Loaded with assumptions
In his letter published Feb. 2, Gunnery Sgt. Collins agreed the facts I put forward in my letter were true. Then he went on to state, I said Sens. Bozeman and Cotton were doing their job when they voted for the Administration during the impeachment. He stated, my letter assumed the voters who elected Sen. Bozeman in 2010 and 2016 don't want him to vote for new witnesses and documents to be subpoenaed in the Senate trial. He accused me of assuming if you are an Arkansas Republican, you must agree with and concede to everything Sens. Bozeman and Cotton decide for you.
I plead innocent to all charges. At no place in my letter did I make any such statements, let alone make any assumptions. Just read the letter.
However, Gunnery Sgt. Collins' letter is loaded with assumptions. He assumes Sens. Bozeman and Cotton voted for the Administration rather than deciding which way to vote by weighing the House Managers' (open and shut) case against the defense provided by the president's lawyers. He assumes the voters who elected them wanted them to vote for extending the prosecution's case. He assumes I think Arkansas Republicans have to agree or concede to everything Sens. Bozeman and Cotton decide for them.
Gunnery Sgt. Collins then spends four (4) paragraphs opining the reason the Democratic opponent to Sen. Cotton, Mr. Josh Mahoney, withdrew from the race was due to dirty politics by the Arkansas State Republican Party and the Cotton campaign. Gunnery Sgt. Collins must not be aware of the statement Mr. Mahoney made as the reason he was withdrawing, "For Family Health Reasons." The Gunnery Sgt. then states Tom Cotton is using Arkansas taxpayer dollars in tearing down rather than facing any perceived opponent. If Sen. Cotton is using taxpayer dollars in his campaign, that would be voter fraud.
I never pretend to speak for the people of Arkansas, I merely try to keep facts in the public view so they can decide for themselves.
One last comment. I have always had great admiration for the United States Marine Corps and the gallant men and women who are part of it. I developed that admiration when I fought alongside them in I Corp in 1967 and when I shared quarters with a Marine captain when we went through the Infantry Advanced Course at Fort Benning, Ga., in 1971. One thing observed during these shared experiences was the Marine Corps and the U.S. Army agreed that using assumptions in building your strategy is a fool's errand.
Col. Larry Bailey, USAR retired
Complacency is the enemy
I attended the wonderful MLK celebration. The keynote speaker, Dr. Althea Conley, M.D., Ph.D., was inspiring, motivating and engaging. She spoke on the theme: Building Walls of Courage to Block the Flood of Fear (VOTE). She approached the theme with the acronym: V-victory, O-over, T-the, E-enemy. In her speech, Dr. Conley equated the word enemy with the noun complacency. Complacency is the enemy. She encouraged the audience to please do not become complacent: indifferent, unconcerned or uninterested when it comes to voting. She stressed the fact that voting is very important. She spoke of citizens who have said "My vote doesn't count," "I don't have time." She emphasized the point your vote does count. She reminded all of us that men and women from every community gave their lives to make it possible for everyone to have the right to vote.
She used as a foundation for her speech the book of Nehemiah. The account of the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, how Nehemiah came in contact with others who had become complacent. They tried to discourage him from completing his mission of rebuilding the wall. Dr. Conley encouraged the audience to resist any person, event, or circumstance that tries to stop you from reaching your goal.
She appealed to the young people to resist giving up their goals. She shared her story of resisting. She had to fight complacency. She became emotional as she spoke of a time in her life when a high school guidance counselor told her that she should not concentrate on college. She resisted. She decided to study harder. She went on to attend Hendrix College, U of A Fayetteville, and Yale University achieving her goal of becoming a doctor of Psychiatry.
I was invited by a former co-worker from Lake Hamilton Intermediate School to share the table with her, her pastor and some members of her church and we enjoyed breaking bread together. This is the main purpose of the MLK Prayer Breakfast, the bringing together of people of diverse communities in unity.
If more people would embrace Dr. King's mission "to judge a person by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin" this would be better world for all people. My hope is that people will continue to adopt the ideals of love, respect, inclusion with the appreciation of all people and many of the injustices we still hear about and witness here and around the world will decrease or stop totally.
"Who is the enemy?" Dr. Conley proposed that complacency is the enemy, not our opposing views on various issues. She closed her message by saying "Guys, let's work together." I agree. Let's work together so all the citizens of our community, our country, and our world will feel appreciated and be willing to give their very best toward the betterment of our world.
Sure you're registered?
Several months ago I filled out an application called "Voter Registration." I submitted it and assumed I was already registered. Then I read, online, the "Arkansas Rules for Voter Registration" and discovered that simply filling out and mailing a "Voter Registration" does not automatically register me to vote! I had to make sure it was filed and recorded with the Garland County clerk, whose office is in the old courthouse building in downtown Hot Springs. If you want to make sure you can vote in this year's primary and November presidential election you may want to be sure you are actually registered.
The contact phone number for the Garland County clerk is 501-622-3610.
This is a secret that shouldn't be kept!
Lake Ouachita trash
Lake Ouachita has been a treasured tourist destination since its creation in the 1950s, with fishing, swimming and boating as popular vacation activities. Sadly, with the introduction of more people comes multitudinous amounts of trash; this collection of plastic, rubber, and other non-biodegradables litter the 690 miles of lakeshore, both poorly contrasting the beauty of the lake, and causing harm for the environment.
Undoubtedly, the best way to fix this nuisance is to remove this garbage from the lake regularly, so that large buildups of trash never occur. Already there are a few volunteer groups that annually clean Lake Ouachita, such as the organization Friends of Lake Ouachita (FOLO), but this is not enough. Small groups of people cannot possibly comb the entirety of Lake Ouachita's shoreline, therefore a new plan is in order.
Citizens of Arkansas need to band together to stop the unlawful pollution of this magnificent lake's waters. These good people need to meet monthly to help clean their cherished lake, and with organized numbers, they will put this threat to wildlife and beauty behind us all.
Socialism alive and well
It's only February, and Rick Cherry has already written two letters I agree with. Perhaps there's hope for our country after all. Rick opined that the Democratic presidential candidates were in an arms race to offer bigger, better, and more things for free -- debt forgiveness, college tuition, health care, you name it. Not only are those promises unrealistic, they leave a very basic premise unfulfilled -- nothing is "free." If it were, it would have no value. It may be "free" to the receiver, but it will cost someone, somewhere, at some time. Which is why those sorts of ideas are rightfully labeled as socialistic.
The truth is, socialism is alive and well in our country, and has been for some time. There are different forms of it, some more insidious than others. There's the form that irks me, and probably persons like Rick: Stopping at the gas station in the morning on your way to work, and standing behind someone seemingly perfectly healthy in line at 8 a.m. buying beer, cigarettes and lottery tickets with cash, then purchasing pork rinds and sodas with their food stamp card. That should bother anyone who gets up and punches a time clock every day.
But there's also the big dollar form of socialism. In 2008, our government bailed out the auto industry, to the tune of $80.7 billion. Shortly thereafter, five of the biggest banking institutions in the country had their hands out, for $700 billion. Most recently, after Trump placed tariffs on China, farmers complained and received $28.7 billion. The Department of Agriculture itself is a socialist branch of government by definition, as they pay billions in subsidies every year to farmers. The difference between the anger we feel at the gas station behind the EBT user and the big bailouts is psychological: One we see, the other is so large it's hard to fathom, and we don't feel it immediately. But we live in a country touted as the richest in the world, but are $22 trillion in debt.
So the one place Rick Cherry and I disagree is that it's the fault of one party. Both Republicans and Democrats should share an equal amount of blame for their failed policies and utter lack of regard for our growing debt. Congressman Bruce Westerman campaigned on reining in irresponsible spending, yet he's been unwilling or unable to do anything about it, which makes him incompetent or ineffective, possibly both. Like many other Washington elected officials, I suspect big business and being reelected has supplanted the welfare of the average Arkansan.
Trump is the new 'Don'
The recent action by the U.S. Senate in refusing to hear more witnesses and see documents during the impeachment trial is the exact behavior of the Mafia, as reflected in the "Godfather" movies and the TV hit, "The Sopranos.'' Obviously, Trump is the "Don" with McConnell and Graham his two major "Captains." The rest of the cast (all but Mitt Romney) are too scared or don't have the guts to stand up to this loser.
Our entire Arkansas GOP congressional delegation went right along like lemmings and voted to keep this psychologically demented, womanizing, cheating, lying, bigoted con man in power. He is a disgrace to the president's office and embarrassment to the world order. Our allies think he is a joke and don't trust him or our country, as our Congress has lost all credibility at home and abroad. We can also thank their gangster tactics, lies, cover-ups, illegal firings, and outright stupidity for American being in this state of a divided, dysfunctional state.
The witnesses of his own administration testified under oath that he committed a crime against the constitution and obstructed justice -- proof that he should be impeached without a doubt among law-abiding citizens. But no, the Senate did their sworn allegiance to mob boss Trump and the rest is a very dangerous future.
For once in my life, I am ashamed to admit I live in a state with such weak and worthless political hacks and cannot think of anything of note they have done for their state, especially Tom Cotton, the most arrogant, ambitious and "bought" do-nothing person in office. How he sleeps at night with his conscience is sinful if not sad.
As for Trump, there are probably over 40 previous presidents rolling over in their graves at what this clown has done while in office. Our only hope is to make sure we all vote overwhelmingly to get him out of our lives in November.
R. Bruce Smith
Quoting out of context
I've noticed that since our current president has been in office, he and his supporters have resorted to misinformation, disinformation and just plain lies. After reading Tuesday's paper, I guess we can add quoting out of context to the list. A recent letter accused Joe Biden of corruption in Ukraine by quoting from a speech he made to the US Council of Foreign Relations in 2018. It went as follows:
"I'm telling you; you're not getting the billion dollars. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money. Well, son of a b - - - - h. He got fired."
Biden was speaking to the CFR about an earlier incident on Dec. 8, 2015, according to a Sept. 23, 2019, Reuters article, in which he was speaking about corruption in Ukraine which was eating the country "like a cancer." He then "threatened to withhold loan guarantees unless Ukraine's top prosecutor, Viktor Shakos, who had been widely accused of corruption, was removed."
Biden was speaking as the vice president of the United States to a country we were trying to support against Russian intrusion in the Crimea.
Unlike the current president, he was not threatening to hold money back for his personal benefit.
I think it was unwise and begging for controversy for Biden's son to work for a company in Ukraine while his father held office. Investigators have cleared both Biden's of corrupt motives.
But how can the TEA Partyers complain when the child of the current president and her husband have "earned an enormous amount of money from other enterprises while serving in the White House, an unrealistic income flow that ethics experts warn could lead to potential conflicts of interests. The couple has quit the daily oversight of their companies as they work as unpaid senior advisers to the president.
While Donald's son-in-law divested some holdings, he and his wife have maintained large stakes in businesses with a domestic and foreign tie. Kushner's family real estate company has enormous properties spread around the country, including thousands of apartment units in states including New Jersey and Maryland. Apart from properties, Trump's eponymous clothing and accessories line is produced exclusively in foreign factories in countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, and China.
This as reported online in the Republic on Oct. 7, 2019.
Loss of women's rights
Barefoot and pregnant is an era that we tried to escape, but people want to go back to that horrific time. Politicians, rulers, church leaders and chauvinists know that if they can control a woman's body, they can control society. It is a power and controlling thing and men have nothing to lose. Women can lose everything. Women should be mad about losing women's rights, but this has support from too many women. They are naive and fail to realize the gravity of what they are giving up, for themselves and future generations. Losing the rights of women to control their body and their reproductive rights is more serious than losing the right to vote or not having equal pay for equal work. Women have been suppressed and submissive subservient slaves for 2 million years and some want to keep it that way. Christ pushed for women's rights 2,000 years ago but this has never happened. Our society is regressing. This is disguised under pro-life, which is not pro-life but is pro-birth. It is pro-birth because people do not want to spend their tax dollars to support unwanted children to ensure they are fed, clothed, have good homes and are educated. Just pop them out to people that do not want them and let them survive on their own. Such mindless hypocrites are not lining up to adopt all unwanted children.
There are ways to reduce abortion through sex education, birth control, and family planning. Church members ignore Exodus 21:22-25, which states the death of the mother is murder and the death of a fetus is a property crime. In the Bible the death of the fetus is not the same as the death of the mother. The fetus was not considered a human until born and could breathe on its own. Believers followed this for at least 3,300 years when Exodus was written and thousands of years before that. Forty years ago this was changed for political expediency when Ronald Reagan made it a hot-button issue that blinds voters to the candidates' qualifications.
Politicians and Evangelicals can rationalize anything. They throw out and twist the parts of the Bible that fit their needs and disregard the rest. They claim the Bible is the inerrant word of God then choose to make pro-choice a political issue as if the Bible is mythology. Evangelicals have lost their moral compass and dig to find a verse to justify what they want. It cannot be both ways, and that is the hypocrisy of it all. The movement to eliminate women's rights by buying politicians, and appointing biased judges is the formula that passed prohibition in the last century. We should not let this happen to women's rights if we are a sane educated society. Women should be fighting to protect their rights instead of letting others control their choices and regressing to the barefoot and pregnant days.
Jerry Wayne Davis
Hot SpringsEditorial on 02/09/2020
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