Followed the science
I watched my friend and colleague Dr José Romero shamelessly badgered by the bullies, Rapert, et al. Our elected officials paraded their ignorance of public health, epidemiology, medical practice, and state law, and state Medical Board regulations.
When the doctors in Conway treated Reverend Rapert, they did not turn to the Ten Commandments, or Deuteronomy, or Leviticus, but CDC, New England Journal of Medicine, etc., not Dr. Young, Secretary Navarro or the Houston doctor with Satan's bodily fluids. And I am certain all the nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, and housekeeping, regardless of their individual beliefs or faith, also assiduously applied the Beatitudes and Golden Rule in their bedside caring.
CHARLES R. FEILD
I am going to miss the governor's daily coronavirus briefings. The interesting part were the questions from reporters, where he was adept at dodging the hard questions he did not like. The Sept. 10 briefing was a good example, when the AP reporter asked the governor's opinion of the president downplaying the threat of the pandemic during February and March.
True to form, it seems Asa saw no fault in the president, with the excuse that there was plenty of good information out there on the pandemic, and King Don was just trying to avoid panic. He refuses to say anything bad about the national leadership on this crisis from the White House, which has been mediocre at best.
No, the president was worried about the stock market and his re-election chances. His politicization of the pandemic and downplaying the risk has influenced his base of hard-core supporters, who still believe that the whole thing is a hoax to bring down the president and that masks aren't needed.
You do not have to look very far to see the result of the president's campaign of misinformation. Our attorney general is so proud of her Trumpism that she posts pictures of herself on social media attending events with no mask and no social distancing. Why do we have a state mask mandate if the attorney general and other Trump supporters feel they do not apply to them? Do their flags and red hats make them immune?
The governor has worked hard at managing the pandemic, but has continued to downplay its severity by constantly referring to the cumulative average test positive rate, which at 8 percent is much lower than the seven-day rolling average that shows a truer picture of where the state stands. The John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center shows Arkansas at 11 percent, with the national average at 5 percent.
Unfortunately, with Rutledge and Huckabee Sanders waiting in the wings, we will probably be looking back fondly on the current governor in three years.
Spirit of democracy
The Constitution provides for amendment, and it should be amended to eliminate the electoral college in favor of direct popular vote. We no longer abide by elitist principles that elevate landowners above other citizens or that relegate some citizens to a fraction of the value of others. We have extended the franchise to women. Much else that is honorable and good has changed as well, too much to analyze in a simple letter.
The presidency is a national position and should apply to all citizens equitably. We can no longer countenance a system that nullifies votes in winner-take-all states and elevates the roles of large states over small. Under the national popular vote, large population concentrations might attract attention and media spending without disenfranchising a single vote elsewhere. Such an arrangement would be much less artificial and would reflect the true condition of the people and their will. The national popular vote would be true to the spirit of American democracy; the electoral college, with its inherent echoes of an old world recognizing class distinction, is not at all.
Things to think about
So proud of the moms of Arkansas! The letters to the editor from Tuesday expressed the concerns we all need to be thinking about in these weeks before the election. As a former Republican from Kansas, it is my hope that "thinking" Republicans will realize that as a businessman, Trump is in this for himself only and, like him, most of the Republican Congress are keeping quiet, hoping to retain their lucrative places.
Please, please vote them out.
Hot Springs Village
A mess in the making
Central Arkansas, get ready, it's going to be a mess for quite a while as our friends at ArDOT prepare to widen I-30 through Little Rock and North Little Rock. The good news is that two major players in big-time highway and bridge construction will be doing the design and construction work. Massman Construction and Kiewit Infrastructure South have the $1 billion-plus contract.
Let's just hope these contractors can do it quickly and miss some of the pitfalls we normally see with ArDOT-led construction work. Please, no more manhole covers or drop inlet grates in the wheel path of the traffic lanes, perhaps bridge abutments and approach slabs that have smooth transitions that remain level forever. When paving the concrete roadways, construct it where pavement runs the full width of the traffic lane and no more of this vehicle straddling two separate sections of pavement like we have on the road toward Benton. Reminding drivers to have patience, drive safely and watch for the workers as they transform our city forever.
Good luck, ArDOT, with Godspeed and good weather.
So ... about socialism
I saw a letter from a Dee Ray claiming that Joe Biden is a socialist. Socialism is government control of the means of production. Aren't huge bailouts to big business a means of government control? Isn't President Trump presiding over these bailouts? Doesn't that make Trump a socialist? If you are concerned about the Democrats stealing your money, is not racking up a huge debt a burden on the future and therefore stealing your money that you may leave your descendants?
We can honestly debate tax policy and the size/scope of the welfare state. Both major parties are partly socialist. One has a portion that takes pride in the socialist label, and that portion did not receive the nomination for one of their true believers. The other party might as well be shouting into a mirror about socialists ruining this country. There are other options on the ballot, but over 90 percent of American voters won't look at them.