Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
Trump for prez
Donald Trump deserves to be the Republican nominee for president. For decades now, Republicans have been trying to give tax breaks and investment incentives to guys like Donald Trump by fighting government regulations of corporations. Why not just completely cut out the middleman by giving Trump the presidency and control of Congress? When President Trump takes over, there will be no need for guys like Ted Cruz and that credit card fraud, Marco Rubio. Corporations will rule America and all the socialistic programs like Social Security and Medicare will no longer be tolerated. Such administrations will be fired and Republicans will finally get what they have said they always wanted, a free market society based upon an Ayn Rand Utopia. Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan will call the shots. There will be no need for a federal reserve system. Janet Yellen will be fired immediately. And the IRS? Fired. Trump can count his own money. Lazy folks will slowly die away in corners, quietly, so as not to disturb the captains of industry. Perfect capitalism!
Meanwhile, back here in reality, Ryan is taking on his own Ayn Rand character by maneuvering to establish himself as Republican National Convention chairman. Maybe Ryan can change convention rules and nominate himself the Republican presidential candidate. But who would be vice president? Mike Huckabee?
Embrace sustainable energy now
"Commit Little Rock to being 100 percent powered by clean energy by 2025" (cover story, Dec. 17) is the biggest big idea of all, but not too big to happen. As Glen Hooks points out, it is happening in other American cities. Many other places, large and small, around the world already generate virtually all of their electricity sustainably: Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Norway, Albania, Paraguay, Bonaire, Kodiak Island and a growing number of cities.
A sustainable energy economy is not only possible, it is inevitable, and the sooner we get on with achieving it, the better off we will be.
The private sector is making impressive progress toward this goal. A carbon price, preferably a market-driven tax-and-rebate, is the best way government can help.
Steps toward integration
As John Walker prepares his lawsuit, local superintendents make plans to build new white schools. The Little Rock superintendent will balance his white middle school eventually with the proposed high school in Southwest Little Rock. Jacksonville seems unconcerned about balance. The difference between 1954 and 2016 is that state government is using a legal loophole in 2016 (the unitary district decree) to build segregated schools. School leaders forget that in 1954 the Supreme Court decided that separate, no matter how alike you try to make things, was not equal.
The state spent hundreds of millions trying to integrate public schools in Pulaski County. The federal government determined that the LRSD did everything possible to integrate schools and awarded it unitary status. Being awarded unitary status opened the door to build a new white school in the west, a new white elementary school in Jacksonville, and eventually a new white high school in the west. If separate was not equal in 1954, why would the same reasoning not apply today? White people prefer to live in western Pulaski County and select sections of Jacksonville, and each of those areas need new schools. The assumption is that the state did everything it could to integrate schools, got unitary status, so now it can build schools wherever it wants to build them without fear of federal law enforcement action. That assumption (we can build anywhere) gives Walker a good chance to show that the state is now scheming by using charter schools and select construction to defy the 14th Amendment.
Briefly, here are some positive steps that could be used toward integration. First, have two districts in Pulaski County — north and south. Plan large (3,000 to 5,000 student populations) villages along traffic corridors served by light rail. The federal government pays 50 percent of light rail cost. Sell neighborhood schools to help pay for the villages. As much as possible, combine village facilities for school and public use outside school time. Large villages placed along rail or bus corridors avoid identification with a particular neighborhood or race. Rather than linked to a certain neighborhood, achievement identifies villages. Transportation serves the schools and the public. Pulaski County comes together to create outstanding, integrated school villages that make our city an attractive place to live. On the other hand, we can continue to manage schools to enable segregation. That behavior (enabling segregation) ensures more millions wasted on legal battles that also cost us our integrity.
Lost a giant
Thanks to the Times and Ernie Dumas for the outstanding obit of Dale Bumpers. This is such wonderful, historical reporting. Invaluable. We were so fortunate to have this man as our governor and senator and equally fortunate to have someone like Ernie still with us to remind us all just how much this man accomplished while in public service. We lost our giant. I was a very young Pine Bluff Commercial reporter and drew the short straw election night to cover this "unknown" lawyer. I lucked out and we remained friends forever. I still have a photo from that night.
From the web in response to an Arkansas Blog post about the death of Dale Bumpers:
In 1970, CBS NEWS had a TV special about the election of new governors in the South who did not use racial issues in their campaigns: Rubin Askew (Fla.), Jimmy Carter (Ga.) and Dale Bumpers. A first, according to CBS.
As a kid I remember thinking, Dale who? I suspect his unusual last name had some benefit in building crucial name recognition. He turned out to be the Southern "lion" of the Senate in a way that earned him a reputation for straight-shooting moderate-to-liberal politics that enjoyed a brief moment in Southern history. It's hard to imagine a Dale Bumpers winning statewide election today, and I know that many readers on this blog agree that that is a tragic turn of events. He was one of the last generation of New Deal Democrats, and one of the few Southern Great Society Democrats, even though he came along a decade too late to support LBJ in his legislative program.
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