Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived
Happy birthday, Head Start
Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson stood in the White House Rose Garden to announce the creation of Head Start, a federal program that would ensure at-risk children across the nation received access to a quality early childhood education.
I am among the 32 million Americans Head Start has served since its creation in 1965, and I can speak firsthand to the incredible difference it makes in the life of a young child facing poverty. The Newton County Head Start program's comprehensive approach to early education ensured I entered Kindergarten healthy — cognitively, emotionally and physically — and ready to succeed. Its whole-family focus also made sure my single mother had the tools and resources she needed to be the best mother she could be to me and my three siblings.
Head Start truly laid the foundation for my future success and lifelong commitment to early learning. I went on to graduate at the top of my high school class and was the first in my family to graduate college. Today, after a long career advocating for early childhood education, I serve as the Director of the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education at the Arkansas Department of Human Services.
So happy birthday, Head Start. As we plant rose bushes in celebration of 50 years of success, we renew our commitment to Head Start and plant the seeds for 50 more years of opportunity.
Little Rock, Arkansas
From the web:
In response to an Arkansas Blog post, "The bigoted past of new state drug director Denny Altes" (May 15):
Does anyone vet these appointments beforehand?
All the vetting Dimmy Altes needs is for you to be over the age of 40, have the ability to read a newspaper and this blog and a long term memory. I live in the same area that Secret Squirrel lives in and it's very easy to come up with the nickname, Dimmy, even if you're only paying half attention to this bizarre human.
Not only being a racist and proving it many times over, he's also fond of wearing a long black waistcoat or duster while slipping into meetings and functions like he's a stealth CIA agent. Dimmy, son, WE CAN SEE YOU! Every time, we can see you.
Evidently there's big money to be made by only, ONLY electing idiots out of Sebastian and Crawford County. I guess it's better for the fat cats here that their elected representative be totally unable to represent anyone or to form an original thought or have a good grounding in right vs. wrong.
We've been shipping idiots to Little Rock since forever and no wonder Fort Baptist is like an island in a stream, outcasts, never members of the Little Roc Club. We are regarded higher by our insaniac western neighbor, Okla-whoopty doo-homa. I'm sorry we helped send you Asa too! It is to cry.
In response to Andrea Zekis' guest column, "Hall out of touch on Jenner" (May 14):
You are right on! I think it's incredibly difficult to understand any transgender issues. The same way I find it impossible to understand what people feel like with "no conflict." I do also understand why they cannot comprehend my position. I only seek a basic understanding that conflicts can exist and we have right to attempt to resolve them as best we can without being considered some type of disease that requires extermination.
My problem is why does it have to be a rich white woman before people care? Trans women of color have been dying in the streets and no one cares. But one white woman opens her mouth and suddenly everyone is an "ally?"
Why is it always a rich white person before people care or listen? White supremacy is evil.
In response to Gene Lyons' column, "Bigots can speak, and so can their critics" (May 14):
Compromise is a bitch when one side wants to be left alone, and the other side wants only genocide.
It was no false dichotomy, but some, apparently, will use it as a guise to defend the terrorists in the most venal and cowardly way possible.
It is provocative, and that is partly the point. If the KKK and Westboro have their right to protest and march, ugly people like Geller also have that right. The blinding truth, though, is that no other religion takes offense in such lethal manners. You can hold hook nose drawing contests, and Holocaust revisionists and the piss Christ, and nobody will shoot you.
We are supposed to respect and regard such people as would think murder is a proper response to offense as equals?
If we make allies, our true allies know there are parts of our nation that have a great time ridiculing and insulting each other, and the more mature groups laugh or come up with their own verbal retorts.
As for the brave officer, well, he had a Glock, and it was in .45, which is a good man stopper in a gunfight. I have shot the gun, and it is very accurate, in the right hands, so head shots from a guy who trains a lot is not surprising. He wishes to remain anonymous, and that is good, as other Jihadis may mark him as a target for being so insolent as to defend Geller and her group.
That is the thing to remember, when one goes after Kelly's all-too-spot-on analysis, these are not rational people your dealing with. Geller may be a target because of how provocative she is, but now a cop in Garland is a target because of what he stopped.
How are you going to fault him?
If Pam Geller or anyone else can be intimidated into not criticizing Islam, then they have won a huge psychological operations victory over America by preventing the Esprit de Corps that develops in a nation and its military at war against an enemy, which serves as a great source of motivation to prevail! And they wonder why we criticize their patriotism!