Mat Ram | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

Mat Ram 
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Re: “Blue island: A progressive primary in Arkansas

(Punctuation clearly does not cut-and-paste very well in the comment section!)

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mat Ram on 05/16/2018 at 5:06 PM

Re: “Blue island: A progressive primary in Arkansas

Do the right thing, Fayetteville.

Recently, I imparted the gift of knowledge (John Diamonds book /Please Delete/ exposing former Chancellor Gearharts multimillion dollar scandal and coverup at the University of Arkansas) and the enclosed letter in a hand-delivery to bold new leaders Nicole Clowney and Billy Fleming, after finding out she committed political malpractice by accepting unsavory Gearhart monies for her campaign:

John Diamond was a martyr for just trying to do the right thing.

(un)Fortunately in Northwest Arkansas, doing the right thing comes a distant third to padding the bottom-line and protecting ones reputation, as /Please Delete/ clearly attests.

Despite its shiny Top-5 PR surface, this region is full of sociopathic hubris and xenophobia (fear of outsiders who question the status-quo).

What is the root cause?
Is it the University? Is it Walmart?
Or both, because they mutually (in)breed an infinite supply chain of groupthunk yes-men and false idol opportunists?

Its very telling there are no ombuds in any public or private sector here; are the powers-that-(shouldnt)-be so averse to ethics-cleansing sunshine and bona fide good governance?

Lou Holtz was right: Fayetteville might not be the end of the world, but you can see it from here.


This statement (and honestly, that book too) is also written to any other beneficiary-apologist who complicitly or actively accepts the oligarch(a)ic, good-ole boy, above-the-law status-quo that former Chancellor Gearhart represents in Northwest Arkansas and the State as a whole. (Ironically, Nicole also received a separate endorsement from another entrenched retired professor that praised her for challenging the good-ole boys of Arkansas politics!)

And now its time for a local history lesson. I hope youre sitting down.

Four years ago, I was also a newcomer to Fayetteville (like Nicole) after spending a good part of the previous decade working overseas in higher education and public service as a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar (AKA the new Rhodes but for the repressed); yes, I was (and still am) a liberally-educated defector and conscientious objector of my rural Missouri 99% grassroots-turned-NWA 1% corporate upbringing with Walmart.

A big impetus for me to seek an at-large seat on the Town & Gown Advisory Committee was because I was utterly disturbed by the Gearhart maladministration at the University of Arkansas and the rapid-gentrifying, community/culture-compromising Texas student gold rush that also happened in Fayetteville on Gearhart's watch; psychosociopathy is just the tip of the iceberg of the NWA modus operandi, and I wanted to bring my worldly experiences to do whatever I could to serve as a community-minded contrarian to somehow challenge that deeply-seed(y)ed, under-bellied status-quo here.

Mark Kinion and the Fayetteville City Council took a bold risk by appointing me, a newcomer to town, over some really entrenched local candidates; since then, I have butted heads with ALL the Gearhart-crony holdouts on Town & Gown, and even Mark himself on the occasion. Four years later, I am now the Community Ally of the Year, the same award that was first bestowed upon Mayor Lioneld Jordan by the University graduate and professional students just last year, a testament to singlehandedly doing more to raise awareness and champion doing the right thing for the greater good of Fayetteville and University than any other at-large representative since the Committee was created by Mark himself (with the blessing of Gearhart, ironically).

Now, lets think about how the corporate dystopia of Northwest Arkansas rose to the pinnacle (hills) of global tryanny. NAFTA. CLINTON. NEOLIBERALISM (with a complementary dash of neoconservatism and prosperity theology). LOYALTY OVER HONESTY. The parallels between the Clint(c)ons and Clown(carn)eys are uncanny charmingly opportunistic, namebrand-pedigreed lawyer-professors fresh off the boat to Fayetteville and the University who largely skipped over the local rite-of-political-passage entirely with the backing from some of the same entrenched loyalist co-enablers. Trust me, I am definitely not the only one around here who sees this as an obvious grooming, but I may be the only one with the audacity to openly point it out.

It's also apparent that false-idol worshipping, groupthunk NWA locals are blinded by rage and/or willfully ignorant; two wrongs that dont make a right, especially when everyone here already loves to piss niceties all over each other. Likewise, I sense there is a lot of feminasty, youthful and hubristic spite about hometown Hillarys loss, and that is being emotionally countertransferred to this local election in lieu of rationality and common sense.

One thing that is very clear, regardless of who wins the election, is that this region and state are in DIRE NEED of better checks and balances for our public and private sectors. Based on my experiences abroad, the global gold standards of bona fide good governance and community conflict resolution are ombudspersons, but those fairness advocates do not exist here whatsoever (except in nursing homes).

I truly hope whoever wins will do the right thing and create legislation that require ombuds throughout our public and private institutions because HR and compliance only serve best interests of the system, not the people therein. When staffed by truly independent leaders, ombuds will be bona fide safeguards to finally catalyze the righting of systemic wrongs and infightings that ultimately hold the rest of us back from achieving fair, equitable and authentic greatness.

Honesty over loyalty.
Its long overdue here.

P.S. If nothing else, somebody should sponsor legislation to change our State Bird to the ostrich!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mat Ram on 05/16/2018 at 4:47 PM

Re: “Walton, Ford foundations to give $6 million to increase diversity in museum jobs

How ironic that Crystal Bridges is championing this effort because its curatorial staff turnover has been legendary. It's hard to take any of its diversity and inclusion efforts seriously when Crystal Bridges does not follow good governance/best practices when it comes to HR and internal culture -- the Executive Director there also serves as the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, which is a fundamental conflict of interest. You simply cannot be the adjudicator and executioner.

Will any of this grant money create ombuds positions within the chosen museums? Because that is the gold standard for diversity and inclusion.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mat Ram on 11/29/2017 at 6:06 PM

Re: “Hog football: The lawyers take over

The University needs to find a for cause reason to terminate him so we taxpayers don't have bankroll the severance; it's out there but the people who can implicate him need to grow a spine and speak out. Why didn't the University learn this lesson the first time around?

11 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Mat Ram on 10/22/2017 at 1:21 PM

Re: “Open line and Civil War update

How's this for hubris?

Bentonville -- aka the D.C. of the private sector -- is the hottest mess town in America.

11 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mat Ram on 08/20/2017 at 5:55 PM

Re: “A psychological profile of the alt-right; authors include new UA prof

NWA could always use a good social psychologist -- let's see if he picks up on any of the groupthink, hubris and radicalization indoctrinated within the endless supply chain of Never Yielding corporate drones er Uncommon human capital feeding into It's-Hard-to-be-Humble Vendorville!

Perhaps he can redefine what an insidious radical domestic terrorist organization actually is...

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Mat Ram on 08/18/2017 at 8:41 AM

Re: “Arkansas a haven for refugees who slipped under Trump's ban

Hear hear. What ultimately bothers me is that Northwest Arkansas really needs to clean up its own messes -- be it child/senior hunger/poverty, adultery/divorce, homelessness/income inequality, etc -- if it's going to keep playing the global saviour of human capital.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mat Ram on 07/14/2017 at 8:06 PM

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