Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived
Ernest Dumas' article on corporations and their benefits was awesome. How much would we save if we just did away with the legislature entirely, turned the Capitol into a mini-mall and let corporations and special interests write their own legislation? (Of course gay people and women would not be allowed to do so.)
His article is being passed around to a lot of people. Well done.
Sen. John Boozman's maiden floor speech March 28 repeated an error I've corrected here, from Arkansas officialdom, before (May 26-June 1, 2010, with many others from one government webpage): that Hattie Caraway was the first woman U.S. senator. Truth isn't hard: "First woman elected to the U.S. Senate" is even a word shorter than Boozman's errant "first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate." But some Arkansans won't allow for Georgian Rebecca Felton's 1922 stint, just two days but duly sworn.
Caraway started like Felton, by appointment after a senator's death — for Caraway, unlike Felton, her husband's. She served more than two full terms, honorably but for opposing anti-lynching and civil rights legislation, as then virtually required of Southern Democrats. (Felton was more notoriously and brutally racist, once saying "I say lynch, a thousand times a week if necessary.") Caraway's pioneering achievement needs neither lie nor ignorance, on the Senate floor even less than an incompetent state-government "educational" page.
In Boozman's office, typical Hill staff answered — very young, self-important and reflexively hostile to any issue of factual error. She insisted on knowing where I was – irrelevant; this comes properly from anywhere. Finally she agreed to pass a message (didn't say to whom). There was no reply. If one comes now, it may be like what Arkansas's deputy secretary of state expressed here last year: Admit error that privately wasn't admitted for discussion let alone admitted, but blame the messenger for flagging both error and misconduct.
Mark W. Powell
The thinner 80s
Being a child of the 1980s, I grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons, riding my bike after school and eating dinner with my family 6-7 days out of the week. In 2011, my children have televisions in their bedrooms, cell phones, computers and multiple game consoles. We eat dinner together maybe 3-5 days per week and I rarely see them outside playing and running. Does it matter how different kids are today than they were 30-40 years ago?
Weight gain and BMIs have been steadily on the rise since the 1960s. Fifteen-year-old males in 1966 weighed 135.5 lbs. and in 2002 are weighing in at 150.3 lbs. BMIs, body mass index, are also affected. Sixteen-year-old males in 1966 had a BMI of 21.3 and in 2002 it rose to 24.1. Normal BMI's fall between 18.5 and 24.9.
Type I diabetes mellitus is associated with children and it is caused by a deficiency with the production of insulin. Now in 2011, adolescents are diagnosed with Type II DM and develop it due to being overweight, sedentary, and family history. The CDC states in the U.S. 151,000 persons under 20 years old have diabetes mellitus, Type II. Potential complications of uncontrolled DM include cardiac problems, vision loss, poor circulation, amputations, dialysis and death. Diabetes has a slow insidious onset and people do not worry about it until the complications arise. The earlier the onset of the disease increases the number of complications which will affect daily living and life expectancy.
To combat this dilemma Americans have to eat right and exercise. Easy fix, right? Well not exactly. Fast food has made life much easier on busy families running to and fro throughout the week. It seems easier to place a child in front of a television to entertain them while we accomplish our household chores. We as parents have to change our mindsets on what is important. Do we have to run constantly, or should we stop and smell the roses? Should we eat out or take the time and cook a balanced meal? Should we participate in physical activity with our kids or plop down in front of the TV after a hard day at work? It's hard to change the way Americans spend their time but for our kids' health and our own we should re-evaluate what is really important.
I normally resist the urge to fire off an e-mail to your publication, but I feel compelled to pass on my compliments for an extremely well-written Observer column March 30. There is almost always an "observation" that I can relate to each week. But this week's rendition was a thoroughly delightful play on metaphors and Pavlovian responses, skillfully presented, and absolutely enjoyable (albeit with some painful recollections of my own). I am generally of the opinion that this column is written by a husband-wife team, sometimes solo, sometimes tandem. Right or wrong as I may be, I both appreciate and enjoy them; truthfully, I think it is the best feature in your paper.
In closing, my compliments to the anonymous author(s). Sad to say, I suspect that Bob Lancaster (aka Assmunch) was once possessed of this ability, at least until his bitterness poisoned the well. I am one Cabot resident who wishes him a brighter future and a less sarcastic perspective — even good wine can be turned to vinegar.
Where interests lie
Some are more interested in the unborn than the born.
Some are more interested in corporations than citizens.
Some are more interested in being elected than serving.
Some are saying one thing and doing another.
Some think rules are for everyone except them.
Some are more interested in criticizing than running for office.
Hot Springs Village
Submit letters to The Editor, Arkansas Times, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203. We also accept letters via e-mail. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.