interested in. Only one small article at the bottom reflects your normal habit of pictures of criminals. Page 3 is where these stories and pictures of criminal activities belong. I'm very tired of mug shots of these people rather than pictures of good Hot Springs residents do good for the city.
On a different subject, I am very impressed with your Viewpoints section of the paper. In my opinion, Bradley Gitz is at the top of my list of outstanding columnists. Even George Will's article in the July 28 paper is totally understandable about baseball statistics. I didn't have to go to the Thesaurus once!
Hot Springs Village
Time to forgive, forget
We are planning a move, and I was going through some books I haven't read in a long time. I picked up a copy of "A Stillness at Appomattox," Bruce Catton's last book in a trilogy about the Civil War. The last page describes how some of the ordinary soldiers were feeling as they waited for the generals to end the war.
"A Pennsylvanian in the V Corps dodged past the skirmish line and strolled into the lines of the nearest Confederate regiment, and half a century after the war he recalled it with a glow: ' ... as soon as I got among these boys I felt and was treated as well as if I had been among our own boys, and a person would of thought we were of the same Army and had been Fighting under the Same Flag.'"
After reading about a "pro-freedom" rally in a letter to the editor recently, I sincerely hope that when this election is over we will all be able to realize, as those men did so long ago, that it will be time to forgive and forget, and to allow each of us to have the freedom to "pursue happiness" and live our lives as we individually choose to do. And I hope we will remember that we all live under the same flag and the Constitution it stands for.
Blessings of God
Many Christian churches include a hymn of praise to God (the doxology) which says "Praise God from whom all blessings flow."
That hymn is based on solid Biblical truth which simply reminds us that all our blessings come from God! James 1:17 says "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change. ... "
This is true for both individuals as well as for nations. I wonder how many people in America (and elsewhere) realize and appreciate that Biblical fact?
Since God is the real source of all our blessings, I also wonder how many people understand that God can withhold our blessings any time He decides to? The way that so many people ignore and disobey God tells me that this is certainly not realized universally!
"All things, our lives, our breath, every heartbeat, our possessions, our money, our protection, come as gifts from God. Of ourselves, we have nothing!" (Jonathan Cahn, "The Mystery of the Shemitah and The Harbinger") The Bible tells us how greatly God blessed ancient Isreal. He had blessed them with peace, prosperity and protection (as long as they remained loyal to God.) When they turned away from Him and His ways, He removed their blessings and chastised them severely until they finally woke up and returned to Him again! Earlier, I quoted James 1:17, which reminds us that God does not change. Malachi 3:6 also says "For I am the Lord -- I do not change."
God is a very good God indeed, but He expects us to value Him more than anything else and to obey his commands if we want to be blessed! (Conditional promises.) Deuteronomy 28 was given to the ancient Israelites to instruct them about God's blessings (for their obedience) and His curses (for their disobedience). Please read it for yourself. Even though this is Old Testament, Dr. David Jeremiah stated that he is certain that those same principals in Deut. 28 still apply to us today. Also, verses 21 and 22 clearly describe how God sent various diseases and plagues upon them for the sin of forsaking Him! Why do you think that the plague of COVID-19 and other curses have come upon us? That certainly seems like what we are experiencing! Look also at 1 Corinthians 10:1-11, which gives us warnings from ancient Israel's history. Verse 11 says, "These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us. ... " Again, read it all for yourself. It's sobering!
God is clearly trying to tell us to turn from our sinful ways (repent!) and to turn to His only Son, Jesus Christ and make Him your Lord and Savior. (Your choice.) I strongly believe that God is also trying to tell all Christians to repent of any sins that we need to! Yes! 2 Chronicles 7:14 begins with "If My people ... " Christians, please, also, pray daily for a great spiritual awakening and a revival!
What do we expect?
Recently Mary Robinson defended Trump, as she so often does. And she is always thankful for him. This time it was in the matter of COVID-19. She asked something like why do we expect him to know how to manage a response to this crisis when there are so many persons of science, etc., who do not know what to do about it?
A good question. One answer is that we expect him to exhibit some sort of leadership that really points us to a solution. We did not elect him just to watch for months as he fumbles and bumbles, making outlandish assessments about how harmless the virus is as thousands lie on ventilators or die. We have waited in vain for a plan of escape. To give him credit, he has finally started to wear a mask sometimes, apparently giving in to political pressure from those who are looking toward November.
My answer, however, is that I do not really expect him to have the answers. I have long since abandoned the belief that he knows what he is doing, in this and in other national security matters. To make matters worse, he does not know how to select advisers who could help him find a way through the maze. Drain the swamp? He does not know the difference between a snake and a trophy bass.
And if he happens to choose knowledgeable advisers, he will not listen to them, but insists that he is the stable genius who has better answers in his own mind. He puts them down in public. He denigrates their expertise and abilities. He glares at them, giving us a sign that they are headed out through a rapidly revolving door.
This is a sad and infuriating situation. Especially in the field of science, our only hope, where we can expect answers that will lead us out of this morass. Science is a dirty word with Trump.
Good leaders choose good advisers. Ones with integrity and knowledge who serve for some reason other than political ambition. And good leaders follow good advice.
Better leaders inspire the support personnel they have engaged to call upon their background knowledge and experience and who boldly give advice and assessment without fear or favor.
The best leaders do not continually boast that they have all the answers. They do not dismiss their own chosen staff because they dare to disagree with them.
How utterly stupid has America been to select someone who has wasted our time and our resources for almost four years, without having a clear path through the jungle of international and domestic danger and confusion.
Mary has mentioned Benghazi, a blast from the past, in most if not all of her letters. We get it, Mary. You say Benghazi -- I say COVID-19.
But I want to thank you for showing me how to spell "Benghazi."
For some reason I have been spelling it "W-A-T-E-R-G-A-T-E."