Where problem lies
Here is an example of fake news, as espoused by a member of the know-nothing party, Sen. Stephanie Flowers of Pine Bluff. She had the nerve to admonish Sen. Alan Clark for suggesting that two-parent families have fewer juvenile incarcerated children. She says, and I quote, "It's about poverty ... It's not because they don't have a dad."
Here's something you should put on your office wall and read every day and use when giving speeches: Children who grow up without a father are more likely to live in poverty, more likely to drop out of school, and more likely to wind up in prison.
President Barack Obama talked about that when he was a senator. To be fully enlightened, read his speech from June 15, 2008, that he gave on Father's Day at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago. He knows where the problem lies, and he doesn't blame everyone else or make excuses. The facts speak for themselves.
Ways to achieve peace
It was great to read in a recent column of Brenda Looper's mention of Erica Chenoweth and her book, The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict. Because Arkansas Peace Week 2017 (Sept. 17-23) is here--Sept. 21 being the actual International Day of Peace--Erica's research on this subject, studying all conflicts since 1900, is noteworthy.
She and her co-author, Maria Stephan, argue that, historically, nonviolent resistance campaigns have been more effective in achieving their goals than violent resistance campaigns. Their study of past conflicts has led them to report that the belief that "violent resistance is the only effective way to win concessions from a repressive adversary simply does not stand up to the evidence. Nonviolent resistance has the strategic edge." And often with better long-term results. Their study also "rejects the claim that there are some types of states against which only violence will work." They were not able to discern any such states in their study.
Arkansas Peace Week is the occasion to recognize locally the many organizations that practice and support peaceful, nonviolent practices. It also acknowledges the hundreds of thousands of Arkansans from every walk of life who do the same. Aren't these the habits that instill justice, lessen violence and build community where everyone is respected? This week is in grateful observance of you! One may find the week's many events on arkansaspeaceweek.com. I hope you'll help spread the word.
Falling through cracks
Re "The right call," that appeared in the Saturday edition: I agree with the editorial. The move calls for opening five new charter schools, three in Little Rock and two in Pine Bluff. There are many at-risk kids waiting to get in charter schools. This type of instruction is badly needed in times like these. As an educator, my greatest passion is to help at-risk children. We badly need more specialized instruction for kids who fall through the cracks.
Hole in the rationale
I read with interest Gary Newton's op-ed supporting charter schools for Little Rock, hoping to read a solution to the glaring hole in the rationale for charter schools. I was disappointed.
Newton used the same old talking points about why charter schools are so great. He neglected to offer a vision for what would happen if proponents successfully open an unlimited number of charter schools with tax dollars. Do public schools disappear completely? If not, who would attend the assumingly low-performing public schools that remain? How would this provide equality of education to all students, which is required under federal law and guaranteed by the Constitution?
Without addressing these questions honestly and openly, the charter-school movement will continue to face suspicion and opposition. I, and many others, suspect the movement is a blatant attempt by predominantly white elites to use tax dollars to create a two-tiered system where poor minority students once again receive separate and unequal educational resources. Or it's a sneaky way to end paying private-school tuition.
I don't doubt that most parents would prefer their children attend high-performing schools. I also believe many problems exist with public schools. I just fail to see how charter schools will fix those problems.
Ultimately, it is unfair to use tax dollars to send only some students to the best schools. That's an elitist vision of the future that I believe is undoubtedly illegal. It's also the gaping hole in the rationale for charter schools that Newton and others conveniently never mention.
I took someone to the pain clinic and saw so many there around 30 years of age or under on walking canes. They all were moaning and groaning to see doctors of questionable character that prescribe what is practically heroin in a pill called opiates. These opiates are not a cure or a remedy but instead a "reliever." These pain relievers only deceive the mind for a few hours until the effects wear off. Afterward you experience shocking torment for more of what disillusioned you to the pain.
I have lost two of my four best friends and two precious young relatives to opiates. I have many loved ones still alive but so mentally and financially ruined by opiates. Needless to say I have nothing but brute contempt for opiates to the point of where I would rather endure pain than to relent and take a pill to disillusion me.
Nowadays people think bearing pain is such a grave wrong. Bearing pain only toughens you up and is proved by people who are tough because they had it tough. Truer words were never spoken when they say that what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.
To calm my contempt over the pathetic view at the pain clinic, I then tried reading a magazine telling me Arkansas now has the second-fastest-growing Latino population around, with most being newcomers. Bienvenida to these newcomers who are replacing our natives that became too "sick" to work anymore.
Editorial on 09/19/2017
Print Headline: Letters