Just when I think the lead columnist for our state's flagship newspaper has gone too far, he outdoes himself. His columns are completely devoid of anything approaching analysis or balance, and continue to be the petulant little tantrums for which he is known.
As an American, conservative and Republican, there are many, many things about the Trump presidency that were disappointing and extremely frustrating, yet these thoughts merit nary a mention in these pages. His early years and entire term confirmed that he was a political novice with no experience or political operation upon which he could rely, and much of what he did reflected those facts. With that said, however, a strong majority of your subscribers supported Trump's many great policy initiatives and still find him far preferable to the Obama restoration of hard leftists who cannot find it in themselves to oppose the communist Cuban dictatorship. That is completely lost on you. If all this makes me a deranged Trumpist, so be it.
You'll notice, however, I have not (yet) said a word about the 2020 election or the Jan. 6 protest that got out of hand (which it did, although the reasons why are anything but clear; I think that is what Jake Bequette meant to say, by the way). As usual, unfortunately, the gumshoe does not scratch the surface on any of this, yet you continue to promote him as your lead columnist, which bodes ill for this once-proud newspaper.
In regard to his column of July 9, I have one question for Dana D. Kelley: Has he ever traveled on the interstate highway system?
See biblical parallel
While thinking about vaccine hesitancy here in Arkansas, the Bible account of Naaman the leper came to my mind. We read how the great army commander Naaman came to the prophet Elisha to be cured of his leprosy. The prophet sent word to him that he should go dip seven times in the Jordan River and he would be cured. Naaman left angry about the instructions. However, his servant reminded him that if he had been required to do some great deed, he would have attempted it, so he might as well submit to this small command. So Naaman did as Elisha commanded and was cured.
I see a good parallel with what is happening in Arkansas. We have been provided with the means to stop the covid-19 pandemic. It is very simple to go get a shot, and it is free. Yet too many are refusing to do the one thing that can help save lives. The sad thing is their actions affect both themselves and others.
Not out of woods yet
Here's an old brain-teaser riddle that most have probably heard before: How far can a bear run into the woods? The answer is halfway, and then he starts to run out of the woods.
For Arkansas, the bear (covid inoculations) is not even halfway into the woods (the presence of covid). In fact, he is only about one-third into the woods in Arkansas. The problem is that people, including our Arkansas governor, have not taken into account that the surge worried about is here and now, and more drastic steps need to be taken to quell the surge.
For those who are "afraid" to take the shot for various unproven reasons during the surge of this variant of covid (Delta), their lack of humanity is showing. By that I mean that this is not just a personal decision, but a public health emergency. By saying that they don't want their freedom taken away and exhibiting their inaction, they are in fact taking freedom away from others, and I'm speaking about potentially taking away the gift of life itself. And what about the long-term effects of the disease?
Whenever I am out, even though I have had the inoculation for several months, I wear a mask. I am in a vulnerable age group, as is my wife, and I refuse to put either of us at the mercy of irresponsible people. By not wearing masks or taking the vaccination, the odds of someone getting covid have increased many-fold. I have a hard time believing unvaccinated people are able to sleep at night with the possibility of a covid infection hanging over them and perhaps their family.
Let's help the bear get halfway into the woods, and then start to come out of the woods, and eventually into the free air, by getting inoculated.
On federal assistance
Dana Kelley's narration of radical individualism in the creation of modern America is ahistorical nonsense. Daniel Boone did not walk into the wilderness alone.
The settlements he pioneered were legitimized by land claims filed with the state of Virginia. After the Revolutionary War, Boone was an agent of the state as a land surveyor, militia colonel, sheriff and county coroner and member of the state legislature. In 1799 Boone moved to Spanish Missouri where he was appointed a government official. After the Louisiana Purchase, he again became a government employee as a militia captain. His improperly documented Missouri land claims had to be validated by Congress.
A rugged frontiersman certainly. A libertarian icon in no need of government in his life? Well, no.
Mr. Kelley states, "The federal government can take barely any credit for national progress at the public local level, and in fact did virtually nothing for the pioneering generations of citizens who literally built the country from sea to shining sea." Really?
The Continental Congress, flawed though it was, won the Revolutionary War by uniting the individual independent British colonies. It also established the Northwest Ordinance which allowed expansion of the number of states.
The U.S. Constitution created the first continent-size political entity in world history. The federal assumption of Revolutionary War debts united the states into a single economic entity, established common currency and created credit markets that allowed the land speculation of Daniel Boone and uncounted others.
Thomas Jefferson doubled the size of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase. The American railroad system was supported by federal land grants to subsidize construction starting in 1850.
The federal hospital systems were for the Navy. The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is named for the military physician who proved yellow fever was transmitted by mosquitoes and typhoid fever by contaminated water. Mosquito-control measures pioneered at the federally funded Panama Canal eliminated malaria in the United States so now St. Bernards can devote its time to other illnesses.