Pierce | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

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Recent Comments

Re: “Universities rethinking ties to Saudi Arabia, but all quiet in Arkansas

In the 1992 presidential election, the Saudis got behind the reelection campaign of George H. W. Bush. When Clinton won the election, the Saudis tried to get on his good side by, among other things, endowing a Middle East Studies Program at his home state's flagship institution. This endowment is just that--an endowment that provides program support. The Saudis have no say in how the endowment interest is spent. I would urge everyone to take a look at the programming and faculty at UA Middle East program before casting them as Saudi tools.

Plainjim, putting quotation marks around scholars to describe the faculty is just plain reckless and anti-intellectual. Take the time to look at their profiles on line before disparaging them. It is really easy to do if you aspire to more than cheap shots--https://fulbright.uark.edu/area-studies/mi… BTW: I am more than happy to take your bet--what are the stakes? Put your money out there.

Posted by Pierce on 11/01/2018 at 1:25 PM

Re: “Supreme Court denies casino amendment challenges; reverses voter ID decision

Jim Youngdahl who wrote the constitutional amendment abolishing the poll tax and creating the registration system is now rolling over in his grave. He took precautions to ensure that conservatives could not rollback voting rights but could never have imagined that the Supreme Court would ignore the plain words of the text.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Pierce on 10/11/2018 at 10:41 AM

Re: “A question for French Hill

French Hill and his friends like to invoke Nancy Pelosi in their battle with Clarke Tucker, but the question that I have is "Will French Hill support Kevin McCarthy for Speaker if Hill wins and the GOP keeps control of the House?" McCarthy was caught on tape saying, "There's two people that I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump" and then agreed to cover up the issue for partisan reasons (WaPo 5/17/17). I am not the biggest fan of Pelosi but what has she done that even comes close to such unpatriotic and corrupt behavior?

19 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Pierce on 08/20/2018 at 8:26 AM

Re: “The college-going rate in Arkansas is declining. Anyone who says otherwise needs remedial math.

I am sure that the causes of this dip are many, but the increasing disparagement of the state's universities that we are hearing from conservatives has to be near the top of the list. They talk like the professors and administrators at these universities are threats to the state's citizens. Look at what happened when Arkansas Tech tried to spread a little health information or at the debate concerning guns on campuses. This constant denigration of higher education--both an expression of legislators' personal anxieties and part of an effort to lower spending to allow tax cuts for the wealthy--is taking its toll. Anti-intellectualism has never served the state well.

13 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Pierce on 07/27/2018 at 11:09 AM

Re: “Woo Pig! Athletics dominate round of pay raises at UA

Wow! $300,000 for each of the golf coaches and $100,000 for each of their assistants. Men's golf and women's golf are not revenue producing sports. The University of Arkansas is choosing to subsidize these sports rather than paying living wages to the hundreds of full-time UA employees who have to rely on SNAP benefits and food banks to survive. To be clear, the University of Arkansas's choices where to put money causes hardships for hard-working employees who are vital to the teaching and research missions of the university.

15 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Pierce on 07/24/2018 at 9:33 AM

Re: “University pay ranking puts UA System chief at 57

High wages for administrators like Don Bobbitt are financed by the University of Arkansas's unwillingness to pay living wages to its classified employees. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 965 has launched a Living Wage campaign for University of Arkansas employees in Fayetteville. We are calling on the Board of Trustees to pay all full-time employees a living wage.

According to a massive empirical study conducted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology economic geographer Amy Glasmeier, for an Arkansas family with two working adults and two children to live independently with adequate food and housing, each of the working adults needs to earn $14.12 per hour or $29,369.60 per year. (Source: livingwage.mit.edu/states/05.)

618 of the University of Arkansas, Fayettevilles 1,320 full-time classified employees (clerical, grounds, maintenance, janitorial, etc.) earn less than $29,369.60 per year. In other words, 47% of these full-time employees make less than what is needed to support a typical family. (Source: Excel spreadsheet provided by the University of Arkansass Office of University Relations, March 30, 2018.)

The median pay for the University of Arkansas, Fayettevilles 1,320 full-time classified employees is $30,016just barely over the minimum needed to support a typical family. (Source: Excel spreadsheet, March 30, 2018.)

26 of the University of Arkansas, Fayettevilles 1,320 full-time classified employees earn less than $20,000. 361 earn less than $25,000. (Source: Excel spreadsheet, March 30, 2018.)

The University of Arkansass Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Food Pantry reports that 51% of its clients in the most recent period identified themselves as Staff or Hourly Workers. Moreover, Staff were more likely than undergraduates or graduate students to visit the pantry on a recurring basis. (Source: email dated February 23, 2018.)

Walmart now pays its starting employees $11.00 per hour. 280 full-time classified employees earn less than that on an hourly basis. (Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/11/walmart-to…; Excel spreadsheet, March 30, 2018).

Join AFSCME 965's University of Arkansas Living Wage campaign at Arkansas965.org or like AFSCME Local 965 Arkansas on Facebook.

9 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Pierce on 07/22/2018 at 1:42 PM

Re: “Freedom of choice: A new force for segregation in schools

The other component of this, which is often overlooked, is that Charters are forcing traditional public schools to divert resources to placate the parents of wealthy white students who threaten to send their kids to Charter schools.

6 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Pierce on 06/18/2018 at 9:20 AM

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