Favorite

The Observer, Nov. 26 

One of the biggest applause lines during former President Bill Clinton's speech at a lunch celebrating the fifth anniversary of his presidential library began this way:

“If they repealed the 22nd amendment and I could run for a third term as president ... .”

He was joking, using it for a point about the politics of health care reform.

Those who clapped were not joking.

 

The crowd of 1,000 at the lunch all stood with hand over heart to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the program. The Observer wondered what Will Phillips would have done. Would the West Fork fifth-grader have remained true to his vow not to recite the pledge as long as the U.S. affords some people less liberty and justice than others?

For a fleeting second, we thought about not rising, out of solidarity with Will Phillips. Conformity is a powerful force, though, even without a school teacher standing over us with a ruler. We stood, we saluted, we recited. And we wished for the day that Will Phillips can do so with a glad heart.

 

Ray Weghorst, a follower of The Observer, said last week's column's musings on the benefits of a Honda — so great The Observer was considering forgiving the Japanese for starting World War II — inspired him to send this note.

“My late father-in-law, U.S. Navy veteran CPO Henry F. Menke, survived the sinking of his ship at Pearl Harbor. His reward for such good fortune was to be transferred to the first aircraft carrier that was bombed by the kamikazes while at sea in the Western Pacific. He survived the war, and returned to his home state of Nebraska, where he married and reared four children, including my wife.

“In his later years, Chief Menke became active in the Pearl Harbor Survivors organization. About 10 years ago, he was on his way to a PHS get-together in Fayetteville when he was pulled over by an Arkansas state trooper for speeding. Always a quick thinker, he put on his Pearl Harbor Survivor cap just as the trooper approached his vehicle. When the trooper looked in the window and saw the cap, he told Chief Menke that he was not under any circumstances going to issue a ticket to the Pearl Harbor Survivor on Veterans Day. He did advise more caution in the future, however. The trooper then noted that Chief Menke was driving a Subaru and stated ‘Sir, you must be the most forgiving man I have ever met.' He then tipped his cap and returned to the cruiser.”

 

It's been a week when everyone's talking about health care. There was the continuing focus on Blanche Lincoln, who dithered herself into a national spotlight she'd rather not have been under. There was the black-hearted doctor's wife who sent an e-mail to friends, and subsequently to the world, bragging about her harpy act at a local restaurant, where she berated Vic Snyder for his vote to create a system of health care that would extend access to all Americans, rather than continuing the one that has made her rich beyond belief. Snyder's wife was in tears; Arkansas blog readers were aghast at the woman's shockingly insensitive, illogical and rude boasts. It was a window into the minds of the elitists who think the poor and middle class are just a bunch of unsuccessful would-be freeloaders.

The Observer got this note from a doctor who helped treat some 1,000 uninsured who took advantage of Saturday's free health clinic downtown sponsored by Communities are Responding Every Day:

“Many, maybe the majority of docs in town very rarely see an uninsured patient to know their story and understand their plight.

“The front office staff and hospitals screen them out. One can be in private practice and not be aware how many are shunted away from your office.

“(Conversely, one can be on the office staff and be screamed at by their physician/employer if someone with no money slips through).

“Community health centers, teaching hospitals, most pediatricians, ER docs, and some family practice do know and see these folks, but for most every other provider setting, no tickee, no washee.

“About 20 years ago senior execs of a large Arkansas health insurance company were amazed that the uninsured existed. And if you sell insurance to those who can afford it, why would you know it?”

It's no excuse.

 

 

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Readers also liked…

  • I'm sorry

    I'm sorry we stood by while your generation's hope was smothered by $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, just because you were trying to educate yourselves enough to avoid falling for the snake oil and big talk of a fascist.
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • Show and tell

    The Observer is an advocate of the A+ method of integrating the arts and using creativity to teach across the curriculum, an approach that the Thea Foundation, with help from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, is offering to schools across the state.
    • Feb 25, 2016
  • Yawp

    The Observer has been in a funk lately for a number of reasons: revulsions and slights, both foreign and domestic. We get that way most years as the winter drags on, once the tinsel and colored lights of Christmas drop into the rearview, soon after we come off the New Year's Day hangover.
    • Mar 24, 2016

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in The Observer

  • Dumb and smart, at the same time

    The Observer spent the week at a bar and thought a lot about a joke and its writer.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • -30-

    A newspaper died up in Atkins a few weeks back, not with a bang or a whimper, but with the sound of change jingling in a pocket, just too little of it to keep the printing presses rolling.
    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Does she know?

    Did Kim Walker-Smith, when recording "Throne Room" for her new record "On My Side," truly understand the power of her music? Does she now know that her song was the one that played on the radio as Michael Reed thumped into the Ten Commandments monument on the state Capitol grounds and brought it on down?
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Ruth Coker Burks, the cemetery angel

    • Go Fund Me Page. https://www.gofundme.com/RuthCokerBurks

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: The ballad of Fred and Yoko

    • I grew up in Charleston and attended the College of Charleston, right around the corner…

    • on July 21, 2017
  • Re: A week at Midtown

    • Beautifully & perfectly written. Maggie & Mistown are definitely unique & awesome!!

    • on July 21, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation