Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived
What is up with Sen. Blanche Lincoln! She's no Democrat. Can we paint her red and send her packing? She doesn't support cap and trade! Is she retarded? I guess all that “clean” coal money has done its job. It's just sad, she does nothing except keep the status quo (for big business). Zero. Meat puppet. And so is Sen. Mark Pryor. These two need to quit drinking from the same GOP punchbowl and pig trough and get with the new reality-based administration, where we actually fix problems instead of creating them and then making them worse. Loser!
What kid doesn't love cotton candy? It smells sweet and tastes great. Our federal government has just approved a $787 billion dose of cotton candy to stimulate our economy and right the woes of years of greed, ineptitude and imprudent decisions. This so-called stimulus package will taste great for about 2 seconds and then completely dissolve into nothing, leaving us with ZERO long-term value.
It is not like our federal government has this money just lying around. We are just printing money, increasing our federal debt and expecting our kids and grandkids to pay for our candy, with future dollars that our nation's fiscal policy continues to devalue.
What our nation needs is a dose of medicine. My prescription would be a good dose of James Madison. The federal government would only get involved in issues with a clear federal purpose. Bailing out my neighbor who had to have the brand new cars, the huge home, and the vacations he can't afford, in no way passes the acid test for a clear federal purpose.
While I personally feel a responsibility to share my blessings, forcing me to funnel my social-spending tax dollars though the completely inefficient bureaucracy known as the federal government, which makes 40 percent of my dollars disappear, has ZERO justification. It makes much more sense to allow me to take these tax dollars and give it to the Salvation Army.
Card check check
“In support of the Employee Free Choice Act.” This was the title I gave to a letter I sent to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Voices page. It expressed my opinion about the tactics being used to brainwash the American people against the act.
The powers that be not only called me to confirm that I had indeed written the Voices piece, but made a very strange request.
The person who contacted me “hated to ask me,” but asked if I could send her a Xerox copy of my Arkansas driver's license or state ID card to verify my identity. She said people sometimes write letters to Voices in other people's names and it could cause problems for the individual and the newspaper. She did say I could black out my ID number. I asked her what they would do with my ID. She said they would keep it in their data bank for protection.
I offered to go to the office to show her my license. My offer was declined. How could she verify my identity without coming face to face with me? Why, I could have been anyone.
I just thought that anyone considering writing the Voices page should realize they may become a part of the data bank at “Arkansas's newspaper.”
From now on I'll send my opinions to your publication. Goodness knows, you're not Republican and Chamber of Commerce backed or bought.
Freedom of information
Max Brantley's column Feb. 5 reminded me of something I wrote in December 2005, when various Pulaski County mayors and judges were meeting about … well, we don't rightly know.
The press and people were not invited. Public business was discussed, but we could not sit in. Why not? OBecause the honorables would be only too happy to tell us what went on in the meeting, and since they are elected officials, they are honest and truthful.
Some of the founders of our Nation insisted that a Bill of Rights be added to our Constitution, just in case, even though all agreed it was not needed. They must have known there'd be Jim Daileys et al. The point is, they assumed that of course you wouldn't need laws defending, for example, the freedom to speak or write or assemble. The same is true with government, especially local governments, conducting open meetings. It's nice that we have an FOI law, but it shouldn't be necessary. And just because we do have a law, it doesn't follow that anything and everything not covered in the law is OK.
Secret meetings by government officials thwart our Constitution. Private meetings by government officials thwart our Constitution. Our form of government presumes an openness and accountability between those elected to serve and the citizenry. Secret deals in secret meetings are, by definition, illegal in our form of government and should be dealt with as such. Let's get angry!