A lasting impression
The other day, I was made aware that retired Army National Guard Brigadier General Lyn Pippin had passed away on July 26, 2020.
Lyn was my Little League baseball coach when I was 10 or 11. As I recall, he was rather competitive and hated losing almost as much as I did. Since that period of time, I only talked to him twice. But I've always remembered that he took the time to try to teach me how to lose gracefully, which remains a work in progress.
His demeanor and attitude made a lasting impression on this little boy. To me, he was a great man, even in his 20s.
The meeting of the Legislature's Health Committee was embarrassing and alarming. The ignorance, lack of concern, and just plain rudeness and bad manners shown by legislators for their constituents and the people of Arkansas is disgraceful. Also, the committee's understanding of individual rights and the rights of the community as a whole is shocking. No one has a right to endanger the health of others. Clearly, refusing to use a mask in public is an act that endangers the community as a whole. Certainly many members of the committee have no understanding of the U.S. Constitution or of their responsibility to the community as a whole. Are they really willing to allow their friends and neighbors to become infected with disease while they push their "rights" and ignore the need to promote the "general welfare" as is stated in the Preamble of the Constitution?
I am unclear if some legislators are merely ignorant or if they are adhering to conspiracy theories of some sort. One committee member seemed to feel that Governor Hutchinson's mask requirement will lead to socialism. It is beyond belief that a member of the committee that is concerned with public health would be more concerned with wild political theories than with health outcomes. I am not convinced that that person even knows what socialism is.
It is embarrassing when people who represent the state of Arkansas act like bullies, and that committee members felt a need to browbeat Dr. Romero and his staff. Instead of helping stem the spread of disease, committee members are bullying the people who can actually help control the pandemic. Ridiculous power plays do not serve the people of Arkansas; rather, they highlight the ignorance and ego of the politicians. It is time for our legislators who have taken oaths to serve the people of Arkansas to put away their own agendas and to start serving the people of this state.
Minimum wage costs
I've worked in the military, industry and government. Note that I haven't been an enlightened professor on top of the hill. My point is that the majority of people in this country do not understand that someone can't hire you for $15 an hour if you produce less than that in product. A company has many costs in addition to your hourly wage. You want to get paid more, you have to produce more. Yes, I know, government and military don't necessarily fit this model. Oh, also the wonderful profs on the hill don't fit either.
Who really stood tall
This week a nation paused and three presidents spoke (a fourth wrote) to pay respect, honor, and lay to rest a short "giant" who was beaten until he bled, but stood up again seeking justice for others ... while a tall "little" man whined publicly about needing to wear a mask in order to save the lives of others.
Why are they silent?
Arkansas senators and congressmen, please show our citizens you have more decency, wisdom, and downright shame than to be supporting Donald Trump at this time of great national divide and turmoil. Let your courage as lawmakers denounce the lies and abuse of power that this president demonstrates daily. Are Senators Romney and Murkowski the only Republicans in the Senate who are willing to speak truthfully? Are all of you willing to put party before country in order to maintain your titles of power?
Donald Trump's gross lying, disgusting tweets, incoherent speeches, dangerous, impetuous comments and decisions, and senseless stirring up of national and international tensions are unending. With the exception of Tom Cotton, who hangs ambitiously to Trump's coattails, the rest of you remain silent. Does this mean you also encourage Trump's behavior? Will this administration try to sweep under the rug the events that are tearing down our country as was done with the deafening silence in our history of the Tulsa Race Massacre in 1921? And how many history books have told us of one of the bloodiest racial massacres in the history of the U.S.? Where? Elaine, Ark., 1919. Will the history books of the future reflect this country's present attitude as one like that of Andrew Johnson, tearing down what Abe Lincoln held together?
Recent days have shone a positive light on those who have had the courage to speak out, the many respected high-ranking officials who have long served this country, including Generals James Mattis, Colin Powell and John Kelly, and former presidents including George Bush. Donald Trump is a disappointment, but the greater sadness lies with the massive silence of Republicans who follow an incompetent man's unstable lead.
CAROL A. CHANEY