Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived
God and football
I found myself with a short wait and nothing to read. I rummaged around in the truck though and came across a once read copy of the Arkansas Times from 8 October.
As I reread the article about the “Lions fed to Christians,” I had a sudden flash of insight. God is using this situation to demonstrate that schools that allow and encourage prayer in the classrooms are able to turn out better football players.
I wonder if our forefathers or even our courts had realized this, would we still have the prohibition against state-sponsored prayers? Of course we would still need to be sure that we were only allowing prayer to the right God.
In praise of apples
It was a pleasure to read Michael Dougan's article about the Arkansas Black apple. I planted several Arkansas Black apple trees two years ago but was unaware of the history of this state treasure. We should make the Arkansas Black the official state apple. I am looking forward to my first harvest.
How to get ahead
A wire service reported recently that Congressman Mike Ross made a “Fifty Most Loved Congressmen List.” This honor was bestowed by Newsmax Magazine, whose contributors include literary giants like Dick Morris, Bill O'Reilly and Michael Reagan. This is the same magazine offering a year's subscription and a copy of Sara Palin's “book” for about 5 bucks.
Mike is a smart enough politician to do what I did 20 years ago — play to the crowd, get the NRA (or whatever endorsement was required), eat the fat, peeled boiled shrimp from the lobbyists (usually the pharmacists, who peddle anti-fat and cholesterol drugs) and think you have really arrived on the power scene.
Looking back on my 50th year class reunion photos in Pine Bluff, I wonder if our dead (titled “departed,” or “no longer with us” or “gone to be with the Lord”) classmates are not the luckiest. Bob Lancaster, another Mulerider, had the sense to retire into his own imagination and creativity. I have not reached that point. And maybe, with little imagination and a paucity (Inez Couch taught me that word) of creativity, I never will.
I wish I could have attended one of those magical high schools that graduated (barely) Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity — two guys who are experts on physical science, religion, government and political science, economics, foreign policy, the Constitution, the Supreme Court and any and all things cerebral. The closest I came to such a font of wisdom was Howard Watson, a radio disc jockey in Pine Bluff in the 1950s. He never assumed that he knew more than what was good rock 'n' roll and his profound advice was usually limited to something like “drive careful.”
(Forgey is a former state representative.)
I just watched Blanche Lincoln in a TV interview. She is against the “public option” and in favor of “competition “ in the free market. Or so she says!
My question for Sen. Lincoln is, “What competition?”
Republicans and their rented Democrats have for years touted free market competition. All the while they are frantically buying up any real competition in all major businesses.
Consider the newspaper business. Why are we now saddled with only one statewide newspaper with a Republican bias and slant? Because Walter Hussmann has bought out, in my view through nefarious means, any real competition.
There are only two major health insurers left in the state. Automobile insurers are about as scarce as well and all the above have left us with damned little choice as to who will rip us off. How does that benefit us?
Senator Lincoln has not shown me any realistic intention to serve the concerns of the state's taxpayers or voters.
The health battle
My disappointment in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce regarding their attacks on Congressman Vic Snyder over his health care vote is overwhelming. The Chamber has always been on the side, or so I thought, of small businesses as well as large, but now it has become patently obvious that their only interest is in catering to large business.
The one thing that will surely sink small businesses is the ever escalating cost of providing medical insurance for their employees, an obligation many take very seriously.
Not only are the attacks on the congressman unfair, they are largely misleading in claiming huge new taxes that every reliable source says is not true.
Arkansas needs health reform at least as much as any state in the union and yet our people continue to be fooled by the self-serving interests of big business and now even the Chamber of Commerce, into supporting a position that is completely contrary to our own best interests.