It's well-known that journalists are trained to be skeptical, but two recent editorials about the hog factory in Mount Judea reveal a flippancy and lack of sensitivity that does not serve the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette well.
"About those hog farms" and "No more hog farms" bemoan the ongoing controversy about the risk to our Natural State's most iconic natural treasure, the Buffalo River, characterizing further discussion about impending pollution as tedious, boring, and useless. It would almost seem that the editorial writers have not visited the Buffalo and lack an understanding of its importance to our distant corner of the state.
If more local landmarks like the Clinton Library, Oaklawn, or Riverfront Park were under threat of destruction, would they be so glib and insensitive? If Central High was on a path to be condemned to the wrecking ball, would they be so dismissive?
At some point, we all will feel a threat to someone or something we hold precious, and that threat will be real and palpable, and perhaps ongoing. In those moments, imagine hearing the words uttered by the Democrat-Gazette--"we're sick and tired of the whole subject, distraction and sideshow. Enough!"--and you get a sense of how callous, disappointing and even childish this position is from our state's most prominent newspaper.
Thanks to Samaritan
On May 11, I was driving south on 67/167 when my van just stopped running. I pulled off the highway, turned on my hazard lights and opened the hood when a man in a white pickup pulled up by my van.
He said he drove past me and noticed I was using a cane. He went to the next exit to turn around and come back to see if he could be of any help. I called AAA. A lady asked me for my location. I wasn't sure but the man said I was about three miles from the Ward exit. He then left and about 20 minutes later he came back with two cold bottles of water and a packet of small doughnuts for my passenger and I. He would not let me reimburse him, and the only name I got was "Rick," which was on his shirt.
My lady passenger and I could not believe it, in this day and age with all the crime and attacks going on, that a good Samaritan like Rick would go out of his way to help us older people (pushing 90), not only once but twice.
Thank you, Rick, wherever you are. God bless you.
Mr. Walter Skelton of Little Rock apparently believes that those of us who make too little money to pay income tax "contribute nothing."
I would like to state that, as a person who lives on Social Security, I still contribute a great deal. Many of us volunteer at our local charities, libraries, schools, etc. We are honest, law-abiding citizens who assist others and make the world a better place.
Maybe Mr. Skelton should get to know some low-income folks who are good citizens.
On those atom bombs
A letter-writer states, "Why didn't the United States cut to the chase and drop the nuclear bombs on top of the Japanese imperial emperor's palace? One shot--one kill." It was also stated that dropping the bomb on the royal palace would not be civilized. Instead, we dropped the atom bombs on two heavily populated civilian cities.
Bombing the emperor's palace would have plunged Japan into total chaos. Instead, we wanted Hirohito to live to be disgraced before his people.
The two target cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were mainly chosen because they had not been touched by conventional bombing. Thus, our military wanted to use these cities to observe the atomic destruction patterns on them.
Only two cities were A-bombed because we had only two atom bombs ready for use. The second bomb, targeted for Nagasaki, was originally meant for Kokura, but it was cloud-covered. Our military requested a visual target to release it high over the center of the city for maximum destruction, to observe the A-bomb's power and radius from ground zero.
Dropping these nuclear weapons, we thought, would quickly end the war, saving over a million American lives from a deadly military invasion.
We dropped leaflets, warning them we were going to bomb them. They dismissed these warnings, and instead of a few thousand killed, there were 170,000 casualties.
The U.S. had spent over $2 billion on the Manhattan Project developing these atomic weapons. We needed to prove to the taxpayer that this money was not spent in vain.
What if Japan had developed the atom bomb first? They, without a doubt, would have dropped it over Washington, D.C., totally destroying our infrastructure along with our ability to carry on government and military actions.
Events lack coverage
I think it is really sad that the news media in Central Arkansas does not seem to cover the school events which take place at the Arkansas Game and Fish Shooting Sports Complex in Jacksonville.
The Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program Championship was held there on April 29th, with no local media coverage that I saw.
This is a very diverse program for schools in our state. A good example is that the winning junior high team consisted of two young ladies and three young men. The junior high teams from Corning took first, second and third place.
I feel that if this had been a football, basketball or baseball tournament, we would have heard all about it.
Arkansas Game and Fish works hard on this program and deserves more credit. They have built a very nice facility in Jacksonville which is used by a large number of people.
The state tournament is scheduled for June 3-4. If they were to invite a star Razorback to be there, I'd bet Wally Hall and all of the local TV stations would show up.
JOHN P. SELIG
Editorial on 05/23/2016