At CCMC, we give thanks for being part of this wonderful community. Operating during the pandemic has been a challenge not only for us, but for all our fellow nonprofits, organizations, health care providers, educators and students, agencies, and businesses -- particularly in a town where tourism is such a vital part of our economy.
Like so many organizations that have been flooded with families in need, CCMC's staff and volunteers have been, as well. Our mission is to improve life for those who are underserved and under-resourced. We do so by focusing on three areas of human need: advocacy services, charitable health care, and poverty disruption programs. We don't do this alone but collaborate with fantastic organizations, programs and services. These partnerships translate into better care for our neighbors in crisis, particularly during the past two years that have been so difficult.
Over the past 12 months, almost 6,000 people in our community have been served by our small staff, heroic volunteers, and limited resources. More than 720 people facing destabilizing circumstances were served by our Advocacy Services. Our charitable clinic had over 4,000 patient visits for medical, dental, pharmacy, health care education, vision care, and referrals. During the life-threatening cold at the beginning of the year, we -- along with St. Luke's Episcopal Church, First United Methodist Church, Lakeview Assembly of God, the city of Hot Springs, and many, many volunteers, a 24-hour shelter was provided for 75 people and their pets. Since beginning our poverty disruption classes -- Getting Ahead, almost 600 people have graduated. They have learned new skills that will equip them to move from poverty to greater stability and, once they graduate, we provide follow-up to help them stay on track. When COVID vaccines became available, we collaborated with CHI St. Vincent, the Hot Springs Convention Center, and Oaklawn's chaplains to administer 950 vaccines to high-risk populations.
The spirit of cooperation and collaboration between nonprofits, government, and business has made a difference, particularly this year. Yes, we have much work to do as we look to the coming year, but with the financial support, resource support, and abundant compassion and generosity of this community, we face the unknown, encouraged and ready to serve.
CCMC executive director
Vote 'no' on Feb. 8
Darryl Mahoney and the quorum court voted Monday night to have a special election on Feb. 8, 2022, asking the voters to approve a 0.625% sales and use tax that will generate about $70 million from the voters over the next five years.
Remember, in 2020, they spent over $600,000 in bonuses, retirement, Social Security, and last Monday, they spent over $600,000 in bonuses, retirement and Social Security again, plus $59,000 for administrative costs, and Darryl would not answer when asked to explain the $59,000.
They gave just under a $10,000 raise to one person in the county road department and just under a $6,000 raise to one person in the assessor's office.
All are up for election in 2022 and we need new leadership in these offices: county judge, county clerk, county assessor and county tax collector. Total compensation for each office is over $100,000 dollars. Why not run for one of these offices? Remember also, Joe Biden is sending millions to the states and counties for infrastructure.
I was hesitant to address this issue of race but was compelled by the hypocrisy of those perpetuating the issue and their motives to stoke racial division. If one cannot acknowledge the inconsistencies in how groups of people are treated differently based on the color of their skin, then that is in itself evidence of bias. One only needs to look at the institutions we come in contact with on a daily basis. This includes banking, media, education, business, entertainment, religious, law enforcement and specifically the judicial system. Their core values state support for diversity; however, there are unspoken limits implemented with a wink and nod. Those inequities are found in every community, and Garland County and Hot Springs are no exceptions.
Recent events like the Jan. 6 insurrection, and yes, it was an insurrection. Participants involved have been charged and sentenced in most cases as misdemeanors and in essence given slaps on the hand with minimal jail time. I am talking about people whose ultimate goal was to overthrow the government. By definition, that was a seditious act and considered treason and should be charged and sentenced as such. Consider how those charges may have been different if it were participants of the Black Lives Matter movement doing that at the Capitol.
What is most disappointing are those individuals, institutions and leaders who called themselves Christians. Specifically, those who are part of the "religious right" or the so-called evangelicals and unfortunately their leaders who support the beliefs and actions of the former president to influence legislation on issues like abortion and the installation of Supreme Court justices. I say to you that you may call yourself a "Christian" but what you cannot do is call yourself a "believer" of Jesus Christ and his teachings as found in the Bible.
All this plays into the country's unwillingness to accept the fact of racial inequality because it is implausible that individuals do not acknowledge the core idea that all, if not the majority of institutional decisions regarding race is an intentionally designed social construct and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice but something that is embedded in the United States legal system and of unwritten policies of most institutions. These are the basic tenets of Critical Race Theory (CRT).
This is the history of our country and any attempt to hide or ignore these truths so one group is not offended discriminates against all others and ultimately is doomed to failure and will cause continued conflict. It is important to note that Critical Race Theory is not taught in our schools as some would lead you to believe.
Which is worst?
I cannot decide if the Media or Academia irritates me more? Well, let me start with Academia. The Sentinel-Record published an opinion piece by Harvard Law Professor Ronald Sullivan. Professor Sullivan, as you might expect, disagrees with the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict because he infers it was not self-defense. However, his definition clearly shows self-defense is appropriate when threaten as Rittenhouse was, not once but twice. First by a felon with a chain who threatened to kill him and second by another felon after that individual and a second pointed a loaded handgun at him. Multiple videos provided he was not the aggressor and even the third thug admitted the truth in court.
Professor Sullivan is, of course, a charter member of The Associated Press's liars club. And follow the party line like a true clone!
A member of the media who irritates me even more is the phony economic expert Paul Krugman, whose Nobel Prize was largely granted due to his views shared with the far-left wing Nobel freaks. His economics paper, on which the award was based, is hardly unique since it merely stated the obvious; those countries should specialize in their best activities to lower costs when in global commerce -- something that would be no surprise to Henry Ford.
Krugman had two articles recently which twisted the truth. The first discussed his dislike of tax cuts, specifically those enacted during the Trump Administration. After giving his dubious reasons for opposing tax cuts, he mentioned that the deficit rose in the same time period, completely ignoring the fact those tax cuts generated more federal tax income revenue than the prior year. The problem with that hidden lie is the deficit was and has been far larger than Federal Income. It is spending stupid!
The second big white lie was a discussion by Krugman of rising gasoline prices, noting the cost of a barrel of oil was $60. Then, being a well-paid propagandist for the Democrats, tried to blame OPEC, which is disgusting since when Trump was in office, we were exporting oil rather than importing. The cancellation of the Keystone pipeline and the restrictions placed on drilling had an immediate effect on gasoline prices. It is the Democrat Administration, Stupid!