Government not the enemy 

Government not the enemy

During a time of great hardship for our nation, the Depression, a wise president, born to wealth and privilege, but reviled by the elite as traitor to his class, once said, "Government can err, presidents do make mistakes. But the immortal Dante tells us that the sins of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted are weighted on different scales by divine justice. Better the occasional fault of a government living in the spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference."

A later president, an amiable, well-liked dunce, once said, "Government is not the solution. Government is the problem." This has become a mantra of right-wing editorialists, along with the even more unfeeling and stupid, "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you."

These shallow sayings are repeated ad nauseam by some of our local editorial writers and pass, these days, for wisdom. Simple, unthinking people do not stop to realize that if our government is actually our enemy, then there is little hope for us.

I do not believe that this is the case. I believe that we, the people, are the government, and that if we stop electing our officials and members of Congress and various legislatures solely on the basis of narrow ideologies, we can yet put our nation back on the right track, that of fiscal solvency, while preserving essential, compassionate assistance for the less-fortunate in our midst.

I pray that it may come to pass.

J.R. Johnson


Lancaster's DP-G contributions

I will miss reading Bob Lancaster, just like thousands of other Arkansans. There won't be anymore like him in the future because writers who grew up in the 1940s and '50s are dying out. We, as a society, are going to be poorer in every way because of it.

For example, Bob was the state's foremost observer of the nasty, mean dog-peter gnat (D-PG). I just wish Bob had been able to continue his groundbreaking research to find the answer as to why the D-PGs continue to harass and intimidate our dogs! Maybe someone can pick up where Bob left off and get our dogs out of this mess.

When Bob was a boy hanging out in Grant County, I was a boy puzzling over my dog's D-PG problems in Benton County. We boys in Gentry spent many hot summer afternoons trying to stay cool under the huge maple trees in my yard. Our dogs joined us, sprawling and panting, and we witnessed the D-PGs kamikaze attacks on our helpless dogs. We couldn't swat the gnats, as Bob's pointed out, because we would've injured our dogs' tender area.

Our dogs would start jumping and hopping around, scratching and biting at the swarming gnats. It wasn't a pretty scene. My black and white dog, Bullger, a hound/beagle mix, spent most of his days trying to out run the dive-bombing D-PGs. It was a grateful day for Bullger when we put him in the ground. The mean D-PGs couldn't torment him anymore.

Unfortunately, I don't see a younger generation stepping up and solving the D-PG problem. But we may solve it unintentionally: pollution, greenhouse gases, climate warming, rain forest elimination and other self-destructive behavior. The D-PGs and dogs may simply disappear like the dodo bird.

Wayne Jordan

Little Rock

Distributed generation needed

I've just returned from our State Capitol to hear testimony about proposed House Bill 1390 — on distributed generation. It was so painful to hear these courageous and visionary supporters of renewable energy speak on deaf ears about the energy future of our state. The bill, submitted by freshman Rep. Warwick Sabin, suggests that our state require that utility companies acquire a meager 5 percent of our energy from renewable sources.

Almost all of our energy, 99 percent, currently comes from coal, gas or nuclear generated sources. The brave group presented facts on what distributed generation would mean for our state and what affect it would have on electric rates and green employment projections only to be shot down by a representative from Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas and a very slick lobbyist representing the Heartland Institute spewing misinformation. But hey, the guy from Heartland spoke about the Razorbacks, and that seemed to make a bigger impression on the committee than the facts being presented by the proponents.

Eventually, we will have to address this. Fossil fuels are finite. They will run out. That's a fact. It won't directly affect my child or her children, other than the proven health risks. But, it will be a very different world for generations to come if we don't begin to wean ourselves from these dangerous energy sources.

It was embarrassing as an Arkansan to witness how close-minded our legislators are. They asked the wrong questions and heard only what would immediately affect them. Not what's good for Arkansans, our nation or our world. And that boiled down to money.

Michelle Snyder


Ideologues v. empiricists

While following this great state's current bamboozlement of a legislative session, I'm reminded once again of a quote from Edward Ashment, "There can be little or no dialogue between ideologues 'proclaimers of the truth' and empiricists 'discoverers of truth'. The former tend to debate while the latter tend to discuss."

Jason Cauley


Submit letters to the Editor, Arkansas Times, P.O. Box 34010, Little Rock, AR 72203. We also accept letters via e-mail. The address is arktimes@arktimes.com. We also accept faxes at 375-3623. Please include name and hometown.


Sign up for the Daily Update email


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Radical Zinn

    Re: the bill to remove Howard Zinn books from school libraries: When "alternative" books are removed from school libraries and class curriculums, it is the beginning of broader suppression of education and civilian participation in politics, not the end of it.
    • Mar 9, 2017
  • On Walmart and state money

    No they don't need state help. Any conservative legislator who is true to their tea party principles will crow on about crony capitalism. I look forward to deafening silence.
    • Sep 21, 2017
  • On shitholes

    The Observer is at home today in our kitty cat socks, weathering a combination sick day and snow day. Way down in Stifft Station, we live at the top of a hill that slopes away in all directions. That's good in a flood, but piss poor other than for sledding during snow and ice, especially when you only have access to a two-wheel drive car.
    • Jan 18, 2018

Latest in Letters

  • Allow comfort dogs

    I was dismayed to read of Judge Wendell Griffen's recent ruling against allowing comfort dogs for child sexual abuse victims in criminal court proceedings.
    • May 17, 2018
  • Save The Rep

    Having worked all over the U.S. and, in fact, pretty much all over the world in theater, I can say with some authority that the productions at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, both those I have been in and those I have seen, are of the highest quality in every artistic aspect: acting, directing, set, costume and light design, etc.
    • May 3, 2018
  • On 'Stormy shaming'

    The media shames most anyone who is not in the establishment media (and corporate) class. The media's shaming effect is more widespread and overt than you realize.
    • Apr 26, 2018
  • More »

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation